Nancy from So Happi Together set out to create an urban first birthday party for her son with the help of lots of amazing vendors and it’s all on our baby blog today. She brought the design & catering crew together to make Micah’s “Dol” come to life with everything you could imagine a birthday party to have and more! Her hope was to provide some inspiration on how to design a boy’s birthday party with some pretty – and boy, did she deliver!
As a wedding planner, designing a party for my son, Micah, simultaneously required some creative exploration and restraint. I was forced to think outside of my usual feminine and romantic aesthetic while also working hard not to make the birthday party feel too much like a wedding! In Korean tradition, the 1st birthday (called a Dol) is a pretty big deal as it celebrates the survival of the child during its first, formative year of life. I would venture to say that it is also a celebration of the parent’s survival through this 1st year! Accordingly, we wanted to make sure that our party also honored all of the family and friends in our lives that make child rearing possible and fun. We aimed to spoil our guests with yummy food, libations and an all around good time.
I decided to go with a design that was “masculine-pretty” (not to be confused with pretty masculine) and settled on a color palette of wood, seafoam green-blue, khaki and chalkboard grey-black. The Unique Space in downtown LA’s Arts District was the perfect location for our birthday bash.
My dear friend, Jaclyne with Heavenly Blooms, designed floral pieces for our head table that literally blew me away. The gorgeous fresh flowers balanced out the more rustic elements of the wood farm table (from Found Vintage Rental’s amazing collection) and the show stopping chalkboard backdrop that Tammy with Letters to You made for us. The backdrop incorporated fun facts about Micah and his 1st year of life. The final result was more than I could have imagined. It was definitely one of my favorite details from the day, along with a Schedule of Events chalkboard that Tammy created for us, entitled, “So, You Want to Party With a 1 Year Old…”
The head table itself had a trio of cakes that included a fall favorite (pumpkin with salted caramel and cream cheese) from our friends at Sweet and Saucy Shop along with several other delectable desserts. Jaclyne also dressed up our dining tables with lovely garlands of eucalyptus leaves and white dinner-plate dahlias. With a boy’s party in mind, we decided to forego traditional floral arrangements for the dining tables and instead, had charcuterie boards as our centerpieces. YUM! My husband made the actual wood boards and our good friends at Urban Palate decked them out with the most delicious meats, cheeses and spreads. Our “runner” was a simple roll of kraft paper, purchased from Home Depot! But the table linen itself was one of my favorite swiss dot natural linen from La Tavola Linen. I felt that this all complemented the vintage brentwood wood chairs with natural grain sack cushions from Found Vintage Rentals. The prettiest details on the tables came from our friends at Casa de Perrin. They provided us with heath ceramics plates in mist, along with teak wood flatware and clear and amber vintage crystal goblets, that perfectly combined the different shades of our color design. Each setting had a personal mini baguette wrapped in kraft paper and tied with misty-twine, attaching custom calligraphy place cards by Letter to You.
The children had their own kid-sized dining tables and chairs, since we didn’t want them fussing with vintage place settings. We wrapped the tables in large butcher paper and provided them with crayon and craft centerpieces. They had disposable bamboo place settings and custom cups with calligraphy names on them. While Sunseri’s provided a hosted bar with some of our favorite wines and beers for our adult guests, we had organic milk, juices and mocktails for the younger guests. They loved being served at the adult bar!
Clikgram provided entertainment throughout the entire evening. Guests had so much fun taking pictures and printing them at this social photogram station. The evening ended with a special performance from a bubblologist from Bubble Mania. As guests noshed on cake and desserts, they enjoyed an interactive show of bubbles – one of Micah and his sister’s favorite things to play with! Each child had a chance to take part, and some adults even joined in on the fun!
We couldn’t be happier with how the party turned out and cherished how it brought together all of our loved ones under one roof. We are especially thankful to our friends Brandon and Kristin Kidd. The fact that they took the time out to celebrate with us, and captured all of the special memories so beautifully, is something we will forever treasure.
Venue: The Unique Space
Planning and Design: So Happi Together
Photography: Brandon Kidd Photography
Caterer: Urban Palate
Floral Design: Heavenly Blooms
Cakes/Desserts: Sweet and Saucy Shop
Calligraphy/Signage/Chalk Art: Letters To You
Specialty Furniture Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals
Vintage Table Setting Rentals: Casa de Perrin
Rentals: Town and Country
Entertainment: Bubble Mania
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens
Bar Service: Sunseri’s Bar
Valet: Jeffrey Valet