For Aiden’s 3rd Birthday party we set a theme of “In the Orange Garden”. My son has always loved oranges, both the fruit and the colour. The French animation show “Miniscule” was his first favourite television series to watch and he particularly loves the ladybugs and bees from the show. I combined these loves together to create a bright, fresh party in our garden filled with pops of citrus colour and little insects scuttling amongst the leaves.
The party was setup with food tables on the verandah and a games area on the front lawn with a ball pit, ride on bee and ladybug toys, toy tennis rackets and spinning flower pinwheels. I wanted the party to be a relaxed and casual get together with close friends and family, to be fun for the kids whilst the adults could mingle on the verandah and lounge chairs watching.
For the main dessert table I chose some beautiful white marble platters as a base to reflect the coastal Italian and Spanish citrus orchards that inspired me. Sprigs of cumquats and orange branches were used to decorate the spaces in-between. I commissioned some beautiful desserts to go with the theme - cheesecakes, cookies and orange scented marbled meringues from Quincy Lane.
Arelio Sweetbox made the cutest little bee and ladybird meringues with some orange jaffa meringues and pandan green ‘leaves’ in-between. I carried on the bee and ladybird touches with some of my custom designed cupcake toppers to add to the cheesecakes and pannacotta jelly cups.
Aiden also loves cheese so together we chose a selection from Ocello in Surry Hills and paired it with some candied cumquats I had found earlier in the year at a deli. I designed the little cheese labels so that guests would know what type of cheese, it’s origin and also what type of milk it used (cow/sheep/goat/buffalo).
For the savoury dishes we served an orange and chicken risotto, a citrus dressed salad, anitpasto cups, sandwiches and noodle boxes. I’m quite detail-oriented too so even little things like the ice-cubes were in the shapes of lemon slices and the adults had Campari and Prosecco whilst the kids had orange juice and there was also water with orange and mint to drink.
The verandah and garden backdrop already makes for a lovely natural setting for the party but it is good to add in some special decor touches to enhance the setting and lift it into “party status”. Born to Party provided magnificent jumbo balloons with garden foliage tails and I also had lemon slice mylar balloons.
I created some of my custom hand-painted watercolour bunting of lemon slices and orange slices with leaves to string between the verandah posts to emphasise the theme.
The central cake was a homemade affair - a citrus spice cake with buttercream and marmalade. I experimented with using some of the Edible Art paints to recreate one of my watercolour paintings onto the cake and to add colour to the sugar flowers, leaves, fruit and insects.
I designed the cake topper to also reflect the theme and carry on the theme and style set by the initial invitations.
The invitations themselves were foil-pressed and finished off with hand-painted watercolour details.
For the take home thank you gifts there were little marmalade jars for the adults and empty jam jars filled with lollies for the children. Each was tied off with a watercolour orange tag.
As a designer and creative spirit much of the party was created by myself. I loved planning all the different ideas of how I could weave the theme into each element of the event. It’s wonderful seeing how all those thoughts come together on the day to make a beautiful party for all ages to enjoy. I also really enjoyed painting and creating all the different decor and stationary pieces for the event.The cupcake toppers in particular were much admired and many of the little watercolour bees and ladybirds went home with the guests.
Finally, after the guests left I enjoyed watching my son run around the grass moving giant balloons around and kicking his new orange soccer ball that he received as a gift. It was a perfect day for a party in the orange garden.
Styling/Stationary/Decor (hand-painted watercolour bunting, cupcake toppers, cheese cards, take home gifts): ELK Prints
Photography: Amelia Soegijono Photography
Desserts (meringues/cheesecakes/cookies): Quincy Lane
Desserts (macarons): Arelio Sweetbox
Balloons (Jumbo with leaf tassels): Born to Party
Flowers: Ipsen Botanica & Beecroft Flower Shop
Decorations, Partyware and Balloons (lemon slices): Favor Lane
Partyware: Ruby Rabbit