60th Birthday Bash

Thursday, May 14, 2015
Last weekend was full of lots of activity, but the highlight by far was throwing Gary a huge 60th birthday party and getting to celebrate the milestone with him. We had this milestone in the back of our minds for a long time thinking that we would do it up big if we were blessed with the opportunity. A couple of months ago we finally picked a date and Emily and I (and Matt and Andrew) got to planning. Em and me had multiple hush hush planning and pinterest surfing sessions. We went through several different themes, venues and menu options before settling on having a big bash at Rivertree, catering Italian and having a fun but classy gold and black color scheme. And inviting 100+ of our closest family and friends to join in the party.

It was such a fun night. We ate yummy food, played games, took silly pictures at the mock photo booth, sang Happy Birthday, and ate cake.

We had so much fun decorating and turning the church worship center into a birthday dinner venue. The staff at Rivertree were so amazing and went way above and beyond in helping us with the event.

The room ended up coming together really well. The table centerpieces all had photos of Gary through the years strung on string. Each table highlighted a different decade in photographs. This also made it handy to send people to the dinner buffet by table...by just calling out decades in chronological order. We had game sheets all ready to go on the tables for the games we would play after dinner.

Dinner was catered by Tellini's here in town and they were amazing to work with and the food was quite yummy. We had plenty of fetuccini, ziti and spaghetti, bread and salad to go around. And super shout out to Gary's amazing co-worker Tracey who worked her tail off all night long in the lobby so that Emily and I could have more time to enjoy the party.

After dinner we all sang Happy Birthday to Gary, led by his three favorite kiddos...Ben, Kate and Perry. They were so precious up on stage with the microphone singing to their granddaddy.

And then it was cake time! The tiered cake was made by Cakes Etc here in town and it turned out awesome. Just what we asked for. It was carrot cake inside...Gary's request. Then Emily and I made bunches of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes in coordinating baking cups to supplement.

Other evening activities included three games (Gary Trivia, Is This Celebrity Older or Younger than Gary, and Name that Tune from the last 60 Years) with awesome/not so awesome prizes. Each prize had a funny story and memory attached to it. People left with gun targets, partially filled in sudoku books, a charlie brown christmas DVD, and Amish candy. Don't you want to know those stories?!?

We also asked everyone to fill out a little white card with a Happy Birthday wish.

And there was an oh so fun photo booth we set up. Not a real one...but we made a back drop, borrowed tons and tons of props from Matt's aunt, and recruited friends to help "staff it" in shifts to take the pictures. People really embraced the silliness (kids and adults alike) and it created tons of really awesome pictures of all the party guests. Here is just a smattering and tip of the photo booth picture iceberg with us and our people.

It was such a fabulous night. Thank you to everyone who came and helped us celebrate Gary and make the night as special as it could be. Happy 60th Birthday Gary/Dad/Granddaddy! We love you so much! #teamgarycelebrates60

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