Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Farm Sweet Farm" 1st Birthday Party

My husband and I celebrated our baby twins, Jonah & Gia's, 1st birthday with a "Farm Sweet Farm" party last weekend.  The party was held at our home (aka The Anderson Farm) and our closest family and friends excitedly attended.  Honestly it's still difficult for us to believe a full year has gone by since they entered our lives, but one thing was clear from the beginning --- we had a lot to celebrate and we intended to do just that!

Everyone had loads of fun; they would've partied until the cows came home if we let them.  And since the guests of honor LOVE animals, the theme proved to be absolutely perfect for them and their guests.  To most, I'm known for planning amazing weddings and bridal celebrations by means of THE BRIDAL PARTY, so it was really a lot of fun to step outside of my comfort zone and show off my versatility and range.  I can't deny, this was FUN!  I'm still quite "giddy" about it all.

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INVITATIONS:
Our chosen color scheme and general design esthetic started with the invitations.  Cowhide-print was to be incorporated throughout in addition to red and blue gingham and bandana prints.  I fell in love with two invitations actually, and couldn't make a choice, so we mailed both ... with straw added into each envelope of course!

GEAR & PHOTO STATION:
I figured many of our little cowboy and cowgirl guests would appreciate being presented with appropriate farm gear upon arrival, so that's just what we did.  We outfitted all of the children (and some adults) with cowboy hats and bandanas at our "GIT YER GEAR" station.  I pulled out our old rickety ladder (that I've been begging my husband to get rid of for months) and attached a cardboard sign along with everything the children needed to gear-up with.  Plus, I created a photo station complete with bales of hay for seating, a handmade "Happy Birthday" banner and barn door scene setters.

Being that the twins are still a bit too little for cowboy hats, they were dressed in farm-themed personalized t-shirts, jeans and boots (with an added tutu for Gia, who's such a girly-girl).

KID'S TABLE:
I rented special-sized children's party furniture so even the littlest of guests would be 100% comfortable.  And while all other tables were draped in red, I covered this one in yellow for extra POP.  The place settings consisted of burlap placemats, cowhide plates and cups, red gingham napkins plus utensils ("pitchforks" and "shovels") wrapped in straw.  Finally, a 3-dimensional farm animal centerpiece atop a small bale of hay brought it all together.

FOOD:
Deciding on and labeling the food was probably my favorite part of the planning process.  From the start I was committed to the menu being extremely child-friendly, therefore we served hot dogs ("farmyard dogs"), baked beans ("grillin beans"), potato salad ("tater salad"), chicken nuggets ("coop bites"), raw vegetables ("farm fresh veggies"), peanut butter sandwiches ("PB&J"), deviled eggs ("farm fresh eggs"), baby corn muffins and lemonade.  We also had lots of "J&G Well Water" available, which featured personalized handmade labels and sat in a galvanized bucket of ice.  The presentation of the food involved wicker and woven baskets I collected from various craft stores and each food sign was handmade and affixed via wooden sticks.

Now, no birthday party's complete without lots and lots and lots of sugar ... and this one was no exception.  Guests were treated to red velvet cupcakes displayed on a red wire cupcake stand I snagged at an antique shop, pop corn ("kettle korn") in movie-theater style boxes, Rice Krispie treats ("haystacks"), birthday cake and ice-cream.

ACTIVITIES & FAVORS:
I made sure the main attraction was appropriate for Jonah and Gia, which was a live group of farm animals.  Everyone loved feeding, brushing and petting the ducks, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, calf, goat and sheep.  We also played musical chairs and gave out prizes.

Party favors were prepared in two styles, mini white tin buckets as well as mini brown paper bags, which included farm bubbles, caramel cowtale candy, farm sunglasses and shortbread cookies in the shape of cowboy hats all tied together with red gingham ribbon.  I also added a personalized label that read "THANK MOO for celebrating Jonah & Gia's 1st Birthday."

DETAILS & DECOR:
It was pretty easy finding most of the rustic items needed to round out the decor of the party.  I just made sure most items served double purposes ... the old rusty watering cans also served as flower vases, which I used as centerpieces by inserting seasonal bright yellow blooms ... the bales of hay also served as seating, after I added several large gingham print pillows.

I created a welcome sign out of scraps of wood and white paint, which read "Jonah & Gia's Farm est. 2010" and made giant red, yellow and blue pom-poms out of tissue paper and florist wire, which primarily hung from a 10x10 bright blue canopy.  Finally, cowhide print balloons were placed around the perimeter of the party area and we utilized as much of the bandana fabric as was appropriate.

