40th Flora Fiesta A Private Backyard Birthday Event
Clearly, like all good stories, this one begins with my friend Risa, the connector of all amazing humans. lol. If you haven’t met Risa yet, you can check her out in a VERY old blog post. Which makes me realize I should feature her again on my blog. Here is our first shoot together HERE. Since 2018 we have had handfuls and handfuls of shoots together & I built her website too! Undoubtedly, we have become incredibly close and I no longer consider Risa a client but a close friend. She has connected me to so many beautiful humans.
And we have another story of these connections today! Risa hired me to take some decor & party details for one of her dearest friends, Katie. The event was incredibly fun to photograph, as it’s so PRETTY!
I originally met Katie in Cabo last year for Risa’s 40th birthday!
As a local influencer and curator of all the things Katie â€˜likesâ€™, fashion, food and fiesta has never been prettier!!!!
Not only did Katie put months of work in, but also she curated the very best local small businesses. Together they helped her make this magic come to life. With the support of her friends and family this party was perfect in every way. And here we are “Katie’s 40th Flora Fiesta!”
The birthday girl herself sent me some really beautiful words on the process and key elements of her party!
“After attending a wedding in Cabo earlier this year I was inspired by the tablescape. I just knew I’d make them happen for some event in my life. Even though I didn’t think it would be at the scale of it turned out to be, but am so glad it did! I also drew inspiration for the party from attending another birthday party where I met the incredible family behind Mi Catering, Mike the musician, the “glam glow” photo booth and the design elements. After these events I knew I wanted to bring everything together with my vision for my 40th birthday party!
I love to plan so I was so excited to make this all happen and work with the best of the best making it all happen.
First and foremost I went to Malori at Form Floral and shared my vision and theme. Then came the design elements with Prim & Prixie in LA. We were connected through a referral from the planner of one of the above mentioned parties. Then I went to the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market to see Maria from Mi Catering at their burrito stand. We talked about the date I had in mind and shortly after we were set for a taco dinner. Now that I had the major things in the works I was fortunate to have one of my sisters offer her house as the setting for the party and a handful of girlfriends offer to help with design, planning, vendors, logistics, drink testing, gifts and anything else they knew would come up because a couple of them are professionals in the space.
Everything else really just fell into place with the fun of having friends send me their favorite songs to dance to for an ultimate after hours dance party, thank you gifts of some of my favorite things, a colorful backdrop to have the best night of my life thus far.
Tracy’s pictures show it all and I really cannot put into words how much that night meant and that my dear friend Risa gifted me such a special memory.
There of course is a little something behind every element of the party that I thought about and curated because I love flowers, food, fun times, family and friends and wanted everyone to feel that when they were there!
I worked with the nicest gal customizing a banner for these and was blown away by how they turned out and while I had envisioned using them differently in the backyard I LOVED their placement as we were setting them up so much more.
– Pinata and disco ball:
these set a fun stage for our dance floor and I had purchased this pinata art and knew it would for sure be a part of my party… and not be smashed which is also why I didn’t hang it up LOL and every party should have a disco ball!
– Tablescape (non-floral):
I scouted for a while to find a vendor where I could rent linens that aligned with my inspiration and was struggling to find exactly what I wanted. I even scouted for table runners and decor elements while on a trip to Mexico. Also, I wanted to try to not spread out rentals with a few things from here and there. Luckily I found Material Girls who are local and they had it all – a light flowly runner, rustic tone napkins, rafita chargers and a variety of votives that played up the color scheme for the table. The table with these elements alone was stunning… but then the flowers which were more than just a vase of flowers were added and it was EVERYTHING!
– Tablescape (flowers):
Form Floral blew my mind, took my breath away, got me, and I was speechless. I worked with Malori, who I’ve adored and been a fan of before Form became Form 😉 I showed her the inspirations and the work that Prim & Prixie did and we reviewed the quantities and that was it. I’ve always trusted her taste and talent that I knew I was in good hands and she and I both know if I had been more involved I would overthink everything so it really was better that way. My brother in law picked up the flowers and my friends arranged the tables with them so when I walked in and saw the table in all it’s glory for the first time my jaw dropped! Again it was EVERYTHING that I had envisioned and how she knew what was in my head is beyond me!
