Ah, it's my first "real" post on the new blog! I'm still mourning the loss of all my past content (seriously, hackers can suck it) BUT I'm excited to kick off the new blog with a party that is very near and dear to my heart!
My daughters are almost exactly three years apart in age (March 15th and March 25th), so when it was time for them to turn one and four I knew I wanted to have a big joint party for both of them. My oldest, Addy, LOVES horses and I decided early on that it would be a cowgirl party with lots of pink, purple, and paisley. It was a super girly twist on the classic western style party and I love how everything came together.
I'll be sharing about all of the details, projects, and fabulous event pros who helped bring this party to life so be sure to read on if you're planning to throw a cowgirl or western party for your little one, or if you just love photos of cute birthday parties and SUPER cute birthday girls.
AND, I've created a FREE birthday party planning guide for the Eugene/Springfield area! It's 15 pages filled with tips, advice, and the best birthday party locations and professionals in the area. Just sign up for my email newsletter at the bottom of this post and you will receive it in your inbox!
Before we get too far, I have to give a huge shout out to Stevi of Stevi Sayler Photography for capturing these priceless memories for me! Thanks to her awesome photography, this party was recently feature on Kara's Party Ideas - check out the feature here.
Now on to the details...
I just love how an invitation can completely set the tone for a party. I gave Kristin with Inspired Design by Kristin my vision for the party and she brought it to life so perfectly in invitation form, complete with pink and purple, paisley, cowgirl boots, cowgirl hats, horse shoes, and sheriff stars.
One of the hardest parts of planning this party was finding the perfect location. I wanted something rustic (of course), that was indoor/outdoor (the weather in March is so unpredictable here in Oregon!), AND affordable. Oak Knoll Acres out in Creswell ended up being the perfect solution! I had done weddings there in the past and I knew that the lovely red barn would be the perfect backdrop for this cowgirl fete.
I decided to choose one main project to give myself for this party, while delegating the rest rather than trying to take on too much myself (which I've definitely been guilty of in the past). I decided to do all of the chalkboard signs as this is something I want to get better at, and it was definitely good practice for me! I lettered a double-sided road sign (above), a welcome sign (below), a huge cake backdrop chalkboard, drink and food table signs, and a couple of photo booth signs.
I found that wooden "hey ya'll" sign at Hobby Lobby months and months before the party but I just had to have it! I like to start planning parties pretty early because it gives me a lot of time to save up for the various expenses, and I liked to spread out the purchasing of decor over time rather than a large amount all at once.
Centerpieces consisted of a pink bandana (from Oriental Trading), glass bottles I already had on hand that Kathleen with Gypsy Bleu Florals filled with pretty purple, pink, and white blooms, and a gold spray painted horse shoe. I also included little buckets of crayons on the tables, along with plenty of horse related coloring pages to keep the kids entertained during the food and cake times.
The place settings were pretty simple, and included the homemade party favors I baked and decorated the night before (I may or may not have been up til 1:00 am making these cookies...). I had plenty of pint mason jars on hand so I used those as drinking glasses, and added a sheriff star sticker so that guests could write their name on their glass. To add some extra color I put pink paisley napkins (also from Oriental Trading) and a gold straw in the mason jars.
One of the highlights of the party (for me at least) were the gorgeous cakes that Shelly with Soft Peaks Cakery created. Not only did the cakes exceed my expectations but they tasted SO good, too! Shelly never disappoints and it's always such a pleasure working with her whether it's for a wedding or party. She even designed the cake topper boot and hat off of the invitation that Kristin created. It was simply perfect!
Food for the dessert/snack table included "happy trails" mix, "tractor tires" (oreos), cow poke pops (adorable lollipops I found on Oriental Trading), and "lassos" (licorice). We had a separate table with fruit, veggies, and drinks. Because the party was from 2-4pm, we focused mostly on snacks and dessert. In addition to the two cakes, Shelly also made a couple dozen pink and purple cupcakes.
This girl LOVES food so I knew she was going to go to town on her smash cake (unlike Addy, who hardly touched the cake at her first birthday). I'm so glad that Stevi was there to capture Emmy enjoying her cake!
Kathleen with Gypsy Bleu Florals provided all of the lovely flowers for the party, including the garlands and the flower crowns for the girls' cowgirl hats which were probably my very favorite details of the entire party!
As you can imagine, Dippi (our in-laws mini horse) was quite the star of the show that day. The kids LOVED her and all of her pink sparkles.
There was even an appearance from the Junior Miss Eugene Pro Rodeo Princess! Addy was so excited to have her picture taken with her.
I made sure to have plenty of party activities on hand to keep the kids busy and entertained throughout the two hours. Thankfully the weather was incredible that day and everyone spent the majority of time outside. We had lassos and a steer head set up for "roping", rubber horseshoes painted in pink, purple, and gold that the kids threw in to hula hoops as a simpler version of horse shoes, lots of cowboy/cowgirl hats and bandanas for the kids to dress up in, stick horses, a bouncy horse, photo booth, and horse-themed coloring pages and crayons.
Lastly, check out this fun video that my husband's uncle, Jody Hart captured and put together. It perfectly sums up the party in less than a minute and a half!
So there you have it! Now is the time when I give major props to all of the incredible people who helped make this party for my girls happen... be sure to check them out!
Photography: Stevi Sayler Photography
Venue: Oak Knoll Acres (Creswell, Oregon)
Floral design: Gypsy Bleu Floral Arts
Rentals: Parties to Go & Event Crush
Cakes & cupcakes: Soft Peaks Cakery
Invitations: Inspired Design by Kristin
Decor: Oriental Trading, Amazon, Etsy, Hobby Lobby
Videography: Jody Hart
Planning, design, styling: Event Crush
If you've made it this far, I bet you're looking for the local birthday party planning guide that I mentioned...
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