After our recent England family vacation, Ella decided the perfect theme for her 8th birthday was a Meghan Markle-inspired Royal Wedding Birthday Party! Boy does that girl know how to test my party planning skills!
Royal Birthday Party Theme
When my daughter learned there was going to be a ROYAL WEDDING, she went into full-blown obsession mode.
She had to know everything there was to know about Meghan and Harry and just about every royal wedding that has occurred in the past century. When the day of their wedding finally arrived she sat through all 3 hours of the wedding… and then promptly asked to watch it again.
Oh, and both times, she was wearing a costume wedding dress. Naturally.
Her obsession combined with us going on an epic UK road trip just a couple months after the wedding pretty much solidified her birthday party theme.
We settled somewhere in between a full-blown Royal Wedding theme and a more general British theme. It was so much fun to plan, and probably one of the best parties we’ve ever thrown – just as much fun for the kids as it was for the adults.
As with all of our parties, I did the decor, food and favors on a budget. Our biggest expenditures were the venue and treating all 30+ guests to a pizza supper.
Of course, you can save money by hosting at home or at a more affordable location. I love hosting at local hotels – you get the entertainment of the pool hotel, a bonus activity of a hotel slumber party for a few of the guests AND you don’t have to clean up before or after the party.
You can also save money by just sticking to classic British finger foods, like tea sandwiches, sausage rolls, etc. Our party lasted several hours and involved a late-evening movie for all of the kids and a sleepover for a few, so I had to serve some form of supper. (Inviting less people would work, too!)
Royal Theme Party Decor
Hosting at a venue outside of the home also helps me minimize the amount of decorating that I do. (I made a full-scale fish scale wall for our Mermaid Birthday party at home, and I probably would have attempted a full-wall London skyline had we not been hosting outside of the home.)
Ella’s one request for her party was helium balloons. After the Mr Bean cut-out, they were the biggest decorating expense even though they were purchased from the Dollar Tree.
I had two areas to decorate – the food table and eating area, and then the hotel room which served as the area for the movie component, a changing area for guests (for swimming), and the slumber party location.
We went with a silver, white, blue and red color scheme, and repurposed or borrowed many items (including serving platters).
Full list of British Themed party decor we used:
- British flag bunting banner
- Lace/white table cloths (already owned)
- Silver cake stands/dessert trays (already owned or borrowed)
- Dollar Tree silver platters, fake silver champagne bucket and fake glass serving bowls
- Mr Bean cut-out (Ella almost killed me for this – but the adults loved taking pictures with it and he now lives in my office)
- British throw pillow covers
- Wedding dress and bouquet (already owned)
- Jamie Oliver cookbooks (already owned, stacked for a British theme touch – can use books by any British author)
- Silver and white helium balloons
Total decor budget: $55.92
Other British Decor Ideas:
- London Skyline Backdrop
- Big Ben Cardboard Cut-out
- Harry and Meghan Cardboard Cut-out
- Royal Guard Cardboard Cut-out
- Union Jack Tablecloth
- Hanging Party Swirls
Royal Theme Party Food
We kept it very simple with most of our menu, sticking to a mix of British-inspired treats and a couple of Ella’s party favorites. We tracked down some of our favorite treats from England at our local Walmart and an upscale grocery store, but many of the items are available on Amazon.
We tied in the red, white and blue decor colors with our fruit tray and also a package of British flag toothpicks, and all serving platters brought in that pop of silver (inspired by Meghan’s tiara). I also used tea cups for holding smaller items like the candies.
We served pizza as an easy supper, but I’ll list some other options below.
