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This has been my absolute favorite party to plan! The venue simply screamed circus with it's blue and white tented ceiling. My sister loved her shower and all the guests had a fabulous time. I hope you enjoy the photos!
Without a doubt the elephant seat! When we decided to go vintage circus, I set my heart on having my sister perch on an elephant while opening the gifts. One of my favorite circus memories is watching the parade of elephants with the prettiest, most glitzed out ladies riding on their backs. We had to have that. We couldn’t decide on how we were going to create this elephant, but then my mom found an elephant garden bench. An upside down garden planter to serve as the elephant stand, some pink and yellow spray paint, and we had our very own elephant parade.
The venue we worked with also offered to set up a photo booth. We signed up to include the booth, but had second thoughts because it was a bit pricey. We finally decided to just stick with it and hope it wasn’t too lame. We were so happy we decided to stick with it. Guests loved cramming into that booth and having their photos taken. Looking back on those photos is hilarious! Each session included 2 strips of photos, one for the guests in the photos and the second strip to put in a scrapbook for the mommy-to-be.
The mommy-to-be, of course, with her elephant pin :)
What People Ate
We are firm believers that food should be directly related to the theme. Nothing against those who go the route of wraps and cheese trays for every event, but food can be so much more creative than that. When we think of the circus we think of pizza and hot dogs and French fries. That’s what we wanted on our menu…slightly jazzed up, of course. We worked with a great caterer, JDK Catering Group (www.jdkcatering.com). They helped us come up with a menu that was sure to be reminiscent of the circus. Assorted Gourmet Mini Flatbread Pizzas Margherita Flatbread Pizza Mozzarella, Tomatoes, & Fresh Basil Garlic & Herb Three Cheese Flatbread Pizza With Alfredo Sauce Hawaiian Paradise Flatbread Pizza Topped with ham & fresh pineapple pieces Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza Mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan, & Pecorino Cheeses Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Bell Peppers, & Artichokes Gourmet French Fries Fresh cut French fries & sweet potato fries Presented with marshmallow sauce, unique seasonings, Chili, cheese, vinegar, ketchup & mustard Gourmet Hot Dogs With various toppings such as chili, cheese, sauerkraut, baked beans, finely chopped onions, bacon crumbles, coleslaw, relish, ketchup, mustard & gourmet roll Creamy Macaroni & Cheese Balls We provided guests with boxes to take home leftover desserts. Instead guests were packing up this food! I’ve never been to an event where guests take home more than just the dessert leftovers, but the food was seriously that good.
What People Drank
Punches served in mini milk bottles with paper straws.
We loved how these centerpieces reminded us of the headdresses the circus elephants and horses wear. Plus, my sister is all about feathers. Her centerpieces for her wedding were feathers, so we thought it was a nice way to incorporate another special day of her life. We put the centerpieces together ourselves, but we rented the ostrich plumes and vases from SmileyMe.com. They shipped the centerpieces to us and we assembled them using their easy to follow instructions. After the shower was over, we packaged everything back up and sent them back. They then returned a portion of the rental price to us. Easy peasey and we don’t have to worry about what we’re going to do with 10 giant feather centerpieces now that the shower is over.
The silhouette circus performers were one of the first details we decided upon. What is a circus without circus performers? When we first decided on the theme, I kept envisioning the ceiling of the venue and how it just screamed circus tent. The ceiling was huge, the event decorator said it wasn’t a problem to hang things from the ceiling and so we knew we had to take advantage of that. Using Etsy’s Alchemy, I put a call out for wooden silhouettes. David from Darbynwoods (http://www.facebook.com/darbynwoods) made all three silhouettes. However, the tightrope walker broke during shipping, so my dad made us a new one. We also decided we had to have striped tent fabric. The venue was floor to ceiling windows and we thought it would be perfect to drape striped fabric around all the windows to mimic the opening of a circus tent. Finding that fabric was not easy, but there was no way we could have a circus themed shower without a proper circus tent.
. JDK Catering provided a mini-dessert assortment that consisted of mini éclairs, mini cheesecakes, and mini fruit tarts. Since every trip to the circus involves candy, we set up a mini candy buffet with strawberry-banana taffy, strawberry malted milk balls, and strawberry circus peanuts. We provided candy bags, so guests could take some for the ride home. Wendi from SweeTreats (www.eatsweetreats.com) designed those delicious looking cupcakes and she was an absolute doll to work with. Guests could choose from chocolate cupcakes filled with raspberry with vanilla raspberry whipped topping and garnished with a raspberry or white chocolate tent or strawberries and cream cupcakes with a whipped topping and garnished with pink and yellow fondant elephants. We had almost double the amount of cupcakes than we did guests and every single cupcake was gone before guests started packing up their take home boxes. The mommy-to-be got her very own circus tent cupcake that was a lemon cake with a blueberry bottom topped with a blueberry buttercream. She said when she got home her and hubby pulled out some forks and devoured almost the entire cake that night.
Activities / Games
To keep the guests entertained and bring out their competitiveness we played a trivia game about the mommy and daddy-to-be, a game we called "Sideshow" in which guests had to guess the parents of a "baby" celebrity we created on Morph Thing, Bingo while Megan opened her gifts, and a game in which guests passed a prize around the table based on a poem we read aloud (pass the box to the guest with the biggest boobs or the blondest hair, etc). We had some fabulous prizes for the winners, including a very cute apron and lovely hat.
Cotton candy, of course! After much searching we found a cotton candy company that made yellow and pink cotton candy (www.tastyclouds.com). Since we were aiming for a vintage feel we stuffed mason jars with cotton candy and packaged it in carriers along with handmade caramels from The Caramel Jar (thecarameljar.etsy.com). Guests also took home a cone of caramel popcorn.