When it came time to plan her daughter Elyana’s fourth birthday party, Plano mom Dayna Tolley took a cue from the movie playing on repeat in their home: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (The animated film celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021.) And since Tolley is a party planner—in addition to her full-time role as a dispatcher with the Plano Police Department—you can be certain that no detail was missed.
It started with the invitations. “They were shaped like the mirror in the story,” explains Tolley. “I had them cut out. They weren’t box invitations.”
Another unconventional aspect to this party: The children got their party favors as soon as they arrived, and for good reason. “We provided golden yellow Belle skirts and hair bows for the girls and blue shirts with Beast on them for the boys,” Tolley says—attire that perfectly matched the decor.
Table centerpieces featured the mystical rose in glass domes and Belle’s beloved books.
The decor also included toy characters from the movie: Chip, Lumiere, Cogsworth … the gang was all there.
The celebration turned out to be a mix of something old (books from their storage shed), something new (the plush dolls and rose centerpieces), something borrowed (a “magic mirror” from the florist) and something blue—the jacket worn by the Beast himself. He was, of course, joined by Belle. “The kids were so excited that they screamed,” recalls Tolley of the moment the characters arrived.
While the actress playing Belle came from a party service, the Beast was played by Elyana’s dad. “He was a good sport,” smiles Tolley. “It was a full-face costume that got pretty warm.”
After the bounce house (where Tolley notes that Elyana spent 95% of the party), balloon art and face painting, they cut into the cake. Tolley gave her trusted baker the theme and the color palette, and she came up with a stunning fondant creation topped with the story’s title characters.
For Tolley, the best part of the bash was that she could actually enjoy it. “I hired my go-to assistant to come to the party,” she says. “At client events, I’m handling logistics. But my assistant kept everything running smoothly.” An enchanted day, you might say.
Beauty and the Beast Party Resources
Bounce ‘N’ More // bouncenmore.com
Happily Ever Parties // happilyeverparties.com/n-texas
Face Painting and Balloon Twisting
Today’s Balloons // todaysballoons.com
Sweet Somethings by Ashleigh // sweetsomethingsbyashleigh.com
The Hair Bow Company // thehairbowcompany.com
Party On! Events // partyonevents-tx.com
This article was originally published in March 2020.
Photos courtesy of Brandi McComb Photography