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Marvelous Mermaids


When you ask a five-year-old what type of birthday party he or she would like, the responses typically range from a current movie, cartoon, or perhaps a favorite story book character (or more often than not, all three of those things combined -- "I want a princess, ninja turtle, Good Dinosaur party, please" ). 

As a stylist, it's our job to interpret these requests into something dreamy adding a creative, personalized twist.  So when one little girl asked her mommy for a Little Mermaid party (positively sensible I might add) we worked with the client to design a marvelous party complete with sequin mermaid dresses, sunken treasure, live goldfish (well, sort of), and fun activities to entertain the little bubbly guests.

Setting the Tone

For us, it all starts with a whimsical invitation.  I know! Call me old-fashioned but a real invitation mailed or delivered to guests is worth the extra time and effort.  Children love getting something in the mail (or in their school backpacks) and busy mommies need, want, require, uh, love (yes, that's it) the physical invitation to remind them of the upcoming event (or is that just me?).  For adult parties, guests know your event will be special if they receive a paper invitation since it so rarely happens anymore.

  • A gorgeous invitation gives the hostess an opportunity to set the tone of the event and delight her guests even before the event begins.
  • [Side note: last year we created this amazing square invite for a 10th birthday "project runway" party complete with a personalized backstage pass, glitter confetti, four cards of pencil-sketched apparel drawings encouraging guests to design their own fashion line all wrapped in a half-moon-shaped petal envelope, inserted into a gold outer envelope, and sealed with a personalized sticker. Yikes!  (It was delicious....even Tim Gunn would have approved!)

For the Mermaid party, we couldn't resist rolling up the invitation like a treasure map, tying it with jute twine, and adding real sea shells.  A fun silver "dinglehopper" was also used to reference Ariel's special find in a sunken ship in the original movie.  [This invitation would have also been perfect stuffed in a bottle with sand and shells on the bottom but we thought the better of it given the age of the recipients.] 

Sweets and Treats

We always love creating a feature table full of sweets and treats at kids parties.  It's a perfect way to not only create eye candy focusing your decorating budget on a big, bold, theme-specific statement, but more importantly, it delights little [and big] guests no end!  

For this marvelous mermaid party, we kept all the treats very thematic featuring adorable pink seahorse sugar cookies, Oyster shell cookies complete with chocolate pearls on a bed of crushed cookie-sand, chocolate dipped rice crispy treats on sticks, as well as other fun and yummy goodies.  The two-tier, aqua blue ombre cake was the perfect centerpiece to complete the look. 

You simply can't have a mermaid party without a treasure chest! 

Instead of traditional goodie bags, party guests selected from a pirate's bounty of riches including the opportunity to dig for hidden treasures.

We had a lot of fun decorating the outdoor clubhouse with bubbles, bubbles, and more bubbles made from clear balloons strung on fishing line as well as a bubble machine welcoming guests as they entered the party.  We hung 3-foot long laser-cut mermaids in the trees and added a pop of color with sequined mermaid outfits custom made for each little guest.  A coloring wall and Little Mermaid character masks entertained kids throughout the party.

All the little Mermaids had a swimmingly good time.  The birthday girl was delighted with her party as were the parents who enjoyed the free-flowing bubbles of another kind!

The Finer Details:

  • To replicate the look, shop the collection at Swoon Soirees. 
  • The yummy cookies were made with love by Mor's Cake Boutique.
  • The gorgeous cake was made by Partymate Cakes.
  • The rest of the sweets and treats were made or provided by Swoon Soirees.
  • Mermaid outfits custom made by Swoon Soirees. 
  • If you ever decide to use live fish when styling a party, be sure to buy extra.  Out of 8 purchased, I think three survived for prime time.  I can now tell you that those three loved swimming in their Watson's-Mineral-Water-filled bowl each day of their short lives...

Happy party planning!