Another birthday party is in the books! I have the BEST time planning events for my family, and I have to say… with two little kids + the holidays, I got a seriously late start this year when it came to deciding what I wanted to do for Indie’s birthday, but as soon as I saw a variation of this theme on Pinterest, I knew it was the perfect one! Read on for party planning inspo, to hear all about the vendors I used and how much fun was had by all!
After settling on a theme, the first person I always call is Jess Kish from @TheDeerwoodCompany to secure a milestone photoshoot, and from there, I get so inspired to keep the ball rolling! I decided I wanted this party to be indoors (because it’s still cold outside) – but I did not want it to be in a play space or “kiddie zone” because after touring a few, I felt I wouldn’t be able to decorate or use nearly as many vendors as I’d like to feature on my platform…. so I wound up visiting a few restaurants and one blank slate party space that’s new to my area, The Gashie Loft located in East Hanover, NJ. Its a wide open, blank slate of a space with a cool bonus moss feature wall which enhances any event! I spoke with the owner, Alvin, who just opened in October of 2022 – and he has big plans for how he’s going to continue upgrading the space! But in the meantime, it served the perfect purpose for my party so I was excited to partner with The Gashie Loft to bring this event to life! A few things to note about the space: There’s ample parking in back, a beautiful kitchenette for storing (and potentially even serving) food, and the best part – they have several tables and lovely gold chivari style chairs with standard white linens that can be used should you decide you need them, a pro-quality speaker and wifi allowing you to be your own DJ, and even an adjustable stand for balloon garlands! This makes the price of the space really worth every penny.
I, however, did not utilize too many of the tables/chairs because I opted to rent a few small hightops to keep it open and airy for all the kids to run around – and then of course – I collaborated with Petite Seats again on two beautiful kids tables with matching rattan chairs! For decor, my favorite balloon vendor, Cathy from Cherry Bomb Balloons, created an organic garland that we put right up against the mossy wall, and @CoriBlackWolfCo created the signage that hung just below the balloons! I LOVED her font choices, and she was super helpful with telling me what to use to suspend the lettering mid-air!
We put the dessert table in front of our statement wall, which contained toadstool mushroom cupcakes by Sweet Charlie’s Confections (that I am still shamelessly eating a week later), in-theme custom cookies by Splurge Bakery in Millburn, and THE MOST AMAZING CAKE, also made by Splurge! This cake was stellar. I’ve worked with them so many times now, and this cake is hands down my favorite design that they’ve churned out. They dyed coconut shavings green to mimic moss, and the coconut cream cheese flavor was seriously to die for. I’m still thinking about it! I know a lot of work and detail went into this cake, and I’m seriously impressed at how it turned out.
The finishing touches were done by Hope of Hopeless Romantics Floral Design! She used small and medium sized cloches to house the little centerpieces that lived on the kids’ tables – along with some faux moss, miniature fairies and woodland animals that I brought to garnish with. I always like to include a few framed portraits (from the official milestone photoshoot, of course!) and Hope designed one larger arrangement for the food table, and several minis for the hightops to complete the aesthetic! They were the dreamiest, woodsy, magical centerpieces… she absolutely nailed the vibe!
Of course, with 24 kids in tow, we had to be sure there were some fun activities planned! I brought my bounce house from home (it’s neutral, and looks great when flanked with some balloons!) and boy did these kids really put that thing to work! I think the instructions say 4 kids at a time but let’s just say we were very….. rebellious that day! Then I had Lisa from @CreativeKidsNJ and her team of crafters set up a few DIY stations so that the kids had favors to take home! She designed some really cute in-theme crafts, which I appreciated because I always like to keep my parties as tightly themed as possible, so when Lisa told me she could come up with something it really sealed the deal for me! The kids made their own little woodland terrariums chock full of mushrooms, moss, rocks, and animals. I actually displayed Indie’s in my dining room! After the event, I learned that a lot of the moms really enjoyed this part too – and honestly I’m not surprised! They also did DIY flower crowns (and regular crowns for the boys too!) Indie specifically requested a piñata, so we made sure to have one at the very end, but I’d say the highlight of the afternoon for the birthday girl was when Elsa from Frozen showed up! I am so stoked to tell you that I collaborated with Bella Princess, a company that offers party packages with so many different princesses and characters! Our Elsa, named Cess, was SO good. For starters, she literally has a Disney Princess face and nailed Elsa’s stoic mannerisms. She even stayed in Character when Indie asked her where Tiana was!!! I laughed so hard. (She also told Elsa that “Anna is my favorite” – I can’t wait to tell her this someday when she’s older). So after a coronation ceremony crowning Indie an “Official Princess”, Elsa sang some songs with a group of kids and posed for pictures with everyone! She wore her Frozen 2 outfit and came ready with Frozen 2 material so that it fit in with the “Enchanted Forest” theme. Highly recommend this service. They have the best-looking and most talented characters and it makes an awesome addition to any kids’ party in NJ!
Below, I’ve posted about fifty of my favorite photos from the day, but truth be told there were TONS to choose from and I have New Moon Photography to thank for their stellar work! I recently collaborated with this studio on some Social Media Strategy and asked if they’d be willing to send one of their photographers to capture the party. Event Photography and “Styled Shoots” are quite different, and their photographer Chloe was able to seamlessly merge the two. I do all the editing myself (so that the photos stick within my brand’s aesthetic) and even seeing the images straight out of camera, I think anybody would be thrilled to have their child’s special day covered by New Moon! And in addition to special events, their primary focus is milestone, newborn, family and kids photography out of their boutique studio space in Montclair.
After the entertainment, we sung Happy Birthday, ate some sweets, and it was a wrap! Indie had a ball. This was the first year she really “gets it”… she made a playlist of all her favorite songs, requested certain friends on the invite list, and smiled ear to ear when we sang to her. It made me so happy to see her happy. For me, birthday parties are such an important and fun childhood memory and I will always try to give those memories to my children in some way. This party was a little smaller than some of my other 100-person bashes, but the energy in the room was buzzing! Parents meeting and mingling, kids mostly laughing (and occasionally crying) – it was the kind of day that made me feel like we are all doing this parenthood thing together, one day at a time. Indie’s Enchanted FOURest was a seriously magical event that went off without a hitch! Follow me on Instagram for more!