Maddie’s 3rd Birthday Party

It was the most magical day – for both Maddie and I. It was a dream party I envisioned throwing her for her second birthday already however struggled to find the right venue for the party I dreamt up.

After I had attended The Chocolate Garden‘s first birthday celebration late last year and I saw the potential the venue had I knew that this would be perfect venue for Maddie’s unicorn celebration.

I have an obsession with unicorns, rainbows and all things magical – her room is decked out in unicorns and rainbows from floor to ceiling so choosing to do a unicorn party was an easy one. It however seems to be the theme of the year with almost every little girl having a unicorn party. I chose to do something a little different with Maddie’s unicorn party and combined unicorns and ice-creams to make a UNI-CONE party! I loved the idea of combining two of Maddie’s favourite things into one unique little celebration for her.

I got a friend and former Caxton Media colleague (a few years back) to capture Maddie’s special day. Tanya Jacobs is an incredible photographer and has a way of creating magic with natural light. She has captured so many precious moments for our family over the past year and Maddie adores her. She calls her ‘Aunty’… I mean how could I not hire her?

An impressive two weeks after the party (which was held on 24 March) I have all my photographs from the party and I am super excited to be sharing them with you and breaking down the details and the amazing vendors I used to create the most magical day for our daughter. Enjoy…

The Chocolate Garden located at de Charmoy Estate in Canelands (just a 10 minute drive from Umhlanga) is just the perfect private party venue. Not only is their ample space there is a kiddies play area, including a jungle gym and a little animal farm right next to the fenced off private party venue. If you are a regular at The Chocolate Garden – the party venue can be found right at the end of the restaurant seating area. Big enough to accommodate 40 people (adults and children) and the price includes a 20 seater white rustic style kids table and benches as well as two large wooden table for the adults.

The rustic style lapa together with the large beautiful trees and being outdoors with space for the kids to roam free with the peace of mind knowing they cannot ‘escape’ is just amazing. The owner of de Charmoy, Lauren and her team are just incredible. They assisted us with set up as well as break down as we needed them. They were attentive without being invasive during the party and were at hand when we needed them. They even accommodated us with bringing in extra tables and goodies as we needed them. It really made all the difference in the world during the stress and anxiety of setting up. I cannot praise them enough! They are true professionals in their trade and even though it was just a small third birthday party – I felt like they gave us the attention they would have for the wedding they had at their Boma the previous night. Absolutely incredible!

When I knew that Maddie would have a unicorn party, I knew THIS would be the dress that she would wear to her party! I have obsessed over this dress for the longest time! Fabulous Finds Boutique jumped on board to dress Maddie for her special day. She truly looked and felt like a princess!

Family 2

I was lucky enough to have the incredible South African fashion designer, Bianca Warren create a custom made kaftan for me in a gorgeous pastel floral print to fit in with Maddie’s special day.


I knew that I wanted to have a main table which would double as a backdrop for the family photos and I already knew last year that I definitely wanted FOMO print to create a custom Tear-resistant backdrops. It is such a cost effective yet affective way of making a stand out impression at a party (or any event – a wedding, a christening, a Bar Mitzvah or a Diwali celebration). It is made from paper and you are able to choose an image from their library of pictures or supply your own. Best part is it comes rolled up in a tube so you are able to roll it up again and store it for your next function. I was super impressed by the quality of the print and how beautiful it came out. The team at The Creativity Lab came through on the morning to make sure they set it ip for us behind the main table, seeing as though we didn’t have a wall to work with to stick it on. The team saved the day and created a structure for it to hold it up and it worked like magic!

Balloon garland 
I have had my eye on having a balloon garland for Maddie’s party for the longest time. I feel like balloon garlands have become such a craze at the moment – or maybe I am late to the craze having only just started planning parties! Haha! But really – how incredibly beautiful is the custom balloon arch Balloons INC created for us? We gave the owner Michelle our colour palate and sent her a pic of our backdrop and she magically (quite literally – the workmanship in this creation was impressive!) put this together for us and just look how beautiful it looked! It was massive! These pics don’t quite do it justice! Maddie was blown away when she saw it and I just love the wow factor it created!

Main Pull Back 4

The table cloths
I was so incredibly blessed to have worked with the most amazing and accommodating haberdashery based in Witbank, Curtain Dream who created all the table cloths and fabrics I needed to transform the table tops at The Chocolate Garden. The team were incredible to work with and created everything for me as per my request and couriered it up to me in time for the party. I am so incredibly blown away at how beautiful it all came together!

I chose to use white and pastel pink coloured dishes on the main table with cute little unicorn themed elements like rainbow seeds (speckled eggs), unicorn feed (candy floss) and unicorn hors (marshmallows) and I had a plate of rainbow coloured cupcakes my mom in law organised from a friend of hers who is a baker.

I was HUGELY honoured to have not one but two of Chateau Gateaux‘s brand new (at the time of the party it hadn’t been released yet) Vanilla Dream cakes. If you like a traditional vanilla cake – you will LOVE this new addition to the patisseries collection of cakes. One of the many things I love about Chateau Gateaux’s cakes is how you can style and ‘dress them up’ so easily! I chose to add some speckled eggs and white eggs on top to fit in with the theme. The guests really enjoyed the cake!

The incredibly talented Gen from Artful Biscuit Co handmade the most beautiful iced biscuits for Maddie’s party. She created an arrangement of different ones to suit Maddie’s theme including an ice-cream cone, a rainbow and two different unicorns They actually left me in absolute awe of how beautifully they were done. The attention to detail was so impressive and they tasted amazing too! I was sad to see that there were no left overs after the party – they were an absolute hit!

