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How to Plan a Badass Birthday Bash

Faith & I met in NYC. Our friends Sabrina & Farley introduced us at this little craft cocktail bar. We immediately fell in love & our conversation at the dinner table went from what skincare products we use to vagina tightening.

Faith has a bubbly, no bullshit personality & oozes charisma. She’s deceptively intelligent & her & her boyfriend Niel have become some of our best friends. We’ve travelled together to Greece, Croatia, London, Montenegro, Spain, Monaco, New York, The South of France & Aspen.

I always say that Faith is like a little pixie fairy- she’s immediately likable, hysterically funny, & knows how to make fun of herself. She also knows how to make fun of me, which I fucking love. No really, her accent is full-on Australian & when she does an impression of me with an American accent it has me DYING with laughter.

Faith is the kind of person you just want to be around, she’s very smart when it comes to health & fitness, & has a great eye for party planning. SO, when she asked me to help her plan her birthday party, I immediately jumped at the chance.

Together, we created a very special, pretty party, that involved everything from outfit changes to Kopari goodies to a champagne saber. Since I thought the party was so special I wanted to do a recap for you guys.

I’ll let Faith take it away from here because she’s very detailed-oriented – just how we like it.

Hey guys, I’m Faith. I came to the US two and a half years ago from Sydney to live with my boyfriend in Boulder, CO. I met Lauryn at a dinner in NYC a while ago and we basically bonded over the color of our rosé. Since then it’s been rosé all day, inside jokes, and some hilarious adventures.

In December last year, with some amazing help from Lauryn, I threw a party for my 30th birthday. I wanted it to be big and very glamorous and fully capable of distracting me from the fact that I was actually turning 30. I easily planned for 6 months, definitely stressed for 4, drove my boyfriend nuts for the last two, but will remember it forever. I’ve written down some of my top tips so that others don’t go through some of the stress that I did.

Tip #1 – Choose a theme!

I personally LOVE a theme. I feel like when everyone has a theme to get involved with it really adds to the vibe of the event. But I think it’s important to match your theme with your venue. Doing a Marie Antoinette party at an Irish pub probably won’t work. The VRBO house I rented was in Beverly Hills, so I figured Old Hollywood Glamour would fit perfectly. I wanted my 30th to be as glamorous as possible and with this theme I could (and literally did) roll out the red carpet. This meant that everyone needed to be in gowns and tuxedos. Unless you’re Kim K you probably haven’t been to a ton of black tie events since prom. Having everyone in red carpet attire makes the event feel very special and more memorable than the average party.

Lesson Learned: Everyone looks fucking amazing in pictures when they are in a ball gown or a tux. 😉

Tip #2 – Decorate at many heights.

A lot of people throw up a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner or have a table where the presents go. I copied a picture I found online and used balloons to create an amazing visual effect at every level from the ceiling to the floor. Honestly, balloons are everything and they are a very affordable option for the feeling they bring to an environment. I literally had over 200 (a mixture of helium and regular) and it added so much texture to the space. We inflated giant rose gold champagne bottle balloons from Paper Confetti and scattered others on the floor throughout the house. Themed balloons are SUCH a fun idea for a party and we put a bunch next to the champagne tower for obvious reasons. Splurge for the balloon weights and cut the strings at different lengths so it will look like a sea of balloons. This will help fill up the empty space if you have a big room.

Lesson Learned: There is nothing more satisfying than taking your cake knife to 100 helium balloons the morning after and stabbing away that hangover!

Tip #3 – Resist your dorm room urges and serve food like an adult.

Don’t just serve food, make food a part of your party’s design. The hot new trend in 2019 is a party grazing table. They are unique works of art that give every party a place for guests to come and nibble on delicious snacks throughout the evening. Check out the grazing tables from Olive and Nectar – it looked like an ancient Roman charcuterie feast. The edible art was complete with my favorite cheeses, berries, nuts, and meats (I’m pescatarian but let’s not hate on our few remaining meat-eating friends while they are trying to party) plus some delicious mocktails.

Also, don’t underestimate how much your late night party guests will want something to nibble on. I stocked Bliss and Baker Rice Krispies treats everywhere around the house for easy access when that late night craving hit them. Pretty in pink, they were such a sweet addition to the party and a nostalgic childhood treat for the guests.

Lesson Learned: Food is entertainment too. There is a reason the chocolate fountain has withstood the test of time.

Tip #4 – Help your guests end the night with some gifts that are both Naughty and Nice.

