B'Day Brunchin': Four Tips for Throwing The Ultimate Day
We like to Party- Beyoncé
Celebrating a birthday should always be a joyous occasion. Whether it is a 21st, 25th, 28th, 50th, or 100th birthday I believe that you should celebrate the fact that God blessed you with another 365 days on this earth. Needless to say I am somewhat extra about my day but I get increasingly extra when the opportunity arises to be able to laud the people I care about.
My friend Kia entrusted me with putting together her party this year and as ecstatic as I was, I was genuinely a bit terrified. Not only was it her first birthday celebrating since moving from Chicago to Texas, it was also her last birthday in her 20's. The amount of responsibility felt overwhelming but luckily not only did I have the help of my amazing friend Symphony, but I also like crafty creative shxt so once I get in that zone everything flows . (As a note...keep me out of all craft, floral, and fabric stores for your own safety. )
Planning a brunch or dinner for a friend can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. It can also be simple or as complicated as your friend/significant other/ sister/sometimes boyfriend/baby momma/etc is but luckily there are some basic things to consider while looking to put together this special day
1. Restaurant choice matters! This may be one of the more difficult things to plan. People will always remember the person who picked a great or awful place to eat. To this day I won't take restaurant recommendations from some people.
- Foremost consider the guest of honor. What are their favorite foods? Don't pick YOUR favorite place. If they love tapas don't pick an Italian restaurant because that's what you prefer.
- Also think about the guests they are inviting as well. Allergies, dietary restrictions, etc. Attempt to find a location that has offerings for the vegetarians, pescatarians, vegans, and omnomnomnivores in their life. If you choose to do a prefix menu craft a menu that has various choices.
- Take into account price point. Between food and drinks a tab can run up quickly. If your friend and the guests are drinkers, the greater the mimosa special the better if deciding for brunch. Try to make it in an affordable price range for everyone especially since at most birthday celebrations guests also cover the cost of the birthday boy/girl's meal. One of the reasons I picked Mezze was because of their $8 carafes as well as craft cocktails that ranges from $8-$12. The food was also affordable with prices varying from $12-$16. Although inexpensive the food quality is way above average.
- If you are wanting to try a new place, I suggest you swing by to taste the food before inviting a group unless the reviews from Yelp, Instagram, and your cousin's ex-boyfriend's mother are outstanding.
2. The Guest List
- It's pretty obvious if the honoree gives you one to go off of, then your work here is done. If not, think about who they spend the most time with and if they actually like that person. I recall a certain birthday dinner (thankfully not mine) where a large group of people were invited. Half of the table really went to talk to one another but didn't really interact with the birthday girl much because no one was really getting along with her at the time. After a lot of drinks the night got very interesting when it went from a birthday celebration to a party in the restaurant...from what I remember. Different story for a different day.
- Plus ones: Depending on the relationships this can be tricky to navigate. No one wants to be the awkward friend that got invited last second or just showed up when no one is expecting. Either ask the person the brunch or dinner is being thrown for or do your best to objectively think if they would be ok with someone bringing an extra guest. This day is about them of course.
- Swinging back to the restaurant, ambiance is important. If you aren't the creative or decorating type you can always outsource to an actual events company if you are willing to drop the coins or cruise Pinterest for budget friendly ideas. If you are 1000% not here for anything outside of balloons and those are a STRONG maybe choose a location where you don't have to do much. Carnivale in Chicago is a perfect example of a restaurant where you have to do nothing because the atmosphere does it for you. Always ask the restaurant what their rule is on items especially around confetti or glitter.
- When planning for decor think of what the restaurant already looks like. For Mezze, I knew it had an earthy tones with beautiful floral and faux waterfall backdrops on the wall as a lot of greenery. The room we were using was like a Spanish wine cellar so I knew golds, creams, and slight touches of colors would work based on what was around me. Think about what you have at home you can already use as well.
- A lot can be done on a budget. Utilize stores like the Dollar Tree for decor. For Kia's birthday the centerpiece that went down the middle of the table was $18 total for the supplies. Taking what I knew about the restaurant, Symphony and I looked for items that went well but also were in season. We ultimately got lucky because we were doing a spring garden theme and the Dollar Tree had a lot of Easter decor in stock.
- Personalizing items and having take home gifts can add a nice touch. For instance if you are doing a tropical theme, write guests names on leaves from craft store with gold paint to use as place cards. Use bright florals, balloons, and fresh fruits like baby pineapples. You can give them to guests to take home or selfishly eat them later. Or grab small planters $0.99 from Target and use to decorate. Fill the planter with fresh tropical style leaves and a colorful flower.
4. Last but not least, don't stress yourself out. It is a special day but have fun with it. If you do everything with love and that person in mind it will turn out great! Trust me.
Check out more pics from the birthday brunch and if you have any questions or need ideas feel free to ask away!