Sunday, October 28, 2012

I've mentioned before that I love working our own family celebrations but this time I think it was the best one I've worked on yet. On November 7th my husband and I will have been married for 25 years. Yup, quite the milestone. We are still married, still happy and no one has killed the other...yet. So we wanted to celebrate it up with our family in big style. Here is our "World Travelers" Anniversary Party.

 First things first...the Invitations! Since I only needed a dozen invitations I was happy to DIY these myself. While traveling up in Portland I found a set of plastic envelope templates. I bought scrapbook paper with a pattern that match our design and just traced and cut out the envelopes. These were perfect because they had a spot on the front that worked well for the "To" part of the addressing. One thing to note. If you are putting the "To" in an unusual place on the front of your envelope then make sure to put the "From" on the back so that there will be no mistake on where the invitation goes for the Post Office. These were standard greeting card size and weight so they didn't require extra postage but always take one to the Post Office and have them tell you how much postage is needed. I bought stamps that have Tall Ships on them to match our concept!
This is the actual invitation. I found travel clip art online and when I did the set up for the wording I just inserted the clip art where I wanted it to be on the invitation. I printed that out on buff colored card stock and trimmed it down to size. The map printing was a bit harder since I wanted each invitation to be backed by a map from a different city that either I or my husband had visited in our travels. The hard part was finding map images online that had a high enough resolution for printing out big enough for the invitation. I printed them out on the same buff colored card stock and then layered the dark brown, the map and the printed invite using scrapbook glue to hold them together and make the edges solid. 

Now onto the party set up. A great design lies always in the details. You want to keep your tables simple but still convey your concept in all the little details that make up the final look. We started off with these canvas tablecloths. Here is the secret. They are painters drop cloths! Yup, they come hemmed and finished for about $12 each which is a lot cheaper than actual tablecloths. And these we are guaranteed to use again! They stood up to all of the kids messes and can just be washed...and if the stains don't come out no one will be panicking!

The vases are just Mason jars. You all know how much I love using Mason jars so when it came to my own event I just couldn't resist. But I wanted them to be original looking. As a AAA member I can get as many maps as I like so I sent away for a bunch of different ones and then set about using the map paper for various parts of the concept. For the centerpieces I just cut a rectangle of map paper and used a glue stick to  stick the overlapped edge together. I then used twine and gold jewelry wire to tie the neck of the jar along with an antique looking key. I bought the keys in bulk from an Etsy vendor in London. They are perfect! When the time came I just popped the grocery store mixed bouquets into the jars and set them on the table. Since the map colors are so varied I could use varied flowers and colors for these centerpieces.

The letters were really quite easy to do. It's simple decoupage. I glued map paper to the letter, trimmed the paper down and then put on two more coats of glue on top. Map paper is so thin that when you add the glue on top it wrinkles wonderfully giving texture to the letters as well as design.

The wooden words were already finished so I didn't have to do anything to them. They all were bought at Michael's. They have lots of precut, prepainted words that you can use. We used Live and Laugh to go with our LOVE. 

The frames are just dollar store frames with sayings printed on cardstock. Easy as that but they gave the other side of the table a focal point and decor. I had to figure out our "number" but I loved the way these tied into how long we have been together since we met, since we fell in love and since we were married.

To continue the travel theme I took wine corks, hot glued them together and then, using floral and jewelry wire, created the photo swirls for these Seating Cards that are also favors for our guests. I added one of the keys to each one before tucking in the cards. Like the invitation envelopes I just used a plastic template and map paper to make the envelopes and then printed out the cards onto buff cardstock. The clip art was added the same exact way as the invitations and helped to tie the two together for our concept.

The favors were Murano Glass wine stoppers, bottle openers and compacts. I really wanted to use them because of my love for Venice and the glass blowing demonstration I was able to see with my Mom when we were there.

I just used map paper to wrap them and added a tag with butchers twine. I got a 3 pack of butchers twine at Michaels that had 3 different colors so I just alternated the colors when I wrapped the favors to give a bit more color to the whole table.

The kids were treated to M&M's in little glass or plastic jars. The jars were just spice jars that I had collected over the months leading up to the party. I just washed them out and stuck them back until I needed them. I found "luggage" stickers online, a whole book for $8, to use to decorate them. Finally, after filling them with the candy, I topped each jar off with a cap of map paper and secured that onto the jar with more butchers twine and a favor tag. These doubled as Seating Cards for the kids too.
Personalized Water Bottle Labels are sort of Tory's specialty so I usually just let her have a go at the project but this time I really wanted a hand in it. So, together we came up with these gorgeous labels that have our information on the front and maps of Paris on the back. Perfect!
And this is how it all fit together on the table along with the Old Spaghetti Factory place mats and flatware set up. The idea was for our concept to fit in seamlessly with the restaurants decor and it did that wonderfully. 

Onto the cake table. I used an older briefcase as a stand for my World Travelers themed Anniversary Cake. 

The bottom tier is modeled after a vintage man's valise and the top tier is modeled after a vintage woman's train case. I added the saying, "No Matter Where In The World I Travel, The Best Part Is Coming Home To You" since, in the span of our marriage, we have traveled together and separately, but whenever we were apart we always missed each other terribly and coming home is always a wonderful part of the journey. 

Also on the cake table is the heart shaped plaque made from more wine corks and more map paper to tie it into the concept. 

And finally the "Guest Book" is actually the small scrapbook I will be using to place all of the party photos and now it has all of our guests well wishes written on the inside cover!

Dinner was held a The Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Sacramento. This was chosen because it was the one dinner out that the two of us had on our original honeymoon 25 years ago. So if you are trying to decide where you want to have your event try to tie it into your theme or have it be a personal connection to you and your spouse. We got lucky. Not only is the decor vintage, the food is Italian and it has a very personal connection for us. Perfect!

I have to give out a huge Thank You to the Old Spaghetti Factory in Downtown Sacramento. You guys seriously rock. From helping me get the area ready for the set up, helping me with the mats and flatware at the set up and then helping with the very quick break down...and that's not to mention the amazing service in between! Yup, you guys seriously rock!

Also to my husband who helped make this day come together behind the scenes and in front of most of our family, I love you.  We even, unintentionally, gave each other travel themed gifts. To him was a compass from London and to me were Eiffel Tower earrings from Paris. 

To my partner, Tory, for helping behind the scenes and reminding me why we are such a good team, and to our family who attended. I know it was a bit to get there, it went later than we intended and that some of you were not feeling all that well but came to be with us anyway to celebrate. 

I hope you enjoyed our little celebration and that it gives you ideas for your own! See you next week!


1 comment:

  1. It was a beautiful event!!! Congratulations again! We love you!