Since most of the family is in or around South Georgia and I live in Atlanta, I decided to have the party there. I asked an aunt for the huge favor of letting me use her home. She kindly said yes. If you are going to do this (borrow a house) make it as easy on the host as you can. I showed up two hours early, gave the rooms we would be using a quick clean up, asked her to show me what I could use, and was on my way. I also made sure to write her a thank you card and get her a gift for her hospitality which I presented to her at the party.
Since the party was the weekend after Thanksgiving I wanted to avoid all things turkey. I decided on a BBQ style menu. We set up the food between the kitchen and living room. My aunt has a kitchen island with leaves that fold out to make a table. I covered it in a birthday theme table cloth and set up the food service there. On the table we had rib tips, baked beans, hot wings, coleslaw, potato salad, rolls, plates, napkins, and forks. I purchased two 8 piece buffet chafing dish sets from Party City for the hot food. The cold food went into crystal bowls I borrowed from my aunt. I put the rolls in a basket that I had in my kitchen.
The kitchen counter was our makeshift bar. We had sweet tea, sodas, bottled water, and alcohol drink mixers. On a small glass table in the dining room we displayed the raspberry filled marble birthday cake and large fruit tray. There were cake plates and additional forks there as well. The final countdown began as the guest of honor arrived. She came through the front door to a rousing HAPPY BIRTHDAY and the party had begun.
· Planning time: About 6 weeks mainly on the weekends making phone calls and picking up supplies.
· Supplies: 2 Buffet Chafing Dish Sets– Bread Basket – Bowls for cold food – Bowl for ice and tongs. Plastic
tablecloths, sturdy plates, napkins, cups, and forks.
· Event Duration: 7 hours from set up to clean up. The party itself was about 4 hours.
· Cole slaw and potato salad. My aunt had two very beautiful crystal bowls that she said she never used. So of
course I asked, “Can I use them?” She mentioned that we are always waiting for some special occasion to use
our special things. I reminded her that anytime you use them is a special occasion because they are special.
Those crystal bowls look beautiful right next to that BBQ.
· The music. My beau was kind enough to put together and old school music playlist. It was an easy setup using
only a phone with downloaded songs plugged into a good set of speakers.
· The drinks. My dad and cousins took care of the alcohol. A big hit of the party was the variety of party mixers we
had. Many of them were ready to drink. Just pour over ice and serve. Very quick and easy.
· I will designate someone to take pictures. I missed a few good moments and
don’t have many pictures of the set up because I was organizing, preparing,
entertaining, refreshing food, and just couldn’t do it all.
· I will record more videos. Phones and cameras can do so much more than take
pictures. I turned on the video setting as my grandfather and aunt sang a song
for the birthday girl and I wished I had used that the whole time, especially during
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