A princess birthday bash is what almost every girl dreams of at some point of her childhood. Even though I cringe sometimes at the thought of turning my daughters all pink and purple from head to toe, I have to admit that I too used to go through the same phase when I was much younger. In fact, I still think the colour pink is not that bad. As a girl, I wished I had a house as big as a castle, with a completely pink bedroom and a complete collection of Barbie dolls. I hoped that my hair was as long as Rapunzel and my skin was as fair as Snow White. Of course not everything came true because I believe some of my wishes were quite… impossible. Eh, but come to think about it – I DID have a full collection of Barbie dolls! I had the house, several convertibles, several Kens (lol!), a kitchen, bedroom, and even a swimming pool! My Barbie dolls led a very luxurious life. It was just unfortunate that my helper back then kept all my collection in a big trash bag and stuffed it under the bed. What happened next? My mum thought it was indeed a trash bag full of trash, and did what anyone in the correct mind would do…SHE THREW IT!
So now that I am a parent, what do I do? Do I let my girls live in fantasies while I become the fairy godmother, frantically trying to make their wishes come true all the time? Do I tell them everything is possible? Or do I tell them to grow up, accept that princesses do not exactly exist in the real world, and inevitably start preparing them to handle the truths about life? While some things are just plain impossible like asking your 4 year old to grow up and start behaving like an adult, others like fulfilling your 4 year old’s wish to have a princess party are more than possible.
So yes, I will try to be a fairy godmother to my girls whenever I can. It doesn’t matter whether they would still remember what I have done for them when they are 10, 20, 30 or 40 years old. What matters most is they enjoy every moment to the fullest. So I guess I can only do one thing while I still can then and that is to honour my girls’ requests and make their childhood as memorable as I possibly can.
So read on and find out what exactly happened before, during and after Sharleez’s Royal Tea Party. Don’t forget your chips, muruku or tumpi because this sure is going to be a lengthy update with tonnes of pictures!
Once upon a time in the land far, far away, there was a princess called Sharleez who simply loved everything pink and purple…
Okay, okay rewind and play again. This is NOT going to be a fairy tale. Cannot get too carried away with this entire princess thingy. I had initally intended to do everything myself, just like what I have done for the girls’ past parties. But when I was approached by the party people and they suggested collaborating for Sharleez’s 4th party, I thought why not? All the better! So mummies and daddies planning for your little one’s birthday party, this entry is especially for you. Hopefully you will have an easier time planning and sourcing for party providers at the end of this entry.
Theme of party:
It is always wonderful to do a theme that your little one adores.
Something about Sharleez that you might have already known by now is how much she fancies princesses, fairies, and Barbie dolls. Besides that, she never fails to choose the colours pink and purple over any other colours in the world. It is always so difficult to get her to choose a different colour when she is painting, colouring, or buying stuff for herself.
So she had been wishing for a princess party every single night before she went to sleep. She kept asking me when her birthday was because she could not wait to dress up as a princess and have her best friends attending her party, all dressed up as princesses too. But of course only she could be Aurora. So since the first party she had was when she turned one, I figured it was alright to have another big party for her 4th birthday.
Months before the big party, before the theme was even confirmed and before Sharleez could even open her mouth to decide on the final theme, I suggested for it to be a Royal Tea Party instead of simply a Princess Party. The reason for my suggestion was so that ermm..princes and royal subjects from various kingdoms could also come to the party to celebrate the joyous occasion with her. I didn’t want those with sons to feel awkward about attending the party. No boy in the correct mind would mind attending a party where everything was pink and purple, would he?
Since it was going to be a Royal Tea Party, everything would be decorated in royal colours like gold, silver and white instead of well, pink and purple. Songs from all the princess movies would be played in the bakckground to create the atmosphere. There would be round tables with tea sets for the kids to play with.
Upon hearing my (brilliant) suggestion, Sharleez exclaimed, “Is a Royal Tea Party the same as a Princess Party? Will I still get to wear my favourite pink gown, gloves, tiara, wand, and shoes? Can I be Aurora, Mummy?”
Well of course she could.
And so the planning for Princess Sharleez’s Royal Tea Party began…
Timing of party:
The timing of the party is always the most important part of the planning process. However, more often than not, this part is always overlooked or may I say, ignored completely? If you ask me, the party should always be held after the kids’ naptime and end at least two hours before their bedtime. We wouldn’t want the kids and especially the birthday boy or girl to be sleepy or cranky during the party, would we? We want them fresh and happy!
Timing of party was finally decided. 3 pm to 6 pm.
