A Sophisticated Tween Garden Soiree

We are very excited to have party planner extraordinaire, Jennifer Carver of Banner Events, guest blogging for us this week. We've been following her on Instagram for awhile now and her parties are amazing!

Throwing a birthday party for a tween girl (not quite old enough to be totally independent, but definitely too old to be babied) can be tricky! Striking a balance between having a little structure to the party, while also having fun and feeling free, is the goal! As the owner of Banner Events, I’ve had the opportunity to plan a lot of tween parties, but this sophisticated tween garden soiree for my daughter, Kaylee, is a definite favorite!  Photographed by Karina Rigtrup of A Fresh Take Photography, the feminine details seen throughout the party décor, place settings, favors, and dessert table are not to be missed!

Tweens are often party overlooked planners-in-the-making, having attended many a celebration during their first 10-12 years of life. They come with definite ideas and opinions and are often up on the latest trends, which can be woven into a party plan. For this milestone 12th birthday party, I decided to involve my daughter right from the start so that come party day, her interests, hobbies, and personality would be reflected in the overall party design. Now that she would be a full-fledged 12-year-old, and many of the invited guests were already 12-14, we discussed what she actually wanted to do with her friends during the party. With the movie theater debut of the new version of Beauty and the Beast occurring on her actual birthday, she chose seeing the movie as the structured part of her celebration. This fun outing paired with meeting beforehand for dinner, dessert and time to socialize, sounded like the perfect party mix.

With a basic party concept in mind, we started in on the details. First up, was choosing an invitation and coordinating printable decorations. While a tween inspired Beauty and the Beast theme could’ve been fun, my daughter opted to avoid anything commercial and chose instead, to play off the significance of the rose from the movie and incorporate flowers in the party décor. After scouring the internet for the loveliest of garden-style invitations, we fell in love with Cardmint on Etsy. This mother-daughter team was so delightful to work with and accommodated the request to create additional printable décor items to coordinate with the theme and our vision. While we kept printable elements simple, the few items we did use, played a significant role in creating that cohesive boutique-style party feel that Banner Events is known for.

Guests were delivered individual invitations sealed in coordinating black envelopes with matching address labels. The invitation is the first sneak peek of a party theme, and we love making a good impression. Much of the resulting party styling was inspired by the lovely invitations, which featured a chalkboard background and gorgeous watercolor flower garland frame.

We decided to use the invitation as a springboard for our design concept, adding hints of chalkboard and going heavy on the floral garlands. Our dessert table concept featured chalkboard patterned flat paper from Shindigz  as the backdrop. Using artificial garland and greenery, I created a beautiful floral garland with a mix of gorgeous peonies, ranunculus, anemones, tulips and fillers to mimic the invitation. It was an easy DIY connecting the floral stems to the garland using green floral tape. I attached this to our backdrop using push pins, but Command Hooks would work too. To highlight the momentous 12th birthday, I hung a gold glittered oversized number 12 as the focal point.

Our gold sequin-covered tabletop was filled with scrumptious desserts displayed on a collection of white, gold, and pink cake stands and dessert trays. The dessert menu reflected the tastes of the birthday girl and included a mix of professionally baked, store bought, and homemade items.  We picked out and/or made the mini fruit pies, chocolate dipped rice krispy treats, white glazed donuts, raspberry kolackys, and Oreo chocolate chip raspberry mini trifles. Every item was both beautiful and delicious, but the stars of the dessert table were our professionally baked items! The gorgeous 3-tiered watercolor buttercream drip cake with gold leafing and fondant peonies and beautiful frosted flower topped cupcakes by 4 Kids Cakes were amazing, as were the hand decorated sugar cookies by NatSweets, created to match the printable designs by Cardmint.

Party guests enjoyed an Italian dinner while seated on gold Chiavari chairs (Events Wholesale) at tables that boasted a romantic, flowy, flower and balloon garland centerpiece. An easy DIY, the floral balloon garland is created by attaching greenery, underinflated air-filled balloons, and flowers to fishing line using floral tape.  A black and white striped runner from Koyal Wholesale (a nod to one of Kaylee’s favorite fashion designers—Kate Spade), black placemats, hot pink napkins and individual mini cake stands with black favor boxes filled with after-dinner-chocolates, gave a preppy pop to the table. Each place setting featured beautiful gold chargers and flatware, as well as ruffle edged plates topped with personalized gold edged dessert plates. Glass flutes were made festive with the addition of black and white striped straws with cheerful party flags. Individual bottles of Martinelli’s sparkling cider wrapped in custom labels provided that extra detail of festivity. It was the perfect tablescape of feminine, fun and sophisticated details.

After dinner involved plenty of unscripted socializing, singing, laughing and smiling by Kaylee and her friends while opening gifts and eating treats from the dessert table. Before departing to the movie, each girl was invited to take home a small favor bag filled with tween essentials—treats, gum, and nail polish.

We can’t wait until the next tween party!

Vendor Credits:

Jennifer Carver

Banner Events is an event planning and styling company obsessed with the little details that make an ordinary event extraordinary! I strive to pair individuality and creativity with well-executed details to bring flair and fun to your event. I worry about all of the details—big and small—so you can relax and be a guest at your own party. While I offer a variety of services, my specialties are boutique style children’s parties, wedding/bridal showers & dessert tables.

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