This summer, I had the pleasure of planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday – Bubble Guppies Pool Party. I’m calling this blog post “Event Planning” as it was probably the most stressful but most fun planning parties to date.
Seriously, who knew throwing a kid’s birthday party would be so much work for a PR mommy? I mean, it’s my business, right? But who was I kidding? By the end of it, I had a deep appreciation for parents who can do it flawlessly and a deeper appreciation for places like Chuck E Cheese and Planet Party that do all of the hard work (for a fee), giving you peace of mind.
A few lessons I learned with my “event planning” experience are:
1) Stay True to your Aesthetic — Despite Bubble Guppies not being a hot selling commodity as say Dora the Explorer — my husband would have loved that — I still managed to find people who were familiar with the cartoon to understand what I was talking about. You can always find decoration ideas online. We were able to download handmade craft items on Nickelodeon’s site. We found Bubble Guppie vendors like the local seamstress who could handmake my daughter’s birthday dress and the baker who agreed to design heads of cupcakes in the shape of the Guppie characters.
2) Simply Simplify — My lesson in thinking we needed to go “above and beyond” to allow for a memorable kid experience probably should have stopped at thinking that buying 20 live gold fish to give as kid gifts was a good idea. Our big dream had to be altered, when we simply had too many of these “great” ideas and we just ran out of time. These little guys are happily swimming in our small fish tank at the house.
3) Recruit volunteers — It may take two to tango but to help set up for a kids party, you really need as many volunteers as possible. My hubby and I were hopeless in thinking we could set up tables/chairs, decorate and prepare food for the party by ourselves. Needless to say, we were soooo behind the eight ball that when people started to show up, we had no shame with recruiting friends, family and even neighbors we just met to help with preparations.
4) Take in the Moment, Have Fun — Despite the party being behind schedule, I made myself stop working as hostess and enjoy time with my little girl. Even though were were only in the water for about 20 minutes, those 20 minutes with my little one was well worth it. I even convinced my hardworking husband to give up his grilling duties for a short while to join in the fun.
5) Resign the fact, it’s only a Birthday party — This one should be self explanatory but as a mom, especially a PR mom, you think your event needs to be perfect. But let’s face it, it’s not the Oscar’s or an annual fundraising banquet, it’s just a kids birthday party with cake and ice cream. My daughter taught me to enjoy the moment, by marveling at her jumping up and down in her bouncy house and eating all of the icing on her very expensive, handmade cupcake.
With any event, a good event planner needs to take a recollection of all lessons learned. So what did I learn? One, with enough cash on hand, you can always bribe the location to keep their doors open for another hour to make up for lost time. Two, give yourself some credit by attempting to create the party of your (kid’s) dreams. Three, there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that you tried and being okay with investing in a party planning location next year. 😉