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Alice in Wonderland (43 photos)

 
 

 
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What little girl wouldn't love getting dressed in her tea party best to follow the White Rabbit to a beautiful Wonderland 'Un-Birthday' tea party for 12?

As if styling a vintage-themed Alice in Wonderland party for a friend isn't thrilling enough, add in the fact that the 6 yr. old-to-be was actually named Alice and you've got perfection! 

Party Inspiration/Design:

My friend and amazing photographer, Rebecca Pierce, of Mi Vida Photography asked me to style her daughter's 6th birthday party.  Rebecca wanted a vintage feel, with the classic Alice in Wonderland characters, rather than the Disney version.  Using a quilt sewn by Rebecca as inspiration for the color palette, I quickly got to work developing a plan for the event.  After all, with the Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts planning to make appearances, I knew this couldn't be just any ordinary affair or it would be 'Off with my head', for sure!

Having a flair for design herself, Rebecca wanted a beautiful invitation to send to Alice's friends inviting them to mark their calendars for 'a very important date'!  I knew just the perfect designer for this challenge! I sent off a few tiny scraps of fabric to the lovely & talented Gwynn Wasson of Gwynn Wasson Designs.  Gwynn used her amazing eye for detail to create a printable party package completely from scratch to our specifications.  She was phenomenal to work with and is the sweetest person ever!  From the beautiful invitation, to the birthday bunting, 'drink me' and 'eat me' labels, cupcake toppers, dainty tea cup hang tags, water bottle wraps, mini flag labels and food labels, everything printable was designed to match and really helped beautifully tie the event together.  We loved how Gwynn tiled the fabric and incorporated it as the background in the printable designs.  Her use of a classic/vintage Alice, White Rabbit and Mad Hatter were exactly what we hoped for!

Upon Arrival:

Guests arrived to wooden yard signs pointing every which direction (constructed by Rebecca and her husband, Chris).  Thankfully, the White Rabbit's trail wasn't too difficult to follow.  Guests found the front door which had magically turned into a life-sized keyhole entrance.  Rebecca had repurposed leftover fabric and added gold trim to create this amazing entrance into Wonderland.  Little Alice, dressed in character, greeted her guests, along with the Mad Hatter (most of the Mad Hatter's costume was pieced together from thrift store finds).  Upon entering Wonderland, guests were mesmerized by the tea party setting and lavish dessert table.

Tea Party Table:

Being that the actual tea party would be the main focus of the event, the table design was of paramount importance.  Originally, the event had been planned as a beautiful outdoor garden affair, under large trees that were to be lined with hanging lanterns, tissue poms, and fabric garland.  When the weather turned sour (after all, Seattle is known for its rain), we adjusted our plan for indoors.  A large oval wooden table was used and covered with a Tiffany blue tablecloth, then draped with a textured white tablecloth, gathered in the middle for an added dainty, feminine touch.  The table center was accessorized with tall topiaries, pale pink lanterns, gorgeous flower arrangements in turquoise glass bottles, a vintage style clock (because we certainly need to keep track of the time!) & a beautiful ceramic vase from Willow House by Angie Bytnar.  Individual place settings consisted of round Tiffany blue-colored bamboo chargers, doilies, & vintage mismatched tea cups and saucers.   Eyelet lace napkins were tied up with coordinating ripped fabric strip remnants.  Glass vials were filled with colorful candies & tied with 'Eat Me' tags and little vintage clock charms to add interest to each place setting and serve as a party favor for later.  Above the table, hung a fun fabric garland, created from strips of leftover fabric from the quilt Rebecca had made for her daughter.  Mismatched chairs flanked the table for the tea party guests and an oversized red velvet chair rested at the head of the table for the guest of honor, Alice.  Each chair was tied off in a Tiffany blue tulle bow.

A turquoise bookshelf served as the backdrop for the tea party table.  It was lined with beautiful Willow House serving dishes, cake platters, trays and stands all filled with scrumptious tea party pastries, breads, finger desserts and meats and cheeses cut into hearts to honor the Queen, who would be making an appearance. Intricate paper cuts by the talented Etsy seller, Windrosie, in the shape of teapots attached to wooden picks dressed up the food.

Of course, the food all had fun, whimsical names such as:

Cheshire Cat Cheese & Crackers

Down the Rabbit Hole Donuts

Mad Hatter Mini Pastries

Tea Party Toffee Loaf Cake

Vintage reproductions of classic Alice in Wonderland characters were framed and decorated the shelves, along with the quilt that inspired the event, an Alice in Wonderland book and framed copy of the invitation.  A beautiful White Rabbit paper cut (also by Windrosie), adorned the top of the bookshelf.

Nestled in the corner of the room was the beverage station, stocked with bottle watered dressed up with Drink Me labels (designed by Gwynn Wasson) and a glass beverage dispenser filled with lemonade and accessorized by a blue tulle bow, large Drink Me label & skeleton key charm.  Guests were also served 'tea' (apple cider) from darling red teapots throughout the party.

