Come one! Come all! Step right up to read all about the details of my 30th Pink Elephant Vintage Circus birthday party!
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! After deciding somewhat spur of the moment back in January that I wanted to have a circus-themed party for my big 30th celebrating, I put perhaps a little too much time and thought into my celebration theme. From what I heard from those that attended, the event was quite the success. Sadly, I had a minor case of post-party blues when I realized that not all of those details were captured. This made me take even longer to get around to writing this up, but here we are and I cannot wait to share all the fun things I planned and pulled
Your party entrance always sets the mood for the event and I wanted our guests to not miss our location. I decorated with a handful of circus posters like I used throughout the whole event as well as a “one day only” poster I designed specifically for the party. It was huge and definitely caught the attention of our guests. The posters were accompanied by gold “30” balloons to really catch everyone’s attention.
My original vision for the party was “vintage circus”, but I suppose it wasn’t so much of making the space look like you were in a circus tent (although that was certainly an idea at one point), but to make it look like the circus was in town. I love looking at old circus posters. There’s this excitement captured in them that the circus is in town! I found over a hundred vintage circus posters, altered their color scheme to pink and posted them all along our yard’s fence inside and out. They made a great backdrop when we took photos of guests and with our outdoor lights, you really got the circus feel.
I probably put way more effort into the photo booth than I should have. I know guests used it, but they didn’t use the camera that was there and because the sun was right there, it kept making the printer overheat so people didn’t really go crazy over printing photo strips like I was hoping they might. D: My poor signs also remained completely untouched the entire party. Still, I really loved how it turned out. I hung tickets and star garland from the canopy to add to the backdrop. My husband made the cage and the plinth from scratch and the kiddos were in love with passing through the bars.
I also tried to do a guestbook, even made this cute sign, but only two guests actually signed it. :< The idea was that since the printer printed two strips, guests could take one strip home and then stick the second strip into the book and leave a message.
I had collected a ton of paper fans to decorate alongside the posters, but then I ended up not putting them there! I was starting to think I bought all these decorations for nothing when my husband suggested hanging them from the dog run. This was perfect and really made the whole look cohesive. I also had a display on the food table with the paper fans, but I didn’t get a photo of that. At the end of the party, people were trying to be nice by picking things up and putting things away so I really didn’t get the chance to go out the next morning to take photos of anything that didn’t get photographed on the day of the party.
I bought these adorable top hat bowls from Ikea, but originally didn’t have a plan for what to do with them. The clear one was perfect for the peanuts and I was totally in love with the peanut bags I found to match the party theme. 😉 The other hat bowl I bought was where all the guests submitted their raffle tickets for the prize drawings.
I hot glued little pink elephants to all the champagne glasses for my signature cocktail drink. The elephants were in four different positions. I also had elephant sippy cups for the children and we used the cupcake stands for the treats my aunt made.
I made posters for practically everything. I had way too much fun with it. There was at least one poster for each of the different forms of entertainment I had planned for the day. We also made a box at the very last minute to stand the corn dogs up in that was wrapped in raffle tickets.
What’s a circus without popcorn and cotton candy? It was really important to me that things were as simple and self-serve as possible. My father-in-law got the popcorn ready for the guests’ arrival and I got this little cotton candy machine that operated on one serving at a time.
While decorating, I asked my husband to take these elephant squirters and hide them all over the yard. We’re still finding them. XD
I contacted Meghan from Big FUN Circus about stilt-walking for my party and I’m so glad I did. The hour she was here went way too fast, but we got some great photos of her. She was mainly by the entrance and greeted guests as they entered. It was perfect and definitely set a “wow” factor as everyone came in.
Even thought I’m still completely bummed that no one really used my photo booth camera or printer, that doesn’t mean it didn’t get used. Here’s just a few pics of some of our guests enjoying the set up.
I had been requesting that guests wear pink elephants, but ironically, I did not don the rosey pachyderm. Since I was collecting the tickets and making announcements like a circus barker, I looked like one. My dress was an adorable pattern of vintage circus tickets.
By the way, a perfect dress for a breastfeeding momma! It had giant pockets and zipped in the front! Perfect for a quick feeding session. I found it off Unique Vintage.
I had wanted to have some sort of circus animal present at the party, but I figured there would be no way I could get an elephant. So I thought about what other possible animal could be present and monkeys is what came to mind. Thus communication and addition to the party entertainment roster were the animals from Monkey Business Productions.
This was such an amazing addition!
All the guests had plenty of opportunity to interact with each animal if they wanted and there was a lot of time between each one as they brought them out. First out was Chewy, an American alligator. If guests wanted to, they were able to hold this cutie!
I really enjoyed Monty. She was beautiful!
This little guy was a surprise and wasn’t one of the animals requested, but that was super cool and a great treat for those guests who weren’t brave enough to handle the larger reptiles.
And another bonus! Again, a great surprise and good compromise for anyone who wasn’t getting their courage up for the big guys.
Then they brought out Mickey, the baboon. Guys, it was like a ride a Disneyland. XP Practically every guest lined up to get their photo taken with Mickey. He was just too adorable.
Lastly was Chiquita. This cute little monkey was stealing hearts left and right. She was a perfect final act to wrap up the entertainment. She really liked this one guest and other than her handlers, was the only person she was willing to jump onto the shoulders of.
Kevin and Ariana were so amazing. I will definitely be in touch with them in the future. They were really knowledgable about all their animals, took their time and were extremely patient. Their animals were obviously well cared for and handled the noisy environment extremely well. I could not recommend them any more and I’m already trying to think of what next event I can come up with as an excuse to hire them again.
What’s a circus party without circus food? Popcorn, hot dogs, corn dogs, cheese on a stick, roasted corn. The cotton candy was a surprisingly big hit. I was assuming that guests wouldn’t want to wait around, but they were timing it just perfectly that there never seemed to be a big wait for someone to get their sugar floss fix. My mom made a delectable seven layer dip that had practically no leftovers by the end of the evening.
Pennywise was even in attendance, making balloon animals for some of the young’uns.
My mother-in-law was having quite the day. She helped a ton, not only with prepping food, but even watching our baby during the party. (She loved Nana-sitting.)
It was a birthday party, so of course there was cake. Although not the traditional kind. My mother-in-law was quite the trooper and took up my random request to make a circus animal cookie cheesecake for the party. It was soooooo yummy, and surprisingly not as sweet as someone might think. My aunt made these super tasty gluten-free cupcakes for all the children to have. By Monday, any leftovers of those cupcakes had completely vanished!
I have to extend a huge thank you to all our friends, family and neighbors that put in the time to swing by to celebrate in our remote cow town location. Since our move this past September, I know it’s become quite the drive for visitors and I’m so extremely grateful to all those that were able to attend. Especially for those who stuck around for the majority of the party and had a long drive back home that evening.