When their son, Charlie Bird, was about to celebrate his second birthday, Melissa and Sean Stevenson began doing the birthday party-planning shuffle. They booked a bouncy house, chose a cake and settled on a theme. But when it comes to parties—even for a toddler—the pair have more experience than most.
Melissa and Sean are the creative duo behind Naples’ Kaleidoscope Floral, which designs organic, sculptural flower arrangements for luxury weddings and events. “The scale of events we work on can be rather extravagant,” Sean says. “For Charlie’s party, we wanted everything to be pretty but, keeping in mind it’s a 2-year-old’s party, not way over the top. My parents will say we’re doing too much, but this is nothing compared to [the party] we worked on over the weekend.”
The bird-themed bash (a nod to Charlie’s middle name) was held in the lush, 5-acre backyard of Sean’s parents’ home in Naples. “The overall theme, aside from it being ‘Bird Day,’ was Florida, because he’s just a little Florida boy running around outside,” Sean says. Melissa made a vision board in Old Florida-inspired hues of burnt orange, periwinkle, coral and green to share with Our Nest Events, which designed all the balloon art. Inflated flamingos, parakeets and peacocks were nestled into garlands of balloons throughout the yard and adorned the white bouncy house and matching ball pit rented from Little Sweet P.
Melissa DIYed all the signage, a Polaroid station, the tabletop arrangements of foraged orchids and greenery, and the goodie bags, stuffed with wind-up bird toys, bird stickers and sunglasses. Garlands, party hats and flamingo cupcake kits from chic party essentials brand Meri Meri rounded out the decor. “We carry the brand at our store, and we used similar items for Melissa’s birthday party in April,” Sean says. “It’s the kind of stuff that can cross over. It’s super cute for kids, but also quality for adults.”
For the menu, since Charlie loves hot dogs, Melissa and Sean ordered vintage hot dog rollers on Amazon and created a massive toppings bar, with toddler-friendly favorites like ketchup and mac and cheese, as well as options for more mature palettes, including Florida-made hot sauces, Mexican street corn and chili. After a romp in the bouncy house, kids cooled down with lemonade served in citrus-shaped sippy cups, while parents hung out around the full bar. Kids snacked on Cake Mockery bluebird- and orange-shaped cookies, and Birdie’s Gelato cart was the clear pick for a cold dessert. “Obviously, we had to have it,” Melissa says, noting how the name matched the theme. “The cake was toasted coconut from Wynn’s Market (in Naples). It’s been Sean’s favorite since he was a kid.”
Just as the cake has stood the generational test of time, Melissa and Sean hope to create lifelong traditions for Charlie, both with the bird theme, which they intend to use every year (or until Charlie’s old enough to say otherwise), and with keepsakes from the day. “One thing we plan to do every year is design a ‘Bird Day’ hat,” Sean says. “Last year was a baseball cap; this year was a bucket hat. It’s a sentimental thing. We’re starting a display in his room.”
And while the bouncy house and hot dogs were hits with Charlie and his friends, the darling design was probably best appreciated by the adults. “I think we went a little hard on this one,” Melissa says with a laugh. “He’s obviously still young. Until he’s old enough to tell us what he wants, it’s also for the parents.”