TODAY   |  March 26, 2013

TODAY’s winner for the best party theme

Three finalists in TODAY’s search for America’s best party theme present their party plans, including a retro pool party, a sports-themed party for a one-year-old, and an apple-themed kids’ birthday party. Celebrity party planner Mindy Weiss chooses a winner.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> so beautiful. [ female announcer ] new acne cream cleanser. only from neutrogena? naturals.

>>> this morning, the best that's right themes in america. we ask you to submit photo of your most original celebrations and now it's time to meet our three finalists. kelly anderson from minnesota . kara from morgantown, west virginia . and jenny raleigh from california.

>> our judge is celebrity party planner mindy weis who designed josh duhamel and fergie's wedding.

>> good morning.

>> talk to us first. these are some pretty serious parties here. what are you looking at?

>> these are outstanding. first, you want to look at originality. you know, how far can you take a theme and bring in the person you're celebrating into the theme. and the color and the energy. so lots of details here.

>> these are good. these are tough choices. i don't know what your kids' birthday parties were like --

>> this is a big hit .

>> we have nothing on this group. let's start with you, kelly . this is the swim cat sweeney party. what did you do?

>> this was a retro style pool party that we put on for our daughters when we moved away from arizona . we moved to minnesota . and it was just a great opportunity to have them have a party and get together with their friends and say goodbye before we moved.

>> you moved from arizona to minnesota ?

>> yes.

>> usually it works the other way. so what are some of the cool things that you did here?

>> well, what the kids really had a fun time with is this photo booth .

>> okay.

>> they got to use different beachy props and just have fun. they took pictures of each other and had a blast with that.

>> and you took your own photographs? those are nice.

>> we made the little photo strips and sent them a card afterwards with our new address.

>> what do you think as you look at this?

>> i think outstanding. love the vintage feel of the bathing caps. love the color. it's all in blues for the pool. and moving from arizona , bringing the sunshine to minnesota .

>> good point.

>> so i love the water balloons down there. i saw those, too.

>> thank you.

>> kids love that.

>> we're going to come back and talk to you in just a sechblond. this is kara .

>> when our little boy peyton turned 1, we decided to have a big go peyton party. and we were all there to celebrate the little boy who was turning 1 and who is also number one in our hearts. so everyone came over to tid stadium, got a go peyton bag, a foam finger, a pompom, and we had a concession stand for the adults. we had a signature drink, the varsity blue.

>> love it.

>> i think that the kid parties, you always have to remember the parents need to have a little fun, too.

>> i've got to ask you, shouldn't there be a little yellow in here for the mountaineers? you're from morgantown, after all.

>> well, we are huge mountaineer fans. and we kind of wanted to keep it a focus on peyton . and not so much the mountaineers.

>> is that popcorn real?

>> it is.

>> get in there.

>> looks good.

>> what do you think?

>> i have three boys. very used to this theme. outstanding. i love how you put the whistle as they leave instead of letting them have them at the party.

>> yes.

>> that's a veteran move.

>> i've had my mistake with whistles before. outstanding. the color theme. the concession stand . outstanding are.

>> very cool idea. moving over to jenny, this is the apple of our eye party. what's the theme here?

>> well, i have four children. audrey, hillary, luke, and charlotte. charlotte is a twin, so this is the first party she had by herself without her brother. she is the apple of our eye. our nickname for her is charlie pie. so the apple theme was perfect.

>> this looks very professional. have you done this kind of work before?

>> no. i just really enjoy parties. and i love it.

>> is this food all real? i keep asking that.

>> it's all real.

>> it's so pretty.

>> these are little apple ice cream cups.

>> but look at the apple juice that she put in there. so she took this theme to a new place of bringing in the apples on the cake. everywhere you look, there's apples. if you look at the lanterns down there, too, i notice how you put the little leaf on an existing lantern, which is outstanding.

>> mindy, take one last look at kelly , kara and jenny.