We have always made a big deal about birthdays — the party planning for the next year begins after the last guest has left! Whether it’s a 1st birthday or a 50th, we love them all. But milestone birthdays should get extra special attention. Usually these are the ones where you get to look back at the decade behind you and celebrate your accomplishments (or lament on all things you wish you had done). We have thrown a French Quarter-style 20th anniversary of a 21st birthday (he was 41 and due to a sweet baby trying to arrive early the year before, his 40th was postponed), a rocking karaoke bash for a 30th, and a “Sixty is the New Sexy” for our mother. Recently, Chastiti co-chaired a Rock & Roll gala for her children’s elementary school, and though you may not have a huge fundraising event in the works, the theme and decor lends itself to an amazing grown up birthday party.
The theme was inspired by rock and roll and not only did the decor “rock it out of the ballpark,” but the guests all joined in and dressed the part. For centerpieces, we used black, jewel dotted wire guitars, rhinestone encrusted skulls atop drums (surrounded by amazing paper flowers we found on Etsy), and black tree limbs with cd’s in silver and hot pink glittered paint dangling on invisible wire. Our table linens were black crocodile and ostrich, which produced an edgy rock star feel, and we chose Chiavari ghost chairs to add some glam! Our design team (Twain parents) created an amazing photo backdrop wall that crushed the theme. We went with the black and hot pink color theme and branded the save the date, invitation, and signage with a drum set and guitar logo custom created by Houston’s own fabulous Toast & Laurel. If you are throwing a milestone themed party, it is important to have the theme running through all of your party elements. This ensures that your party looks cohesive, and your guests will think you hired a party planner!
No matter how great the decor or theme is, if your food is not delicious and plentiful, your party will suffer. The meal should tie into the theme of your party (here’s that cohesiveness again), and it is always fun to have a specialty drink that fits your vision. At this gala, the ever-wonderful BB’s Cafe catered with “rock star” food stations instead of a seated meal — rock stars are too busy to sit and eat! One of the most popular stations was the “The King of Rock and Roll” sliders — a take off of Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich. Brooks Bassler’s team created the amazing peanut butter, banana, and bacon concoction, and we must say, they rocked! We also had an ice shot block made with a custom logo for the gala. For your birthday party, it could be a smaller version and likely the most popular attraction of the night! You could have one made with “Rock Your 30’s” or something similar to bring an element of rock legend to your party.
Entertainment is always key — whether it’s the music to set the tone or a performance to get everyone moving, you want to keep your theme going. At this gala we had an amazing DJ (Retro DJ to Go) who kept our crowd rocking all night. When you host a rock-themed party, the music is easy, but a good host will make sure to pace it, keep the sound comfortable, and use it to transition into different stages of the party. At the gala, we were fortunate to have two Houston-based aerialists wow the crowd (one of them was Chastiti’s co-chair!). If your milestone party can accommodate these types of performances, your party will be the talk of the town. We also added a fun airbrush tattoo station for our guests to get a little rock star street cred! We had people request full sleeves, Kiss-style tats, and all sorts of skull and cross-bone artwork covering a lot of skin. Guests were having great fun not only getting the tattoos. but also checking out the designs of others.
While this gala, and the inspiration for a milestone birthday party, was for over 400 people, all of these elements can by minimized to fit a party of any size. Pick a theme and incorporate it into all of the major (and we think minor too) elements of the party. From the invites “We Will Rock You” to the food and drink to the party favors (miniature bottles of Jack Daniels anyone?), your party is sure to be one that will rock your guests like a hurricane!
Bonus points to anyone who spots our own In the Loop Style’s Chastiti in these photos! Here’s a hint: despite her costume, she didn’t make the crowd wait four hours to come onstage!
Event Space: Audi Central Houston | Entertainment: Madonna Bauch and Adam Skidmore | Catering: BB’s Cafe | Specialty Drink Sponsor: Deep Eddy Vodka | DJ and Lighting: Retro DJ to Go | Auctioneer: Jack Gibbs | Emcee: Don Armstrong | Rentals: Aztec Events & Tents and Prashe Decor| Linens: Prashe Decor | Decor: Twain Bash Decorating Committee, Etsy |Shot Block: Ice Designs, Inc. | Event Branding: Toast & Laurel | Table Signage and Banners: Sara Iqbal | Tattoo Artists: Event Airbrush Skin Art
Photos: Kelli Elizabeth Photography