Full list of British Themed party food we served:
- Strawberries, cherries, white pretzels and blueberries
- Peak Frean’s Assorted Cremes (any tea time cookies will work, but we loved custard creams and bourbon creams on our trip)
- Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade (our FAVORITE thing from England – a little pricey, but Ella really wanted to share it with her friends. We only went through two bottles at the party)
- Bakewell Tarts (grab our recipe for those here)
- Lemon Sherbets (and a couple other candies I can’t remember)
- Chips and Popcorn (Ella’s request)
- Tea Cakes (similar to Viva Puffs – a graham cracker based topped with a marshmallow dome and coated in milk chocolate)
- British Themed cake pops
- Lemon Elderflower Cake (grab our recipe for that here)
- Tea sandwiches (PB&J and egg salad)
- Blue and white gumballs
- Fruit punch
Total Food Budget: $142 including cake-pops and pizza ($4.73 per guest); $57 without the pizza and cake-pops ($1.90 per guest)
Other British Menu Ideas:
- Sausage Rolls
- Red White and Blue Fruit & Cookie Kebabs from Kylee Cooks
- Yorkshire Pudding Appetizer
- Devilled Eggs
- Red White and Blue Layer Cake
- 24k Gold Birthday Cake
- Cookie Dough-stuffed Strawberries
- No-bake Strawberry Cheesecakes
- Strawberry Tarts
- Princess-inspired Rose Cupcakes
- Apple Butter Scones
British Theme Party Activities
We mostly relied on swimming, a movie night and making friendship bracelets for our activities.
I also hired our babysitter to come and help with the movie night and friendship bracelet portion of the evening. This was such a great decision for hosting – I was able to relax and enjoy the company of the adults while she kept the kids safe and entertained. (Of course, all parents whose children were staying for the movie night were informed in advance.) I’ve previously hired photographers, a henna artist (for our Jasmine party), performers (for our Frozen party and Wiggles party), and honestly, hiring the babysitter was probably the best out of all of them (though the henna artist is a super close second).
The grown-ups loved posing with Mr Bean and I dressed him up throughout the night – goggles while the kids went swimming, a PJ shirt for the slumber party, etc.
Total Activity Cost: $5 (if you include the babysitter and venue in this the total is $212)
Other Party Activity Ideas:
- DIY Tiaras (we have a Mermaid Tiara tutorial but you can use paper plates and plastic gems to make easy tiaras)
- Play some traditional British yard games – like croquet, cricket, etc.
- Classic party games like musical chairs are always a great idea
- Grab some cute British-themed photo props and take souvenir pictures
- DIY Fancy Wedding hats or clothing
- Decorate tea cups
British Party Favors
We brought a bunch of British chocolate bars back with us and I ordered princess tiaras cheaply for the gifts.
I found British flag shirts for the boys, but some preferred the tiaras. (You could also make these with plain shirts and fabric transfer sheets.)
I also had plain cake pops ready for little siblings who stopped by to drop off an older sibling and couldn’t stay. This helped so much with any children who felt sad seeing the fun party set-up and felt like they were missing out. (It would have been wonderful to include all of the kids, but our venue had a limit on the number of children who could swim.)
Total Guest Gift Cost: $76 ($4.47 per guest) plus $10 for little sibling cake pops
Other Party Favor Ideas:
- The friendship bracelets we made as a party activity make a great party favor on their own
- Tea cups filled with candies
- These candy boxes are adorable (and don’t necessarily need to be filled with candies)
- Small bottles of wedding bubbles
The Final Cost
While this party had a few lavish expenses (renting a hotel room instead of hosting at home and delivery pizza supper), the rest of the costs were super low. We had 30 guests and most stayed for about 5 hours. If you have fewer guests, your costs will be much lower than ours.
(The sleepover component of the party only added the cost of breakfast.)
- Hotel rental $177
- Guest Party Favors $76
- Party food $87
- Take-out Pizzas $55
- Plastic cups, paper plates, utensils $5
- Ice – free from hotel
- Helium balloons $14
- Mr Bean cardboard cut-out $23
- Other Party decor $21
- Case of water $3
- Friendship bracelet supplies $5
- Babysitter $30
- Little Sibling cake pops $10
Without the hotel, pizza, Mr Bean cut-out or babysitter $221
If you are planning a Royal Themed Birthday Party for your kids, I hope this post helped! Please let me know if you have any questions that I didn’t answer in the post!