With the family preparing to embark on a new adventure, it was really important to give Allie a final chance to party with her Melbourne friends. So mum, Melanie set to create a celebratory experience that the children couldn’t have at a shopping centre, a theme park or the annual show. With a strict “No electronic games or flashing lights” brief, Something Wonderful Happened used wooden carousel horses and the enchantment of Mary Poppins to inspire this 5th birthday – a day at the country fair.
“We wanted to create the magic of the ‘chalk drawing’ scene from the 1960s Mary Poppins where the eponymous nanny and her charges are transported into a chalk, pavement drawing of a country fair,” says stylist Lucia Philip of Something Wonderful Happened. “We really channeled the technicolor pastels from the scene. I wanted to capture that childlike wonderment, where anything is possible and everyday outings become beautiful adventures.”
The party was held in the garden. “We wanted to celebrate everything about our lives in Melbourne before it came time to leave.” said Melanie. “This was the house we brought Allie home from the hospital to. And many of the people at the party knew us then and have watched Allie grow just as we’ve watched their children grow.” The carousel horses were a beautiful addition to the space. They were originally part of a window display for Pure Baby who generously allowed Something Wonderful Happened to repurpose them. “We painted the poles to match the party colours but left the horse white. They were too beautiful to change!” The horses really added some enchantment to the day and made the little guests feel like they were somewhere out of the ordinary.
The children’s tables were set up as if in an outdoor café, complete with pink and white gingham table clothes. On each table was a gorgeous mini picnic basket that included a drink, cutlery and a stunning pin wheel biscuit for each of the guest.
The dessert table was a hit with guests young and old. The menu took its cues from country fairs, with cakes and cupcakes worthy of first place in a CWA competition, mango Panna Cotta topped with fairy floss and stunning, handmade biscuits. Guests sipped homemade lemonade and played old-fashioned games such as ‘Ring toss’ and ‘Knock down the tin cans.’
Melanie says the best part of the day was getting to see Allie play with her friends. Custom made tulle pom poms were scattered around the space and watching the children create games out of them, seeing them shriek and giggle and run around, was really beautiful. It was proof that regardless of iPads and the elaborate entertainment children nowadays are exposed to, they will always find a way to create their own beautifully enchanting reality.
Styling: Something Wonderful Happened
Photography: Mark Carniato Photography
Cakes: Cake Ink
Pinwheel Biscuits: The Iced Biscuit
Cupcakes and Panna Cotta: Treats for Evie
Strawberry Mousse: Dessert Station
Printables: The Grape Vine Events
Flowers: Fresh Fresh Flowers
A special thank you to Pure Baby Australia who kindly made their beautiful carousel horses available to us for re-purposing!