Monday, July 18, 2011

Making Wonderland: Part 1

June 30th was the youth group's 2nd Annual Frenchys Formal Banquet with an Alice in Wonderland theme. This is how it came together and hopefully some ideas that could help if you wanted to host your own wonderland party.

The Idea
What is a "Frenchys Formal"? Another youth pastor shared the idea with me last year. It is a formal dinner or youth night in which everyone comes in their finest thrift shop finds....or tackiest it depends on the look you're going for. Frenchys is a chain of second-hand stores in our area. We had a "no admission without formal dress" rule. If someone "forgot" to dress up I provided a costume box. After a successful first Frenchys formal I knew I wanted to have another one. The outfits people found were awful and grand, the meal was hilarious, and everyone had had a blast. But how could I improve on a great night? By adding a theme....

I started thinking about themes for this years formal back in April. I started thinking about a little kids birthday party complete with cake and games like pin the tail on the donkey. The birthday theme into a unbirthday dinner which morphed into a full Alice In Wonderland banquet.

The Planning
With an idea I did what anyone would do...I googled. People are amazingly creative! You would not believe how many great Wonderland resources there are out there, maybe you would. I found hand crafted invitations on etsy, flamingo crochet sets on amazon, and a number of "how to host an Alice in Wonderland party" sites. It was crazy! I found these sites especially helpful:
With my head full of ideas I set the date, formed a budget, and created the invitations and posters. Then I started thinking out how the night would flow. I decided it would be a four course progressive dinner moving to four different rooms.

Welcome To Wonderland
The first area was our large room on the lower level. When you first entered the space there was this sign post:This time was about mingling and waiting for everyone to show up. We severed puff pastry hor'dourves from M&Ms. People took time oohed and ahhed over each others outfits (mostly just the girls did that). There was a Alice trivia quiz they filled out, ballots for them to vote for best dress, and picture taking. Then in was down the rabbit's hole....but you'll have to come back tomorrow to read about that:


Jecca said...

hoorah! yay for the posts! can't wait to see more...i think this is one of the most brilliant ideas ever.

Elizabeth said...

Aw...thanks! Oh, I'm thinking that August will be another veggie month or maybe just eating local. It will be a food related challenge...the details are up in the air.

Jecca said...

perfection! just a reminder, you don't get Jess points for eating local unless the local is veggie-related because eating local is awesome, but not if the food used to breathe.

perhaps a local veggie month? :)

Elizabeth said...

I'm not sure I could eat 100% local and have enough protein in my diet to be healthy. If I do a local month I would be eating less meat because its expensive but I like the idea of knowing the farmer by name who raised the meat I am choosing to eat.

Jecca said...

no one can eat 100% local and get everything they need unless they live in places like California. but as a side note, you won't become protein deficient in a month. everything has some protein and certain foods have more. sprouts, kale, nuts, seeds, etc. you could find some resources easy with a google search for 'raw vegan protein' or something similar.