July proved to be a busy month of party planning. With my husband’s surprise party out of the way, it was time to focus my attention onto the next event, a going away party for my dear friends, Melinda and Brian Barrow.
As begrudgingly as I was to say goodbye to this wonderful family, they deserved to have a memorable send off, so with the help of my lovely friend, Jen, we set off planning.
“Bon Voyage!” A phrase that directly translates to “Have a nice trip!” is commonly used as the catch phrase for going away parties. It seems so unfair that we have to wish our loved ones a safe and enjoyable trip as they get ready to travel farther and farther away from us. Anyway, “Bon Voyage!” served as our catch phrase, amidst a travel theme.
Like I mentioned before, I use my brother, Billy, for all my invites, so he put together a simple travel themed invite for me that was super easy to put together. (You can find the downloadable version at the bottom of this post!)
The invites were hand delivered, and we set off with the rest of the prep for the party. Jen and I decided to throw the Barrows a low key dinner party with their closest friends within our circle. Jen took on the responsibility of preparing the planned food dishes (Everything was so yummy, Jen!), while I flocked to the decorations. The decorations I had in store I were fashioned off of the designer, David Starks’ travel theme party. It was just too perfect not to try to imitate. So with his model in mind, I started making the decorations. This included the map mountains and “Bon Voyage!” banner for the table centerpiece. (See our Map Mountain Range/Banner How-To post here!)
With the table setting decorations made, I added a couple of gold chargers and clean white tablecloth to compliment the mountain ranges that would take up most of the table, and draw most of the attention. The airplane model that held the banner was the perfect fit for the tablescape, and that I found at Home Goods for just $10. I love that store! I soared with the help of a very fine fishing wire, and as the party went on, it felt perfect when the plane seemed to move on its own over the colorful map mountain range.
Since the party was going to be a simple get together, there wasn’t going to be too much in terms of entertainment, but I did want to make it special for the Barrows. Now, Brian and Melinda are not originally from New York, Brian’s work had taken him to this area, and they were not pleased to call NY home. Well, that’s putting it too politely. Really, they HATED living in New York City. Because of this, I had something really fun in mind to allow the Barrows to take out their anger on the Big Apple.
Piñatas are typically seen in children’s parties, but I could not resist the temptation to incorporate it into this going away party. So I made my very first paper mache piñata out of an old car map of NYC. ***See Pinata How-To” Now, I couldn’t allow the Barrows to simply hit the manifestation of the city they’ve hated living in the past couple of years, they had to work for it. (After all, I happen to love NY, and had to stick up for my hometown in some manner, didn’t I?) As each guest arrived, they had to write down a special memory they had of either Melinda or Brian, without writing down their names. Melinda and Brian had to match the memory with the correct person to get a whack at the piñata. And, boy, did they whack their hardest! I thought for sure with the force they had behind their swings that my paper mache creation would collapse in one blow, but it actually held out! Success!
Our last get together before the Barrows’ move wasn’t the flashiest or grandest, but oftentimes, it seems that the company is what makes the party.