Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Monday and Happy 1st Birthday Parker Bright! Yup...Tory's son turned ONE! As with all of our parties, Tory went to town to make her sons 1st Birthday one to remember! They decided to have it in a movie theater so they could invite everyone they wanted to invite and not be hindered by space! Great idea!
Of course, every good party starts with an invitation! Parker's theme was Giraffes! SO cute! Tory was able to find these adorable invitations on Etsy! She had them custom designed and you would be surprised how affordable that can be from the crafty vendors on!

Now a word about having a movie theater party. Most people would think this would just be cost prohibitive but you would be surprised! We happen to have worked at this theater and know the GM at this theater so I'm sure we got some special treatment of some sort (wink) since we are almost family but when figuring out a budget for this type of big event you have to estimate between $10 and $30 per person. That includes event venue rental. This particular theater has a $200 venue fee and then it is $20 per child, minimum of 20 children, and then $10 for each person after that. This includes the rental as well as "snack packs" for some extras as you will see! So for an event of 50 people this venue would run $900 or $18 per person including the food! There are many venues where that would be the space rental only!
Outside of the auditorium was the scrolling birthday greeting to our little man! Such a great touch!
Inside we got to decorate however we chose. As with most venues you need to make sure to use adhesives that are approved by the venue manager. We posted reserved signs for the front row that included family members as well as the Birthday Boy and his special seat!
Tory made this wonderful 12 month Banner and we attached it to the back of the bottom section seats so that everyone coming into the auditorium could walk past it and get a good up close look at how much the little man had changed over the year! She attached the photos to archival scrapbook paper and then put that onto real satin ribbon so they can save this in his Time Capsule for the day he's 21 and gets to open it up!
Since this was a "digital" theater, most are becoming digital theaters, they were able to play a photo montage DVD for Tory and Nate of Parker's first year. She used a computer program to create the 10 minute montage which included background music that is important to the family. After the party she was able to make copies of this montage to hand out to special family members. It was simply wonderful. What an incredible "pre-show" before our movie!
Each of the guests were able to pick up a "giraffe" cupcake from Cat's Cakes before or during the movie as a nice little sweet snack to go with their popcorn and soda!
You can see the giraffe wrappers inside the individual clamshell containers. We provided a container of forks for those who didn't want the mess of the cupcake inside the theater or who were sharing a cupcake with a little one.
Also on the table inside the auditorium were these adorable personalized water bottles! Tory made two sizes so that even the smallest of her guests would have a little something to sip on either during the movie or later at home! 
She found these cute little personalized lollipop favors at! What was really great about these were that they arrived already assembled and ready to serve but also the candy, while flavored strawberry, were a neutral white for the party!
They were so adorable and they actually taste really really good! An affordable treat to be able to hand out to your guests!
Now here was the "Aha!" moment of the party planning. Tory wanted goodie boxes for the kids but every box she found was huge. You could fit a stuffed animal in each one. Too big for the little guests who had an average age of 18 mos! So at she found these cupcake boxes...yes, cupcake boxes! She just left the insert out of the box that would hold the cupcake sturdy and filled it with little treats like fruit snacks, bubbles, press on tattoos in the party theme and a little blue rubber ducky for their bathtub fun! Much better than a huge box filled with all sorts of penny toys that are either age inappropriate or will get lost very quickly, or candy.
We are a "book family" so we wanted something that would not just be a guest book but something that Parker could enjoy over the years that just happens to be filled with lots of loving messages from the party guests! We invited everyone to sign this Curious George and the Birthday Surprise book on ANY page. So that when reading it to Parker he would get a nice surprise as he made his way from page to page. Truly a keepsake to be treasured.
Here is the entire Lobby Party Table. The one inside the auditorium was nearly a copy of this one except it held the cupcakes, favor boxes and water bottles and this one has the favors, the Birthday Cake and the Guest Book. Decorated with another banner that Tory made herself from scrapbook paper and ribbon, this party table was crowned with this incredible theme matching banner from!
Here is a close up of the cake. Parker's very own Sugar Giraffe topped his "Smash" cake and a curious monkey decorated the "Family" cake. These were on display as a centerpiece for those who were not attending the family pizza party later that night. You can find out more about this cake and see a photo of Parker diving into that smash cake over at the Cake blog:
The Lobby Table was important because we were able to move the Auditorium Table next to it after the movie so people could easily grab extra cupcakes or waters or goodie boxes and sign in the guest book as well as mingle and catch up with the friends and family members in the lobby while the theater crew got the auditorium ready for the next show time.
Finally, here is the happy parents and thrilled Birthday Boy. It was such a fun party filled with friends and family from all over! Parker had such a good day and didn't melt down even once! Amazing good luck!

Next week I will bring you some wedding ideas but it was fun to share this big family event with you all this week!


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