– Mexico furnishing:
Dang Fine Rentals had a great selection of high tops and chairs that made one side of the party feel like we were in Mexico
– Tables, chairs, disco ball, etc.:
Party People is always our families go to for holidays and large parties so I knew we’d be set with some staples from them and without their wood tables I wouldn’t of had my dream tablescape brought to life.
my friend Heather has probably served me more drinks than any of my friends LOL She graciously helped me craft my specialty cocktails. I wanted a watermelon margarita and Mi Catering supplied homemade watermelon agua fresca, a paloma because all my friends love them and then a carajillo which I also discovered on the trip to Cabo that inspired so much of my party from my friend Ayana.
my girls at Lux came through and made all the treats for the party and we had amazing cupcakes and the best tres leches birthday cake!
– Taco party of my dreams:
Mi Catering came through with all of my favorites. Their shrimp and carne asada are out of this world – the best I’ve had ever… and I’ve had a lot of tacos! They served quesadilla pinwheels, homemade guacamole, shrimp aguachile and their homemade salsas to start. Then we had a taco bar that was accompanied by Bacanora’s cucumber salad! The food and the service from Mi Catering was so good and everyone was loving it which I knew they would – it made my heart happy to share a special meal like theirs with everyone. Plus they’re the nicest people and kept the drinks coming 😉
– The setting:
my sister and brother in law went above and beyond prepping their home for the party and really enjoyed all the leftover food and wine LOL
– Design and details:
Prim & Prixie understood the assignment! Many times I approved designs at first sight! They just got it all and a couple times I loved things so much we added more details because it was all coming together so well. They were amazing to work with and brought my pink, yellow and coral vibe to another level.
– Thank you bag:
I LOVE A LOT OF THINGS so it was hard to narrow it down but knew I wanted a custom item, a local food item and a beauty item. Thankfully my friend Amanda introduced me to someone to make a custom hat with and I was able to use the dahlia design from Prim & Prixie to create the most me hat ever! Again, my girls at Lux baked some of my favorite cookies to include in the bag. Lastly, I’ve been using Unite 7 Seconds for years and have turned a lot of friends on to it so I added in a travel sized one because I love a travel size anything and it’s an AMAZING hair product.
– Last but not least the smallest thing that I snuck into my planning was for Mi Catering to have bean and cheese burritos for girls to have on their way out of the party because we all love a bean and cheese on the way home from a night out! “
I am beyond honored by our mutual incredibly thoughtful friend Risa. Katie is going to be thrilled to have these images to remember all that hard work and beauty for life!
Enjoy the party friends but also get inspired to love yourself and throw yourself an epic birthday party!
It Takes A Village: Here are the fabulous small businesses that made this event beautiful!
Designs: Prim & Prixie @primandprixie
High top and lounge area rentals: Dang Fine @dang.finerentals
Table setting – napkins, chargers, votives rentals: Material Girls @materialgirlsweddings
Tables, disco ball and bar rental: Party People @partypeoplerentalsphx
Meal – Apps, bar and dinner is Mi Catering @micatering
Their salsa is Mi Salsa@misalsa_az
Cucumber salad from Bacanora @bacanoraphx
Birthday tres leches cake and cupcakes from Lux @lux_arizona
PiÃ±ata art by MaÃ±ana art @manana_republic
Picado custom banners @artmexicodecor
Music by Mike @TheMr_Mal
Glam (Makeup Artist) Whitney @makeupandglowbywhitney
40th Flora Fiesta A Private Backyard Birthday Event
I want others to be inspired by small backyard private events and throw themselves something epic too! I threw myself a backyard barbie party for my 40th lol. Check out that blog HERE.