A Little Celebration – Ivy’s 3rd Birthday

Happy 3rd birthday IVY!

Mum: Angela  Dad: Sean  Big sister: Sienna, 6

Theme: Pony Party

Photographer: Anneke Hill

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Ivy’s mum, Angela, describes her second daughter as gorgeous, energetic, affectionate and inquisitive little soul.  “She starts and ends her day with a kiss and a hug for everyone in the family,” Angela laughs.  “She’s very independent as well and that has perhaps been my greatest challenge as she has reached the age of three…to step back and allow her to grow and try things on her own.”

Angela decided to hold Ivy’s party at their local riding school following a visit a few months prior to her turning three.  “The riding school is just a five minute drive from our house,” she explains.  “When Ivy and I went to the venue she absolutely fell in love with a brown pony.  As soon as I saw how excited she was, I knew having a pony party would be perfect.  Her birthday is in June and I was a little nervous about the weather, but fortunately it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny, winter’s day.”

“Ivy is such a happy and lively little girl, when it came to choosing a colour theme for the party, I thought that a bright confetti theme inspired by 100’s and 1000’s sprinkles would be absolutely perfect!”

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Each little guest at the party received a 30 minute pony riding lesson and a trail ride and Ivy, as the birthday girl, received a one hour lesson before the ride.  “We wanted to make the party small and personal, so Ivy invited just eight friends as well as her big sister and her Nanny and Poppy,” Angela says.

When it came to decorating and setting up the space, Angela enjoyed the opportunity to get a little creative.  “I made bunting from plain coloured and spotty pink fabric to decorate the outdoor area where the food was served, and all to decorate the buffet table.  I also made place mats with the spotty material to put under the white buckets that were filled with multi coloured gerberas on the guests’ tables.  I also placed cowgirl hats and handmade neckerchiefs at each guest’s place on the table to help create the pony party atmosphere.”

Angela and Sean were very clever and made the gorgeous cake themselves.  “It was a vanilla cake and used a carousel cake kit to make the shape.  We decided to keep the decorating simple and we covered the cake in white icing and used 100’s and 1000’s to decorate the bottom layer.  The carousel horses were dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with 100’s and 1000’s as well.  The roof of the carousel was covered in chocolate fondant and a large, edible number three was placed on the cake as a finishing touch.”

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Ivy wore special jodhpur-style leggings and a bright pink jumper to match the theme and Angela says she was very spoilt with beautiful gifts on the day.  “We gave Ivy her first bike and she also received a teacup set, My Little Pony toys, Peppa Pig DVDs, craft items, Lalaloopsy dolls and Hello Kitty toys.  The best part of her day was the moment that she was placed on that pony and buckled into the saddle though,” smiles Angela.  “The expression on her face was beautiful.  That smile didn’t leave her face for the entire hour that she rode the pony and she spoke about her ‘brown pony’ for weeks after the party.   It was just wonderful.”

“Ivy has definitely taught me to appreciate and enjoy the simple things in life – a simple trip to collect her big sister from school on a rainy day can mean jumping in every puddle and examining every leaf along the way.  I used to find this frustrating, but I now know how important it is to her.  We are just loving watching Ivy grow and seeing her develop her beautiful personality.”

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Every one of our little guests received a cowgirl hat and a neckerchief to wear at the party after they’d had their pony ride.  The neckerchief was made from the same fabric that we used for the bunting and the band around each hat matched as well.  The kids had so much fun dressing up and posing for photos in their cowgirl gear.

At the end of the party, each child was given a favour bag with a colouring sheet, pencil and hand made pencil topper in the shape of a pony.  Each bag also had a personalised thank you note and the kids used to the bags to collect chocolate and lollies from the piñata.

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Start planning early to make the day as stress free as possible.

Choose an age appropriate theme with your child.

Make sure you have an indoor back up plan if you choose an outdoor party venue in case of wet weather.

Buy party products during the year so it isn’t a huge expense all at once.

Make a running sheet of the day so that you have a list of things that need to be done and a time to do them – it helps so much to have a plan of when games are going to be played and when guests will be eating.

Splurge on a professional photographer!  It’s great to leave the photo-taking up to a professional so that you can enjoy the party and your guests and you know they will be capturing every special moment.

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Party planning My Sweet Party

Location Bensville Riding School

Photography Anneke Hill Photography