We had a small window to actually plan the party, literally only 10 days. As the designated, and somewhat "self proclaimed" (lol) Family Party Planner, I wanted everything to be extra special for my Dad so to work I went. I knew that it would be difficult to find "rugby" themed items here in Hawaii so I immediately went to my favorite place to shop, The Web. :) A lot of my supplies and themed items I use in my party are shipped in from the Mainland but because we only had a little over a week to get things together, I knew my window to "shop" was very small...and that my shipping charges were getting higher by the minute. My party elements had to be thought out quickly, but carefully, because after all, this was Dad's 60th Birthday celebration.
I immediately went to one of my favorite sites, Kara's Party Ideas, and to my surprise, there was a 60th birthday partyposted there with a theme very similar to the one we had chosen. It was themed around the BYU Cougars. As an alumnus of this great school, I was super excited to see all the cool elements they had brought into this
special celebration for their father. They incorporated so many great, creative pieces. There was a lot of inspiration there, lots of really cool BYU items. The Manu Samoa however have really limited logo items available, so I needed to get creative. The BYU party (by Banner Events was inspired by Shindig Parties to Go, also another very talented event planner. She created a football printable set that I thought would be SUPER FUN to use with this party, but realized later that we wouldn't need more than half of the items, so I created some elements myself that were inspired by pieces from
this printable set.
Rugby and football are similar, but I found few Football party items that could double as Rugby party items, so I needed to sit and think about what I could incorporate (and not incorporate) so that the theme remained intact:
CENTERPIECES. I am a big fan of centerpieces that can be used by the guests after the party. Since the Manu Samoa team was playing this weekend, I definitely wanted something along the lines of a "FAN KIT" for the centerpiece. Included in the kit was a Cheerphone (bought from Party City), personalized with a label that read "Happy 60th Birthday Tagaloa" and "Go the Manu." Also included was a red clapper/noisemaker (ordered from Shindigz) that also had a personalized label on it that read "Go the Manu," a blue pompom also ordered from Shindigz, a mini Samoa rugby ball
(ordered from World Rugby Shop,) and either a Samoan lavalava (sarong) or a stainless steel water bottle. I put everything in a plastic cylinder with green shred at the bottom, and a solid red ribbon around the top.
BANNER. Last year, I designed a Go The Manu banner for a fan who would be sending it the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. I thought it only be fitting to design a similar banner to hang over the party for his birthday.
DESSERT TABLE. This was the focal point of the party and was inspired by the BYU 60th Birthday party put on by Banner Events. Because our planning time was so short, we were unable to source out our orders to vendors. Almost all the
items were handmade and/or constructed by my sister-in-laws and myself. I built a rugby goal post out of PVC pipe and used a stroller box to create " bumpers" with the number 60 on it. The name "Tagaloa" was cut and taped to the goal post to "title" to event.
I scored a large styrofoam cooler at work and brought it home knowing I'd make something out of it. I fashioned a cupcake bleacher stand out one wall of the cooler and attached blue ribbon to it to sit under the goal post. Cupcakes were ordered from Sam's Club (we're big on Sam's cakes and cupcakes out here and with only a 24 hour advance notice requirement, they're perfect for last minute events) which were decorated with matching cupcake toppers I designed. The cupcakes looked over this amazing Rugby Jersey fondant cake ordered from K's Sugar and Spice. She was SUPER nice to work with and was able to take my order 6 days before I needed it. It came out great and tasted AMAZING.
My dad's favorite candy bar is Baby Ruth, so it was only fitting that we should have Baby Ruth bars on the table. It was also pretty perfect that the wrapper colors matched the Manu Samoa color scheme of red, white and blue. These were wrapped with a custom label I designed. We also had a jar of Almond Joy on the table...the coconut was a small tribute to the tropical island home that the Manu Samoa and my Dad are from: Samoa.
The last two items on the table were baked by myself and my sister-in-law. I had started planning this party right before and on Super Bowl Weekend. Everyone was making football cake pops. I had yet to see a rugby ball cake pop and figured if there wasn't a picture of one out there yet, there would be after we finished with this party. :) These were vanilla cake pops using Bakerella's recipe. I also wanted to make rugby ball cookies and rubgy jersey cookies, however, the
cutters I ordered online did not make it in time (one of the disadvantages to living in the middle of the Pacific). So, I settled on plain ol' round cookies that did come out well after the first couple batches. I'm so NOT a baker, but these did taste pretty good. I used the recipe mentioned on the Brown Eyed Baker blog.
I LOVE packaging goodies. The rugby balls were put into baggies and tied with a blue ribbon, then stuck into a box wrapped in red paper. The cookies were put into baggies with blue shred, and tied with a red ribbon. Ribbons and shred in coordinating colors are the kind of thing that make my heart skip a beat. :)
The entire table was set up in front of a sheet I found at Ross'. Ross' is a big player when it comes to reasonable accessories for my parties. We don't have a Home Goods, or an Ikea, which I'm really sad about, but we make do with what we have.
The party was decorated with red, white and blue pennant flags and Samoan flags. Throughout the evening, we did Dad Trivia and gave out the Foam Fingers (also ordered from Shindigz.com) that accessorized the dessert table. The party
was a huge success with lots of great food and really good company...the perfect way to celebrate the big 6-0.