What a Surprise!

Up until three Saturdays ago, this is where my brain (and blog) was the past month or two. I have to say that while I’m glad the planning part is over, it has been fun looking through all the pictures and video many times, reliving the moments. My only regret is that I would have taken more pictures of our evening. I’m still trying to figure out the perfect balance of playing hostess and taking pictures, which isn’t easy to do!

Since this year was my husband’s milestone birthday, I already knew we would have to celebrate with a bang. Not much for surprises or anything that pushes him out of his comfort zone, my Red Beard decided that we were just going to spend a quiet evening out for sushi on the eve of his birthday. Considering I had been planning his party with our family and close friends for almost a month prior to his actual birthday, it was difficult to keep quiet! 

*Deciding on a theme vs. no theme party: 
My husband and I have always had fun acting like children enjoying things that bring us laughter so I knew if I had a themed birthday party, it would have to fit this requisite. I also know how much my husband loves movies, especially those that involve superheroes and cartoons. When the lightbulb moment came, I knew that a Superhero/Comic Book themed party would be perfect! My slogan on the invitation was “13 going on 30” and that pretty much sums it up. I also like how having a theme for the party makes planning for it easier. Being organized, this helps not feeling so overwhelmed with the planning process.

*Creating invitations:
In keeping with my decision for a themed party, the invitations had to let our guests know they were welcome to join in on the fun and dress up like their favorite superheroes or comic book character. I took the lazy inexpensive route and sent email invites, which I created on Evite.com. Easy enough and the least time consuming part of planning this surprise party. Plus, it was the only practical foolproof husband-proof way of keeping the party a complete surprise (think no-pesky-rsvp’s-in-the-mailbox while husband happens to actually check the mailbox for the first time in over a year) yet keeping everyone in the loop. 

*How I kept my husband away from the house on party day:
This was a tough one but thankfully, my husband actually made it easier for me even without him knowing! You see, he had been wanting to see Green Lantern for a long time. Probably since the first moment he found out it would be released in the summer of 2011. He’s that kind of guy and for the record, I am like that with Harry Potter. I digress. So Green Lantern was to be released the weekend of his birthday and it worked out that he planned to go see the movie with my brother and another friend. Of course, they were in on the surprise and made sure to coordinate the movie time with the party time, so that they would be arriving back at our house after the movie, in time for my husband to be completely surprised! It was the perfect alibi and couldn’t have been planned any better. 

*Sewing banners:
These were super easy to make and since I was slightly pressed for time desperately trying to churn these out while my husband was working on his car one Saturday morning, I didn’t have time to take any pictures of the actual steps. Just believe me when I say they were easy to make, even if it involved a sewing machine. My inspiration for the banners came from here. I love the way the banners added pizzaz to the party theme and I really think these made the party. The best part is that I will be able to use them again! That is, if I’m ever in need of comic book banners. I’ll say it again: These banners were my favorite part of the decor!

*Making tissue paper pom poms:
This isn’t a great picture of what the tissue poms actually looked like after my mom and I made them. My inspiration came from here and hopefully next time (definitely be making these for every.single.future.party!) I can actually hang them alone or in little groups for a better effect. The balloons didn’t do what I wanted them to (hello, helium?) and so we had to improvise by hanging the balloons from the poms. Say hello to festive acorns!

*Food Preparation:
The menu included drinks, light appetizers and birthday cake. At the last minute, I decided to add some turkey, pepperoni and cheese sandwiches. I’m so glad I did because the boys were expecting dinner when they arrived to our house from the movie and I’m sure they would be hungry for more than just chips and salsa. Since I am still learning to play hostess and take pictures, this explains the lack of pictures from the food table.  

*The birthday cake:
This is a shameless plug for my mom’s cake business. She makes the best cakes ever. Even if she wasn’t my mom, I would still say that her cakes are amazing. Throughout our childhood, my mom always made our birthday cakes and still continues the tradition. I know that her talent for baking (and cooking, too!) runs deep and I love how with time, she has only gotten better! Here’s her website, in case you want to check it out. Now, for a bunch of cake pictures. Yes, she actually airbrushed my husband’s likeness onto the drawing of Green Lantern. Awesome!

My husband has now officially started a new decade of life. We celebrated in style and I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that the surprise went off without a hitch. I’m definitely looking forward to what the next decade holds!

Happy Birthday, Red Beard!!

3 thoughts on “What a Surprise!

  1. Megan @ The Fresh Fridge says:

    Great job! I have always been a bit fearful of throwing a surprise party – I am horrible at keeping it a secret! We celebrated my husband's 30th last year and I had so much fun putting it together – loved your ideas!

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