Super Stylish Children's Parties

TOAST talks cool kids parties with luxury children’s party planners Wild Things

Whether it’s planning stylish and imaginative children’s parties or creating chic Scandi-style corners and trendy tipis for kids at grown-up events – there’s no doubt that Wild Things are experts at keeping your little wild things happy. TOAST chats to co-founder Sally Telford to learn more, and to get her top tips on throwing a super cool children’s party yourself.

Some of my happiest childhood memories are of carefree birthday parties. Not mine I have to say – as an only child I didn’t like sharing my cake with anyone, but I liked other kids’ parties. Pass the parcel, jelly and ice cream, musical chairs, and maybe the occasional roller disco if I was lucky. There is no doubt that the bar has been raised considerably since ‘my day’ – and one company busy creating truly beautiful children’s parties and stylish event childcare fit for 2017 is Wild Things, the brainchild of Bristol-based Sally Telford and Michelle Midwinter.

It’s about having fun themes that are not based around the latest Disney movie or the local soft play. I am not bashing those ideas - we love those parties too! This is just something a bit more classic I suppose, ” explains Sally

We have a very relaxed approached to luxury, we are not stuffy matchy-matchy pink for girls and blue for boys, we are thinking outside the box and giving kids a really imaginative party centred around something that they love.

Wild Things Childrens Parties 

In a former life, Sally was a club promoter and worked with Michele on weddings; now she’s busy planning fabulous parties part time, whilst looking after her daughter Jessica and cat Biggie Smalls. Her partner in Wild Things crime is Michele; a multi award-winning wedding and event coordinator of over 11 years who has worked on parties for four all the way up to a whopping one thousand guests, and she also has two of her own little ‘wild things’ - Phoenix and Star.

Wild Things was Michele’s idea,” explains Sally, “As a wedding coordinator she saw a growth in children at weddings, but a struggle to keep them entertained. The party side came naturally after years of Michele throwing epic parties for her children and for me too when I had my daughter. I spent hours searching for the perfect party décor, little gifts and things like that, and I realised just how much work it can take to make a stylish party that fits what the kids want too.”

With years of experience and boundless enthusiasm, Wild Things can help design, plan and create the party of your children’s dreams to fit your home or chosen venue; they offer three tiers of party planning service, with the top tier being a complete bespoke party design and planning experience with everything from creative direction, event design and management, decor and product sourcing, supplier sourcing, photo shoot direction and more. Or if you’d prefer to plan the party yourself, they have everything you need for dressing a beautiful cake table as well as an extensive prop hire collection, perfect for adding on trend styling touches that would elevate any children’s party to the next level.

Weild Things Childrens Parties Fairytale

Wild Things Forest Party

Additionally, Wild Things offer a selection of pre-packed party boxes offer an easy (and ingenious) way to ensure your kid’s party is on trend, creative and stylish without having to spend hours sourcing all those little matching design details yourself.

We want to help parents throw really amazing parties for their kids that are fun but also look stylish and cool. Modern parents do not want to sacrifice style and they don’t have to – it’s getting easier and easier to find beautiful partyware but it’s pulling it all together that takes effort,” explains Sally. 

We try to tie each party to something the kids are really into at that time to capture their imagination and make it extra special

So you can forget Peppa Pig, Football parties and the intense hell of a gaggle of sugar-fuelled children screaming the lyrics of ‘Let It Go’ in your sitting room; Wild Things’ themes are a far more civilized affair. Their ‘Japanese Tea Party’ comes with beautiful paper balloons, red fan decorations, ‘takeout’ party food boxes, a beautiful hessian tablecloth, a real bonsai tree and more. There’s all the napkins, cutlery, straws, serving platters, party hats, stickers, balloons, and candles that you might need, all beautifully matching the theme of course, as well origami paper in case the kids want to do some crafting, and some ‘grow your own bonsai’ kits for any little guests with green fingers.

Party Kits By Wild Things

We chose themes we thought would be universally popular, but an alternative to the twee or generic options we felt were everywhere,” explains Sally. “We want the parties to look aesthetically pleasing so photographs look beautiful - these are really special memories - I even make a little photo album every year!

Other super stylish, thoughtful themes that Wild Things have put together include a magical Fairy Princess box complete with hand carved wooden mushrooms, real ivy and a golden crown for the birthday king or queen, and a truly charming Vintage Tea Party set that contains all the pretty tableware and stylish decor that you need to create a gorgeous vintage tea party scene, without the worry of breaking any precious china! All you have to do is unpack, and add the cakes and sandwiches.

The Fairy Princess is our most popular I think – it’s a beautiful rustic pink, green and gold theme. It’s pretty enough for the girlie-girls but really tasteful so the mums love it too.” explains Sally. “We’ve also have had quite a few requests to replicate a Wild West theme that we did for a photo shoot once - we had a bucking bronco and everything for the older boys so that one is a big hit!