I think one of the things kids really look forward to during every party are the goody bags. Based on the girls’ previous parties and also parties that I have been to, I have learnt my lesson – NEVER stuff goody bags with too much junk food & toys that get damaged easily after few uses. Goody bags are supposed to be….GOOD? It was quite hard deciding on the goody bags for the party but to make it easier, I asked the birthday girl herself to decide. After all, it was her party and she should have a final say on what her little friends got to bring home. And guess what she chose? Her ever favourite, POPCORNS!
“I want popcorns so that I can eat them too, Mummy.”
Good thinking there, Sharleez! Besides, popcorns are loved by all – boys or girls, young or old. I really, Really, REALLY wanted to provide Garrett popcorns for the party because Garrett popcorns are the best! Already went to the outlet to place orders, in fact! However, at the very last minute I decided to cancel my order because Garrett popcorns are gourmet popcorns. So what’s the problem, you ask? See, they are freshly made for consumption and this also means they are best eaten fresh. Keep them for more than a day and they won’t taste as nice and crunchy anymore. I recall buying Garrett popcorns the other time and left them on the table for only a few minutes, only to realize they were not as crunchy already . Even normal (and cheaper) popcorns can last longer! So final plan was to order pre-packed popcorns direct from the popcorn supplier before we personalized them with polka dot ribbons & thank you stickers. As for the colours of the ribbons and stickers, we stayed close to the colour theme for the Candy and Dessert Buffet bars – bubblegum pink and tiffany blue.
And for the first time ever, we did not have any leftovers for the goody bags despite me preparing extras.
The final product? Thank you Nani from Mini Cupcakes for the stickers!
Party outfit for the birthday girl is always a tricky issue. While mummies might get too carried away with the outfit and how grand their kid will look during the party, it is always good to consider the following:
- is material of the outfit comfortable?
- Is party venue outdoor or air conditioned?
- Will the birthday boy or girl like wearing the outfit?
I guess I can count myself lucky that my girls LOVE to doll up. Very the mak nenek, in other words. So it was not that difficult for me and the girls to decide on their party outfits for the party. The more elaborate, the better for them. Haha! Since it was going to be a Royal Tea Party, princesses they would be. And their princess outfits must have everything, you know? Gloves, tiara, wand, princess gown, and even matching pair of shoes!
Where else to get new princess outfits for the princesses besides Disneyland? I was really glad that we made full use of our Disneyland trip last November to shop for princess outfits for the girls. In fact, when we went to Disneyland, I had an agenda. My agenda was to finalize the theme for Sharleez’s party. Each girl did not take long to decide on the princess outfit she would like – Sharleez chose Aurora, Mysha chose Belle, and Myreen chose Cinderella. For once, nobody wanted to look the same as the other. THANK GOD for this!
And since Sharleez is so in love with Aurora, I thought it would be an excellent surprise to hire the services of Leah, an entertainer come party host from Fantasy Parties. The thing I like about Fantasy Parties is the variety of characters/themed outfits available. So all I needed to do was to choose that one character that Sharleez would like for her party, and the party host would come dressed up as that character on the actual day of the party.
So who do you think I chose?
Princess Aurora, of course!
Let me go inside the basket and carry it myself now because I think I deserve a pat on the back for coming up with the idea. Sharleez was speechless when she saw Leah dressed up as Aurora, you know? And the very fact that Leah was a blonde was a big bonus because Princess Sharleez LOVES blondes. When I booked Leah, I actually asked whether she was blonde! Hahaha. Princess Sharleez was so attached to Leah throughout the party and did whatever she was told to do effortlessly. In fact, when it was time for Leah to leave, Sharleez went to her, gave her a big hug, and expressed her thanks to Leah for coming to her party. Thank you Sharleez for the princess manners, by the way!
I really like what Leah did with the kids the other day. She got them engaged throughout the two hours she was there with games, colouring activities and dancing. In fact, Sharleez, Mysha and Myreen were so engrossed with the activities that they did not even look for me, Tatek or Yani. And oh my goodness, you should see how Myreen danced to the songs! It was as if she was lost in her own world, obviously oblivious of all the eyes on her.
The very first person who offered her excellent photography services was the super nice Indriana from Pink Elephant Labs. Of course I accepted her offer immediately because I just love the way she works, and the quality of her work. Lady Indriana is really such an easy person to work with, and she is ready to listen. She is not the intimidating kind of photographer, for sure. The beautiful pictures during the Royal Tea party were all captured and edited by Indriana and her husband Abdillah. During the party, Pink Elephant Labs provided 3.5 hours of photography, endless patience, and their ever so cheerful faces. Their love for photography was evident from the turn out of the Royal Tea Party pictures. So yes, all the pictures you see here are by Pink Elephant Labs unless otherwise stated.
