By Wil Merritt, Co-Founder of Celebration Stadium
Here at Celebration Stadium we are privileged to see a lot of amazing parties. But having to organize a major milestone event myself was a daunting challenge! For my wife's 6-0, Melissa dreamed of having an unforgettable family trip with our three kids (all in their 20s - big kids!) plus an informal party to celebrate with lots of friends and relatives.
With the help of our kids we had an unforgettable time with a birthday bash and a family trip to the fabulous country of Belize right after the party. Thought you might like to see some photos from the events and how Celebration Stadiums became the party highlights.
So planning the party for friends... Melissa made her guest list with 100 or so people. We used Paperless Post for the invites and reminder messaging, the online service is great tool for tracking details. And we received lots of thoughtful messages from people who were not able to attend.
Next up the birthday cake. Melissa mentioned she always wanted to have an olive oil cake. Hmmm, not the most common variety here in Seattle. With a little research talking to caterers we found a local bakery that actually specializes in a Ricotta Olive Oil Cake (Lemon Curd + Lemon Mascarpone Cream + Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting).
The bakers added fresh flowers and edible gold foil to make an incredibly beautiful and delicious creation, picked up by our eldest daughter on party day.
We had fun with the kids getting into the party planning. They decided the color theme would be pink/white/gold with loads of fresh flowers. My son wanted tons of balloons.
The venue for the party was a local wine bar, the owners were super-accommodating. They had hosted lots of birthday parties and provided great tips on what foods to serve and how to decorate. They even offered up a private advance wine tasting to make our selections (required extensive research on my part).
With the restaurant handling all the food and drinks, we just had to focus on the birthday cake. Of course the focal point was the Celebration Stadium.
We used extra-long pink candles and a gold "Happy Birthday" cake topper for a dazzling centerpiece. The kids lit all 60 candles, the display was breathtaking.
The party was a blast, great to be with so many friends and relatives. Next it was off on our family adventure to Belize. A chance for the five of us to be together having fun in the sun.
On our last night of the trip we had one more surprise birthday. I had snuck a small-version Celebration Stadium in my luggage.
We arranged for the resort restaurant to bring it out with sparklers and their famous Belizean-chocolate cake.
All in all, truly a 60th birthday not to be forgotten. A time to take stock, appreciate our blessings and enjoy the milestone moment!