{cake beautifully created by Nathalie, cake topper hand drawn by The Eclectic Author, glitter paper discovered by Molly LaPine}

I ‘ve mentioned a couple of times this party that has kept me rather busy  and I’m ecstatic to share it with you today (Happy Royal Wedding day by the way!). My friends Molly, Jordan (Rachel’s husband) and Jon and I schemed together along with multiple other people to create a memorable 30th birthday party for our good friend Rachel. Rach is one of those friends that’s a rare breed of a person: she serves others and the church better than most people I know, she gives generously, she’s one of the funnest people to be around, she loves the Lord in a beautiful way, she’s spontaneous, an encourager, fashionable, and a straight shooter. When you have a friend like this, it’s easy to orchestrate an event like this. The party itself was not a surprise, but Rachel had no idea what everything would look until she arrived. Now let’s walk through the partay!

Jordan and Rach had a phat hook up and asked the owners of this gorgeous home if they could use it for the party. We tied balloons in the front yard to identify the house for guests and attached some balloons to paper weights to scatter a few on the front lawn as well. You’ll notice a lot of pink because it’s her favorite color (just look at the shirt she’s wearing!).

I thought it’d be a neat glimpse to look into the process of creating a dessert table, laying out the pieces, creating a sense of asymmetrical balance. I love the process of adding layers to the design beginning with the bare pieces (cake stands, plates, platters, jars), then adding the colored popcorn, the flowers, the striped straws, and then the desserts! I’m still learning a lot, but after throwing my own birthday party, I’ve fallen in love with fun dessert and drink tables.

Here’s the drink table. Rach and I happen to have the same drink dispenser, and although I’m not a huge matching/symmetrical goer, I thought it looked nice to have them side by side (especially with a coordinating colored drink). That’s also Rachel’s typewriter, isn’t it gorgeous? I had Jordan hijack all this stuff from his house to bring to the party. Rachel mentioned that when she saw Jordan take the typewriter she immediately thought “Vivien!” I consider that to be a compliment.

One of the things we created to surprise Rach and entertain guests was a display of childhood photos that Rachel’s parents contributed to the party. Don’t even get me started on her 80’s hair!

More desserts for another table in the living room including cupcakes, Rach’s fave candies, and some delicious homemade cookies by Annie.

We contacted the guests who RSVPed asking if they would consider bringing a few printed photos of themselves with Rachel. In a digital world, sometimes we don’t have enough photos of our friends and family because we don’t take the time to get them printed. Naturally, all these photos were gifted to Rach at the end of the party.

Molly made these awesome flowers for the cake that I put up a little too late, but I still think it looks great. Way to go Mols!

Jordan, Molly, Rachel’s best friend in Kansas named Reilly and I created a quiz about Rachel that all her guests had to take to see who knew her the best. I read the questions aloud, waited for the guests’ responses, and then had Rachel answer them herself. It was hilarious and fun to say the least and the winner received a very Rachel-esque prize! A hot pink bandana (she’s originally from Minnesota, but is married to a Southern boy!) with rhinestones (she’s all about the bling!).

A photo of Rachel thanking her guests and family for coming and for their support and love throughout the years.

And lastly this is a photo of part of our home group from church. It’s insane to think some of us didn’t know each other two years ago. Now we have the privilege of walking through life together, celebrating birthdays, beer brewing, new babies, and everything in between.

Well, there you have it! We think it turned out pretty nicely and most importantly Rachel felt overwhelmed with love. Thanks to Mols, Jordan and Jon for putting up with my detail oriented mind and last minute personality (type B people shout out!), thanks to all the girls who contributed photos, flowers and desserts and a special thanks to April who contributed hours of work the day of the party. I had work that Friday, so I wrote to-do lists for Jordan, Molly and Jon to which Jon expressed that it was like they were all my employees setting up an event.

I kind of like that idea.=) Happy Royal Wedding and weekend friends.