Indriana from Pink Elephant Labs also helped me with the design of Sharleez’s invitation card. All I had to do was to tell roughly how I wanted the card to look like, and voila!
Birthday Cake/Dessert/Candy Buffet:
During the planning process, I was fortunate enough to get help from the very kind Lady Nani. Nani is such an amazing party planner with an even amazing heart. I do not remember experiencing any difficulties working hand in hand with Nani. Nani was really kind enough to provide the birthday cake, candy buffet bar, and dessert bar for Sharleez’s Royal Tea Party.
The birthday cake was especially designed for Sharleez. In other words, Nani started from scratch and even sketched two birthday cake designs for Sharleez to choose from. How professional right? This is yet another thing I like about Nani – she is so organized!
This was the final product – Sharleez’s 4th 2-Tier Birthday Cake!
Sharleez was actually seen giggling continuously to herself the moment she saw her birthday cake. Any girl would be just as excited to see such a display for their birthday. Gorgeous!
And so the story continued. I asked Nani months before the actual party whether she could actually do a candy and dessert buffet according to the theme. You see, I have always been fond of candy buffet tables ever since I laid my eyes on Amy Atlas’s work. Don’t know who Amy Atlas is? My goodness, where have you been? She is the guru of Candy/Dessert Buffets! Just look at her work!
You can view more of her gorgeous creations HERE.
Since Nani was in the process of expanding her Mini Cupcakes business and venture out into other areas like Candy & Dessert Buffet Bars, I figured Princess Sharleez’s Royal Tea Party would be a great way to introduce them. Nani has too many wonderful ideas, I tell you! She is super creative and I could not have found a better person to do this for Sharleez’s party. Bearing in mind the party’s theme and colours, Nani meticulously planned the entire layout for the Candy and Dessert Buffet Bars. The amount of effort she put in was beyond words – she kept going to candy stores to experiment with different types of candies just so that only the best would be provided. She made it a point to double check with me about everything – from the final list of the candies for the candy buffet bar to the quantity provided. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of the candy buffet bar and dessert bar which Lady Nani provided. Thank god for Nani’s creativity, seriously. The turnout was superb! Move aside Amy Atlas, here comes Nani Rohm.
And this was the dessert bar which Nani provided for the party. Everyone kept telling me how delicious all the pastries were! I couldn’t agree more.
Spotted! At the Candy & Dessert Buffet corner, with a lollipop each! Life is good ah, girls?
The food for the Royal Tea Party was provided by SMAR Wedding Galleria. SMAR Wedding Galleria does catering for weddings, engagements, events, and even parties like Princess Sharleez’s. Since the theme for the party was Royal Tea Party, I decided tea food would be ideal. Nothing too heavy for the tummy, in other words. I was very happy with the widespread display of food provided by SMAR Wedding Galleria. Everything looked and tasted good, especially the chicken wings! SMAR Wedding Galleria is yet another professional caterer. Prior to the party, everything was nicely put up. They were really generous with the servings of food too!
Spotted! Hungry Mysha, at the food corner.
Balloons Decor/Balloon Twist/Face Paint:
What’s a party without balloons? Partylicious.sg was put in charge of the balloons decor for the Royal Tea Party! The turnout was exactly what I had imagined it to be. Weeks before the party, I was privileged enough to be able to meet up with the good people Fadirah and Fathiah from Partylicious.sg to discuss in details what types of balloon decor would go well with the theme for the party, and the colours I would prefer.
Besides balloon decor, this team of sisters could also balloon twist and body paint very, very well! They are indeed good in what they do. Professionals, in other words. I was pleasantly surprised to see both Fathiah and Fadirah turn up on the actual day of the party donned in royal costumes! Oh yes, mummies and daddies, you can request for them to dress according to the theme of your party even! During the party, Fadirah did balloon twisting while Fathiah did face/hand painting for all our little guests. There was always a long queue at their counters! The kids loved them and I know why! Fadirah and Fathiah are such friendly people. And let’s face it, we can never separate kids from balloons, painting, and fun, can we? It was definitely the right choice to engage Partylicious.sg for Sharleez’s party!
Spotted! Sharleez with her hand painting!
It was pretty difficult initially to decide on the guests list because we did not know who we should invite to the party. Sure it was a big bash, but not big enough until we could invite the entire world! At the same time, I received tweets, emails and messages from online acquaintances who expressed their interest to be a part of the Royal Tea Party! Why not? So terribly touched, you know? Thank you for gracing the party Titie, Yani, Tuty, and Siti, to name a few! Do keep in touch! :)
Speaking of guest list, I planned a surprise for Sharleez by inviting her best friends in school! Hehe. With the kind help of Teacher Huda, I managed to get hold of every girl’s address. I even wrote a small pink note requesting them to come to the party and celebrate Sharleez’s birthday with her. I cannot thank their parents enough for making the effort to bring the girls to the party! Sharleez was soooooooo happy to see her good friends namely Natasha, Zara and Adriana. Thank you girls for turning up and partying with Sharleez!
