A birthday in the Wild, Wild West

Alicia Ann Daw is a film & digital wedding photographer who specializes in New York City and European destination weddings. With over 15 years of experience photographing weddings, she's spent two decades globetrotting to over 37 countries and working with clients around the world. She delivers images that are effortlessly romantic and chic, telling a story about the start of your heritage in a way that will leave you in awe.


There is this running joke that in our family we don’t know how to anything “normal”. It’s like…not only for christmas card portraits do we bring our cat and dog but we also bring our couch and put it in the middle of the street (2008 family picture). Or like how when my dad decides to do a small fixer-up project at home it turns into an entire room renovation. Or like how when my parents go on a 3.5 hour road trip they pack their entire fridge and pantry to be sure they don’t run out of things to eat, since they quite obviously may starve to death in 3.5 hours.

Such was the case with a birthday party that I planned this month. The apple definitely does not fall far from the tree and I tend to go above and beyond and make things so much more complicated and detailed, just like my parents. While every other family does balloons and a crisco-frosted Stop & Shop cake, I was on a mission to make sure Bruce and Bionca had a birthday party that would make any kids super jealous. I hopped onto Pinterest (my newest addiction) and created different boards with various themes and began posting images to it. Eventually I presented them all to my mother and, with the infamous roll of her eyes, she agreed to let me run with the “Wild, Wild West” theme. But she made it clear that I better know what I was getting myself into and she didn’t want their house torn apart with projects a few days before the party. Ok, deal. Except my dad didn’t get the memo and decided to build a 12×12 deck off the back porch one week from the party date so the back yard was, in fact, torn apart….though the new deck looked fantastic. 🙂

With all hands on deck (no pun intended), we managed to plan an execute this Wild Wild West birthday party without a hitch, and everyone in attendance had a blast!

For party favors we made “Cowboy cookies” in mason jars for each family to take home with them. Hartford birthday party plannerHomemade chocolate and vanilla buttercream cupcakes. And yes, they were as good as they looked!Hartford birthday party plannerHe might just be the cutest cowboy in the Wild, Wild West. Although his brother definitely gave him a run for his money.The picture on the left is of my grandfather, who always is a show stopper. Needless to say he loved that we used one of his all-time favorite images in our wanted poster.What's a Wild, Wild West birthday party without coke in glass bottles?What’s a Wild, Wild West birthday party without coke in glass bottles? The cutest cowpeople I’ve ever seen!Even Zac had to dress up for the party.Wild wild west birthday party ideasOur Wild Wild West city that my mother hand painted.“Pop the pigs” game and Cowboy cutouts.Wild wild west birthday party ideasWe turned the swingset into a Wild Wild West town and the kids loved it!Old fashioned popcorn (my dads anniversary gift to my mother) and the party invitation.Old fashioned popcorn (my dads anniversary gift to my mother) and the party invitation.

Here’s to abhorring normality 🙂

  1. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! the details look amazing and the kids look like they had so much fun!! great job =)

  2. Mary Marantz says:

    Yep, Ahhhhmazing!!

  3. Sal Candelora says:

    BTW, the deck is 12’x 26′ although only 12′ x 18′ was completed for the party. Good Jod Baby! Love Ya – Dad

  4. Nichole says:

    I absolutely LOVE your ideas for a cowboy kids party and I will probably refer back to this page for ideas. My favorite is your wild west town using the swing set. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope to use the mason cookie jars as favors for my western cowboy baby shower theme.

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