We had the honour of having former Master Chef South Africa winner, Roxi Wardman create Maddie’s birthday cake again this year. She did an amazing job at creating Maddie’s cake last year (see the post her) and I just knew she would kick this one out the park again this year. She did not disappoint. I sent her a number of pics as inspiration and she amalgamated all my ideas into THIS beautiful creation…

But the best part was once we cut into it…

It tasted as good as it looked too! The perfect uni-cone cake for our Maddie! She was SO proud of her cake!

We chose not to do a lot of sweets purely because we already had the choice of three cakes, cupcakes, iced biscuits and ice-cream on offer for the kids. German based candy brand Borgat which is now available in SA jumped on board with their delicious offering of lollipops for the kids. We even filled the piñata with lollies.

To say every kid enjoyed a sticky lollipop and left with 10 in his or her pocket is an understatement! Even the parents enjoyed them!

I set up a few different activities on the kiddies tables for them to do including unicorn colouring pages and play dough. 3D printing service Imagination Lab (based in Hillcrest, KZN) made the Maddie some personalised play dough cutters especially for her party. The cutters included; her name, the number three, a unicorn, an ice-cream and a rainbow. I sent the team a couple of images of how I would have liked the cutters to come out and they came out even better than I expected. The quality is outstanding and they were such a hit! Best part is Maddie gets to keep them and play with them even after her party!

We spoke of getting ponies for Maddie’s party early this year but Maddie overheard Brett and I speaking about it a month before her birthday. Well, she didn’t stop speaking about having the ponies at her party. In fact the morning of her birthday she woke up asking where the ponies are.

I got in contact with Jean from Mini Horse Hire to arrange to have them at Maddie’s party and they sounded as Maddie to be apart of the celebration. Jean WhatsApped me two photos of her beautiful ponies; Coco and Bella. I showed them to Maddie and she asked me almost everyday to see the ponies on my phone.

Mini Horse Hire was founded over nine years ago, by Norman and Jean Dickson who call their two miniature horses Coco and Bella a part of their family.  Their daughter rode them regularly on the beach and after numerous requests by parents for kids to ride them, they decided to share the experience and make them available for kid’s parties and other occasions (photo shoots and mascots etc..) the two minis are stabled at their home in Waterfall and are cared for personally by the husband and wife team. They are truly in immaculate condition!

NOTE: Maddie was just posing for photographs in these pictures and not riding the horse without a helmet. Mini Horse Hire strictly do not allow riding without helmets.

Pony 4

What I personally loved about using them is the fact that safety is of prime importance to them and supply helmets and genuine mini saddles. Jean told me upfront that no horns or headgear can be worn by the horses and only colourful clip-on hair pieces will be placed on their mane.

When the horses arrived Maddie’s face was absolutely priceless! She was in absolute awe and loved getting up close and personal with these delightful miniature horses. Having the horses apart of the party was super special and I am so grateful I waited for Maddie’s third birthday to have the horses be apart of the celebration because the kids were the perfect age to appreciate the horses and most of them happily rode on them with the assistance of Norman and Jean – who are just the most kind, gentle human beings! Such a pleasure to work with!

The irresistible Ballito based, Scoop Ice Cream created a small batch of the most delicious unicorn inspired artisanal ice-cream for Maddie’s party. A strawberry sorbet with vanilla ice-cream with sprinkles in either a chocolate dipped cone with sprinkles or a cup with the choice of a sprinkle of marshmallows or added sprinkles.

The ice-cream was a massive hit! Both the adults and the kids enjoyed the ice-creams!


I just loved the idea of having a piñata at Maddie’s party. I spotted a local company, Piñatas Galore on Instagram a few months before Maddie’s party and I was so excited to get in touch with them. They created the most beautiful uni-cone piñata for Maddie. It was almost the same size as Maddie, constructed beautifully – the kids (and adults) really had to give it a good hit to break! It came fully assembled with a window to put the sweets in, a strong decorative stick to hit with as well as a blind fold.

It was so funny to watch the kids smack it around and of course seeing their faces when a stash of Borgat lollies fell to the floor.

Other details of the party included hiring a jumping castle – a party staple!

Face painting which was a favour from a family member which was a hit amongst the kids!

The party packs included a set of Unicorn Slime by Skyler made by an incredible nine-year-old entrepreneur, and each kid wore and left with their own unicorn Alice band which 4aKid sourced for Maddie’s special day!

Our guests (both the adults and children) drank BOS ice-tea on ice and the adults got to indulge in some delicious gateaux from Chateau Gateaux!

All in all it was honestly the most magical day. I am so happy with how everything turned out! Maddie was truly blown away by the entire experience which left Brett and my heart so incredibly full! She still speaks of her special party and I am so incredibly grateful for all the incredible local brands who pulled together with me in creating this special day for our beautiful daughter and her friends.

Main Pull Back 5

A HUGE thanks to the following sponsors: 
Venue: The Chocolate Garden – | |
Horse hire: Mini Horse Hire – | 
Birthday cake: Roxi Wardman – |
Balloon garland: Balloons Inc – |
Backdrop: FOMO Print – |
Sweets: Borgat Lollies – |
Iced biscuits: Artful Biscuit Co – |
Piñata: Piñatas Galore – | i
Unicorn alice bands: 4aKid – |
Maddie’s unicorn dress: Fabulous Finds Boutique – |
My dress: Bianca Warren SA – 
Gateaux and vanilla cakes: Chateau Gateaux – |
Play dough cutters: Imagination Lab –
Ice-cream and cones:  |
Table cloths: Curtain Dream – |
Unicorn Slime by Skyler –

Photographs by: Tanya Jacobs Photography –

Here is a short video of Maddie’s special day: 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post!

Until next time…

cropped-delportfamily-33r3 | @being_maddies_mom


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