On our first year anniversary together, Char and I decided to mark the occasion by throwing an engagement party for ourselves. We’d already been engaged for nearly 6 months, after Char proposed to me in front of the London Eye on NYE, but we love any excuse for a party and wanted to share the occasion with our nearest and dearest.
We started looking at venue options to hold the party in, however when it boiled down to it, no one could offer us exactly what we wanted, especially as we like to party well into the early hours, and so regardless of the fact our weather in England can be pretty unpredictable, we decided to go for a garden party!
Char took quite a bit of convincing with this, but when I’ve set my heart on something, somehow I always end up getting my way! Shh, I didn’t really say that! Anyway, the garden it was, and now we just had to sort out who to invite.
We both sat going through our Facebook friends list, and phone contacts, then looked at each other as the realisation spread across both of our faces that there were just too many people for the space we had! That’s when we made the decision to have an all day party…that way we could invite our older family members and also friends and family who had children in the afternoon, then the evening would be for anyone that wanted to party the night away with us, well into the early hours, without kids getting in the way of all the drinking and dancing. It was perfect.
We created a Facebook invite, because why waste money on an invitation when we could use that towards Vodka?! And made up a rhyme that we used to tell people there were no kids in the evening, giving them plenty of notice to find a babysitter if they also wanted to attend in the evening!
“Children In the afternoon, we’d love them on the scene! Evening time, however, is an Adults only theme!”
We also knew that our friends and family would want to bring us gifts, which we really didn’t expect, however as people insisted, we thought we might as well give them an idea of what to get. What we would really love is to have a baby, to make our little family complete, and as Char already had Finley, our gorgeous little boy, I would like to be the one to carry. So again, on our Facebook invite we made up yet another rhyme for the gift idea, and really hoped everyone would just see the funny side.
So everyone was invited, and now to sort out the decorations! Luckily for us we have an extremely Crafty friend, Chris, who helped loads with the planning and organisation of the party, and we couldn’t be more grateful! She made us an amazing plaque for the day, which everyone could come and sign with their wishes of congratulations, and she also made some gorgeous jars for the table centre pieces, with beautiful flowers in.
The colour scheme was obviously ‘Rainbow’ and Pinterest was definitely our friend. We found tutorials for our Flower Garlands , Pom Pom flowers, which we hung up, and also stuck to our box which people could post the cards into. We made our very first Balloon arch, which was very fun to make, and although not completely perfect, we were happy with the end result. We also made a photo booth back drop, complete with frames for everyone to poke their heads into, and had a colourful piñata for the kids to bash, and bundle for the sweets.
We hired a sound system and disco lights from Blue Aran, which were only £60 for the day, and as they’re closed on Sundays, we didn’t have to return until the Monday, giving us the whole day after to recover from our hangovers!
When the day finally came, what would you know…rain was forecast! We were so worried, however had luckily borrowed several gazebos and a huge event shelter for the occasion, so at least there would be some relief if it did decide to rain. But the weather was definitely on our side that day, and by the time it came for the afternoon guests to start arriving, the sun was shining and everything looked perfect!
In the afternoon we had scones and sandwiches with light buffet food, and lots of prosecco…it was very sophisticated! There were lots of children, and they really enjoyed dancing to the disco, having their faces painted by Chris’s daughters, playing dress up with the photo booth props, and wacking the piñata with all their might. There was no arguing, and they didn’t get bored…it was simply lovely.
Then we literally had an hour once everyone had left, to tidy up, get changed and start all over again! We really should have given ourselves more time, there was a bit of stressing, but once we got some more drink inside us we really didn’t care.
In the evening we had more buffet food, and a lot more alcohol….Everyone brought their own drink with them, and we provided a jug of pimms, and also a jug of our favourite cocktail from Browns, The British Royal, using the gorgeous Rhubarb and Rosehip Cordial. And not forgetting the all important Vodka Jelly’s.
Our other good friend made us a spectacular cake, which was humongous and full of gorgeous fresh fruit and berry buttercream. It went down so well, as did the whole party.
Everyone had the best time, and the party was a huge success. We partied well into the early hours, and literally danced our shoes off.
It really couldn’t have gone better, we got to celebrate with all of our favourite people, and to top the evening off, once we’d counted all the money from our cards, we were so humbled at how generous everyone had been, as we now had well over £800 for our baby fund!
We are so pleased we decided to have a garden party as it made it all very personal, and meant we could start decorating days before! We were so lucky to be able to spend a whole day with everyone we love, and are so thankful to everyone that came to celebrate with us, and ‘support the cause’. Now all we’ve got to do is start fertility treatment…Watch this space!
“When I saw you I fell in Love, and you smiled because you knew” ~ William Shakespeare
2 Birds 1 Love