A Butterfly Party That Invites Kids Into an Enchanted Garden

butterfly party seating dress up clothes and decorations
Billye Donya

Picture this scene: Once upon a time on a warm summer morning, a group of little girls arrived at a party in their dreamiest gowns. Each child was given a crown entwined with flitting butterflies and a pair of speckled wings. Rosy-colored blooms led the children to a table set with cakes and cookies, where they danced and filled the air with sweet laughter. As the hours passed and the daylight dwindled, the girls turned into beautiful, frolicking fairies. They perched on seats under a canopy of streaming ribbons to eat delicacies that were seemingly foraged from an enchanted forest. Still, the party's spell was fleeting. And though the delightful sprites returned home as human girls, they would never forget their magical day

This was the ethereal vision for Royale Ziegler of But First, Party! in this kids' party theme and the paperware collection centered around it. "There is so much creativity happening in disposable partyware at the moment," she says, "that I find endless sources of inspiration! So when Mary-Kevin Stuart of Daydream Society sent me her latest collection, Flutter, my heart was aflutter and I could not wait to throw a fanciful butterfly-themed fête."

Of the collection, Mary-Kevin explains, "I wanted Daydream's Flutter to feel very ethereal, evoking the feeling of wandering through an enchanted pastel garden filled with gorgeous butterflies. It was an absolute dream to design this collection in collaboration with Lillian Farag, an artist known for her feminine and organic aesthetic."

01 of 15

A Dreamy Space

butterfly party table cake and decorations
Billye Donya

Young guests were seated upon entering the party, which was hosted at Oh Shiny Paper Co., a Los Angeles boutique and event space coveted by creatives for their high ceilings, white walls as a blank canvas for the colorful decor, and an abundance of natural light.

02 of 15

Wings in Waiting

butterfly party table cake and butterfly chairs
Billye Donya

On the back of each seat, children would find a pair of costume wings in the style of a pink Monarch butterfly—each made of sheer fabric, airy pink hue, and painterly details in the speckled tips. The girls could take them home as a party favor after celebrating.

03 of 15

A Whimsical Wonder

butterfly party flower streamer decorations
Billye Donya

Overhead, Jen Lagedrost Cavender of Nectar and Bloom was the perfect florist to create an enchanted butterfly garden for this party. Of her creation she explains, "I wanted to shape the hanging panels into a form that felt like the layered and open wings of a butterfly." To create this masterpiece ahead of time, the main panels were cut from chicken wire, painted to the pastel palette, weaving in ribbons of varying lengths, and finally, attaching clusters of flowers and butterflies at different depths.

04 of 15

Blooms to Behold

butterfly party close up flower streamer decorations
Billye Donya

Silk roses and orchid varieties added a touch of romance and playfulness to the installation, alongside dried elements like hot pink pampas grass and straw flowers (Jen's favorite) in an array of ivory to rosy hues. She used fishline to string the panels from different points on the ceiling and adjacent wall, which changed the shape, flow, and effect of the panels layered together.

05 of 15

Playing Dress-Up

butterfly party flower decorations rack of dress up clothing
Billye Donya

This vintage-style miniature wardrobe rack was purchased from Restoration Hardware and added a bit of patina and worn charm to the party. It was fully stocked with handcrafted gowns from Elestory in traditional silhouettes, fluffy skirts in tulle fabrics, and charming details.

06 of 15

Butterfly Landing

butterfly party close up of table setting and centerpieces
Billye Donya

At the girls' table, all of the plates, napkins, drink cups, and cutlery were sourced from Daydream Society's Flutter collection. A set of pink and peach colored ribbons streamed down as the table runner. And a plate of royal-iced shortbread butterfly cookies from Star Bakes were near perfect matches to the butterflies featured on the partyware.

07 of 15

Daydreaming of Dessert

butterfly party close up of table and cake
Billye Donya

A fairy cake, historically, was teeny tiny. This edible masterpiece courtesy of Elise Cakes was, however, tall enough to appease a sizable guest list. The textured buttercream and butterfly silhouettes gave this cake the perfect blend of delicateness and whimsy! Inside, layers of vanilla bean cake and strawberry rose filling were inspired by flowers in season.

08 of 15

A Personal Touch

butterfly party close up of place card on table
Billye Donya

Served in pairing to the cake and cookies were strawberries-and-cream tarts adorned with tiny edible flowers, also courtesy of Elise Cakes. At each place setting, calligrapher Aislinn Minardi of Proper Letter hand-lettered acrylic place cards and added a wisp of pastel-colored paint on the back. "Acrylic place cards are a major trend right now for all types of parties," Royale says, "but adding some color to the back and whimsical lettering makes these perfect for a kid's party!"

09 of 15

A Metamorphosis

butterfly party little girl butterfly temporary tattoo
Billye Donya

Temporary tattoos make memorable party favors at any themed party. The girls could pick their designs—butterflies and teeny-tiny florets—and enlist the help of a grown-up to play artist. These safe and non-toxic temporary tattoos were an extra party favor from the Daydream Society Flutter collection.

10 of 15

Just Like Magic

butterfly party little girl butterfly temporary tattoos on hands
Billye Donya

These party favors were easy to use. To adhere a temporary tattoo, the clear top sheet was removed, pressing the tattoo with its design facing down, onto the skin. A wet cloth was held against the back of the tattoo; pressing down, and ensuring to wet the paper backing thoroughly. Wait 30 seconds, then peel off paper backing to reveal the transfer much to their wonder.

11 of 15

Circling Together

butterfly party little girls wearing butterfly dresses
Billye Donya

After cookies and cake, little friends Giada (six) Lila (four) and Harper (also six) rushed to the tailor's rack for their pick of Elestory dresses. Here, the trio of girls joined hands in a game of ring around the rosie.

12 of 15

Fit for a Princess

butterfly party little girl wearing butterfly wings
Billye Donya

Here, six-year-old Giada peeks over her shoulder with a smile. She wore a one-of-a-kind tiered tulle dress from Elestory with soft sparkly embroidered stars and Swiss dots.

13 of 15

Lila in Flight

butterfly party little girl wearing butterfly wings dancing
Billye Donya

The littlest of the group, four-year-old Lila danced in this tulle and chiffon piece from Elestory: a peony-pink ballerina dress made for twirling.

14 of 15

Harper Hops Away

butterfly party little girl wearing butterfly wings dancing and leaping
Billye Donya

Six-year-old Harper donned this Elestory dress with an empire waist and soft ivory tulle skirt, plus embroidered details in a garden's worth of flowers and crawling vines.

15 of 15
butterfly party little girl holding butterfly
Billye Donya

Design and planning, Royale Ziegler of But First, Party!

Photography, Billye Donya Photography

Partyware, Daydream Society and Lillian Farag

Floral installation, Nectar and Bloom

Flowers, Afloral

Cake and tarts, Elise Cakes

Cookies, Star Bakes

Calligraphy, Proper Letter

Children's dresses, Elestory

Venue, Oh Shiny Paper Co.

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