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Louella had travelled a lot over the past 60 years, so we wanted to create a party that reflected this, showing off all the things she loved & told a story of her 60 years.
Combining her love of outback Queensland, good food and wine set amongst a very styled backdrop made this party all about the Birthday girl.
We used many items from around her house and from her parents property to highlight her journey and tell a story while guests mingled.
The look on my mum's face when she arrived, as she can be an organiser like myself, I didn't want her to be stressing about what was happening so I had sent her away, for the weekend to her friends house to "relax" she arrived 15mins into the party & had no idea what I had planned..all she knew was who she had asked and that I was host!!
Most Touching Moment
As a gift we asked everyone to contribute photos and stories about my Mum and this played on a large flat screen off to the side so you could see if from anywhere in the party. We also asked everyone to contribute to a "60 years on" photo book, that we are producing for her and of course we can now add in all the pics from the night too.
The photo booth - best ever!!
What People Ate
As my Mum and also the birthday girl, works in hospitality it was especially import for me, to get the food right, serving interesting dishes that reflected the places she had travelled over the past 60 years, incorporated the food with the theme & relying on the flavour of fresh produce brought it all together. On arrival they were greeted with a glass of bubbles & Gorgonzola (cheese) & fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto, we had a make your own bruschetta station with avocado & shallot, egg & fish roe, traditional tomato basil & onion with an array of fresh and dry breads for guests to choose from. This was set amongst an array of cured meats, fresh figs, grapes, cheeses, quince & my personal favourite cabinet paste!! We also walked around platter of freshly made duck or chicken Vietnamese rolls with soy & honey dipping sauce, lamb, chilly, mint & date meat balls with yoghurt dipping sauce, prawns with chilly & lime, these were all cold so they were prepared during the day and then during the party the beef goulash and green curry chicken were prepared by our in house chef (a family friend) & served with jasmine rice in noodle boxes, this allowed guests to move freely throughout the party & they were certainly not hungry by the end.
What People Drank
Australian and important red & white wine Champagne Coronas (beer) Blondes (beer) Hahn (beer) We also made a 60th Mocktail - using fresh ginger juice, soda water and cloudy apple juice (mint was in the first batch though everyone ended up with green teeth so we quickly removed it). This Mocktail was delicious as it wasn't too sweet and for those not wanting to drink, it gave them something just as interesting to try, it also was lovely topped up with champagne or white wine!!
The cake & theme
My favourite moment was creating the cake, as it had many little details on it that all told a story about my Mum's life. The food station was also something I was especially proud of, the backdrop was hand painted as a gift a few years earlier by myself, reflecting a favourite place Mum had travelled to and the centre piece I used to theme her 60th around.
Mini vanilla bean pana-cotta's The birthday cake - bottom layer tradition family recipe fruit cake with fondant icing, middle tier gluten free chocolate mud cake with dark chocolate butter cream frosting, top tier orange and almond gluten and dairy free cake with citrus butter cream frosting over with glacéed orange peel.
Activities / Games
To help remember the night we hired a friend, Beck from Rebecca Williams Photography to take pictures and she also set up a photo booth, after a few bubbles this was a great hit, she had all the props and it gave everyone a chance to mingle. As we also had 10 children under 10 at the event we set up a games room underneath the house with an Xbox & DVD's, which made them feel rather grown up as they had a space that was separate to play in.
Under $3000 This included everything & we had 2 fridges of drinks!!
Homemade Macadamia Nut Brittle, wrapped in clear cello bags with twine.