My Mom turned 60 last week. She requested a party so I of course stepped up to help plan it along with my step-dad and sisters. She specifically wanted to dance - she's an amazing dancer (has been her whole life) and so I knew this would be an important part of the night for her.
Because of the dancing, we opted to go for a slightly more casual venue, but one where we'd have complete control and no noise complaints! We rented a local Lions Club - something everyone should always keep in mind when looking for affordable venues. They aren't always the prettiest, but they're very low-budget and they generally don't have a ton of rules! Using a private room in a restaurant won't allow dancing, and doing the same in a hotel means higher cost.
The Lions Club we rented had a lot of wood paneling - it's actually an old train station. We decided to work with the venue and not go super-high end with the decor - keep it simple and lighten it up with some flowers, christmas lights, ivory linens and silver votives. We were definitely on a budget - so we opted to spend our money on the food and drinks. We hired a local caterer to do one stationary appetizer (cheese and fruit display) and some tasty passed hors d'oeuvres. We also had them create a signature cocktail, "The Kendra" (my Mom), which was a ginger Tom Collins and was really delicious.
In all other aspects, this was very DIY - and I'll be doing some follow up posts to go into more detail about our DIY projects in the hopes that they help other people with their own endeavors! We strung christmas lights ourselves and created a christmas light clothes line where we hung photos of my Mom from throughout her 60 years. We also created a DIY photo booth - and it was such a hit. I know it's not as high res or high quality as what we might have gotten had we hired a professional - but everyone had a blast!
My sister and step-dad did a Michaels run and bought all the other decor items - votive candles, vases for our DIY bouquets, and other goodies. We ordered cupcakes from my Mom's favorite bakery and I created a fun DIY cupcake topper (more on that to come).
My husband and I labored over the playlist and I think we did a pretty great job. We got some requests from my Mom, and built a cocktail playlist for the first hour, then created a separate dance playlist for the next 2 hours. The crowd was a mix of young and old. We had my 87 year old grandfather there and my cousin's newborn! So we created a good mix of new and old dance songs - focusing on a lot of great 80's tunes mixed with some motown/oldies and current hits (for the record, Pharell's "Happy" is what officially got everyone on their feet. That song rules).
By the end of the night we were all a sweaty, happy, slightly drunk mess - in other words, very satisfied party-goers. Happy 60th MA!!