[party] how to throw me the PERFECT 30th birthday party

As an event planner, I spend a lot of time judging other people’s parties and events and thinking (to myself, of course) “that certainly isn’t how I would have done that” or “thank god this isn’t my party.” On the other hand, I have been involved with planning countless birthdays, bachelorette parties, weddings and the like for my friends that I felt like it was finally my turn to have something fabulous thrown for me for my 30th – particularly since they refused to take me to Vegas which is all I really wanted in the first place.

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I was completely excluded from the planning process which gave me massive anxiety as the date neared. I knew that they had been meeting secretly for weeks and that there had been some intense debate and frustration around finding the location for the party. However, I was responsible for the guest list, so I tried to bully the details out of everyone that I had put on it, to no avail. They wouldn’t even show me the save the date or the actual invitation until 2 days before, when I learned it was to be a garden party at my friend Kendall’s house. Here’s what they did:

Save the Dates + Invitations

Information about the party was sent via Paperless Post, our preferred e-vite program. It’s the next best thing to getting an actual piece of mail and is easy to use. I loved the color scheme.

address microsoft painted out, clearly
address microsoft painted out, clearly

The Decor

Pinks and oranges, of course!

The Layout


Upon arrival, guests walked through the front gate, where there was a cocktail table (dressed in pink and orange and pink flowers) with glasses of pink bubbles on it and a sign instructing you to grab a glass and head down the path to the backyard. There were a couple of additional cocktail tables in the front/side yard and the trees were decorated with white lights and pompoms.

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After grabbing a glass of bubbles, guests walked down the driveway and the first station (before the bar!) was a table full of Post-It notes and two pieces of paper affixed to the fence. Guests were asked to write down words that reminded them of me, and throughout the night I would run over to try and figure out who said what.


The bar was located under the gazebo and Doug and Jason alternated as bartenders for the evening. All guests were asked to bring something pink to drink, and so as you can imagine, there was PLENTY of rose and bubbles and several different cocktail concoctions made from watermelon vodka and pink lemonade vodka. Having learned my lesson last year, I stuck to wine.


Food, dessert and more cocktail tables rounded out the rest of the yard, and the fire pit was placed in the middle on the patio which was lit when it got dark!


The Food


The food! The FOOD! This is where the party planners excelled. They ordered food from all of my favorite places. We had charcuterie from Rain Shadow Meats, pretzels and all of the dips from Brave Horse Tavern, an assortment of popcorn from Kukuruza, chicken nuggets from McDonalds (don’t judge me!)…


There was a beautiful vegetable platter, caprese bites on toothpicks, peppadews with goat cheese, and Grand Central Bakery baguettes, sliced and topped with cultured butter and thinly sliced radishes – my absolute favorite way to eat radishes.


And for dessert, we had doughnuts from Daily Dozen Donut Co and – the piece de resistance – a giant El Diablo from Tango!

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The After Party

At 10pm, we called a fleet of Uber SUVs (use my referral code – uberstuder!) and rode to Barboza, where the party planning committee had reserved a booth and we danced the rest of the night away before making a stop at Neighbors and then ordering almost every single thing on the menu and taking it home to feast.

What an amazing night – THANK YOU to everyone who came, to everyone who had a hand in planning it (I know how much pressure you felt!) and to everyone who didn’t make it – you maybe missed the best night of my life. Here’s to 30 and the end of birthday season!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Edgar Villanueva says:

    Great post! Lots of fun.

  2. Janine says:

    I love the idea of having the guests write down “words that remind them of you” on the post-it notes and trying to figure out who wrote what. My mom’s 47th birthday party is next month, I think I will use that idea!

  3. Julia's says:

    Awesome creative party! I love the decorations hanging on the trees and on the food too lol. If only some cool family friendly restaurants in Seattle were to do that, it’ll be superb since all ages will get to enjoy the fun 🙂

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