My oldest daughter graduated from High School this year…and so did three of my sweet cousins - two of which are sisters. My two aunts and I decided to host a combined graduation party for all of them and I naturally volunteered to do the invitation, decor and desserts. With my two aunts focused on the food, paper goods, and drinks I was able to dive right into all of the sweet details I wanted this party to have.
We decided on a lakeside celebration at my aunt's second home here in Florida. We knew the girls would enjoy an afternoon of barbecue and boating vs. hosting a stuffy, fancy party but at the same time…I had it stuck in my head that I would not allow this to be just ANOTHER barbecue. This had to have a few simple elements to make it memorable and special…after all...these girls had just accomplished the first of the THREE major milestones in one's life: (graduation, marriage, motherhood).
We sent out the invitations and I began the task of...
orchestrating the party decor and desserts.
We kept the dessert table simple by providing three different sweets: mini cupcakes, sugar cookies and chocolate covered Oreos. They were all so gorgeous guests weren't sure if they were even edible. (read more about the fantastic vendors that created the amazing treats) There was also a small assortment of custom wrapped Hershey's Chocolate Nuggets on the table too - with the gold foil wrapper to tie in the gold party accents.
One of my favorite parts of the party was the Cotton Candy Bar we constructed to provide billowy puffs of pretty spun sugar throughout the day! The added surprise of sprinkling and sparkling the mini bundles of cotton candy with non pareils and gold disco dust really added that extra touch of magic and fun I was hoping for. The striped straws were used in place of cotton candy cones and everyone LOVED how they turned out.
The day turned out so awesome.
Right about the time Blackbear Smokehouse delivered the selections of barbecue chicken, brisket and pulled pork, the rain started. It couldn't have been more perfect timing to have everyone come in to eat.
Family and friends provided the side dishes and prior to the party, we had the girls select their favorite sides so we could make sure they were part of the menu! Kalie's favorite - Mac & Cheese || McKayla's favorite - French Fries || Clara's Favorite -Broccoli Salad || Abi's favorite - Kale Salad
I even created labels so guests would know as they made their way through the abundant line of food - but totally forgot to take a picture. oops!
I can't wait to watch these 4 beautiful, creative, intelligent, fun girls do amazing things - the future is wide open to possibility!! Congratulations McKayla, Abi, Clara and Kalie!!
(and please forgive me for not remembering to snap a photo of all 4 of you together until the very end of the day - after boating and swimming and sweating - you still look beautiful!)
I'll be posting a couple of DIY's for the party - including more details about the Cotton Candy Bar.
None of this would've happened without the help of sooo many friends and family!
Thank you to Kelley and Jason for your support and help with the construction of the Cotton Candy Bar set-up.
Thank you friends and family for all of the delicious food!
Thank you Cindy and Susan for making it so easy to work together to make this a memorable day.
Thank you to J for putting up with the pre-party and post-party chaos in our home - which still might possibly be scattered throughout the house. *wink*
FOR MORE SPECIFIC DETAILS ON ALL OF THE PARTY DECOR AND DESSERTS SEE THIS POST.
Invitation - Pen + Paper Flowers
Chalkboard Signs - Pen + Paper Flowers
Striped Straws - Shop Sweet Lulu
Cupcakes - Cupcake Delights
Designer Watercolor Oreo Cookies - Sweeties
Sugar Cookies - Flourish Sweet Shop
Tissue Tassels - The Flair Exchange
Card Basket - Hobby Lobby
Dream Jar - Target - spray painted
Gold Disco Dust - used on desserts and cotton candy
Pink Sprinkles - used on cotton candy
Orange Sprinkles - used on cotton candy
Tissue Party Balls :: Shop Sweet Lulu (find out the specific sizes I purchased HERE)
Cakestands from left to right on dessert table:
TomKat Studio - tall with scalloped lip
TomKat Studio - mini cupcake stand
World Market - medium white cake stand
Hobby Lobby - tall metal cake stand
HomeGoods - lace edged cake stand
KEEPiNG iT REAL - PARTY UNPLUGGED
The slideshow I worked hours on that we were going to have looping on a large screened television during the party? Never happened - even after a couple of trips back to my house trying to figure out why it didn't save properly. I was definitely frustrated and really bummed that part of it didn't happen.