Alice In Wonderland -16yr- Inside Out Party
For my Sweet Sixteen I decided to do an Alice In Wonderland Mad Hatter's Tea. We rented out a party hall which was inexspensive considering the fact it came with silverware, plates, tables, chairs, etc. We got great deals on almost everything and overall it was pretty inexpensive. Here is what we did!
The Invitations ~ We got these done at a printing shop for about $25 all together, which was a good deal since they looked so impressive. From the back they looked like huge oversized cards, but when you flipped them over it was an invitation. It read -- Don't be late for this very important date! You are invited to a Mad Hatter Tea Party to celebrate NAME's 16th Birthday on DATE at PLACE. Please come dressed as a fictional character. RSVP" We also had our phone number etc. These were placed in oversized envelopes (they came with the invitations) that read "OPEN ME" on the front. We had them mailed out and I believe we ended up sending about 35 invitations but overall there were 44 people invited (siblings only got one invite). I think we ended up with about 40 people but I could be wrong. These were handed out 3 weeks ahead of time so that everyone had enough time to get their costume together.
The Decorations ~ Since the party was in the very back of a big building we got permission to have signs leading to the party room. They said "This Way To The Mad Hatter's Tea" "Not This Way To The Mad Hatter's Tea" "This Is Not The Wrong Way To The Mad Hatter's Tea" etc. In the party room itself -- First off most importantly was The Mad Hatter's Tea. We did this near the back so there was plenty of room. First off we combined six tables together to make a seriously long one which was great. Oh by the way watch the movie before you decorate it it gives you GREAT ideas.
Anyway. After watching the movie we decided that the Mad Hatter Tea part of the room was going to be decorated so that it looked outside-ish since that's where the tea party is in the movie. We bought some fake green grass the kind that you can buy at any home and garden store. We bought just enough to go under the table and then expand a little to make it look like it was sitting on grass. We then had my brother-in-law who is an artist paint a scene of trees and such on white paper and then tack it to the walls. We also bought a bunch of fern leaves and such and hung them out where the trees were so it looked 3-D. This looked really nice and with a little Outdoors smelling air freshner it actually did look and feel like the outdoors!
Now for the actual table. The place we rented the room for provided most of the stuff. We had an off-white tablecloth and we had dishes and forks and such. However since it was a tea party especially a Mad Hatter's tea party we wanted to really do some quirky teapots and such. First off online we found HUGE oversized teacups for $10 a dozen. They were plain and simple but looked so cool. Picture the cup from the Alice In Wonderland movie that Alice drank out of and then make it a little bigger and that's how they all looked! Anyway we had one sitting at each place. Me and my mom glued little letters on them so each said "DRINK ME". They looked so cool.
Anyway we also ordered three HUGE teapots off of the internet. One was forest green one was yellow with black stripes and another one was polka dotted. These were placed evenly around the table so that no matter where you were sitting you always had access to some tea =). That was basically what the tea room looked like. We also had a dance area where I had a stereo set up with huge speakers a disco ball etc. That was basically it for decorating. We had lots of balloons and etcetera of course but really decorating isn't my thing.
The Food ~ We had finger foods out the whole time on silver trays. Some of the finger foods we had available were - little cookies with EAT ME spelled out in M&Ms or chocolate chips; turkey wraps held in place by a toothpick; fruit kebabs; barbecued and original potato chips; and mini muffin cakes which you make by making mini muffins and then placing a mini-sized candy bar in the center and baking them. We also had punch different kinds of soda and water bottles. For the main course we had a choice of either lasagna and garlic bread or pizza and garlic bread and also optional a salad. The dessert was of course a cake. The cake was from a cake decorating company around here. It was a triple-layer card (hearts of course) and they had it so my face was the Queen's. Underneath it said "Happy 16th Jaciee" in red frosting. We also had vanilla and chocolate ice cream.
The Party ~ The party itself lasted about four hours from 4 - 8. We had the party room until nine and since we didn't want to pay that extra cleaning fee we saved the last hour to tidy up. Anyway. I dressed up as Alice in Wonderland of course and my best friend dressed up as The Mad Hatter. Costumes can be bought online but I found most of my stuff at secondhand shops and with a little bit of tweaking it looked great. My parents stood at the door with the guest list to make sure that there were no party crashers. My mother was the Queen of Hearts and my dad was a card. I gave them most of the busywork so they weren't staring over my shoulder the whole time (just kidding).
When the guests arrived they were checked off of the check list and told that they could either mingle grab something to eat or dance on the dance floor. We had lots of options and no one felt awkward or bored. We also had picture opportunities as I mentioned before. We also had two photo opportunities set up. Online we found pictures from the movie. They had lots of options but we ended up taking one of the Cheshire cat and another one of two of the Cards. I printed these off and took them to a printing shop where they blew them up so they were life-size and on cardstock. This was very cheap only about $10 a photo. I had my dad put them up on boards and cut out the faces. Voila! Photo opportunity! These were set up so that you could take a picture of them and my uncle manned the camera so he took good-quality photos of them.
We also had a person who drew charactures -- I'm sure I didn't spell that right … but he was an artist who could draw a hilarious picture of you. He was inexspensive and was a GREAT add to the party. He worked fast which was good since there were a lot of people who wanted one. Anyway we gave everyone a half an hour to do whatever they wanted.
Finally at about 4:45 we had the first game -- a simple costume contest. We divided everyone into two groups Girls and Guys. First off were the girls. The guys were given a piece of paper and a pencil and one by one the girls modeled their costume and explained who they were. After everyone was through the guys voted on their favorite. Then it switched -- guys "modeled" and the girls voted. The votes were tallied and my mother announced the Queen and the King -- aka 1st place girl and 1st place guy. The queen got a fake tiara (what's a Queen without a tiara?) a $20 gift certificate to Starbucks and a humongus chocolate bar. The King got the same.
After this it was about 5:30 and we all sat down to eat. My parents and uncle came around the table getting orders. A great touch we added was -- every once in a while we all got up and switched seats just like in the movie at the Mad Hatter's tea. It was hilarious and soo much fun. Anyway we all ate and had a great time. After that it was about 7:00 and we had an hour to do whatever we want. I found some pink flamingo yard ornaments on sale and I had Flamingo Croquet set up for anyone to play -- it was a great hit. And baically the last hour was do whatever you want hour. At 8:00 everyone was ushered out.
Thank You Notes ~ My Uncle while not manning the picture opportunity things took tons of great pictures. I had about 80 of the best burnt onto a CD (cheap and easy you can do at your own home if you have a computer). I made a copy for each guest. On the front I wrote "WATCH ME" so they knew what to do with it. We burnt them onto a CD and handed those out along with a personal note saying thank you to everyone who came.
Overall ~ This party was so much fun and pretty simple to plan. If I could change anything though I would've rented the place out longer since everyone wished we had more time. But other than that everyone had a really good time! "