Aurelia and Indiana were born at only 25 weeks gestation. Aurelia was born 910grams and Indiana 696grams. They were given a grim statistic of survival of only 50%. And that excluded all the complications that could occur being born so early. Both were admitted into NICU and both faced numerous hurdles, spending 4 months in hospital before finally being allowed home. Due to their corrected age being 4 months early, we did not have a large celebration for their first Birthday as they were only 8 months ‘corrected’. So, this year, we decided to have that large celebration. To celebrate the fact they made it to an age the doctors claim is ‘safe’ if they get sick, to celebrate the fact they have no disabilities, and to celebrate that they are our inspiration in everything we do.
The party was held in our backyard under two large marquees that we purchased for the business. We used an old fashioned cart that was lent to us from Contents Australia, to hold the sweets as we were having an afternoon tea for close friends and family. The ombre effect was evident in the flower arrangements on the tables, the cakes and the decorations. I purchased some white flat sheets and used a garden sprayer filled with fabric dye to spray the ends of the sheets for the ombre effect. These were used as tablecloths! I also purchased white tissue streamers and placed them in water that had food dye in it so it would soak up the dye and create a lovely gradient. All very inexpensive and easy to do things that made the party more special. We hung paper lanterns, paper pom poms and fabric and paper linkits from the ceiling of the marquee and threaded the streamers in between the lanterns to create a centerpiece.
As I am a terrible baker, I contacted Kate from Kiss me Kate in Melbourne and asked her if she would like to create some old fashioned sweets for the day. Kate made four small cakes that had gorgeous ruffles in four different shades of pink. She also made Strawberry cheesecake that was placed in small jars, lemon tarts, ginger bread cookie flowers on sticks, macarons, mini cupcakes and delicious ‘cloud’ shaped cake pops! The twins used two of the cakes as ‘smash’ cakes and the other two were served to the guests. It was just the perfect amount.
I used crates that I painted white, and white candlesticks to give height to the cakes and the decorations. I also used foam cake risers that I sprayed with adhesive to attach the gorgeous yellow striped hand printed fabric that I got from Thea and Sami. The guests loved going up to the cart to choose their next dessert!
THE BIG DAY
The twin’s dresses were chosen from the Tutudemondu range of little girls dresses. I chose to dress them the same, although I dress them differently every day. I wanted a dress that had the ombre effect and would be comfortable for the girls as they are always running around. As soon as I spotted these, I ordered them of their website and they are so gorgeous! The party hats were custom made and they must have been comfortable because the girls left them on the whole day!
The last 12 months have seen both girls get very sick again and admitted back into ICU for breathing difficulties and also has seen Aurelia have heart surgery to close a hole in her heart. We are back and forth every three months to the Royal Children’s Hospital for Heart Monitoring for both girls, but this is a small price we pay for actually having them here with us in our lives.
As a child, I loved the movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I loved the singing, the twins in the movie and that they fall in love with ‘Truly Scrumptious’. It made my imagination soar. So, when deciding on a theme for the girls, I chose it because of the song lyrics, ‘You Two are Truly Scrumptious’. It just seemed to fit our lives at this point.
My colour theme was Vintage Pink, Cream, Pastel Lemon and a hint of Latte. I chose to use the effect called ‘ombre’, where colour graduates from pale to dark in the same shade, for a point of difference.
Invitations: They were custom designed by Jennifer Birkhead Design. Jen and I have been collaborating for a couple of years now and I absolutely love how she designed the invite exactly how I had imagined it. She even watched the movie for inspiration! Jen had the quote: “Cute little faces with matching grins, nothing could be sweeter than the Oliver Twins”. This quote is also on the twins wall in their room and was made when we found out we were having twin girls.
What People Ate
What People Drank
Kiss Me Kate
Jennifer Birkhead Design
Lee Bird Photography