I always start with the question, "where do we want to have the party?" The location of your party can set the tone and most likely help you create your theme. I like to use my "natural resources" when planning parties. It's a huge cost savings when you don't have to create an environment to fit your theme.
My parents live on a lake and have a giant backyard for entertaining. They have lots of activities for kids and adults. Boat rides, fishing, a beach, a dock house, and a cool air conditioned house for those that couldn't be outside in the heat.
And just like that, "Jack's Marina & Bait Shop" was created! Please see below for all of the details, resources, and credits to all of the companies and talented people that made all of this possible.
Décor: I used red, white, blue, light blue, and yellow as the main colors all based off the traditional nautical flags. You'll see a little orange in there too. I used lots of balloons. You can't have a party without balloons! I chose red and white buffalo check gingham table clothes. We had the food buffet inside and had a matching "Hook 'n Cook" sign with fish nets draped on the wall behind it. My dad and my husband built the Souvenir Stand and the Bait Shop a couple of weeks before the party. I love how they turned out and I can reuse them for other parties. With the help of my mom, dad, husband, and godfather, the white stake signs were created just the day before the party with some odds and ends we had in the garage. I would not have had all the balloons without the help of my Aunt Jamie and Uncle Jim. They picked up all 100 balloons for me and delivered them to the lake the morning of the party. We are so grateful to everyone that helped us make the party a huge success!
Lunch Menu: Catfish filets, BBQ, Mac n' Cheese, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, and Chips.
Dessert Table: I kept the dessert table very simple. We had Swedish fish, gummy worms, swirl suckers, my mom's famous Mazola Oil cupcakes, and Jack's smash cake made by our dear friend "the cake lady" from our church (if you're local and interested in delicious cakes, let me know if you'd like her contact information). We also had caramelized popcorn puffs made my mother-in-law served out of a table-top popcorn maker. I also had about 150 individually wrapped ice cream treats but I did not remember those until the last guest had gone home. I was sad but no one missed them. Everyone was full of good food and lots of sweet treats without them.
Activities: I think most everyone took a boat ride, the kids loved swimming at the beach, I put shells in the sand for the kids to collect in their beach pails, and lots of people fished off the dock too.
Favors: All the kids got a beach pail with a logo sticker and all the adults got a custom koozie. The koozies were a big hit! I also had styrofoam cups with his logo on them for drinks. And I think almost everyone left with either extra cupcakes, slice of cake or a to-go plate of food.
We requested in lieu of gifts for Jack that our guests consider sending a small gift to a child at St. Louis Children's Hospital. You can do everything right online and prices range from $3.75 - $42. We have more than we could ever need or want and we know such a small amount makes such a huge difference in the children's lives at Children's. We've already received a letter from the administration thanking our guests for their extreme generosity. I can't wait until we can tell Jack about this first birthday and show him what an wonderful impact his guests had on so many precious children.
Vendor Credits & Resources:
Photography, all photos - Katie Parrish Photography
Jack's Marina & Bait Shop Logo - Kelly Ashworth Design
Signage - The Sign Guys
Food Catered by - Great Boars of Fire
Balloons - MSR Balloons (wholesaler)
Beach Pail Stickers - Sweet Birdie's Nest
Beach Pails & Fish Nets - Party City
Paper tape (sails on sticks in goldfish bowls and cupcake toppers) - Paper Source
Fishing lure cupcake toppers, swirl suckers, Big Red bottled sodas, Big Blue, gummy worms, and Swedish fish - Amazon
Beach shovels and nets - Target
Styrofoam cups and custom koozies - Print Appeal (wholesaler)
Striped Straws - Shop Sweet Lulu
Lifesaver Utensil Wraps - Idea found on Pinterest via The Princess and the Frog blog
Jack's Swim Trunks - Shrimp and Grits Kids
Jack's Hat - Target with personalization from the embroidery place at the mall.
Here's the link to see the invitation to the party by Ashley Brooke Designs.
Here's the link to my first post with other photos from the party.