A lot of people flew in from New York and Sydney just for the party, so we knew they’d be hitting it pretty hard. When they finally called it a night, we thought nothing would be more delightful than rummaging through their very own gift bag to find just what they needed at the end of the night. You can cover most of your bases with snack candy packs, fun size booze bottles, party poppers and hangover supplies, but we decided to up our game a bit and also include some of our favorite late night products:

For the Nice, the gift was Kopari Beauty. They have amazing natural, cruelty and paraben free coconut products that everyone was dying over. We put their deodorant, lip gloss and coconut melt in all the goodie bags.

For the Naughty 😉 we gave them some Woo More Play coconut lube. The coconut ingredients in Woo are free from chemicals, increase sex drive and kill germs. Perfect to have on hand after 15 margaritas on a Saturday night.

Lesson Learned: Goodie bags look great on display! Lay out the bags and products so it becomes part of the decorations.

Tip #5 – Don’t rely on your friends taking pictures and sending them to you the day after.

In this day and age of social media, you think you’d wake up to a wicked hangover and a group chat full of pics. The reality is, the better the party you throw, the less likely people are to take a lot of pictures. And we all know requesting pics from your friends after the fact is a hit or miss experience. I planned ahead for this and turned picture taking into part of the entertainment. We set up two stations for picture taking.

First, we bought a polaroid camera, a ton of film and set up a table with a guest book. Guests would take a picture, tape it into the book and sharpie out a memory. Not only do you wake up to a book full of blackmail worthy photos of your friends (Polaroids have a way of getting people to drop their inhibitions), you have a book full of quotes from your besties.

I also decided to have a professional photo booth company set up another photo station. We made amazing giant cutouts of everyone’s heads and got some of the best photos of the party. The benefit of the heads is that people can’t resist swapping, so it promotes photo sharing. The more people have your photos, the more likely you are to finally get a copy of them!

Lesson Learned: You don’t pay for the photobooth, you pay for the lighting.

Tip #6 – A bartender will pay for him/herself.

I hired a bartender thinking it would be one more touch of class for the party. It also let me create a signature cocktail… or three. Having a professional around to serve drinks and make sure everyone was sufficiently buzzed took a lot of pressure off me. What I didn’t realize is that bartenders basically pay for themselves in saved booze alone. It only takes a few of your well-intended, but pretty drunk friends to pour half a round of expensive tequila shots onto the bar/floor and you’re almost even. Also good bartenders will clean up while they are working AND when they are done.

For accessible drinking we left out big ice buckets with Drink Bev canned rosé. I have to say the pink cans worked perfectly with the decorations and the rosé was crisp, dry and refreshing. It made it so easy for people to grab a drink whenever they wanted instead of going up to the bar.

Lesson Learned: There is absolutely nothing better than waking up the morning after and not having to personally dump 100 half full glasses of champagne down the drain.

Tip #7 – Make setup, cleanup and recovery part of the party.

When I look back to that weekend, some of my favorite memories are actually with all my best friends at the house the night before and the day after. We blew up endless balloons, tried to figure out how to turn the automatic evening sprinklers off (which soaked the bar the night before), took fifteen trips to Target, watched cringe-worthy Christmas movies, were epically hungover together and caught up on all the gossip of the night before. All while ordering non-stop Uber-eats deliveries.

Lesson Learned: The “party” in wedding party, bridal party or birthday party has always meant the people, not the event, for a reason.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful the next time you’re planning a big celebration… OR… you can just hire a party planner and leave it to the professionals :p

xo, <3 @faithyheart

DEFINITELY follow Faith on Instagram, she won’t disappoint. You can always catch her on my Instagram making everyone laugh.

+ Scope how to plan a bachelorette party here

++ How to throw a last-minute, kickass party here

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  1. Laughed so hard reading this. you’re too funny with your writing :p
    thank of the tips!! definitely going to help me out next month haha

  2. I love these tips. They are so useful! My best friend is turning 30 in May and we are heading to Disneyland Paris for a couple of days of fun. But, we are also doing stuff at home before and after her birthday, so these tips will be great at making her birthday a little special!

    Ciara |

  3. Looked like such a fun party! I love the bartender tip, I hired one for my bachlorette and all the girls loved it!

  4. Hello Lauryn, thank you for the tips that you have outlined. Everything is well detailed and I like chocolate fountain. Im sure I will take note on your creative ideas when throwing a great party.

  5. Your idea is so mind-blowing. Starting from the theme of the birthday party, the selection of food, venues, and drinks are all very fun.

  6. The party was awesome! my gosh I really love it. And the way you write is so funny. Got lots of ideas from here.

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