Our babies and their guests really enjoyed the party and we were overjoyed to have been able to share our joy with them all.  While the party was a huge success, we were also so humbled by the outpouring of generosity and love shown.

'Till next year ... Y'ALL COME BACK NOW, YA HEAR?

Credits:
Planning, Styling & Photography --- The Bridal Party LLC
Food Signs, Banner, Water Bottle Wraps, Animal Centerpiece --- Marzell Brown of Circle The Date
Embroidered T-Shirts --- Three Lulus
Mini Tin Buckets --- Target 
Cowboy Hats, Bandanas & Cowhide Balloons --- Oriental Trading
Water Bottle & Favor Labels --- The Bridal Party LLC
Edible Cupcake Toppers --- Sweet'n Treats
Cowboy Shortbread Cookies --- TRBrown Hand Baked Goodies
Red & Black TuTu --- SoCal Baby Clothing


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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY LLC

Friday, September 16, 2011

REGISTRATION EXTENDED: Wedding Planner Certification Course


We announced earlier this week that an LWPI certified wedding- and event-planner course is starting soon at Union County College and the instructor is our Founder & Managing Director, Rashana Anderson.  So many of our friends, family and supporters have congratulated Rashana on this spectacular opportunity, but it's also a wonderful opportunity for all of you out there in New Jersey who dream of entering the wedding/event planning business yourselves.  


The hands-on program covers everything a wedding and event planner needs to know, including contracts, etiquette, flowers, music, day of services, marketing, industry business practices and application.  The program will provide students with all of the tools necessary to become a professional wedding and event planner. Students will also have the opportunity to participate at real local weddings and events for additional hands-on experience and graduates will receive an internationally recognized certification, post graduate support and customized internship opportunities.

Registration has been extended, so classes will now begin on October 4th.  Don't delay ... register today and/or share this opportunity with any family-member or friend who has a passion for event planning and is eager to successfully enter the industry.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Become an LWPI Certified Wedding/Event Planner with Rashana Anderson


Awesome news New Jersey!  An LWPI certified wedding- and event-planner course is starting soon at Union County College and the instructor is none other than our own Rashana Anderson, Founder & Managing Director of THE BRIDAL PARTY LLC. We couldn't be more thrilled!!

As many of our readers and clients know, Rashana (a Professional Bridal Consultant™) is a wedding singer-turned-wedding planner with over 11 years of experience in the wedding industry as well as in marketing, film/television and project management.  She built and established her business from the ground up in 2007 and has been successfully helping brides, grooms and their families create tremendously memorable events ever since.  Now, in partnering with The Wedding Planning Institute, a division of Lovegevity founded with the sole purpose of providing aspiring wedding planners with the best possible education, Rashana will share her experiences and knowledge with aspiring wedding/event planners during an 8-week comprehensive course.

Wedding and Event Planning Certification through LWPI is designed for students looking to get started in the glamorous and exciting wedding and event industry. This hands-on program covers everything a wedding and event planner needs to know, including contracts, etiquette, flowers, music, day of services, marketing, industry business practices and application.  The program will provide students with all of the tools necessary to become a professional wedding and event planner. Students will also have the opportunity to participate at real local weddings and events for additional hands-on experience and graduates will receive an internationally recognized certification, post graduate support and customized internship opportunities.  

Register today and/or share this opportunity with any family-member or friend who has a passion for event planning and is eager to successfully enter the industry.  HURRY, classes begin on October 4th!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Quick Look: Isle to Aisle

The Bridal Party's Isle to Aisle couple were united in matrimony on September 3rd at Dolce Basking Ridge.  It was such a pleasure working with this bride and groom, for over a year, on this truly memorable event.  Their 123 guests were "WOW'd" by the location, the cuisine, the colors and design, and of course the love between two wonderful individuals.  The outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour were followed by a posh reception which featured signature cocktails, photo booth and a surprise African dance troupe performance.  The dance-floor was rarely empty ... guests continuously raved about how much fun they were having.

We look forward to sharing professional photos soon, but are glad to share a few amateur snapshots below for now:

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Friday, September 2, 2011

Engaged & Elated

Happy Friday!
Today, we're proud to share a few of our Isle to Aisle couple's engagement photos, courtesy of SoBitArtPhotography. Jamie and Nick are such a wonderful couple, truly a perfect "match," and we couldn't be more excited for their wedding THIS WEEKEND! Our team has worked diligently on the gorgeous design and details of their nuptials.  Jamie and Nick officially reside in the Washington D.C. area, but trusted THE BRIDAL PARTY with their celebration and we're proud to predict each and every one of their guests are in for a treat!

Enjoy ...

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

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