*all photography by Ben Simms*
My husband is the type of person that forgets his birthday, he never wants to be celebrated, and he will literally say that he hates his birthday. This year he turns 30 years old and I wanted to make sure he felt honored and celebrated despite what he says he wanted. I decided to make that happen by throwing him a surprise 30th birthday party with all of his family and friends from past and present.
In preparation for this party, I had to make sure that everything would come together smoothly and that the important people would be able to attend. So I reached out to all of his closest friends, old friends that I hoped could be there, and his mom and dad to make sure the date I had picked worked for them. TIP: I scheduled the party two weeks BEFORE his birthday so that he wouldn’t expect it at all.
After setting a date, I needed to find a venue to host the party. I googled every venue in the North Texas area from Fort Worth to Dallas. Venues are SO expensive and I was a tad bit panicked for a hot minute. I found The Station in Mckinney and immediately fell in love with the price and second fell in love with how they allow you to make it your own. They also allow you to use nails which I also thought was really cool.
Then I had to invite everyone to the party and for me, the easiest way to get in contact and stay in contact with everyone was to make a Facebook event. The event reminds people about the event and encourages them to RSVP which is nice. I can post in the event in real-time and it will notify everyone who is in the event even if they haven’t RSVP’d yet. I loved this feature because I could remind people what to wear, what to bring, as well as have their help with some of the party planning.
After getting a guest list together, I had to create a budget for the party. I created my budget based on 1. what I absolutely had to have at the party 2. what I could return after the party (aka money I would get back) 3. what extra things would add a nice touch if the budget allowed for it 4. what would I be able to spend to make the party special enough that my husband wouldn’t freak out about how much money I spent on the party. The 4th point kept me on my toes and very honest throughout the planning process.
Lastly, I had to plan how I was going to surprise him or how I was going to get him to the party. I’ve been attending a lot of blogger events recently and my husband knows zero details about them. So, I told him I had a blogger event and that I was supposed to bring a date. My husband is very introverted and crowds of people give him anxiety. So I used this as my way to get him to the event and come prepared to socialize with strangers. I also knew he’d dress nice. He was pleasantly surprised when he walked in to see all of his favorite people as opposed to strangers!
I wanted the food to reflect my husband and who he is, what he likes, and make the food a big part of the party. My husband is always either drinking a Red Bull, Coke, or a Starbucks drink. So that’s what we did for drinks of course!
His favorite dessert is cheesecake so that’s how I decided on that for dessert and I wanted as little cutlery as possible (we ended up using no cutlery and we didn’t use cups either!) so I went with the bites from Sams Club.
Lastly, our favorite place to order pizza from but we only do it on special occasions is Palios Pizza. I knew I had to serve this at his party in honor of him and this special night of celebrating his life! We had 4 Pepperoni Pizzas, 2 Cheese, 2 Buffalo, and 2 Greek with Chicken.
The 30 names of Brad display | I reached out to his friends and family and we compiled a list of 30 nicknames my husband has had throughout his life. I wrote all of them on cardstock and we hung them, along with pictures, on the main wall in the venue. It was really special and super fun to watch him read them all and remember the times associated with each name.
Shop this: Twine & Clips + pictures from Walgreens
Memory Jars | I bought some larger mason jars and made year markers for each one. Guests were able to write down their memories with Brad and place them in their corresponding jars. It was really special and we had the best time reading them that night!
Table Decor | I went with a simple and classy look. Something that way easy to set up and tear down but looked stunning. I placed candles and glass vases along with pictures and conversation cards on each table. I added a sprig of baby’s breath to add a sweet touch.
Conversation card questions:
- How do you know Brad?
- What is your favorite memory with Brad?
- What is Brad’s best quality?
- Share a funny story about Brad.
Cheesecake Table | I bought an assortment of cake stands from the Target Dollar Section (one of my favorite places for decor and party supplies!) We covered them with cheesecake bites and it was that simple! I got those adorable marble and gold plates from Party City to add a nice touch.
A special THANK YOU to all of the friends and family that came out to celebrate my best friend. He deserves all the celebrating in the world and I’m so glad I pulled it off. I am horrible at keeping secrets but Brad told me that he actually WAS surprised! He was so appreciative and that made all the time, planning, and work to make it happen worth it. Happy 30th babe! I’m so glad you were born!