Real Party: ‘Hey Girl’ Birthday Party

Real Party: ‘Hey Girl’ Birthday Party

Ryan Gosling Party - DIY Invitation // A Well Crafted Party

I’m really, really excited to be sharing some pictures from my most recent party today… a “Hey Girl” party for my friend Macey! A “Hey Girl” party you ask? Well, you know the Ryan Gosling meme, right? If not… you may not understand the awesomeness of this party.

Macey turned a year older this year and as she protested celebrations I asked her, “If you could have any party theme for your birthday, what would it be?” She answered, “Ryan Gosling, of course!”

Magic happened in that moment. My brain started firing on all cylinders and (thankfully) my friend Bee offered to host in her beautiful home. The rest is history… well, it is at least a week old now. If you were following along on my Instagram you might have seen a few photos from the party.

Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party
Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party
"Hey Girl" Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party
"Hey Girl" - Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party
"Hey Girl" - Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party

I can’t wait to share all the fun details! A Ryan Gosling party is great for a birthday party, bachelorette party, or heck… a baby shower for a baby girl! This was probably one of my favorite parties to date and nearly everything was DIY. Check back over this week and next for the following posts:

I’ll update this page with links to posts as they go live. Printables, tutorials, and a whole lotta fun to come!

In the meantime… answer me this:

If you could have any party theme… what would it be?

A DIY’d Fall Wedding

A DIY’d Fall Wedding

I am so honored to share my “wedding” on A Well Crafted Party! I have wedding in quotes because the long and short of it is–we were already married! My husband Kevin and I (who I refer to most often on my blog as Ktams) were married right out of college (we are Illini–I-L-L!) as we both agreed it made the most sense to start out in the real world as a team, and the easiest way to do this was to tie the knot! We were technically married in June of 2010, but at that point we had no money to have the wedding we imagined. So once the official stuff was out of the way, we began planning. Just over a year from the date we planned to throw a big party to celebrate our marriage with friends and families. We felt this was a great excuse for our friends to come back together and for family to share in the fun (as when we were married originally we only allowed our parents to be present–that’s right–no siblings, grandparents, or anyone else! We just felt like it was a slippery slope!). Looking back now, I realize how many diy wedding ideas I used to make the day a success–and I am excited to share!

The Setting

We picked a venue that would be a one stop shop–it was our one of our favorite spots–a Spanish tapas restaurant located near downtown Naperville, IL. Meson Sabika was a rehabbed old mansion on an expansive piece of land. We held the entire event out in their bricked patio, and left the doors open to get more drinks at the bar.

DIY Wedding Ideas: Flowers

For our wedding, flowers were not a make or break discussion. I knew I wanted accents of orange and a predominantly mixed bouquet. I had also given leftover fabric I had from table cloths to the florist to wrap the bouquet. I felt like this held everything together nicely and it keep the flowers in perfect order for the whole event! The only thing I would do differently with my flowers is I would not use any pokey items–cannot tell you how many times I forgot not to smell my flowers and poked myself. Since we were throwing more of a party than a traditional wedding, I opted to get my closest girlfriends wrist corsages instead of nosegays–I had hoped this made them feel special and stand out, but it wasn’t like they had to tote obnoxious nosegays around all afternoon. My favorite items in the bouquet ended up being the big white roses and the hypericum berries–they all held up nicely throughout the day and they dried nicely.

DIY Wedding Ideas: Centerpieces

We had our celebration well before the leaves had changed that year–I remember how warm the summer was and the second week of September just wasn’t soon enough to enjoy some natural color. Instead, I did my best to create some color! My favorite DIY of the wedding was making large pinwheel centerpieces, and it saved us a ton of money because we didn’t have to purchase fresh cut flowers! I purchased patterned scrapbook sheets, stamped them, and followed a tutorial similar to this one to make both table marker pinwheels and smaller, more graphic pinwheels, which I used as seat finders for guests. I had some extras at the end of the craft so I added them to the pitchers to encourage people to add theirs to the centerpiece for the event. To this day I’m surprised at how well the smaller pinwheels held up–I still have a few of them in my potted plants at home.

To keep everything grounded in the vase (which I purchased at IKEA and gifted to friends and family afterward), I added river stones. I knew the pitchers were going to sit on white tablecloths so my mom and I came up with the idea of using leaf-shaped placemats to easily add a burst of color. We sewed on more of the same material we were using for the cake and gift tables to cover the placemats and pull everything together (it was opaque so it added nice texture and some neat stitching for the most part).

Another DIY I was really happy with the result of was a cake stand tutorial I found from none other than Jenni–before I even knew her or A Well Crafted Party! Creepy right? I found the tut on Pinterest for the stands she did for her sister’s wedding. My mom and I put a twist on it to make more of a rustic fall look. We used hot glue, which was actually easy to remove later so that we could use the items again and again.

 DIY Wedding Ideas: Little Touches

I have to throw a lot of credit to my mom for the little touches our celebration had. She collected a lot of rich looking silk flowers and purchased custom bows to tie everything together. She also gathered colorful mums to plant in the pots I had purchased (also from IKEA). As a gift to us, my mom had some very fun custom glassware made for us to use on the big day. They are my favorite keepsakes to date. It’s great to have someone you can trust to go to work and get some great fillers in to personalize the event.

