20 Jan My DIY Birthday Party #ABC25YAY
First things first, omg I’m old. Haha. Thanks everyone for the lovely messages and greetings! 😀
I’ve always wanted to organize a party over the course of my twenties. Not sure if it’s entirely because of quarter life in a general sense, but I never really got around to celebrate the little wins I’ve had so far in my life—the best one may be, of course, pursuing this career. But also, being grateful for the people who have been part of my life and made it a meaningful one. (Too much emotions and we’re just in the first part of this blog entry. Geez!)
So a few months ago (joke I think it was November after my Tokyo trip), I brought up the idea to my best friend Den and we both started planning #ABC25YAY. This meant: endless messages of ideas, nights spent drinking wine and playing the guitar, and lots of bff bonding. We live literally near each other (since we were born) and growing up, we used to have these programs (LOL) in her attic with performances, speeches, etc. I directed a Mother’s Day play if I remember correctly. Haha! We still carry the same imaginative spirit we had in our younger years.
In this post, I’m sharing with you how we pulled off this party in less than 2 months (on a tight budget). I’ve been getting requests about this so I hope you get to take notes and snag a few ideas from my own party! Enjoy!
Initially we were going for a hippie theme but as we eventually did our Pinterest board, I realized that I wanted the theme to be more inclined to either Vincent Van Gogh (I love his Sunflowers series—and sunflowers in general) or Wes Anderson (I LOVE Moonrise Kingdom. LOVE.), so we decided to use this concept instead. (Shoutout to my friends Maka & Meme for suggesting this!)
Above: my Save the Date invite (designed by yours truly!)
We decided to cut costs with this and used our (new) house’s living room / dining room area (ground floor) for the venue. I think the only downside of this was the post-cleaning we had to do after the party. Our house is still not 100% done so we can’t leave anything behind since there will be construction going on in the next few weeks. Either way though, I found this the most efficient venue since we didn’t have to rent out a space and worry about parking since it’s a compound with a lot of (empty) units (as of now). Haha!
I made sure my guests came in Abbey colors, aka: autumn colors, and a bit of pastel hues. So I posted a bunch of outfit inspirations for them to follow. So proud; everyone came in mustard, aka Gen Z Yellow. LOL.
Food / Drinks
We got Verleo to cater for the food. Quick backstory: I come from a big family (as in we’re 30+ cousins) and we usually have Verleo do the catering for our reunions and events, so I was pretty familiar with the food (which I love) and their service.
For the drinks, we went straight to DIY and I had Tricie mix up sangria and spiked ice tea for the guests. (Special thanks to Trixie, Maine and Karen for being parts of the drinks department!)
Photo Wall + Photo Booth
Knowing me and how much I love my decorated walls (I have most of them mounted up on my events!), I printed out posters (from freevintageposters.com and the Vincent Van Gogh museum website) and some stills from Wes Anderson’s films, put them all together, and voila, photo wall!
At the side is my Instax SP-2 printer and a table full of Instax films (thanks to my Instax Philippines family!) where guests can snap and take home a print from the party.
I used a kraft notebook refill as a dedication book for friends to write birthday wishes. I asked them to decorate the pages too, because I will eventually use this as my birthday scrapbook. The prints from my Instax printer will go inside this journal, so check out my channel soon for a DIY project on that. 🙂
Let’s be real: I love my yellow-colored desserts. Lemon bars, cheese donuts, banana cupcakes…and I specially requested Macy to bake these gorgeous sunflower cupcakes for the party. You can check out her website for inquiries. I ordered mini cupcakes from Cup.K to add more color to the set-up (and also: I love carrot cupcakes too!). And of course, the highlight of the cake table is this beautifully painted Van Gogh-inspired cake from Lovelots Cakes. Thanks so much to Mel for making this! I sent a detailed brief of Van Gogh’s colors and strokes and I loved how it turned out. Of course, by default, I hand-lettered my own cake topper. Thanks Gelo for the polaroid snap!
For the set-up, we found these pretty streamers at Party Celebrations in SM Megamall (these are 2 combined) and the “CELEBRATE” banner is from Kikki.K’s Paper Book for Everyday Inspiration. Jean lent me her vintage lantern (Wes feels!) and the crates, trays and wooden holders are all mine. I guess my props were put to good use, so yay? Lol.
My friend Christie was the party host, and I did a super simple program flow. We were supposed to play parlor games but I think everyone was more concerned with chatting, so we decided to leave it out at the last minute.
Den and I performed towards the end of the party—something I haven’t done since my debut seven years ago. Haha. That was a surprise. We performed “Leave the Pieces” by The Wreckers, aka a fitting song to play as I welcome my quarter life and…leave the pieces behind. I played another song: “Fall to Pieces” by Avril Lavigne, an all-time favorite. I dedicated it to my future crush because 1) idk who he is and 2) he isn’t in the present yet, if you got the context right. 😛
I designed a set of button pins for the guests to take away. I especially loved Van Gogh’s quote: “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” and of course, the TLR camera was an ode to Wes Anderson’s films.
I ordered these gift boxes from Shopee which were, of course, on brand! Love the world map print.
Here’s a video recap of #ABC25YAY as captured by my good friend, Gelo (also: can I just say—I asked for a Wes-inspired video and omg this is way better than my expectations?! HUHU)
Leaving with you some tips on how to DIY your own party below!
- Pinterest is your best friend (no, really, it is, promise). Make a board, save up some inspiration, and pin away!
- It helps to create a PPT / Keynote to compile all your ideas (sorry, type A Capricorn self coming through) from the Pinterest board.
- Schedule your tasks accordingly. Before the event day, we ran errands—from decor hunting, to supermarket shopping, to doing initial set-ups for the venue.
- Don’t overthink it. I know that feeling because I have a creative job too, but I didn’t stress myself out too much while fixing my party (except on the day before lol) and it’s really helped me feel less pressured to “deliver”. Again, this isn’t a client project. Haha!
- Enjoy! I think that’s the key part of this. Sure, we do all the labor, but it’s the kind that you’d enjoy, you know? That’s how I’ll always remember it. And of course, the whole event was super fun—I got to see all my favorite people under one roof.
Planning a party anytime soon? Let me know in the comments below!
Always be creating,
Photos by Aira Dizon