My brothers, sisters in law and I hosted a party for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary and their retirements (my dad basically retired 100 years ago, but he's OFFICIALLY retired now). This all happened back in October so while their garden is lovely, it's not this lovely in January.
And this isn't really a blog post as much as it is a picture dump because it was all just so stinking pretty...but I can't really take credit for all the great ideas - it was like 80% Pinterest. I will, however, take credit for being on a ladder at like 5:30 that morning, hanging those damn lanterns. It all looks so simple and easy breezy, but it did take a lot of effort.
And speaking of effort, our friend Mary -- my brother and SIL Who Does Not Wear John Deere Pamajas' neighbor, was SO AWESOME. She offered to help and at first I told her not to worry about it because I knew I'd be in bitch mode but she was like "Elizabeth, I totally know what it's like to be our kind of person in party prep mode. You tell me what to do and I will do it."
And hot damn, she rocked it. SO HELPFUL!
I believe I've already reported that I wouldn't do the driveway balloons again because they got all tangled with even just a light breeze:
The main food was a taco guy who I didn't get a picture of, but there was also a table of supplementary items - the big hole was for the artichoke jalapeno dip that was in the oven when Laverne took this picture:
The oranges in the mason jar were a bit of a twist on something I saw on Pinterest that I'd totally do again...though my morning would have been less hectic if I'd decided on baby's breath earlier and did the running from store to store to buy enough sometime OTHER THAN the morning of the party.
Sangria and sun tea down at the end (not in view: the jelly jars I rented for said sangria and sun tea! I LOVE A THEME!):
One of my favorite Pinterest ideas:
The crates for the empties (there was another one for dirty dishes and another for something else that I can't think of right now) were my idea -- I have three of them in my garage now, so expect to see them again at any future adorable outdoor parties I may throw.
The other side of the yard with the seating. It was unexpectedly warm so umbrellas would have been nice, but then I couldn't have done the lanterns:
The kids' table was this adorable little midgety table (with matching midgety chairs) that I stocked with kid stuff:
See that bike in the picture above? Mary and I looked over at it at one point during the set up process and we both noticed that her husband had sort of awkwardly tied the balloons to it (per my request), but we were busy and I was thankful for his help and we had bigger fish to fry so I was going to ignore it...but then Mary, my party execution twin, was like "You're thinking the same thing I'm thinking."
"Um. Probably. But don't worry about it."
And then the next thing I knew, her husband was re-doing the balloons on the bike.
I'm pretty sure that when he offered to help he thought he'd be doing masculine things like moving tables and putting beer on ice (my brother's ONLY day-of job was to get ice, but I had to send him back to the store three times because this task wasn't being completed to my satisfaction) and that he didn't at all expect to be named the VP of Balloon Decor (he also did the driveway balloons for me!), but those balloons on that bike (which were an afterthought because my dad's bike just happened to be leaning up against the fence and we had extra driveway balloons) actually turned out to be one of my favorite details.
Mary also made the cupcakes and her mother-in-law made the party favors (chocolate pops) -- I would have FOR SURE been up a creek without Team KPR!
We had a huge turn out, it was a lovely day for a party, and I know my parents enjoyed themselves.
And I totally overbought on beverages so we have beer and soda in the basement to last us for years.
I also had a bunch of people say that OMG ELIZABETH, YOU SHOULD DO THIS PROFESSIONALLY and I was like OMG THANK YOU BUT NO, because then I'd have to execute other peoples' ideas and truthfully, it's a lot of effort and it's really only worth it when I'm doing this for someone I love.
And speaking of someone I love, here's a beautiful picture of my miracle niece that Laverne took (one of many -- some of which I've stolen for use in this blog post):
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