I hope you’re enjoying this birthday party recap. I’m having a lot of fun writing it. So, where did we leave off? Oh right, personalization.
With 70 of my closest friends coming to my birthday party (the final count), I wanted to find a way to make sure that they knew exactly how excited that I was for each one of them to be there. I wanted to find a way to tell everybody everything I wanted to say to say to them throughout the entire course of the evening, just in case I didn’t get a chance to do it.
First, I put a really big sign at the door that said everything I would want to say to someone walking in the room for the first time.
The first item on the to do list was for everyone to find his or her letter. That’s right, I had actually typed up personalized letters for everyone who came to the party. The letters were only about 60 words a piece, but it was a good chance for me to spill my emotions.
I typed up the letters in Microsoft Word. I turned the page horizontal, divided it into 3 columns and typed a little message into each column. Then I got them printed at Kinkos on cardstock – AND they cut the pages in thirds for me, which made my life so much easier. The Kajal helped me fold them all at the bar in Baton Rouge one night, while I cut one side into a triangle. I wrote everybody’s name on them and alphabatized them on a plane (the girl next to me asked if I was doing something for a wedding…). Then BJ helped me tape all of them closed and stamp them when I finally arrived home late Thursday night before the party.
(Clearly the one downside to being anywhere near the party planner the week of the event is that you get pulled into a multitude of things. Oops. They both did a wonderful job though.)
The next thing I wanted to do was personalize the wine and beer station. Since there were so many optinos, I wanted to let people know what they were ahead of time. I made signs for each type of alcohol. The wine was in red, and the beer was in yellow. I found the descriptions on the Total Wine website, which worked out perfectly. I vaguely remember sticking in my own “#thatswhatshesaid” on one of them, but I’m not sure anybody actually read it.
The final personalized detail was that I had wine and beer tags available for everyone if they wanted it. The wine tags were a gift from Marie (thanks, Marie!) and everybody was able to choose their own. The beer tags were made using a circle punch, some packaging tape, and string (BJ also ended up helping with these). I came home with a lot of them, but I think that the people who did used them enjoyed it.
When all was said and done at the end of the party, I would tell you that I got to talk to about 60 people and actually sit down and have conversations with about 30 of them. I think I said to a few people throughout the course of the evening, this is what a wedding must feel like. In retrospect, I probably should have had somebody else collecting money at the door so that I would have more time to talk to people, but at least that gave me a chance to see most people for at least a little bit.
One thing that made me feel a little bit better about not being able to see everybody was a recurring comment that people keep sharing with me. People kept telling me that it was so great to see so many people together again and to be able to catch up with everyone. And you know what, that in itself made it worth it for me.
Do you have any tips on how to personalize large parties you can share for next time?