I love nothing more than planning a party. I’m sure the thought of birthday party planning makes many of you cringe but I find it so therapeutic. Crazy? I know, but it is my thing! When it comes to Zelda I can never hold back — last year we threw an epic Lisa Frank beach bash and everyone had the best afternoon. Over the years, I’ve found everyone looks forward to her summer party. Early on, I made a pledge to myself to always throw Zelda large birthday celebrations, but not just for the sake of hosting a big party. Her epic annual birthday bash was born out of my idea to create an inclusive event each year where we could invite all our friends and family, and anyone else who wanted to tag along. This year Zelda has been really into music so I wanted to plan her party around this new love, hence Zelchella.
I’ve had my eye on the Presidential Suite at the Swissotel for a while now. After seeing their Santa Suite & Kids Suite, I knew this needed to be our venue. After all, I couldn’t throw a music festival in my home! The Swissotel has the most accommodating staff ever and they were so excited about our theme. They got my wheels turning in a way that I never could have imagined and together we created the most legendary music festival birthday party ever. To kick things off, we had a planning meeting where our vision quickly came to life. I might have gotten a little crazy, but this party was one to remember forever. I enlisted the help of my wonderful friends to execute this idea because I wanted to create a party where the kids would be outfitted in full festival gear.
It wouldn’t be a true festival without a tent, so the Swissotel created the most magical white festival tent that sat in the center of the room. Inside of the tent Make to Celebrate created DIY pom pom dream catcher necklaces and my babe from Rad + Refined created custom sunglasses for the kids. We all know when it comes to festivals, the most important thing is your outfit. To make sure these kids were outfitted head to toe, we brought in Crowning Event. They had a station set up where they made both adults and kids custom flower headbands, because what is a festival without a flower crown?
Now let’s talk about the focal point of the room – the balloons. My friends at Anagram Balloons sent me boxes upon boxes of Mylar balloons and when I opened the boxes, I blacked out and spent the next six hours running through five full size helium tanks to cover the ceiling. Adding balloons to a space is a unique way to add color, texture and movement. We also had huge balloon bouquets throughout the room and it was a hit. Anagram Balloons has the coolest balloons out there by far.
Besides what you wear, we all know the most important part of a festival is the music, which is why we enlisted DJ Matt Roan. Not only is he one of the coolest DJs in Chicago, he’s also a pretty Rad Dad. He spinned the coolest tunes throughout the party and kept the babes on the dance floor. If you are looking for a DJ for any event, whether it be a birthday party or a wedding, he is your man. The kids needed musical instruments to play along too and Oriental Trading provided us with a wide variety. I’m sure you’re thinking, “OMG, you gave these kids recorders and tambourines?!” Trust me, with this many people in the room it wasn’t annoying and the kids loved it. This also gave them something extra special to take home.
Get Zelda’s Party Look
Top: Lola + the Boys
Shorts: Windy City Bebe
Boots: Custom by Lo + Co
One of the best parts of the party for the kids was the sweets room. Yes, you read that correctly – we had an entire room full of sweets. Our friends at Sugar Factory provided us with a candy bar and the Swissotel created the most beautiful festival birthday cake with cake pops, a full donut wall and our good friends at Toni Patisserie and Cafe created custom Zelda cookies. Let’s just say this party was wired because these kids were sucking down sweets faster than they could chew.
I’m not one to brag, but Zelchella totally one-upped Lollapalooza this year. We invited Psychobaby to Zelchella to create festival backpacks for all the kids. They create the coolest custom gear so this was a no-brainer. I found out a week after Zelchella, Psychobaby headed to Lollapalooza to do the same thing! The kids loved the backpacks because they could house all their party goods. It gave them a place to stash their musical instruments, sunglasses, flower headbands, candy and whatever else they had.
Everyone needed a little ink to complete their look. Ducky Street had a station with festival tattoos and we also had hair clip ins, color, glitter and everything else that they would need. These kids were looking so good (even the parents joined in – they couldn’t hold back!).
After the party, there is the after party! Yes – you read that correctly, I had an after party after hosting 130 people all day. Once the party wrapped, we had a little something special planned for a handful of moms and their kids: a sleepover. After all, I had this epic Presidential Suite and I couldn’t let it go to waste! The Swissotel helped us plan a special evening that included a pizza party with pizza (duh!), chicken, salad shakers, popcorn and the coolest room set up for a movie night. After that we received tequila turn down service with tequila shots for the moms and milk and Rice Krispies treats “shots” for the kids.
I was so busy eating that I couldn’t snap pictures so be sure to watch the video at the beginning of this post to see it all. Psychobaby created custom pillowcases for the babes and we popped popcorn, laughed and danced all night. The kiddos wound down around 11pm and somehow (I’m still not sure how) the mamas stayed up until 2am. It was a night we will never forget followed by an extra special pancake breakfast in the morning.
The entire day was so much fun and I could not have done it without my friends at the Swissotel. They were so accommodating, along with the vendors below. If you’re looking to host something similar, the dream team is at the bottom of this post. They are all so easy to work with and helped create a memorable day for everyone. Happy birthday Zelda!
Want to recreate our festival themed bash? These vendors can help make it happen:
Accommodations & Catering: Swissôtel Chicago
DIY Dream Catcher Necklaces: Make to Celebrate
Festival Sunglasses: Rad + Refined
Flower Crowns: Crowning Event
Custom Backpacks & Pillowcases: Psychobaby
DJ: Matt Roan
Musical Instruments: Oriental Trading
Candy Bar: Sugar Factory
Custom Cookies: Toni Patisserie & Cafe
Balloons: Anagram Balloons
Tattoos: Ducky Street