I can’t wait to share Arjun’s 1st birthday party details and pictures with you all! Sorry it’s taken a while – it’s been chaotic with the aftermath of the party, and then returning to work and Arjun starting nursery!
So as I have so much to say about Arjun’s party and I don’t want to bore you all with it, (haha!) I thought I’d separate each part out with a different blog post (gives me a bit of structure too and I like structure!).
I started planning Arjun’s birthday party in January – a whopping 6 months ahead of his birthday. A little crazy some of you may think. But for someone who thrives on organising and planning events and parties, I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. I didn’t want to feel panicked, I wanted to enjoy each and every moment of it. I wanted to embrace it. I didn’t want to become consumed by stress. This was the biggest party I was ever going to organise to date – it was my baby boys 1st birthday!
I decided to go with a jungle themed party as he absolutely loves animals. It was always my wish to have a summer baby so that we could have a garden party – I love my garden, it’s my favourite part of our house so I wanted to make the most of it for Arjun’s birthday celebrations.
Some may think it was a little OTT (or not), but to be honest, I don’t really know how to do things in halves and if I’m going to do something, I like to give it my all (by my own standards!) – it’s my passion. Attention to detail is absolutely vital to me. I’m like a dog with a bone if everything isn’t seemingly perfect. I’m a perfectionist in short! Knowing this, I whipped up an excel spreadsheet (can you tell I’m an accountant?) around January and jotted down some ideas. My excel workbook creatively titled “Arjun’s 1st Birthday” was my right hand (virtual) man. I almost died when I thought Arjun busted my laptop!
I took my time making decisions and brain storming ideas, I felt like I was in my zone as I always do when planning an event. Especially a themed one! I’m pretty sure I missed my calling in life as a full time event planner – it’s my forte. It allows my creative juices to flow and for me to see the end product.
We were expecting around 200 guests including 30 children and I wanted to ensure everything was planned properly. Giving myself so much time meant that, although it took longer to do things, I could have Arjun by my side through the party preps. Although it was challenging at times, it was nice to have him with me when doing things such as putting together the party bags, or making the food labels – it gave me constant focus on why I was doing it. I thoroughly enjoyed the build up!
The day before …
The day before I was in surprisingly good spirits! I felt like the past six months worth of prep had really paid off as it meant I could kick back and let things pan out how I’d planned.I was calm and patient and was really trying to embrace the moment and enjoy the build up. My sisters and our friends Pavan, Amrit and Sav also came over to help. Having the manpower made a huge difference.I was feeling really stressed about the one thing I couldn’t control – the weather which seemed to be constantly changing on every forecast website I looked (they were even stored in my favourites!). Apparently it was going to be okay the following day.
I was feeling so super blessed though – as Arjun played with his toys and new car in the garden while we decorated the marquee, I felt everything was going perfectly. My vision was coming alive. I knew exactly how I wanted the marquee to look and it was happening. We started off with the ceiling decor before proceeding to the backdrop – the only thing (other than the weather) that I was particularly worried about! Even that panned out perfectly and we had 0 issues with hanging it up to my surprise. I felt really pleased.
Sav and I chopped up fruit – the smell, sticky work surfaces and a colourful arrangement of fruit highlighting the kitchen – it was a moment of nostalgia to our Passion Froot days when we would professionally create fruit displays for weddings and parties. This was going to be a really dinky display just for the kids though. So no where near as much pressure as what we were used to!
Once we got the table decor done and planned out how the kids food was going to be arranged, I was so happy. It was coming out just how I wanted and I felt so grateful to God.
The balloon supplier, Susan was around too the day before and it was amazing seeing her work unfold. The life sized creatures she created looked adorable and I was so excited!
We really enjoyed the build up to the big day and we also got spoilt with food – my mum made us lunch and our family friend Karan made us dinner. It was a fun filled day and we were in bed by 11pm. We had a long day ahead of us but I was prepared for everything (bar the weather!). My list was so OTT that I’d delegated tasks by time by person. It had to be done. Harv and Pavan were predominantly in charge of Arjun and they did a fab job!
The morning of the party …
Throughout the night I could hear the pitter patter sound of rain against our windows. I tried to keep myself calm by reminding myself that it was probably good if it rained during the night as less chance it’d rain later. But when I woke it was still drizzling. I felt the opposite to the day before – stressed and anxious and it was all over something I couldn’t control. I was so worried that the soft play and the bouncy assault course we’d hired would go to waste and that perhaps we should have gone for a larger marquee. It was too late to worry anyway.
By 11am, it was still raining and the caterers had arrived. The arrangement of the BBQ food had to be put up under a gazebo instead of being outside. I could live with that. I’d borrowed a gazebo from my Masi (aunt) just in case. What I hadn’t done was borrow another 3 which is what we needed to cover up the crepe, waffle and hot dog stalls we also had. Thank goodness for great friends – Goov’s friend Alka got on the case pronto and had them at ours by 12pm which meant they could be set up under gazebos too.
I cried, I snapped, I was gutted at that point but actually there was nothing I could do. My lovely family reassured me that it’d still turn out great.
By 1pm (the party was starting at 1.30pm), the rain stopped. I was so so grateful to God and actually it was a blessing as the rain helped to calm down my hayfever! Also in hindsight, I was really grateful for the weather we got as it wasn’t too hot like the weather was when the heat wave struck a few days after the party. That would have been unbearable for the babies!
Arjun had a cold which meant he wasn’t his usual happy self at times which was a shame but all in all the party turned out perfect and just how I’d visioned. I think everyone had a great time – so they said!
We are so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends who made a huge effort to be there to celebrate with us. I look forward to sharing our party deets with you!:)
Next post to follow tomorrow: The Décor
Want to read about the rest of Arjun’s first jungle themed birthday party? Check out the following posts in the series: