Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Golden Birthday: Party Planning!

I mentioned last week that I had been busy working on another birthday party. Two of my dearest friends, Jacqueline and Corinne, happen to share the same birth date and decided they wanted to do a joint party on the 29th to celebrate their 29th (aka golden) birthday! It took a few months to plan, so while I'm happy the day came and went perfectly, it's also weird not to be thinking in gold.

Today I'm going to share a little bit of the process and then I'll show you the finished product on Friday, cool? 

The first hurdle was to find a venue. I'm always on the lookout for bars and restaurants that do space rentals, but I still did tons of research to find the perfect bar for the party. I was super happy to find out that many bars rent their private spaces for very reasonable prices. Seriously, you could rent a private space in San Francisco every weekend and have it not cost much more than a typical night out! Even better, most of the places I saw were really flexible with music, decorations and bringing in outside food. 

In the end, we decided to go with Bruno's, a two-story dance club with four different rooms, in the Mission. We reserved the Pussycat Lounge upstairs, where we had our own entrance, bouncer, bartender and barback. Over the course of the night, we had about 70 people come through, but the space was never too crowded. The event management guys were so, so nice and accommodating and basically let us do whatever we wanted! We decorated, had cupcakes and Corinne lined up four amazing friends to DJ.  Even if you aren't lucky enough to have a DJ--or four, all of the venues I spoke with had an iPod/iPhone hookup. Hello, Spotify playlist!

via Bruno's

Obviously the Pussycat Lounge didn't need too much embellishment, but we wanted to add a personal touch. I love using Pinterest to keep organized and create "mood boards," especially when I'm party planning. It's way more visual than my typical Excel sheet and easier to show my compadres what I'm thinking. For the Golden Birthday, we created a group board so everyone could contribute and express their vision. It's fun to see how the different personalities shine through! Here's some of the major Pin-spiration:

As you know, I love love love Confetti System and I've been wanting to incorporate something Confetti System-inspired into a party for a while. A few years ago for our New Year's Eve party, I asked forced the girls to help make replica CS garlands. It was a total nightmare. It's kind of tedious and time consuming work so if you're not super into being crafty or patient, it's hell. 

Scarred by the Great CS Fallout of 2011, I haven't really tried to dig back in until now. Of course with my go big or go home attitude, I wanted to conquer this:

via Confetti System

I know, I know. But it's PRETTY!!! And it would make the perfect photo backdrop, right?

The birthday babes loved the idea of having birthday crowns ala classy Burger King. How cute are these bejeweled beauties?

via Designlovefest

We all agreed that balloons were a necessity, whether they be Geronimo-inspired, big numbers or simple gold balloons.

via La Bonne Vie

We tossed around the idea of clear balloons with gold confetti inside, but I was afraid our exuberant dancers would stomp them and it would be a confetti mess. (Cleaning up confetti...not the jam.)

via Camille Styles

We also loved the look of spread-out confetti on the tables, but again, I had to be the Debbie Downer and veto that. I loved the confetti too, so I tried to compromise. I'll show what I came up with on Friday!

I really like the idea of having "surprise guests" at a party. I advertise this at all my parties and while there are always a few people I'm surprised to's not usually a planned surprise. (Yes, I know how that sounds.)

via Jay's Analysis

In keeping with the theme, I thought it would be fun to have one or all four of the "Golden Girls" show up. Unfortunately, it was a busy weekend in San Francisco so it wasn't a reality. (All the pretty drag queens were doing Pride-related stuff.) I'm definitely keeping the idea in my back pocket. One day I will make good on my lofty promise!

Stop by on Friday for the lowdown of the party!


  1. It would be a great idea to organize awesomatic robot birthday party, and it would definitely bring pleasant moments.

  2. OMG!! What an awesome birthday party. The golden theme is just making this day fabulous. Seriously in love with all the décor arrangements. Honestly want to use your ideas for my sister’s birthday party at one of accepted Venues in San Francisco. Thanks for this amazing post.