"One party we did last year was a skate party for an 8 year old, we had ramps made and held it in a big warehouse space. It was insane! It looked amazing and gave that kid so many cool points at school - he was mega chuffed!

Wild Things Woodland Party

Wild Things Tablescape 

As Sally has already pointed out – it is undoubtedly getting easier to find stylish children’s partyware these days, thanks to the wonders of the internet and a growing understanding that it’s the adults doing the purchasing, and not the kids! So if the kit is all relatively easy to source, then why not just do it ourselves? 

You totally can organise a party yourself but if you calculate the hours spent on all those little jobs it takes to throw a party, it adds up quick!” explains Sally.

We are here for busy parents who want to spoil their kids, throw an amazing party but not be running around stressed. My daughter’s birthdays are really important for me too, and I get as much done as possible beforehand so that I can sit back and watch my daughter enjoy her day. It’s really special watching your kid grow and birthdays are an important milestone.

And of course it’s not just sourcing the decorations and getting everything ready on the day that makes for a successful party, there’s all the admin associated with it too; whether it’s sending out the invites, managing the RSVPs, ordering the cake, booking the balloons, calculating the shopping list and keeping an eye on the budget of course – there’s always lots to do. As part of their planning service, Wild Things also work with a hand picked selection of suppliers in the South West that includes caterers, bakers, florists, photographers and entertainers, so they can also help with those elements too.

For us it’s about getting the balance right, so that the parent who is paying the bill is happy but so is the child, and that gets trickier as they get older and they start to know what they want!” Sally laughs.

Wild Things Party Outdoors 

As well as throwing perfectly planned and aesthetically pleasing children’s parties that will undoubtedly create memories to last a lifetime, Wild Things can also provide very clever, super stylish childcare at any adult event where children are welcome, so you can forget about any screaming during the speeches and the panic of ‘missing’ children who are in fact bored and hiding under a table.

Our core business is cool kids corners at weddings mostly, but we also get bookings for big birthdays and anniversary events - basically anything that is not focused on children, but an event where the adults want their children to be. Everyone has more fun if the kids are happy, let’s face it!!” Sally enthuses.

Wild Things’ awesome ‘kids corners’ essentially give children a space of their own at any ‘grown up’ event. It’s basically like a VIP area for kids, which includes their very own dance floor, a huge box of dressing up gear, an iPad, books, toys and art supplies to keep them happy all day (and all night) long. There are even cosy blankets so they can take nap inside a gorgeous tipi while you dance the night away.

We are seeing a lot more of a scandi cool look at weddings at the moment, so it’s tying the kids in with your decor, it doesn’t have to be in-your-face kids stuff! The scandi kids corners are great because they are beautiful and work well for any event décor-wise - they look perfect in a very modern setting but equally beautiful sitting in the corner of a huge room in a grand stately home.” explains Sally.

The main thing is that it gives the kids a space to be. Weddings and big parties tend to be long days for kids, the speeches can be boring and the adults standing around chatting isn't always fun for them. They can go and chill if they get tired or bored, watch a movie on the iPad, read some books, do some colouring, or we can organise daycare so they can do some crafts or play games. It just means the parents can relax a bit and have a chance to enjoy a glass of champagne in peace!

Wild Things Childrens Tipi Party 

Sounds pretty good to me, but what about Sally and Michele? Aren’t they exhausted from all this children’s party fun?

No we love throwing the bespoke parties and dreaming up new themes, we have so many ideas now that we are having a revamp this year!” enthuses Sally. “And the actual parties are amazing too - seeing the kid’s faces when they walk into their party is just lush, as we say in Bristol!”

So when planning your own Children's Party, what are the key things Sally says you must  consider? 

Wild Things' Top Tips For Throwing An Awesome Children's Party

  • Don’t worry too much about entertaining little kids
    One game is more than enough, you just need running around space so move as much furniture as you can!

  • Get crafty
    For older kids we love setting up a craft for them to do as the focal point of the party, such as making a mask or a necklace. This then doubles up as a gift to take home.

  • Keep food simple
    Everyone loves a party buffet, but for my daughter’s birthday last year I decided to make it easy for myself and ordered pizza in. I made crudités in advance and then just laid them out with the pizza when it arrived, then cake for pudding. Keep things as simple as you can and make life easy for yourself.

  • Have extras
    People tend to forget to RSVP and come anyway, which is tricky if you don’t have extra cake or party bags. Always add extra on to those things – there’s always a sibling tagging along you didn’t know about!

  • Don’t forget the focal point 
    We love a dessert table. Get an awesome cake and lay everything around that including all the desserts and party bags, it just looks so special and looks like you’ve made a big effort. We can come and do this for you too!

If you’ve got a children’s party to plan then you can find more information and contact details for Wild Things over in TOAST’s Little Black Book, but before you go here are Sally’s indispensible top tips for throwing a cracking kid’s party yourself!


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