My husband, Jason, is a HUGE movie buff, so when his 30th birthday was approaching, I had the perfect idea to celebrate.
I would rent a movie theater and present a private showing of his favorite movie, “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”, and since it was going to be the big 3-0, I would make it a surprise party. Now, mind you, this idea had been brewing for quite some time, long before he was about to turn 30. It was one of those party ideas that was so perfectly fitted for its recipient that you couldn’t wait for it to come to life, even if you had a year (or two) to wait. I don’t get very many of those, that’s for sure, so when the time was finally right, I was excited to dive right into the party planning.
The first step in planning the event was to find the location, and boy, did that turn into a hunt. At that point in time, Jay was in between jobs and at home, which made my researching next to impossible. I’m pretty sure I went way over my cell phone internet data for a couple months straight, because the only time I could shop around away from prying eyes was on breaks at work. IT TOOK FOREVER! (Confession: I started my search in January and didn’t book a venue until the end of May. I’ll let you into what the quest for the perfect location looks like, along with some helpful tips for venue-picking in a future post.)
My search was so discouraging, that I had ALMOST given up and thought against the whole party in general. Until, I finally the perfect place! The Wythe Hotel Screening Room in Williamsburg, BK, had the perfect feel I was looking for, the price was right, and they had the date I wanted available.
Now that the madness of finding the location was over, I could move on to the fun part of party planning, organizing all the wonderful little details: guest lists, invitations, menus, and decorations! As you should be able to tell by now, my brother Billy is truly talented. I enlist him to design all my party paper goods, and because we are family, to my benefit, he can’t say no! (Sorry Billy, you’re in for a lifetime’s worth of free party prep labor.) So I gave him the direction I wanted to go in terms of the design for the invites, fashioned after a movie ticket, and he delivered. They looked perfect, right?!
As the RSVPs came in, and the guest list finalized, I could focus on the specifics that relied on the guest list count. I also wanted to feature a candy and popcorn bar, because you can’t have a movie themed party without candy and popcorn! The hotel provided the popcorn machine, so all that was left was to fashion my own candy bar. A couple apothecary jars and trays later, I had the vintage candy shop look I was looking for.
Now, because the screening room had the perfect look I wanted for the party, I really didn’t need to bring any decorations of my own. However, the one item I did bring in acted as both a decorative piece and guest book all in one. As part of my husband’s gift, I bought a Maxime Pecourt “Raiders of the Lost Ark” movie poster. I framed the poster so I could have the guests write their birthday messages to Jason right onto the poster. The poster was pretty cool on its own, but to have everyone sign it for the birthday boy made it ten times cooler.
****Insert poster photos****
With all the details planned, and the day finally here, I was so excited to see the look on my husband’s face when everyone yelled, “SURPRISE!” When that moment came, it was like all the work leading up to it was completely and more than worth it. He loved it!
Not everyone is lucky enough to have an amazing partner to share their life with, so when I was able to put together an event that celebrated the selfless man in my life, I was ecstatic. Happy 30th birthday, my love!