The 30th Birthday Dinner Party

This was the party to end all parties.  It had every element I could hope for, and of course, nothing I wouldn’t want.  You might recall a teaser post here.

The flowers all delivered
The flowers all delivered

The morning was frantic. I got a fake tan. Then for the two hours waiting for it to set, I finished my jigsaw puzzle, cause I was not packing it up half done!

Table all set!
Table all set!

I needed two additional tables, and one (nail biting-ly) only arrived at 3pm, thanks to some wonderful friends up the road!  You’ll notice I made meters upon meters of bunting as you can see in the background.

Isn't it pretty
Isn’t it pretty

I also had three friends arriving from interstate. Sadly I could only fit one in to stay here, and she arrived at the same time as the last table. Another guest helped out with picking up the three cakes at 4pm and dropping them by.  Sadly I forgot to take photographs of the cake 🙁

One was nutty, another was maple and apple, another chocolate.
One was nutty, another was maple and apple, another chocolate.
Oh, so these were bios of all my guests... save for two
Oh, so these were bios of all my guests… save for two

I knew not all my friends had met one another, as two came from school days, another two from my trips to Paris, and others from university. With this in mind, and a desire to ‘give back’ to my wonderful friends, each person had a small bio/highlight reel written up for them. I thought the early guests could ‘busy’ themselves finding the bio that matched them, but in the mean time, find out about other guests. On the other side of the card was their name. Inside the card, was their seat number. I’ve never been a seating plan gal, but I didn’t want new friends to feel like they had nothing in common with those around them, so I tried to socially engineer 😉

Entree was ravioli mmm
Entree was ravioli mmm

Everyone loved the entree… I thought I had enough white crockery borrowed from my parents and a friend, but alas, I forgot about the side plates… and I similarly was under resourced with tumblers and cutlery. Thankfully the caterers had some in their van, and luckily avoided those costs!

The chicken main
The chicken main

The best thing about catering were the two waiters who cleared everything and kept all the glasses filled.

The beef main
The beef main

There is nothing I like more than a sparkler, and for $5 I got 80! That was enough for us all to enjoy countless!

Let's get this sparkle started
Let’s get this sparkle started
My dad, isn't he lovely
My dad, isn’t he lovely
We're friends cause we share the excitement about the same things!
We’re friends cause we share the excitement about the same things!

I invited 16 guests to join me for a sit down dinner party in my home.  I got the event fully catered, with three canapes (or two, after decorating resulted in me upturning the dish of arancini balls!), one entree and alternate mains.  Then I bought three different cakes from Adriano Zumbo, a celebrity patisserie.

The birthday pinata
The birthday pinata

You’ll remember (or know) I’m not keen on stuff. Well, my brother and his girlfriend MADE me a 3 and a 0 pinata and filled it with candy. That’s an activity/experience combined with a consumable I love!

I don't look scary here
I don’t look scary here

They filled the pinata SO full they couldn’t hang it without it breaking the string, so my daring brother held it! Much to the amusement of my guests AND the neighbours and their guests who were also having a dinner on their facing balcony!

Hold on tight!
Hold on tight!

No event of mine would be complete without some craft.  Or with flowers.  And sparklers.  Oh how I love sparklers.

The other surprise arranged for me was a video tribute.  My friend had contacted my facebook ‘friend’ list, and perhaps even some of you bloggers! She asked for a short video, and she stitched together with facebook photos.  I was totally surprised, and had Dar from An Exacting Life come to life.  Interestingly, she was mistaken by my family by another Canadian friend we have!  An Israeli friend dialled in (and then there were embarrassing photos of us with mud on us from when I visited her!).

It was a wonderful evening, and pretty stress free thanks to the amazing caterers and help from friends and family.  I feel honoured to have such wonderful people around me, and that extends to my readers, who were duly talked about too!

10 Replies to “The 30th Birthday Dinner Party”

  1. Sarah, that sounds fabulous – the meal and decorating were lovely – and I love your dress! There is nothing like sparklers for a party, let alone a pinata! Welcome to your 30s 🙂 They will be great!

    1. Thank you so much – the dress was BCBG Max Azira. I bought a dress from 'them' in 2009 on sale from a department store, and have loved it to death. So I made a beeline to their store in San Fran, and was sold the instant I saw it. Sadly the first store didn't have my size, so we took to the hills of SF to get the right size from their main store. It was probably the most expensive dress I've owned to date!

      I really appreciate your little video – it was so strange to be melting from heat and see you outside in the snow! Just made my night.

  2. Wow, Sarah! Looks like a wonderful birthday celebration. I love your dress and that bunting. Catering sounds smart. I bet it was so much less stress than making everything yourself! Thanks for giving me lots of ideas for when I turn 30! And Happy Birthday!

    1. Thank you so much – I can mail the bunting if you'd like it for your 30th! I have meters upon metres!

      The catering was wonderful, and as my dad notes, far cheaper than having everyone to a sit down dinner out at the sorts of places like the BF took me to the week prior (I do tend to go high end once a year on my birthday!). The food was all freshly made and done in my kitchen!!

      Wow, I can't believe you're not thirty – I so often feel like a baby of the blogging circles I mix in!

  3. Wow!! That looks absolutely amazing, Sarah! The food looks really beautiful. What a great idea, having it at home but with those extra-special touches. I love the idea of making the bios when mixing friends from different circles. And what a cool idea of the friend who made the video. So was Dar on it? That is so cool!! I do love how the internet connects people from so far apart.

    Yes, I have to echo Dar's comment – welcome to your 30s, they will be amazing years and the time of your life. Happiest birthday wishes!

    1. Thank you Fiona – I did go 'all out'! The house still isn't back to 'normal'! Dar was in the video, it was so amazing to see the snow all around her, as we were all melting from the 29 C night!! So many of my friends, particularly those I see less regularly, read my blog, and the friend who did the video also reads along, so I think she knew who to contact. Everyone admires you and Amanda and Dar, some of my dedicated readers, and I really do see you all as friends now too!

      In a weird blog/real life connection, my current house guest from the US keeps up with my blog, and as a hostess gift, brought me the cushion I photographed on my recent holiday!! How's that for interconnections?

      1. That is so fantastic that Dar did the video! It's funny the blog-real world connections. Back in the 90s we actually had a Canadian online friend visit and stay with us – we're still online friends via Facebook to this day!

  4. Now see what happens when technology fails – both old dying and new one beyond the user. You miss out on online friends’ events and life. Happy belated birthday! But let me say, I am always late for birthdays so it’s not you. It’s me.

    Dress is gorgeous, party looks fab. I bet everyone had the best of time.

  5. I think this is not just a WOW, but it's an amazing Sarah!! Everything you described here is quite useful for me to celebrate my 30th birthday and images are enough to describe your happy moment, dinning table & flower arrangement and that yummy food, love your sharing 🙂

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