So remember those posts wherein I laid out my plans for throwing my daughter a handmade third birthday party? Well, it happened. And it was crazy: a crazy amount of work. And a crazy amount of fun.
But let’s go over some lessons that I learned along the way, so that should you decide to duplicate this party, you will not need three days to recover from your complete and utter exhaustion.
1. Think carefully about your menu.
While I chose foods that would not require a lot of cooking or heating, they did require tons of chopping and prep work. And, since the menu consisted mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables, these could not be prepped too far in advance lest they be turned into brown, decaying mess.
2. If you are the head decorator, pastry chef, prep cook, and activity coordinator, don’t count on being the event photographer.
Aside from the portraits I managed to take for my rainbow project, I didn’t have time to take any photos. Not before the guests arrived. Not while they were all mingling and eating. In fact, I didn’t even get a chance to eat. Sure, I had grand visions of all the sweet detail shots I wanted to take of my handmade flowers, in mason jars with gum ball or my polka-dotted, rainbow paper bunting…but there was no time. I was too busy trying to get the food out, finish frosting the cake (!!), and keep the party moving before the three-year-olds got bored. That means I have very little to show you from the actual party (but I’ll link to all my inspiration in another).
3. It’s hard to delegate when most of the plan is in your head.
During the final hour before the party began, I had a few family members there to help me, but I was still running around like crazy doing 75% of the remaining set up by myself. The problem was that the concept was in my head. I knew where everything should go and what it should look like, because the vision was mine. My family members couldn’t act without me telling them what to do and I was too frantic to explain it concisely. It would have helped to have some of the actual plan written down, or to have at least one other person who understood it as well as I did.
If I think of more ideas, I’ll add to this post in the future. Coming up: our party menu…