Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Surprise Party For My Hubby

I dedicate this post to Ashley, Brett, Laurie, Todd, Tiffany, Carr, Lucie, Jeff, Wendy, Justin and Lisa

This past July I threw my husband a Surprise 30th Birthday Party. I had so much fun planning it, and I had to go above and beyond to keep him from finding out about it. The experience of planning it was more than I could have asked or hoped for, and I look back at it as a turning point in our lives.

Garett and I recently moved back to Georgia after being away for six years, and have reconnected with many of our old friends. Garett’s relationship with his friends is a truly unique and rare one. They all have known each other since the sixth grade, and have remained friends through college, marriages, and having children. As people get older and become busier in life, they often lose contact with the ones who mean the most to them growing up. Garett has always tried to remain close with his friends; he truly values each of them.

This is the part where I explain how planning and throwing his surprise 30th birthday party was a turning point in our lives. I am a relatively shy person at times, so the thought of me having to call his friends and talk with them about his birthday was daunting. Up until recently, I had never really spoken or had a one on one conversation with them. I knew they were nice people, but I had always thought of them as Garett’s friends. This changed during the process of planning his birthday party.

Through secretly planning his party, I gained ten wonderful friends of my own. We all had such a great time at the party, and at the end of the night Garett truly felt loved. He walked away not only with just another year added to his life, but knowing no matter how much time passes by or how many miles may get placed in-between, his bond with his friends will always be there.

Okay, now on to sharing all which went into planning his birthday party.

First, was picking the invitations. I decided to go with is an electronic invitation site which allows you to send and electronic invitation via e-mail to your entire guest list. I love evite, because I didn’t have to spend money on invitations, or risk Garett finding out about his party. Evite also lets you customize your invitation by adding music. You can create a playlist to play while your guests are viewing the invitation. It worked perfectly for Garett’s party because the guest list was small, and I knew everyone’s e-mail address. If you are planning a larger party, I would go with traditional paper invitations.

Second, was picking the destination where his party was going to be held. I take this back. I picked the location before picking the invitation, but I’m sure you figured that part out. Garett’s birthday party, was held at Dominick’s Restaurant located in downtown Lawrenceville, GA. They were wonderful with helping me plan the menu and on just accommodating the entire guest list. Oh, and the food was wonderful. When the guest arrived, there was an open bar for two hours and then they were able to just sit down and eat. I think by having the menu already picked out, it kept people from was stressing about what they were going to pick to eat. People were just able to socialize and enjoy the open bar. If you decide to plan the menu, it is important to find if any of your guests have allergies.

Third, was picking out the cake. This was the hardest part for me. I am a perfectionist, so just any cake would not due. I agonized over picking out a cake. I found this wonderful bakery in Lawrenceville, GA. The pastry chief is Nadia at YumYum Cake Designs. She was truly wonderful and thoughtful and did exactly what I wanted, which I’m sure by the time the party came she was ready to rip her hair out. The best part about Nadia is she allowed me to wait until after the party to pay for the cake. Garett loves to check our account frequently, so I was so scared he was going to see a charge and find out. Oh, Dominick’s also allowed me to wait until after dinner to pay.
Last, was picking out party favors to give to the guest. I know, party favors are usually given out to kids at kids’ birthday parties, but hey adults like to get a little gift too. Each guest received a wine bottle and a beer bottle, which displayed customized labels on the front. The labels included the date, location and time of the event, as well as, childhood pictures of Garett. I think these were a big hit. I ordered the labels from a company in Austria, but there are companies in the U.S. which do this too.

Overall, the party was so much fun and I think the guest really enjoyed themselves. As for the cost, well I gave Garett strict instructions not to ask me about the cost for a couple of weeks. Below is the cost broken down and pictures from the event.

Invitations: $0.00
Food: $920.00 (This included the menu and the open bar) Cake: $160.00
Party Favors: $150.00 (This was for the custom labels and wine and beer)
Total Cost: $1,230.00

Worth Every Penny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!