80th Birthday | The Geneva Convention: 80th Birthday

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

80th Birthday

We love a good excuse for a party over here, and my grandfather's 80th birthday is a great excuse for a party. He's a pretty fantastic guy -- witty, generous, and kind -- and we knew any party for him would be a well-attended and exuberant affair.

A birthday party is all about a person, and we decided to make our party distinctly Fred themed! Luckily, he's an easy person to do this for. Firstly, the color scheme: he wears almost exclusively primary colors. We found paper plates and napkins at the grocery store with a great red, blue, and gray theme, and continued it for the balloons and ribbons. It turned out really nicely!

Birthday BalloonsBirthday Balloons

Next, my favorite stroke of genius (all my mother's doing): a cardboard cutout of James Bond with one of my grandfather's headshots on top. He loves his martinis. I created the card to go in the birthday wreath with a little bit of photo manipulation.

Party Decorations
Party Decorations

Then came the focus on Fred's life. We went through numerous family photo collections to find some great ones of him, and filled several photo boards. These photo boards are really easy to make, store, and use over and over again -- I will share a tutorial for making something similar soon. We also raided his home office for a table dedicated to him. Pictures, trophies, and a basket for the post cards we sent out with each invitation as a way for people to send along memories and wishes, whether or not they could be at the party. Grandpa loves postcards, and he got a bunch for his birthday!

Party Decorations
Party Decorations

Drinks came in the form of a non-alcoholic family punch recipe. We provided vodka and champagne to spike it, along with beer and wine on the porch to lure people outside.

Party Punch
Wine and Beer Bench

For food, we just did our best to make it ample and scrumptious. We covered the dining room table in chicken satay, salads, caprese skewers, and roasted vegetables. The star of the food show, however, was the cheese plate. If you don't understand the labels, watch this and all will become clear.

Party Food
Party Food
Party Food
Party Food
Party Food
Party Food
Party Food

Dessert came in the form of a birthday cake, of course! (I will describe it in more detail in another blog post). Homemade cakes are always best, but we have limited options for baking cakes to feed upwards of 50 people. This cake, albeit the biggest cake I've ever made, wasn't enough. We supplemented with cream puffs (bought in bulk from Sam's Club, just like the cheese) and a couple packages of "Sweet Bites" from Trader Joes, which are perfect for situations like this. They're gorgeous, delicious, and just need to come out of the freezer to add dimension to dessert.

80th Birthday Party
80th Birthday Party Cake

It was a great party -- we had more guests than we ever anticipated and everyone had a great time. Fortunately we always make twice as much food as necessary! Grandpa's 80th came in with style and I look forward to his 81st!

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