Idea No.


Wedding Sleepover -8yr- Make Bridal Bouquet



March 2007


Paige in Allen, Texas

Special Mention

Sleepover Party

For my daughter's 8th birthday party, Elizabeth decided on a sleep over party with a wedding theme.  We had been to several weddings and bridal teas prior and Elizabeth was enamored with the affairs.   I found discounted wedding invitations with envelopes at Michael's to generate formal wedding invitations on the computer (You are cordially invited...).  

The invitations opened to reveal the agenda as we wanted to be sensitive to some of the guests sleepover experience and had a marked closure of the evening portion of the party for guests returning home to sleep.  We also put the items the girls would need to bring for the evening here, as well.  Our party included all of the enchanting events that lead up to the wedding day  bridal showers, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party, bridemaids luncheon and wedding.  The evening began with girls arriving at 5:30.  Elizabeth greeted the guests at the door and showed the girls where to put their things. 

As an arrival activity, the girls made a thank you card from brightly colored cardstock that Elizabeth later used to write each girl's thank you note.  I had these individually packaged with all supplies needed to complete the craft in a white basket sporting a tulle bow (this basket became the flower girl's basket).  The girls worked on card tables covered in pink cloths in the living room to add a festive air and get the girls into the wedding spirit.  After all girls had arrived and completed their card, we talked about the exciting events leading up to the wedding day.  I had a couple of the mothers stay and tell the girls about their engagement stories.  The little girls loved it!  We talked about the kinds of showers that the bride could be given and used this to segway into our next craft of making birdseed bags (white tulle, pink ribbon and plastic communion cups) while letting the girls experience a bridal shower.  Each made a couple, one to keep as a party favor and one to throw for the next morning at the wedding. 

For the shower, each girl was asked in the invitation to bring a silk flower to the party.    The girls presented Elizabeth their flower at the shower and these were used as the bridal bouquet for the rehearsal.  Later, I had them arranged in the flower girl basket as a memento of Elizabeth's party for use in her bedroom d├ęcor.  We rehearsed the pretend wedding with the birthday girl as the bride and all of the guests as bridesmaids.  My younger daughter was our flower girl.  While rehearsing, my husband and huge party helper relocated the card tables to the backyard for the rehearsal dinner of pizza, cold watermelon and bottled water.  All were served buffet-style on a long table covered in a pink plastic table cloth recycled from another party.  The silk flowers from the rehearsal were again used, this time as the centerpiece.  In the evening light, the card tables looked elegant covered in the pink cloths.  Placemats of paper doilies were at each place setting and glass votives with pink candles served as the centerpiece.  A place card with each girl's name written in a silver paint pen showed the guests where to sit.   Paper goods were also in pink and utensils were clear plastic.   

Before dinner, my husband offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of our precious Elizabeth.  After dinner, each girl toasted Elizabeth with sweet sentiments.  This was so special for us as Elizabeth's parents to hear.  We retired to the family room to open the birthday presents (another shower event) and we were humored to find that most had been wrapped in wedding wrapping paper.  This marked a good time for closure for those guests not staying overnight.  The remaining 10 girls (we lost 3, with 2 returning the following morning) watched Disney fairytale movies that ended with a princess wedding (Cinderella and Little Mermaid with the night owls requesting Parent Trap) and had popcorn for a fun bachelorette party. 

The next morning, the girls awoke to a morning at the spa where we fixed hair and painted nails for the wedding.  We did this in centers with one center for the beauty parlor, one for the nail salon, and one for the doughnut breakfast.  Keeping each group to five and under helped allow our morning to progress nicely.  The girls were asked in the invitations to bring a white shirt and khaki, white or pink shorts to wear for the wedding and were fully dressed by this point.  We had a morning craft of making the bridesmaids bouquets.  I found silk pink stargazer lilies at Michael's on sale for $1 each.  They had an exceptionally long stem which we bent a couple of times to form a handle for easy carrying.  The girls wrapped a strip of white tulle (purchased by the spool) around the handle and secured the ends in a bow.  This made for beautiful and very authentic-looking bridesmaids bouquets as well as fabulous party favors.  Following the craft we were off to the bridemaids luncheon which was al fresco once more in our backyard.  On this early June morning, our small backyard was in bloom with pink Althea, Texas Star Hibiscus, Little Gem Magnolias and Confederate Jasmine. 

Luncheon fare of chicken salad and pimento cheese finger sandwiches, cantaloupe, honey dew and grapes was once again served buffet-style.  A sweet friend and mother of one of the guests made little pink and white mints in wedding bell molds to serve with the dessert of Wedding Cake.  Since we didn't have a reception planned we served the cake at this time.  To save on cost and because I'm not a talented cake artist, I used white Little Debbie Fancy Cakes and arranged them on a silver cake plate in tiers to resemble a wedding cake.  We used these to sing Happy Birthday to the bride.  As bridesmaids gifts (and another party favor), Elizabeth made bracelets fashioned from white seed pearl beads and pink crystals found in the craft supply section at Wal-Mart.  They were darling and Elizabeth put a lot of effort in to making them so cute.  They were wrapped in white tulle and tied with a pink satin bow.  As Elizabeth presented the bracelets, she described why each girl was special to her.  We got every bit of this on video  what a treasure! 

It was finally wedding time and the girls gathered in the foyer to get ready for the wedding.   We did this in groups of four girls again.  I made white tulle skirts with pink ribbon ties for closure in the back and found this a time-consuming task so I only made four.  This could have been another party favor for each guest for the more industrious party planner.  The bride wore a fancy flower girl dress I'd purchased from eBay ($5 winning bid) a year ago to play dress-up in.  The flower girl wore a little pink dress made of cotton batiste.  While one group was the bridal party the other girls sat in the living room as the wedding guests.  We have a 2-story home and the staircase offered a marvelous view of the bridal party as we had our wedding.  Our music was their lovely little voices singing Here Comes the Bride. 

After all of the groups had taken a turn (and a second) of being the bridal party we went outside for wedding pictures.   The pictures were so sweet and each bridesmaid had her picture taken with the bride.  We included a copy in the thank you's.  As the girls waited for their moms to arrive, several mothers sent their wedding albums for viewing.  The girls loved this.  I also had my wedding video playing on the VCR and unbelievably some actually watched it!  This party turned out to be fairly economical at around $75 with craft supplies, food, and paper goods taking most of the cost.  All else was either recycled from a previous party, pulled from my cabinets or borrowed.  We surely had fun with this party idea!  Hope this offers inspiration to your dedicated readers.

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