HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, IAINE! I can still remember the pain from the c-section that lasted 2 weeks but what I really remember most is that very first moment I held you and whispered your name. Your Poppa and I don't have the right words to describe how happy we are that you came into our lives.
My sweet Iaine, you are my most beautiful masterpiece!
Read the details after the jump!
My husband and I made sure that we were going to be hands on with our daughter's first brithday, just like our wedding. We wanted mafia-gangster inspired wedding so we really worked on it and made sure the caterer knew what we wanted. The invitations, tarpaulins, photos, clothes (even the waiters' clothes at the reception) were all under the theme. And thanks to our kind relatives they lent us their black Hummer H3 as my bridal car. The most badass bridal car ever.
And because of our efforts, our wedding turned out to be better than we expected--an angel hair away from perfection. And that's the kind of motivation we had for Iaine's birthday.
I'm all about the details. I spent sleepless nights working on the party needs--from the biggest banner layout down to the smallest bow on the invitation.
I started preparing for Iaine's birthday party in Decemeber 2010. I've always sucked at cramming so I made sure I would have a lot of time to get things done. I talked to the caterer also around December and signed the contract in January (last month). I started buying prizes and invitation materials since December as well and got everything finished just days before February 6, 2011. It took a lot of time because being a SAHM I can only make stuff while Iaine's asleep or when she's with her dad, my in-laws, or her nanny.
The concept we have come up with by the way was CANDYLAND (not the board game).
Jai and I designed and manually put together the invitations ourselves but I did most of the work because he's only home 2 days a week. I almost had calluses on my fingers but it was worth it. Everybody thought the invitation was cute, unique, and nicely done. I also made an online invitation and posted it on Facebook for guests who live far from here.
L-R : middle page, back page, front page
online invitation posted on Facebook viewable to my friends
Feb 5 2011 - We stayed overnight at a hotel because it would be a good location for a birthday morning pictorial and I really wanted to stay somewhere cozy and stress-free that night although we had to make last-minute stuff. We finalized everything including marshmallow necklaces I sewed together myself.
Iaine was scared of being in the elevator but as soon as she stepped on that fuzzy hotel room carpet she was happily screaming and walking all over the place.
Feb 6 2011 - Party time! I wore a hot pink top/colorful striped dress duo with hot pink pumps and fancy gem accessories while Jai wore a deep pink Butterfinger t-shirt. Iaine had a lot of dress changes that day but her main birthday outfit was a colorful fairy gown by Ka-boosh, white glittered stockings, pink sequined doll shoes, and a fancy gold crown.
To fill you in further on the deets, here are some quick notes:
INVITATIONS. Hand-made and home-made. I bought the materials from the public market and school supply stores. The cards were printed by a photo studio and we had to manually cut them with scissors.
VENUE. I had a hard time choosing because I wanted an indoor party and there are plenty of function halls in the city. But I wanted a place that could accomodate 200 people, easily accessible, budget-friendly, beautiful and most importantly with airconditioning. We narrowed it down to two and finally chose Monte Victoire Function Hall. We made the reservation in December.
CATERING. I needed a budget-friendly and accommodating caterer that makes good venue decorations and serves an excellent menu. I canvassed around town and it all came down to Ar-geo's Catering which is owned by my sister's boyfriend's aunt. They have a Facebook account so I had an idea how they decorate functions. The owner/manager was so easy to negotiate with and everything was always noted. We gave each other ideas on how to make the party more candyland-like and even until the day before Iaine's birthday we met up and talked about the decorations. Everybody praised the buffet and told us everything was delicious. And because I really wanted it to be candyland I ordered from them a chocolate fountain cart (with sweet snacks), a cotton candy cart, and an ice cream cart. No candy buffet though--or else everything would disappear even before the party started!
ENTERTAINMENT. We HATE clowns, hands down. We know they're just trying to make a living but to us they're corny and try too hard to impress so definitely, NO CLOWNS at Iaine's party. What we really wanted from the very beginning was a magician who can also host the party. The caterer provided us just that. His name is Mardee, he's from Manila and he was great. Everybody enjoyed his magic tricks and laughed their butts off during his ventriloquism act.
And to entertain everybody while they were eating, we played hit songs, birthday songs, and an AVP made by my brilliant husband, Jai. It was so cute and hilarious.
CAKE. Among all the cake designs I saw on the internet, I chose a simple two-tier fondant cake with real candy decor. I hired our ninang (a family friend and wedding sponsor to me and Jai) to make it for us. She made some minor changes but I'm very happy with the result. It was delicious too.
CUPCAKES. I ordered 50 cupcakes from the caterer. I was the one who made and printed the cupcake toppers, cut each one into circles and taped dessert pickers at the back. Voila!
TARPAULINS. I designed everything myself using photos taken by my sister and a cousin of ours. I spent 2 hours designing the stage tarpaulin, 30 minutes on each of the 4 posters, and 15 minutes on the Wall of Sweet Notes (which by the way comes with 4 different colored markers and a note that says "Please take a marker and write something sweet for Iaine")
TABLE CENTERPIECES. The caterer provided them but she suggested that I make cards to stick on the balloons. So I made 20 layouts featuring different candy/chocolate brands, and here are some examples.
PHOTOBOOTH. What's better than a party photo souvenir! We hired Jai's friend and former schoolmate to provide us with a photo booth. He noted every suggestion I had about the print and backdrop layouts and I was very happy with the results.
TAKE-HOME SOUVENIRS. 3 kinds: colorful glass cube memo holders wrapped in cellophane (for a candy look), colorful potted memo holders wraped in tulle, and candy bags for the kids (with bubbles and colorful clay.) Candies, chocolates, yummy looking erasers, colorful hankies, and kiddie toothbrushes for the prizes.
IAINE'S FIRST BIRTHDAY WAS A SWEET SUCCESS!
I was very emotional when I said my birthday wishes for Iaine.
Jai did a better job at pulling himself together. :))
I'm very thankful that Iaine recieved a lot of presents and cash envelopes but what I'm most grateful for is that almost 200 people came to celebrate Iaine's birthday with us and they all made me feel that ALL OUR HARD WORK WAS WORTH IT.
I'm so happy that everything worked out great in the end. It was an expensive event, but what's important is that it was thought out and personal and everybody had a good time in celebrating the anniversary of the day when our beautiful and smart daughter came into our lives.
I wanna send out the BIGGEST THANKS AND HUGS to everybody who made an effort to make it there and party with us.
Now that Iaine is a year old, I'm happy that everyday she's still surprising us with new skills, tricks, talents, and owning those developmental milestones like a boss! We're so proud of our beautiful toddler.
Ar-Geo's Catering Services, Balloon Decorations, and Party Needs
(and to hire Mardee the host/magician)
09178866834 look for Mrs. Arlene Yasis
My Party Rocks photobooth services
09272442453 look for Mr. RJ Dequina
Mrs. Nilda Fernandez (cake)
Her number is private, please contact me if interested.