During the tea party, the Queen of Hearts made a royal entrance joining guests for tea and teaching them proper tea party etiquette.  The girls loved her Royal Highness.

Dessert Table:

One of Rebecca's requests was to have amazing, over-the-top desserts befitting a Wonderland theme.  Due to the privilege of working with the most remarkable dessert vendors, I was able to deliver on this request in a huge way. 

A colorful dessert table and backdrop was created using a combination of coordinating fabrics, graduated hat boxes, oversized tea cups, wrapped boxes and topiaries.  A teapot and gigantic vintage skeleton key added additional delightfulness to the table.  Apothecary jars dressed with ribbon and vintage keys were filled with colorful candy (gumballs & rock candy).   Whimsical, ornate vintage style paper clocks and skeleton keys (by Windrosie) hung for added interest.  A banner, designed by Gwynn Wasson was hung as the focal point for the backdrop.  But by far, the most amazing part of the dessert table were the desserts!

I'm still marveling over the exquisitely detailed Alice in Wonderland themed cookies that Ali of Ali Bee's Bake Shop designed and sent.  Look at the incredible piping on the Queen of Hearts cookies!  Don't they all just look too incredible to eat?  Ali put together such an amazing assortment including Mad Hatter hats, Alice's dress, vintage clocks, the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, Drink Me bottles and Eat Me cookies.

If you've never tasted gourmet chocolate dipped marshmallows, I highly recommend Madyson's Marshmallows.  (Luckily for me, they are local!)  Breeze of Madyson's Marshmallows dreamed up the designs for these delicious custom AIW marshmallows.  We just loved the vintage White Rabbit and Alice legs edible image marshmallows! And how perfectly beautiful are those mushroom marshmallows? The clock marshmallows were a classic and perfect addition to the marshmallow display!  The children had a difficult time deciding on which to choose. 

Gorgeous fondant cupcake toppers were designed by Heavenly Bites Cakes and shipped all the way from New York.  Dainty clocks, teapots, Alice inspired pinafores and Mad Hatter hats  sat atop our strawberry cupcakes and added the perfect touch of color and whimsy.  Guests 'oohed' and 'ahhed' over them, especially the little fondant Mad Hatter hats. 

Also, arriving clear across the country from Macaron Café NYC came a wide assortment of the loveliest macarons in shades perfectly coordinating with our event.  There were even  'rose' flavored macarons.  Our little guests enjoyed sampling them and trying to guess the familiar and even 'curious and curiouser' flavors. 

Another popular addition to our dessert buffet were the lovely cake pops designed by Jen of Jen's Pop Shoppe.  They came perfectly packaged in a wide assortment of flavors, each in their own individual cellophane bag, with a little ribbon and tag.  The ornate scroll design work on the pops was incredible, but even more impressive was the taste!  Scrumptious!

Activities:

Party guests enjoyed many fun themed activities.  Each girl designed an Alice inspired felt flower headband at the "Alice Headband Making" station.  Red fingernails were painted at the "Painting the Roses Fingernails Red" station.  The Mad Hatter led the girls in a game of vintage ALICE Bingo (the word ALICE was spelled across the top of the Bingo card in place of BINGO).  They enjoyed using their 'looking glass' marbles to mark of their squares at the numbers were called.  Of course, the Queen of Hearts insisted on sharing her version of Alice in Wonderland at a reading corner.  The most 'fantastical' photo props by Windrosie resulted in a delightful photo booth of Mad Hatters, Queens, Chesire Cats, Tweedle Dees and Tweedle Dums you've ever seen!  And no Wonderland party would be complete without a royal game of croquet on the front lawn, complete with oversized playing cards used as wickets.

 

Party Favors:

Guests took home several party favors, including the 'Eat Me' glass vials filled with candies, handcrafted felt flower headbands and Mad Hatter favor boxes, customized with the birthday party date 10/8 (as opposed to 10/6, which usually appears on the Mad Hatters hat) in which partygoers could fill to the brim with treats from the dessert table.

An absolutely delightful time was had by all in Wonderland, especially Alice whose grin was definitely as large as the Cheshire cat's!

Credits:

Styling:  Jennifer Carver, Banner Events

Photography:  Rebecca Pierce, MiVida Photography

Graphic Designs:  Gwynn Wasson Designs

Cookies:  Ali Bees Bake Shop

Gourmet Marshmallows:  Madyson's Marshmallows

Fondant Cupcake Toppers:  Heavenly Bites Cakes NYC

Macarons:  Macaron Café NYC

Cake Pops:  Jen's Pop Shoppe

Photo Props & Paper Cuts:  Windrosie

Serving dishes & décor:  Willow House by Angie Bytnar

Vintage Alice Bingo:  Etsy

Felt flower headband kits:  Oriental Trading

Oversized playing cards:  Shindigz



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