As many of you know, I turned 28 in December, and as expected there was a 28th birthday party to accompany that. The theme of that party was Disney. The agenda for the party? Watch back-to-back Disney movies while coloring, drinking, and picnicking on the floor.
It was possibly the most “Chrystina” birthday party I’ve ever had. And it was the weirdest thing to not have to host the party. Why? Because we were watching movies.
That said, I still haven’t quite figured out how to talk about the party yet.
There’s that question everybody asks, “so, how did the party go?” That’s the hard one to answer.
I don’t know. It was fun. It was pretty. The movies were excellent as per usual. But there were a heck of a lot of things I would have changed. So I’m going to give it to you straight and tell you the good and the bad.
So if you’re one of those people that just wants to hear what went well and thinks it’s ridiculous that I’m complaining about a fabulous birthday party, just read the first half of the post and stop there. K thanks.
10 things I would do again at my 28th Disney-themed birthday party
- I had people vote on the movies ahead of time. There was a doodle poll. I put 10 movies on there that I would be happy to watch and I let everyone pick their favorites. At the end of the day Mulan and Aladdin were the winners, with Hercules as a very close runner up.
- I told people to bring a picnic lunch. It was kind of fun and it was a cost saver on money. I gave gift cards out to the people who brought the best picnics.
- I chose colors for the party. As Ben and I were walking around The Christmas Tree Shoppe I realized that I was going to have to decide on colors for the decor if I was going to get anything done. I decided to keep it classy with black and white. Black and white both (a) reminds me of movies, and (b) is a good way to make a kids-themed party more adult-like.
- I bought cake stands to use on the food table. This gave me the opportunity to vary the heights of the things on the table creating a very nice visual.
- I bought one coloring book and let people rip pages out of it to color. One was all we needed since everybody only had time to color one (maybe two) pictures from the book.
- I chose a venue that already had a projector, sound system, and DVD player. This made it really easy to bring the movies in.
- I borrowed the Aladdin DVD from a lovely lady in a Buy Nothing / Sell Nothing group on Facebook. I posted that I needed to borrow the DVD for a party and she volunteered her copy. This saved me a lot of money since I think Aladdin is currently in the vault.
- I bought balloons to decorate with. They definitely added some great height. I also splurged on a $9 Disney balloon. Way better than a bouquet of flowers since it’s still floating 2 weeks later. (And I will probably tape it to the wall when the air is finally out of it.)
- I made a paper chain for decoration. Paper chains are my favorite way to decorate. They’re easy and meditative to make, they look really classy, and you can always keep them for the next party.
- I liked that it was a kid-friendly party. No kids actually ended up coming, but as I’m getting older and I have more friends who have kids it’s nice to find a balance that works for both. (Please note: We drank the juice boxes I bought for said children anyway.)
5 things I should have done differently for my 28th Disney-themed birthday party
- I would spend more time on the guest list. For some reason I decided to make a guest list really quickly and send out all the invites. ROOKIE mistake. There are so many more people I would have loved to see. There are so many more people I was having one-on-one outings with in between the time I sent the invite and the party that I had to awkwardly be like, “hey, so you totally should have been on this list.” I’m not letting this happen again. If I’m planning a go-big-or-go-home party in the future I will definitely definitely spend more time on the guest list.
- I wish I hadn’t spent money on a venue. The venue was beautiful. But at the end of the day the party turned out to be 25 people total. We almost could have done that in my living room. And I could have saved a heck of a lot of money.
- I bought far too much alcohol. This is a common theme in my life. Ben tried to stop me. It just seems so embarrassing to run out. That said, I think I brought 4 cases and left with 3.5 cases. If not more. I also left with 3 cases of La Croix, half a dozen juice boxes, 1.5 cases of water, and at least 6 bottles of wine. Oops?
- I would have told people to bring slippers or a change of shoes. There’s no way I could have known this ahead of time. It was really really cold and crummy weather that day. And you pretty much walk straight from outside into a hallway into the venue. So we asked people to take their shoes off when they came in so that people weren’t picnicking in water on the ground. This made us all pretty cold (and left us with wet feet).
- I got the suggestion that I should have had more time for people to mingle. Essentially the party was 4 hours. That was 30 minutes at the beginning, a 90 minute movie, a 30 minute break, and a 90 minute movie. That wasn’t really time for anybody to see anybody. We also could have played some kind of game. (They suggested mafia, I was thinking Disney song lyric games. Same difference.) I don’t know if the answer to this should have been only watch one movie or have a longer party, but I felt I should pass it along.
Usually I would write “I would have taken more photos” in the things I should have done differently category (because I genuinely didn’t take any photos), but I’ve pretty much accepted this is a way of life at this point. It’s just not humanly possible to remember to take photos during your own party. This is why people hire photographers.
All of the photographs in my post were taken by my friend Mary. Thanks, Mary.