Over the years, I’ve hosted several parties, whether it’s a personal at-home event just for fun, or bridal showers for friends, or birthdays. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to plan and host. The most enjoyable parties to plan, in my opinion, are themed parties. There’s something about the challenge of making sure every aspect of the event is cohesive, yet elegant and enjoyable. None of the cheesy stuff. Unless it’s a bit of a cheesy theme. Then it’s okay for a taste. Just a taste, though.
So I’m going to start putting up posts of a few small parties I’ve hosted, starting with one of the earlier ones from March 2010. In honor of the new Tim Burton movie coming out, and because I was about to embark on a 2.5-month trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh and wanted to see my friends, it seemed like the perfect excuse to transform my parents’ kitchen and family room into a Wonderland of sorts on a really low budget.
I started with creating a giant Ace of Hearts card by drawing it out on a giant poster and taping it to the front door. Easy enough. When guests opened the door, they saw this in the foyer:
I know that “true, high-class” party planners say streamers are a big no-no. Well, on a budget, and if you don’t make the room look like the streamer aisle of Party City threw up, I believe it can work really well. I particularly love streamers for the curtain effect. And for Alice in Wonderland, anything goes.
Anyways, before our Wonderlanders could enter, they were required to sip a “Drink Me” potion:
A friend of mine who worked in a lab at the time gave me a bunch of glass vials (ALL CLEAN and UNUSED!) so those because the potion bottles. I made mixtures of different flavored Kool-Aid and voila! Pretty potions to let you enter the doorway to Wonderland!
Upon entering, we kept the kitchen and family fairly simple. We draped streamers along the ceiling and doorways, multi-colored balloons littered the floor, and I strung playing cards together to line doorways. We also have an arch that we used as the gateway between the kitchen and the family room and decorated it with flowers.
The pictures aren’t the best, but the product was! My sister made cupcakes from scratch, which we put little “Eat Me” labels in with toothpicks. I baked oatmeal cookies and our friends brought over a variety of other tasty sweets.
For the tea-party portion, I pulled out one or two cups from each of my mom’s tea sets to have an odd assortment (failed to take a picture of that!) I also put out a basket of various teas for everyone to select and it was a nice way to round out the afternoon.
With the new movie coming out, I just found the soundtrack online and created a playlist with those tracks mixed with general fun songs my friends and I all like.
No themed party is complete without forcing your guests to dress a certain way! Everyone was required to choose their favorite Alice in Wonderland character and come dressed accordingly! We had 1 Alice, 2 Cheshire Cats, 2 White Rabbits, 1 Red Queen, and 1 Mad Hatter. (There was also a baby Wonderlander and her mama, but they left before we took this shot.)
Overall, it wasn’t the fanciest party on the block, but it was a great group of girls and everyone had a lovely time relaxing and just hanging out on a casual Saturday afternoon in our makeshift Wonderland!