I've taken 6 months to post as I wasn't thrilled with how my pictures turned out. My perfectionist side kept editing them. Specifically I didn't like the ones of me personally. My photographer was great (seriously, thank you dad for putting up with me while I tried to "pop a pose!") I just thought in my head I looked better (read: thinner) and then when *I* felt that I didn't, well... major delay on the blog.
I know, I know. You're going to say, "you look great!" and I don't look like a troll, I'll admit that. I guess I just wanted to look extra special. And didn't think I did. But I've been dealing with my issues, I have lots of them, if you tune in here regularly you know this. And I've decided that whether or not my warped brain thinks I look ok, the point is: I had a great night, with great people and great food! So at long last, happy birthday to me. Read on for alll the details! Like grab a cup of coffee or your lunch as the planning is as much fun to me as the event. I kind of go on and on.
I think ahead. Way ahead. This sometimes creates massive stress, like when I dwell on children leaving for college in less years than they have been alive... but for the most part it works out pretty well as I don't often wait till the last minute to get 'er done. So I started planning my late September birthday in January. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, just had to fit it in my proposed budget. (The farther you plan ahead, the more you can get done on a smaller budget as you can purchase/make a deposit on items over time and watch for sales, rather than all at once when it might not be the best price.) The BIG idea was to have about 20 friends over for dinner and then watch a movie, all outside on our patio. I wanted to have a vintage look and lots of flowers!
I figured I'd make my own invites, dinner and dessert to keep the cost down. And I would rent tables and chairs, a projector and screen. I love antique items and wanted to purchase plates, silverware, glasses and linens so I could reuse them. But that wound up being too expensive, so most of those things went on the rental list as well. I did buy most of my decor such as votives, lanterns and flower pots, but I purchased them at Ikea and saved a ton. I also purchased things at World Market and eBay. I made sure what ever I bought I would reuse and I've gotten my money's worth!
Sometime around June I realized my budget wasn't going to accommodate my grand plans and I decided to just can the whole thing. It was a quite a bit of money I had been thinking of spending and I was feeling very wasteful. Jason talked me out of it, noting I didn't have an 18th birthday party and on my 21st I was pregnant, 25 was shared with Liam's 1st and I should go forth and celebrate just me, the man said I was important too. (Secretly I think he's a chocolate cake addict and didn't want to me to bail for that reason alone.) My parents, agreeing with Jason and knowing how much I had been planning and looking forward to everything, happily offered to cover the entire cost of the party so we could ALL celebrate!
So go forth I did with some adjustments. The movie got scrapped. And as I mentioned, the buying for keeps of tableware was switched to renting. Thankfully my dear friend Elizabeth passed on the name of a fabulous rental company, Loot Vintage Rentals and they had everything my heart could desire! Seriously, if you ever need vintage items, look no further. The ladies were extremely helpful, prompt and accommodating. Austin has so much to offer for events, and it was nice to not have to drive an hour or two for big ticket items. I got my tables and chairs from Austin Party Central, I highly recommend them as well! And I was able to purchase my flowers wholesale at Austin Flower Co. and they had such a great selection. So beautiful.
September 20th eventually rolled around and my folks came down to help out. I immediately stuck my dad on a project and he put my photo collage frame together for me. And my mom was there with moral support as we drove downtown through a downpour the day before my outdoor party to purchase flowers. Finally after a ton of time on Pinterest, at HEB and Sam's Club, in my kitchen, sitting at my dining room table and wondering what in the world I was going to wear, it was party time! Enjoy the pictures. I promise I'm done talking now.
It POURED outside the day before the party, but we woke up to perfect weather. My dad and Jason tried for an hour to yank this thing out so it wouldn't be such an eyesore. They eventually just turned it around so we didn't have a basket hanging over our heads.
my photo collage
My mother, "Stop taking pictures. Please go get your dress on. I hear car doors slamming."
tables, chairs & pink tablecloth~ Austin Party Central
silverware, plates & crocheted cloth~ Loot Vintage Rentals
mason jars & napkins~ my own
my Better Homes & Gardens shot
always buy dresses with pockets.
dress~ Mod Cloth
I invited 20, but there were only 8, however we had a wonderful time!!!
I found this blog and Jason followed their directions and put up string lights for me (for cheap!)
I made both of my favorite cakes.
Chocolate-chocolate and a white cake w/ whip cream icing and red grapes of all things!