Now that the dust has settled after the birthday marathon (we do birthdays big in our family), I’m so exited to share all the details from Ella’s royal third birthday party. This year she requested a pink princess party, and I’d like to think I delivered! While we did go for mostly girly and princess things, I chose to call it her royal birthday to appeal to the boys as well.
I found the majority of my decor and paper goods from Etsy and supplemented a few handmade items and some easy things from target. Side note – I generally like to take inspiration and DIY everything for birthday parties, however April was out of control busy for our family with work, trips, and two other showers that I helped throw. Hence, the amazing Etsy items I went with instead. I chose to go with more non-traditional princess images while I can still do the choosing and before Ella dictates more of her own party!
First up were the invites. I purchased these invites from Tweet Party Printables on Etsy.
I love doing invites this way because it’s a cost effective way to get cute custom invites. You just give the vendor your information and they send you back a PDF file to print at home and mail off to your guests. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to jump on the evite train!
I always love to have entertainment at birthday parties even though the kids are still a bit young for it. I feel like it moves the party along, takes a little bit of pressure off you, keeps your house from getting totally destroyed, and makes the party super special and memorable. Since we had a princess theme going, we let Ella choose two princesses to “invite” to her party. She chose Cinderella and Rapunzel and we hired these ladies through Wands and Wishes of Colorado. The price was reasonable, the correspondence was super friendly (even when I forgot to pay my deposit), and the actresses were 100% the highlight of the party. The two girls were incredible leading all of the little girls through songs, dancing, books and so much more. They gave each girl a glittery tattoo and played a game which left Ella with the sweetest magic mirror prize. To top it off, their singing voices were amazing!! I definitely recommend them for any birthday party.
Starting a few months out, I purchased a gorgeous happy birthday princess banner from Pair of Wildflowers on Etsy along with the matching cupcake toppers. These items were so special and had gorgeous detail. I’m pretty crafty, but I’m not sure I could have made these myself as well as she did even if I had the time!
Since I knew we had the princesses coming and would definitely be taking pictures with them, I also decided to make a little photo wall as a backdrop. I purchased this Cinderella carriage fabric backdrop from Amazon and hung it in an area with decent natural light with clear command strip hooks (my all time fav for hanging party decor!). Next, I DIY’d three ballon arches. I know this seems daunting and like a ton of work, but it only took me an hour to blow up all of the balloons and assemble all three. I follow the tutorial form one of my favorite Mommy bloggers on Instagram Hello Baby Brown. All you need is a ballon pump (I highly recommend an automatic one like this), balloons, and balloon tape. If you were to buy these arches already made form a party store, it would probably cost upwards of $200, but instead it cost me about $15. I hung one balloon arch with the photo wall, one going up the stairs, and one as decoration over the cupcakes all using command hooks and string.
For a few finishing decor touches, I bought a cheap party wall hanging from target which I paired with the third ballon arch. I also bought a Princess centerpiece PDF from KidzParty on Etsy. I printed and cut these out myself and stuck them inside fresh flower bouquets and hung them on one of the walls in the play area. This was another cute and cheap touch since the PDF was inexpensive and we bought the flowers at Costco.
One of my favorite traditions that I started at Ella’s first birthday is to have a poster made of her stats and likes/interests. You can always find these on Etsy and once again they are an inexpensive touch. They take the details you send them and send you back a PDF to print, which I usually print at Walgreens. This year’s poster came from Vibrant Color Design and all in all cost me about $20.
Per the birthday girl’s request, we catered Chick-fil-a for the party. This was an awesome and delicious option, especially given the facts that we didn’t have to cook anything and it’s always a crowd favorite. However, it was more expensive than I anticipated and if I’d had more time I would have skipped ordering food and went for a homemade Chick-fil-a menu instead. We did supplement with our own fruit salad, chips, and salads all from Costco.
I feel like birthday cake always goes uneaten, so this year we went for cupcakes instead. Since custom designs on cupcakes or cakes can be so expensive, I ordered funfetti cupcakes with bright pink icing from Cakes by Karen. Again, if I had more time I would have made these myself even though the icing surely wouldn’t have turned out as nice. Instead of the fun designs on the cupcakes, I used the cupcake toppers mentioned above to dress them up with a big pink “3” birthday candle in the center. The funny side story is that the candle was not used since Ella is terrified of the birthday song!
Birthday Girl Outfit
I had the most special and beautiful (and expensive) matching mommy-and-me outfits purchased for her party. I’d say that plan fell apart about a month before the party when my strong-willed girl started saying she wanted to wear an Elsa dress to her birthday. Luckily, we did in fact buy her the Elsa dress as her birthday gift, because the morning of her party when I put the EleStory dress on her, she immediately freaked. She’s in an “everything’s itchy” stage and I honestly didn’t want to ruin the party by forcing her to wear it. So we quick changed into the Elsa dress instead and had a much happier birthday girl. I’m now forever thankful for the mommy-and-me pictures we had done in our matching dresses so we at least have something! We also always buy a number crown from Little Blue Olive (meant to wear at the party but I lost that one too) that we display in her room afterwards. Photo below of me in the gorgeous EleStory skirt and Ella in the Amazon Elsa dress. 🤦🏻♀️ Amazing Prince Charming onesie from Doodle Bear Boutique on Etsy. She rushed this to me since I forgot to plan an outfit for Cole and it was just perfect!
Last, but not least are the goody bags. I fully realize this is not necessary, but I think it’s a super fun touch. I try to stick to things the kids will actually get use out of and not just dollar store junk. I first bought these totally cute custom favor bags from Dash of Southern Sass on Etsy. They had several different Princess quotes on them and had “Ella’s third birthday” at the bottom. They were smaller than I thought they would be, which was perfect because I like to keep the goody bags smaller. I also bought custom chapsticks from Lip Balm Shop, princess bubbles from Mad Hatter Party Box, and bracelets for the girls from Beaded Perfection on Etsy. You could definitely DIY all of those things if you have more time. Then, I filled in the rest of the items from Target – a mini color wow princess coloring book for everyone and neon putty for the boys.
In addition to the goody bags, I also bought crown and wand sets for both the boys and girls on amazon. I love to have the kids and adults get into the spirt of the party with something themed to wear. Since we had a bunch of these leftover, I donated the extras to our local women’s shelter for the kids to play with.
It was such a special party and one I know Ella will remember for the rest of her life. Three weeks later and she’s still talking about it!