Let’s talk about Pinterest. For a creative type like myself, Pinterest is a visual smorgasbord of limitless, inspiring possibilities. Too many it seems when it comes to me and party planning. We had a wonderful time at Immy’s recent five year old mermaid party but I must admit to learning some rather important lessons from this, my first party in the age of Pinterest.
Lesson #1. Choose wisely
Look at all of the wonderful, inspiring ideas that you would love to recreate. List them, tally them up and then halve (or even quarter) the list! Recognise that many of the beautiful, inspiring parties that you see involve professional event planners, bakers, caterers or decorators. Oh, and they probably have big budgets too.
Lesson #2. Consider the time you have available
Be realistic about how much lead time you have for planning and preparation. Avoid committing to any last minute projects that you probably don’t really have time for, no matter how wonderful they look. Otherwise you might just find yourself crazily cutting out and sewing eleven mermaid and merman tails with a nine month old hanging off your left leg at a time when you should actually be preparing food or hanging decorations or wrapping the pass the parcel!
Lesson #3. Even little expenses quickly add up
Before you even hit enter on the Pinterest search bar for your chosen party theme, decide on a budget for everything – invitations, food, table settings, decorations, activities, party favours… and then stick to it. Replicating Pinterest-ing ideas is fabulous but with that little trip to Spotlight here, an outing to Bunnings there and a stop off at the $2 shop on the way home, costs quickly add up.
I am extremely fortunate to have wonderful friends who helped with everything from hand sewing the elastic waists of mermaid tails to hanging with my girls as I tried to get organised, from hanging decorations to cutting out the teeth of a watermelon shark, even taking photos on the day whilst I ran around finishing off things that weren’t quite finished. But you know what, despite my running around, there was PLENTY on my list that didn’t get finished (or didn’t turn out the way I had planned – don’t even ask me about the white chocolate covered marshmellow octopops!) And the biggest lesson I learnt, it really didn’t matter. The kids had a fabulous time running around together being kids.
As much as I was inspired to throw my wonderful five year old a memorable, Pinteriffic party, all kids really care about is having fun with their friends – blowing out candles, eating cake, playing pass the parcel – these are the rites of passage of childhood birthday parties and these are the things they will remember.
Everything else is just a bonus.
Have you ever found yourself caught up in the excitement of too many wonderful possibilities when it comes to birthday party planning?