April 12th, 2014 is a day that will never be forgotten in our household. It’s the day I was honored to accompany my little princess to her very first ball.
I’ve made no secret that I’m absolutely fine harnessing my 5 year old daughter’s “girly-ness”. She loves pink, purple, glitter and everything to do with princesses & Barbie dolls. She loves pretending to wear makeup and shrieks with delight on the rare occasion she gets to wear her real coloured lip gloss. When you ask what she wants to be when she grows up, she often answers by saying “a mommy” or “a princess”. Dare I admit that she even runs “like a girl”? – seriously, last summer I attended almost every one of her soccer games and watched each week as she skipped merrily after the ball while all the other kids ran meters ahead of her. My daughter is a stereotypical girly-girl. Will she always be this way? I have no idea. I’m sure some parents think I should be handling this by shoving more gender-neutral toys and clothes in her face. But her likes and dislikes are what make her unique and wonderful. They are what make her exactly the beautiful, perfect little girl she is, inside and out. Why would I want to change that?
Last November when I heard about a unique charity event coming to Toronto, I just couldn’t resist buying tickets. The Princess Ball – organized by Wishes for Olivia and in support of Make-a-Wish Foundation of Canada promised to be an event to remember. A lavish ball with food, dancing and of course, real Princesses!
I contacted my friend Shannon who has a little girl very much like my daughter and sent her the details. Immediately she said yes and we decided the four of us would go together. I am so glad we did!
We both decided we would keep the event a surprise from the girls. Five months seemed so far away! As much as I wanted to tell my daughter (and I did almost let it slip several times), I knew if I did, one of two things would happen. Either the novelty of the news would wear off long before we would go or she would obsess about the event for the entire five months and I’d never hear the end of it.
The day I told her went off perfectly! I showed her the beautiful invitation that had arrived in the mail and read it to her. Her response “You mean a REAL ball? Like Cinderella’s ball”!? She didn’t stop talking about it for 2 days – luckily I had only told her 2 days before the event and realized quickly it was a good thing I waited!
We came up with some fun ideas for the girls to get ready for the ball!
By far the biggest and best surprise I had was her dress. Three years ago, my husband and I finally tied the knot after 10 years together. I had a flower girl tutu dress custom made for our daughter and since the wedding, it had been hanging in her closet. I wasn’t sure why I was keeping it, until the idea came to me. This seemed like the perfect timing!
I contacted Jocelyn, the owner of Ruby Tutu Designs with an idea. I wanted to give my daughter a ball gown that she would truly feel like a princess in. I was thrilled when she told me she could make it happen and convert the flower girl dress in to a Cinderella Princess Tutu Dress! In addition, she made her a beautiful matching head piece and was able to find a matching necklace with Cinderella on it! I was blown away when I saw the final result! I cannot thank her enough for the amazing work she did.
She definitely felt like a real princess and couldn’t wait to leave.
We arrived at The Liberty Grand in Toronto and the first thing my daughter said was “It’s a REAL castle!!” – fantastic choice of venue! The girls loved the red staircase and before we even went in side they were lost in the magic.
Inside was absolutely gorgeous. The room was set up for an elegant event, the girls were even officially announced one by one at the door as they entered. Every detail was thought of – the wait staff was even delivering chocolate milk in cartons to the kids on trays!
The event consisted of dancing, eating, meeting princesses (even getting autographs!) and activities put on by some of the sponsors. There was a silent auction and a grand prize raffle for a Disney family vacation!
There is so much I want to share but I’d hate to ruin it for those thinking of attending next year! What I will say is that it is absolutely worth every penny. The girls had such an amazing time. The princesses were beautiful, the food was scrumptious and the sponsors put on some fantastic activities for the kids. It’s quite clear that a lot of hard work went in to every detail of the event and I can’t wait to hear how much money was raised!
I know that my daughter will cherish this experience for many years.
If you are looking for a tease of what the event was like, you can see more pictures I took by going to this page!
xo – J