The first birthday of a child is one of the most special moments in a parent’s life. I wanted to do something very very memorable and unique for my adorable son Shaunak on his 1st birthday party. I first discussed my ideas with Shashank, my husband, and talking to him helped me get several more ideas. We explored numerous banquet halls and finally zeroed on our favourite restaurant Tabla and its banquet hall, giving utmost priority to the delicious quality food we wanted our guests to enjoy. The hall was simply beautiful and the ceiling was the thing to notice! Deciding on the banquet hall earlier helped me plan the decoration better. Later I spent around 3 months planning and working on my ideas. The family support, parents, in-laws, brother and especially Shashank helped me pull it off successfully. The party was attended by over 100 guests.
I love colours, my husband is an aerospace freak and we both love Blue and Shaunak had started liking the planes and helicopters, had started noticing the moon and stars and so was the theme Sky! And it was totally a handmade party!
I made around 100 handmade invitations, handwritten, hand cut, hand painted, depicting a kite coming out of the cloud with 3 bows, colourful and bright I wanted them to be and of course a personal touch to each. When at the party guests came in I remember everyone telling me how much they liked it. Many guests made it a point to come to the party due to the invitation itself.
And now lets’ start with the party day:
We placed this stand at the entrance of the hall and my idea was to welcome the guests giving them hint about what is going to be inside. Generally, this stand is used to place a printout with information like name, time, date and venue. These details I wrote on a cloud and pasted with a paper tape on the ground floor near the lift.
I made this with colourful paper strips, the art called Quilling, depicts Sky elements… Sun, Clouds, Kites, Hot Air Balloon, Rainbow, Rain, Umbrella, Aeroplane and a rocket, and of course Shaunak in 7 colours of Rainbow… Border made with Blue handmade paper and rhinestone.
Stage and Backdrop
We decided to go for the party decorator for balloons and stage decoration. We gave them our ideas and asked them to make a rainbow helium balloon arch on the backdrop. Happy Birthday, letters- I did cut these out using KR Birthday Letters font on White ivory, painted the borders with Shimmer Green acrylic and flames with Orange and Yellow. And the name SHAUNAK using 7 colours of the rainbow, cut using colour papers in Arial font. The stars were placed by the decorator. And on the stage they placed, huge white clouds made using cardboard.
The Ceiling Decoration
I decorated the ceiling of the banquet hall with clouds and sky elements handmade, hand cut – Sun, Moon, Stars, Hot Air, Balloons, Rockets, UFOs, Helicopters, Planes, Kites, Birds, Raindrops, Umbrellas, rainbow clouds and much more.
First Things Table
I arranged a table of Shaunak’s FIRST THINGS~ His first car, first toy, first clothes, first cloth he was wrapped into, his first artwork, first photograph, first shampoo bottle, hair oil bottle, massage oil bottle, his first hairbrush and many more. Have saved everything I can. Waiting for that day when Shaunak will enjoy looking at them and understand and feel the feeling behind saving it.
The Orange box of memories
Chose one photo each of the first 12 months and made a vertical flip collage, fitted it into a wooden box and coloured it Orange!
Message clouds for Shaunak
I cut two huge size clouds and colourful raindrops and wrote two beautiful famous quotes for Shaunak and placed them each on the two pillars in the hall.
Welcome Drink for the guests
Welcome Drink for the guests was served in a glass with the White straw and a tiny cloud. Hand cut clouds out of White ivory paper and hunted at least 7 supermarkets for the desired size of White straws!
Cloud Cookies and Rainbow cupcakes
I ordered for cloud-shaped cookies from my friend and baking expert- Sonali Mitra. She even made the cookie cutter by herself at home! Cookies were yummy and super suited my theme.
Rainbow cupcakes were ordered from the bakery shop from where we ordered the birthday cake too, Just Bake. I asked them to place Cadbury Gems in rainbow colors on top of each cupcake and it was a big it among the kids.
A Pure Chocolate Space Shuttle Cake, of course, Shashank’s choice! It was definitely out of this world! It was ordered from Just Bake bakery shop.
I wanted everything in the hall to suit the theme. So made these hand cut, handwritten menu clouds cut out of White ivory and dashed with the blue pen.
The buffet menu
Cream of Broccoli Soup, Veg Rekak, Papadi Chaat, Macaroni Chaat, Bhindi Do Pyaza, Veg Jalfrezi, Paneer Kofta Curry, Veg Manchurian, Noodles, Dal Makhani, Sambar, Rasam, Rice, Peas Pulao, Breads- Naan, Tandoori Roti, Pickles, Papadams, Curd and Sweet Dishes- Angoori Gulabjamun, Butterscotch Icecream, Birthday Cake, Cookies and Cupcakes.
I planned to make something that would put the guests in awe and that they would love to place it in their homes. I made 85 of these handmade mementos! On the glass bottles, I placed Shaunak’s 1st Birthday tag in a cloud shape on a Green crape paper frill, and filled the bottle with four sky elements- an Aeroplane, Pinwheel, Hot Air Balloon and a Birdie. My mom made these beautiful frills, she stitched them in the middle to make them firm and stay on the bottles, it also made it easy for me to stick them onto the bottles.
The second return gift was floating Tea-light candle holders, again, made +85 pieces of these sing foam, kundans, pearls and ball chains.
Both of these were placed in a cloudy brown bag. Handmade bags made out of brown paper and hand painted clouds with White acrylic, with thank you tags attached, and a tiny quilled gift on each. My friend Charuthilatha Akkala helped me make these quilled gifts.
Other attractions of the party were 1-minute games with the anchor, nail art, tattoos, balloon twisters, etc.