Personalise the party theme and you’re in for a galloping success.
One-year-old Nellie Salemme is a happy, very independent girl who loves a challenge and climbs on everything. Her mother Cassie wants her to explore – as long as she’s safe – so finds herself constantly saying “Whoa, whoa, whoa” instead of telling her “No”. So a ‘Whoa Nellie’ themed party, with hay bales, horses and other farm animals, made perfect sense.
But before the party came Nellie’s actual birthday, which the Salemme family prefer to celebrate in a more relaxed kind of style. “We always do a small celebration for our immediate family of four on each daughter’s special day, with a nice dinner and cake or cupcakes. It’s more intimate, whereas the party gets busy, and we don’t usually get to spend as much time one-on-one with them” says Cassie. The cupcake smash was a sweet family moment, and made for a beautiful photo opportunity. Cassie, dad Michael and big sister Nola refrained from any “Whoas” as Nellie tucked in to her cupcake face-first.
CHOMPING AT THE BIT
About 60 friends and family members attended the farm party in the Salemme family’s back yard. As guests arrived they sat on lines of hay bales, and the farm animals joined the party shortly after. The young children were very excited about petting and feeding the animals – a mini horse, a donkey, bunnies, goats, sheep, pigs and ducks. “Nellie loved being with the animals more than any of the other kids did” remembers Cassie. “She kept saying “Nice, nice” as she patted each animal.”
The naked cake was topped with fresh peonies and a toy pony, and it tasted as good as it looked. “The inside was white with a chocolate mousse filling. It was absolutely delicious.” As for decorations, Cassie kept them simple. She added farmhouse elements like a wooden table, milk carafes, wooden bins and lace burlap runners, and spruced up Nellie’s old antique high chair with a fresh lick of Annie Sloan chalk paint.
HOLD YOUR HORSES
The general atmosphere was very relaxed. Cassie set up a play area with toy tractors, plastic horses and farm animals, as well as a mini drawing table with stickers, markers and horse stamps, so the kids mucked in and parents watched and socialised. Cassie admits it’s easy to stress about party planning but her advice is to let the idea come naturally, based on the personality of your child, and then create the details as the ideas come, little by little, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Photography & styling: Cassie Salemme, Instagram: cassanola
Bobux Jodhpur in silver shimmer, $80, bobux.co.nz; Shleich English thoroughbred foal, $10.99, toyco.co.nz; Mini wooden log sign holders, $3 each, poprocparties.co.nz; Pink semi-naked 8 inch/3 layer cake, $120, bluebellscakery.com; Blanco cake dome, $119.95, sweetpeaparties.co.nz; Qualatex Holstein cow latex balloon, $1.25, spotlightstores.com; Pony party lunch napkins, $11.99 for 20, pixiepartysupplies.co.nz.