About 5 or 6 months ago, for some reason, I thought about my Mother-in-Law's birthday coming up in April and thought to myself "we need to have a party for her". We haven't entertained on a large scale since Campbell turned one. But I've been wanting to do something special for Madeline for a long time. She is the best Grandmother to the boys. She takes them at least once a week. She and my Father-in-Law, Rob, always do just TONS for us. And this was really a gift for Rob too since he didn't have to cook or entertain!
Rob is one of those super talented cooks, too, so EVERYONE tends to default to their house when any event is coming up because, well, he can cook a mean dinner. : ) But I declared to everyone "We're having a party for Madeline. So plan on it." And then the planning began!
I knew I wanted to have a vintage inspired Tiki Party. Something that would be reminiscent of the popular Hawaii vacation that EVERYONE took back in the 50's/60's... hence my constant research online looking for inspiration. I knew Madeline would appreciate it since she grew up in the 60's!
Over the past few weeks we've been in hardcore prep mode. Like I mentioned, doing a major overhaul on the outside of our house. Painting the front porch, planting, cleaning, etc.. it's been pretty exhausting. But it was well-worth all the work. It needed to be done and we always say that having company over gives you a good excuse to GET THINGS DONE. : )
The party was a success and with all the secret-keeping, it was seriously fun for it to be out of the bag. I think she was quite shocked. This is her arriving...
It was really fun and I hope everyone had a lovely time. We sure did!
Here are some photos of the set-up outside in our carport. I'm not sure if it was the organic mosquito repellant that we spread on the lawn or the dunks we used, but there were NO mosquitos! (Hallelujah.) We also used a standing fan which I read is an easy solution to keeping the bugs away. Having the record player outside was really awesome. I found some vintage Hawaiian records in several antique mall/thrift store trips I made over the past few months. They were perfect.
I made the banner about 30 minutes before the party started. I'm glad I decided to do it. I bought things for this party from a variety of sources... of course, vintage items from various local places and on ebay and etsy. Some things from Party City & Big Lots. I made the outside table skirt from hula skirts I found at Big Lots. I hand-sewed them to the fabric table cloth. The fake flower garlands were from Party City.. i loved the colors!
This is Ethan's sister Heather who flew in from Dallas and helped us lure Madeline to the house for the surprise. Madeline is on the far left.
Outside we had mostly drinks and some apps, inside were the main dishes. Ethan made a few things like the Chicken Satay, artichoke dip and fruit salad, but we bought mostly everything else at Your Dekalb Farmer's Market. We love that place. While the menu wasn't 100% Hawaiian (or even 30%.. ha!), we made sure to have lots of flavorful and colorful dishes: Curry Salad, Gazpacho Salad, Simosa, Dried Papaya & Pineapple, Macadamia Nuts and other apps. Ethan made Mai Tai's (YUM), we had Mango Juice for the kids and then wine and Ethan's home brewed beer (Wheat, Ale & Belgian). Everyone including me always says "I'm not a beer person, but I love Ethan's beer." It's good.
I wanted a variety of vintage plates with pretty patterns and found these in various places. Most are melmac so I had to do a lot of hand-washing, but it was worth it.
We got a lot of use out of vintage sheets that we used for table covers and also outside to cover up an unsightly plastic shed we have in the carport, and then of course as a backdrop behind the outside drink/apps table.
Below, you can see on the wall the vintage Polynesian female ceramic bust I found that I also photographed and used in the party invitation design. I'll show you that later this week.
I used vintage photos/images that I found online on the table placecards.. I also used those images in the invitation design.
One of the party attendees brought the small blow-up palm tree and cute honeycomb flamingo straws. He has good taste! :D
These little plastic fruits I found at Party City.. I loved the colors and they reminded me of that plastic fruit that you can find on decorative table pieces from the 60's. They're supposed to be for kids, but I was hoping the kids wouldn't figure that one out. When they did at about 10pm that night, they got all goofy and punch-drunk on sugar... pixie-stick style. ; )
I'm not sure if I ever shared this here... The vinyl quote for our pop-up camper that I got for Ethan on Valentine's Day this year? You can see it a little behind the cute kiddos. : )
The tiki mask silicone cupcake liners were from Bake It Pretty in Asheville (I picked them up while we were in Asheville a few months ago, love their brick and mortar shop! They have an online shop, too) and the cupcake and tart toppers were from Cake Art, a local place.
A handful of us stayed up "late" (til after 10pm, oh my!), including a handful of very tired kids. Well past their bedtime. And eating too much sugar. But that is what kids do at parties right? It's the one time parents give themselves a pass on being a good parent. Haha.
"Didn't eat dinner? Want a cupcake instead? SURE! go ahead!"
Today we're paying for it a bit, we're all super tired and most of us took loooong naps. I love that feeling after a huge event is finally over. Just total relief. It was so much fun. We don't entertain very much, but when we do, it's pretty special.
I hope Madeline loved it. : )