Last week, our resident party planner, Elizabeth, shared her 5 must-have items for easy party planning. This week, she’s back to show us how she put those helpful tips to use for her sister’s surprise 40th birthday party!
With my big sis turning 40 this year, I knew we just had to celebrate this milestone with an unforgettable celebration.
So I met with her hubs and best friend to begin scheming… I mean planning her surprise 40th birthday party.
As you can tell from the shocked look on her face, we GOT HER!
Once the initial shock of the surprise began to wear off, she was taken aback by how many little details were included in the celebration that were a direct reflection of her.
For starters, we incorporated her favorite colors—hot pink and gold—into just about everything we did.
Since she LOVES pink gerbera daisies, and is never caught without a flower in her hair, we incorporated florals into the invite, the decor, and even had guests add one to their own hair upon arriving.
The celebration took place at her best friend’s beautiful lakehouse, with the backdrop of Lake Erie and a golden summer sunset.
Guests mingled on one of three available patios, and a mini-bar was set up on the rooftop patio, complete with lounge seating, twinkle lights, and paper lanterns.
I’m pretty sure everyone’s favorite part of the celebration were the tapas served by the amazing Marigold Catering, and the bar stocked with all the ingredients for Moscow Mules—the guest of honor’s favorite cocktail.
Last, but definitely not least, everyone gathered to watch the sunset, and then we lit and launched 25 paper Chinese lanterns (we intended to launch all 40, but ran out of steam). It was great seeing guests make wishes as they sent their lantern free.
But, the night wasn’t complete until my sisters and I hopped into the photo booth to make one last memory!
I still can’t believe that we were able to pull off the surprise without any suspicion. And all that glitter that’s STILL turning up in my house was worth it.
I know she would argue—as sisters do—but I’m sure I had more fun planning this celebration than she did attending!
All photos courtesy of Elizabeth Draeger and Tess Smith Photography