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Is the overwhelm of party theme selection stressing you out, mama? You’ve come to the right place! I met Allison Carter through a course we took and I was immediately drawn to her sweet personality and down-to-earth charm. She gets teased about being a “Pinterest Mom”, but she’s not “trying to look perfect” and totally gets how hectic real life is with kids. (She has two little ones of her own.) She’s here to help all of us busy mamas throw an awesome party in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way! The overwhelm and stress that she experienced while throwing her daughter’s first birthday is what inspired her to make party planning EASIER for ALL mamas. Her secret sauce? Going into it with a plan. She has fantastic party plans on Allison Carter Celebrates, BUT she’s sharing her top-secret method with US!
Every successful party starts with the theme. The theme is your North Star- everything in the party planning process points back to it! The theme of your party determines a lot of different things on your checklist. It leads you to décor choices, menu plan, and even venue. Let me give you an example of how this process works for me!
Brainstorm Party Theme Ideas
First, I think of my kid in the party theme selection process. What are they totally obsessed with in this moment in time? Do any characters feel like they’re part of your family because your little one loves them so much? Can’t pass a firetruck without yelling and pointing, “firetruck!!”? (Tab raises her hand.) Does your daughter have all the Disney princess dresses and cycle through them on a daily basis?
Well, you’ve got your theme, mama! Moms often come to me for help planning their parties or asking for a party plan and many tell me… “my son wants this theme, but I’m trying to convince him to choose something else.” I always discourage this! Party theme selection doesn’t have to come from an endless list of possibilities; your child’s interests are ultimately what matters.
One, I like being able to give my kids control of the theme, so that I can control the rest. It’s an easy win that involves them in their special day!
Two, the character, object, activity, etc. your kid is into right now is part of their identity
I LOVE looking back at pictures of my daughter, Evie’s, 4th birthday. It was a princess party, and one I had dreamed of planning since I found out I was having a little girl. Evie was majorly into the princess phase, and that was the year we went to Disneyland for the first time! When I look at pictures from that party, I’m instantly taken back to that chapter of my family’s story and flashes of my little princess twirling in her dress and running up to meet her hero, Sofia the First, on the streets of Disneyland come flooding in.
Same goes for my son, Hudson, and his Grand Three race car birthday. My husband is a big car guy and he and Hudson wake up early every weekend to watch the Formula One race together. I know these mornings will be some of my husband’s favorite memories, and when we think back to our little 3-year-old race car lover, we can smile and remember the feeling of those cozy little bedhead filled mornings.
So…what is your kid into right now? What do you want to look back on and remember about your kiddo? If you closed your eyes and took a snapshot of this exact moment, what would it capture? Choose your theme and run with it!
When your kiddo walks into their party filled with their favorite thing and their favorite people… that huge grin will make you melt!
As if that hasn’t convinced you enough, did you know sticking to a theme can actually save you money? It’s one of my top budget tips!
Pick Your Theme and Stick to It
Don’t get all wishy
Shop your House
I hear, “parties are SO expensive” almost everyday. And yes, they can totally be expensive depending on many factors. One of those factors doesn’t have to be décor, though! If you have chosen a theme based on your little one’s obsession, chances are you have TONS of things already living in your house that you can repurpose as décor! Princess dresses, crowns, action figures, toy diggers or firetrucks, LEGO. You’ve got a whole décor store ripe for the picking in your house!
This is what I do for every party I host. Once the theme is set and the colors are determined, I literally take a laundry basket and walk through every room of my house. I grab anything and everything that might work for the party (remember it’s all free at this point!). Then I put it all in my dining room and take inventory. I set aside things I can use for tables, anything I could repurpose as a backdrop, etc. and then I write down what I need to buy as fill
Lists are Life
When it’s finally time to shop, go in with a very clear and intentional list. Be specific on the items you need. For example, red dessert plates, white cake stand, or blue stripe tablecloth. Have you ever grocery shopped hungry and without a list? I don’t know about you, but when I grocery shop unprepared, I almost always grab a bunch of stuff I didn’t need at all. But if I had a list, most likely I’d purchase on Amazon Fresh or be an in and out trip where I buy from the list and nothing more. Same rules apply for party planning!
I help moms all over the world save time and money planning beautiful parties. I do this with my themed party planning guides and checklists. You give me the theme, and I outline your whole party, start to finish, giving you links to purchase or DIY (you choose!) everything you need to host. Think of your party plan as that very detailed and intentional list necessary for budget-friendly grocery store trips. All that thinking and planning done for you, so you can focus on all the fun parts- hosting and celebrating your little one at the awesome stage of life they’re at.
Connect with Allison!
Gah! Isn’t Allison amazing?! I bet you didn’t think party theme selection and party planning could be this simple, huh? I sure didn’t. We purchased her Rescue Vehicles Party plan for our son’s birthday
- Website and Shop: Allison Carter Celebrates
- Podcast: Memories in Moments
- Instagram: @allisoncartercelebrates
- Pinterest: @allisoncartercelebrates