This week, Madilyn got to have the party of her dreams. We invited princes and princesses from all over North Raleigh to come party with us, royal ball style. The party ended in an eruption of tears on Madilyn’s part, because she didn’t want to see her friends leave. It was devastating to witness, but this Queen was too exhausted from all of the preparation involved in planning a royal ball that there wasn’t much I could do to console her.
I wanted the food at Madilyn’s Royal Ball to be as pretty as the little princesses attending. I had visions of edible glitter and cotton candy swirling about. I had promised a cardboard castle in the living room so that the little princes and princesses could play pretend while our princess soundtrack filled the air. I envisioned myself as the slim and beautiful Glenda the Good Witch flitting about, overseeing these perfect children and my deliciously decadent food.
Right about that time, Maleficent woke me from my dream with a large clap of thunder. I stared into the mirror and saw Ursula’s bloated face laughing back at me while my little crab clung to my ankles and screamed for my attention. Didn’t he know I had a party to throw, pretzels to dip, apples to poison (…I mean wrap in caramel), and cupcakes to bake?
Of course he knew. That’s why he was acting so crabby!
I wasn’t going to Flounder on this party. I’m known throughout the various kingdoms I’ve lived as the laid-back party thrower. My parties are toned-down and more reminiscent of coffee shop hang-outs than the elaborate feathered and bejeweled Taj-Mahal parties that litter my Pinterest boards.
But this, dear friends, was going to be different. I, Summer Len, was going to far out-do myself in the party department. All because my little princess wanted a Halloween party where she could wear the costume that she wasn’t going to be wearing when we went trick-or-treating. You know, her OTHER costume. The one that we pitched a fit to have on our last trip to Walmart. That one.
So I posted this party on a local meetup group and within 24 hours, it had a waiting list. I was shocked, and thrilled, and had mutant butterflies swarming my stomach. I had to get this Flotsam and Jetsum in my living room cleaned up before I could begin planning the princess ball of the century.
SO how do you plan and throw the perfect Royal Ball? It doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think it does.
Plan your menu:
Know what food you are going to serve, and estimate how long each dish will take to prepare. What can you make ahead? What has to be made the same day? Plan to pack a punch with your menu. Go for beautiful and fun, but simple.
You don’t have to go overboard. Look around your house for things that can be repurposed, check the sale racks at Walmart, think simple but shiny. A little bit of glitter goes a really long way and it’s cheap!
Send your Royal Invitations:
You don’t have to go overboard on invites. Consider your square footage, whether or not you can use any outdoor space, and how many adults will accompany the children coming. Our house is 2400sf, but it’s a 3 story house so it’s narrow but tall. That doesn’t leave a whole ton of room on the base floor where the Royal Ball was being held. I kept the guest list at 8 families, and I invited one person who I knew was not part of the same meet up group. I let the parents know ahead of time that we’d probably be standing while the children milled about. Perhaps they thought I was kidding. I was not. More does not always equal merrier.
Our Royal Menu included:
Snow White’s Poison Apples
Belle’s Petits Gâteaux
Ariel’s Clam Shells
Cinderella’s Fairy Godcakes
Sleeping Beauty’s Spindles
Jasmine’s Exotic Fruit Salad
Tiana’s Frog Kisses
Rapunzel’s 1, 2, Punch
Witch’s Brew (coffee)
Set the mood with some Princess Music. I bought a Cinderella soundtrack at my local Walmart. It came with 2 bonus CDs, one of which was all princess music that I played at the party. Music keeps a party flowing, even if the party-goers are in the 2-5 range. It adds depth to the atmosphere, even with squeals of joy filling the air.
In addition to the cardboard castle (that some evil villain managed to destroy within minutes), I had stickers to “decorate” the castle with, a Cinderella coloring book, and a glitter station. I acted as Tinkerbell and glittered everyone’s eyelids, then gave them a beautiful, rosy glow with a little dab’o'blush. The little princesses loved having glitter on their faces. There’s nothing more simple, or less expensive. Seriously.
We had 11 princesses in attendance at our ball, and 4 little princes. Each little attendee walked out with a super cool Princess (or Jake the Neverland Pirate) cup with a few Disney goodies stuffed inside.
The party was fast and furious, but so much fun. I had to add a few tricks (like forgetting to buy creamer to go with the coffee), but all-in-all, it was a real treat. I hope the Queens had as much fun as the little princesses did!
Oh hey – you mamas throwing parties? Don’t forget to just relax and have fun. Nobody likes an uptight hostess. The little princesses at your party are going to love it, no matter what doesn’t go quite your way.
Want your little princess to always remember what a princess she is to you? Check out the Royal Ball App for your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Madilyn loves our Royal Ball App! I don’t even remember what my phone looks like. DO YOU?
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