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Lana’s Butterfly Flower Garden 1st Birthday Party


My daughter Lana Rose turned one on August 16th, 2016, and it was a very special milestone for us. Lana was born a 24-week micro-preemie and spent a long six months at the hospital before being able to come home. It has been a long and at times emotional and stressful road for all of us, but also very fun and rewarding. We wanted to make a big splash in honor of Lana's 1st birthday, and we were fortunate that many friends and relatives flew in for the big day!


The theme of her birthday was a butterfly flower garden, and was very similar in color and scheme to her nursery. She even wore a custom dress using the same beautiful fabrics from her nursery ("Winged" pattern by Bonnie Christine)! The butterfly has a very special meaning and symbolism for us. Since our daughter was born 4 months early and was very tiny (12 oz, 10.5 inches) and fragile at birth, she fit in the palm of our hand, kind of like a little caterpillar. Immediately after her birth, she was intubated and placed inside an isolette, where she lived for over four months. Her isolette came to represent a butterfly's chrysalis. And every day, she grew bigger, stronger and over time, she grew her wings and emerged as a beautiful butterfly!


We chose a beautiful outdoor pavilion close to our home as the venue for her birthday. We wanted something outside, to take advantage of the gorgeous summer weather. It was really spacious and simple, which allowed us to infuse the space with tons of beautiful colors and decorations that perfectly represented the theme and feeling we wanted for her birthday: light, airy, whimsical, youthful and very feminine.


Pastels! Everything from lavender, mint, peach, blush, pink, blue and yellow pastels were the name of the game. To me, those colors will always be in style, and were the perfect mix for a butterfly garden party! We carried those colors throughout, from the decor, to the tablecloths, flowers (both real as well as the tissue paper flowers I made), plates, napkins and desserts.


The main focus for the decorations were the big, beautiful and multi-colored pastel tissue paper flowers. I made each one of these by hand, months in advance of the party. I worked on creating a few each night before going to bed, and before long, I had close to a hundred flowers for the party! These were actually a lot easier to make than I originally thought. I found a few YouTube tutorials, and voila! The flowers were used as a backdrop behind the two buffet areas (lunch and desserts). I added tons of pastel butterflies with clip backings right on the flowers themselves. I found the beautiful butterfly clips at Michaels as well as The Dollar Store, and they came in very handy.  I also used the butterflies on the tables and in the flower arrangements on the tables. And pretty much anywhere that we could clip on a butterfly, we did!

My husband's cousin helped to create the flower arrangements for each of the tables. I bought various-sized mason jars at The Goodwill, and decorated each one with different pastel ribbons, twine, burlap and lace. No two were alike! For flowers, I bought a bunch of baby's breath, hydrangeas, pastel roses (full size blooms and tea roses), as well as lavender and yellow chrysanthemums. We were going for a somewhat "shabby-chic" look with the arrangements, and they came out great! I also used antique tea cups as part of the decorations on the tables, which I purchased from Etsy, as well.


A good friend of mine is a gourmet baker and has her own business, Bella Nava Creations. She is an incredibly talented baker and decorator, and she made the amazing sugar cookies, cake pops and cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (yum!). I really wanted the desserts, and the dessert buffet, to not only be edible and delicious, but also part of the decor. And Brandie did just that! They were a huge hit, and so yummy!