Additionally, I DIY’d our invites. Just to start, we saved money by putting out invites only–no save-the-dates–and I did my best to find the best quality and pricing for both the envelopes and cardstock. We also did all RSVPing online, so we saved additional money in printing and postage by creating a free blogger site and a google number for those who were technology challenged. I will forewarn that envelopes can change your shipping costs DRASTICALLY. I highly suggest taking your sample envelopes to the post office and have them measured and weighed with your cardstock before you go buying/printing in bulk. We ended up over-ordering on accident (remember to count couples not attendees!), and I made use of the excess invites by cutting them up and turning them into ornaments (check out this tutorial for the base of my idea). I purchased glass balls from a craft store, charms from Etsy, and curled the strips of paper around a small pencil, then placed them in the ball.

DIY-Invite-Design-Wedding-A-Well-Crafted-Party

What I Learned From My DIY Wedding

I think the biggest thing I learned in planning my own wedding was to let it go–no I will not break into a verse of Frozen, but I will say that you need to learn to let many of the little things go by the wayside or you’ll spend your whole day not enjoying the party! Was I upset that certain things didn’t come together how I’d hoped? Yes–but by the time I was putting my dress on for the day, I had decided that people were not there for the decor or even the (AMAZING) food! They were were to celebrate with Kevin and me. This is what refocused my energy to enjoy the day and make it a memorable affair.

What have you DIY’d for your big day that you’re really proud of? If you had the choice, would you DIY all over again?

 

*****

All professional images from this post and our celebration are by Daniel Kelleghan Photography.

A big thank you to Bee for sharing her beautiful wedding photos and Happy Anniversary! Please take a moment to hop on over to check out her awesome-sauce blog! She writes some pretty amazing recipes. Being someone who has actually tasted her cooking and have made her recipes I can give them my seal of approval!

Guest Post: 4th of July Menu & Table Decor from MacSuzie.Com

Guest Post: 4th of July Menu & Table Decor from MacSuzie.Com

A big thank you to Jenni for having me as a guest poster today on A Well Crafted Party! After a little hiatus from my own blog, her invite was just the kick in the pants I needed to get back on track and get some MacSuzie mojo going! It felt really good to be in the kitchen and at my craft table working on this menu and table decor.

MacSuzie 4th of July Menu // featured on A Well Crafted Party

I hope you all enjoy the summer recipes I’ve put together for you – great as a menu altogether for the 4th of July, or any of them on their own as additions to your gatherings throughout summer. Many items can be prepared ahead of time (or require barely any prep at all!) so you won’t toil away the afternoon in the in the kitchen. Plus, the table decor is very simple and won’t cost you an arm and a leg :)


Bomb Pop Cocktail featured on A Well Crafted Party

Start yourself off right with a fun and festive summer cocktail reminiscent of the ice cream man jingling down the street.

This Bomb Pop Cocktail has all the flavors of the original – cherry, lime and blue raspberry, with a grown up twist.

rocket pop cocktail // Featured on A Well Crafted Party

For the kiddos, a real Bomb Pop is a fun way to keep lemonade or soda pop cold :)


Grill out (or in, if your 4th gets rained out, as mine always seems to!) with this flavor packed Homemade Veggie Burger with Blue Cheese & BBQ Sauce that will impress even the staunchest of carnivores.

Veggie Burgers with Blue Cheese // Featured on A Well Crafted Party

Lately, my favorite way to eat these is topped with a slice of blue cheese plus some pickled onions and BBQ sauce – so good!


On the side, the smell of these Tin Foil “Camping” Potatoes will make it hard to decide what you want to take a bite of first.

MacSuzie's Tin Foil Camping Potatoes // Featured on A Well Crafted Party

Packed with onions and garlic in a pocket of foil, it doesn’t get any easier. Ok, maybe it does… See below for my roasted corn!


It wouldn’t be summer without an ear of In-Husk Roasted Sweet Corn – just like the county fair vendors :)

In Husk Roasted Corn featured on A Well Crafted Party

You won’t believe how easy it is to cook corn on the grill or in the oven – no husking required! Hahaha, guess you’ll have to find something else to keep the kids (or husband!) busy. :)


End the meal on a fruity note with my Mini Red, White & Blueberry Strawberry Shortcakes!

Red, White, & Blue Shortcakes from MacSuzie featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Smaller than the usual shortcake, you don’t have to choose between the two toppings – have one of each! (both with a giant dollop of homemade whipped cream of course!)



Table Decor:

To break up the traditional (and sometimes boring) red, white and blue, I decided to add in a touch of light turquoise here and there. I pulled in a few of turquoise Fiesta serving pieces I already had, plus my trusty vintage ball jar, some bandanas and scraps of paper and fabric and ended up with a beautiful table. You can do the same – just use what you have on hand and get creative!

 

To start, I used bandanas as place mats.

MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor // featured on A Well Crafted Party

 


MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Some coordinating ribbon dresses up a plain jar or old vase without much effort.

 


MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party
Keep all your toppings on top of your burger with these adorable picks!

MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Just a few scraps of paper and some stickers make boring old skewers into fun decorations. Use them on your burgers as I have, or put the flags on toothpicks and use for fruit or cupcakes.


 

MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party

Lastly, ditch the paper napkins and use some clean bandanas instead!

MacSuzie's 4th of July Table Decor featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Quickly folded into a pocket and dressed up with some fabric scraps and ribbon, these bandana napkins are festive AND won’t blow off the table. :

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and summer!


 

 

Seriously, how cute is this party!? A huge thank you to Lindsey of MacSuzie.com for brining us this awesome 4th of July party! I can’t wait to try these recipes and entertaining tips for the upcoming holiday and throughout the Summer. By the way… if you’ve been wondering about the name MacSuzie here is how Lindsey describes it on her site: “A dash of ‘MacGyver’ plus a sprinkle of ‘Suzie Homemaker’ – all tied up with a bow! 

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