I cannot thank the rest of the guests enough also for taking the time to attend the Royal Tea Party. All the princes and princesses who came looked extremely good and it was pretty obvious they enjoyed themselves from their happy faces, the laughter that filled the place, and their beautiful pictures we have for keeps. In fact I do not recall hearing any kid cry at all during the party! The Royal Tea Party was dedicated to all the kids who attended it. Everything there was for them – from the game area at the centre with Princess Leah from Fantasy Parties, to the balloon twisting and face painting area at the corner with Partylicious.sg, to the Candy Buffet Bars and Dessert Buffet Bars with free flow of candies and desserts, to the prize giving for Best Dressed guests, and of course the Lucky Draw conducted by our very own celebrity, Nurul Aini! Hahaha.
The madness that took place during the Lucky Draw! Apparently, the relatives were the big winners.
And our very special thanks to Sharinna, Shahid & family. My goodness, we adore this family so much! Let me tell you something that really touched me and my family. Shahid reached our party venue with his family, realized he had forgotten his luggage for his flight later that evening, went back home (he lives in Westwood Avenue, near Jalan Bahar Camp) to take his stuff, and came back to Pasir Ris for the party? So touched, you know? He could have just left the party. We would have totally understood. He did not have to trouble himself to travel to and fro. Such a terribly nice person, this Shahid! His wife, on the other hand, stayed all the way until the end of the party just to help us to clean up the mess! Again, we did not expect her to do that because even though she is a family friend already, she was still our guest! I called her Cinderella because just as the party ended, she automatically turned herself into an amah & cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. Again, we were very touched you know? You both touched us twice! Thank you, THANK YOU! Next time, our time to be your amahs, ok? But warn us beforehand so that we would not dress up. ;p
Lastly, thanks to all my family members for being there, as usual. It was a bit chaotic initially, and everyone ended up reaching the party venue after 3 pm. Haha what’s new right? But at the end of the day, Tatek and I are really thankful for your presence. The party would not be the same without the presence of all of you.
Sharleez’s princess dreams came true eventually.
“Thank you Mummy for the party. I love you Mummy! Thank you God for making my princess dreams come true. You are so sweet!”
And I love you too Sharleez Nadya. Daddy, Mysha and Myreen all love you so much too because there can only be one Kakak Sharleez.
I cannot thank the following people/companies enough for this wonderful collaboration! We did it, guys! I couldn’t be more proud of all of you for showcasing your talents during Sharleez’s Royal Tea Party. You have the right attitude to make it big in the party industry, and I am saying this from a parent’s point of view. Every birthday boy and girl would definitely love to have you be a part of their big party! So thank you so much! I wish you nothing but the very best in your trade, and here’s to more collaborations in the future, y’all!
Pink Elephant Labs for designing the birthday invitation card, the 3.5 hours of photography with 2 photographers during the party, editing of the birthday pictures for this entry, and for giving us all good images from the event in hi-res on a CD. Muaks!
Nani from Mini Cupcakes for the birthday cake, candy buffet bar, dessert buffet bar, stickers for the goody bags, and for planning the party with me.
Sabariyah on behalf of SMAR Wedding Galleria for the tea party food buffet, and for staying throughout the party to help us out.
Partylicious.sg for the balloon decor, balloon twisting & face painting services provided during the party.
Lyana from Luxe Nuptials for the overall decor of venue.
Sharizan from Pinhole Foto for the 3.5 hours of videography.
Video? What video?
Click to watch!
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And to my dear Sharleez Nadya or Sharleez Nadya Princess Aurora Sleeping Beauty as you would prefer better, I am really glad that your princess dreams came true eventually. All the doas and wishes you made before bedtime were indeed answered. (Time to make come up with a new bedtime wish, sweetie!)
And the following video montage is for you, with love.
I am super glad you finally chose this cool song over Britney Spears’ Sometimes because you thought Bruno Mars’ video was pretty cool. I actually cannot believe you like Britney’s song . Is it because she is blonde?! “Sometimes I run, sometimes I hide. Sometimes I am scared of you..” No way! That kind of song cannot be in the video montage. It would spoil the moment, you know? ;p
4 years with you already and I cannot wait for more surprises from you. Insya’allah.
To say that you are my pride and joy is terribly an understatement.
You know you are all that… and more.
May Allah always keep you in good health, baby.