As soon as Noah was born I pretty much had his theme for his Dedication/1st Birthday celebrations. It’s super easy to guess what it was…. Nautical. And that was it for me. I discovered the world of Pinterest and the rest is history! I was busy pinning and imagining all sorts of ideas on how we will celebrate. What we wanted to do is have our closest friends and family come together. Worshipping God and thanking Him for the gift of Noah’s life. Following this we would celebrate with a delicious luncheon.
First thing I needed to do was source the location. The location had to have long tables, chairs and a kitchen to make life easier. We decided on a modern open plan church at Miranda Salvos. Lots of light and easy access with parking for the guests.
James thought it would be best to hand out a small order of service so our guests could read along with our song choice and message. The party ran for only a few hours in total. I had my brother who is a graphic designer come up with a treasure map style of invitation. I then ordered small glass bottles on Ebay and super glued twine around the lid. I dropped a few shells inside and voila!! Possibly the best invitation I’ve ever made. Agh, but then I had to hand deliver all the invites… so a note here reader. If you decide to do this make sure your guests aren’t states or continents away! Haha!
Where was I, yes, invites went out and then I made a list:
Blue and white Table material cut into cloths from Marrickville.
Blue Paper Napkins
Tags Printed to tie around Paper Napkins
Order in 12 BBQ chickens cut into 8 pieces
Order in a large Ham leg to glaze
Order in Noah’s Ark cake
Paint shoe boxes to put the lollipops in
Make Origami Boats out of newspaper as bunting
Create makeshift Boats as Table Decorations
Create a playlist of music for during lunch
Buy a Fish Pinata and fill with candy
After I made this list it made getting the jobs done a whole lots easier. I ticked them off in only a matter of days.
Now, the fun part. Organising the children’s menu. A given was hot dogs for the kids. Some of my drama students and families were invited, it gave the older children a great sense of responsibility. Frankfurts take a few minutes to boil. I already had the buns, sauce and cheese lined up. This is a huge lifesaver. While I pulled out the salads and corn to put onto the serving table the older kids gave the younger ones their dogs then. It’s all in the timing. So they weren’t sitting around bored. The little ones ate outside (fenced off area with play equipment). While they were eating the main was ready to go.
For the cake table/ kids dessert I made blue jello cups and placed a piece of mandarin on top and a toothpick with a tiny sail. They became little boats in water. So cute! I ordered in from America ‘Gold fish’ crackers and placed them into boxes. The centre of the table had the cake and behind a few of Noah’s room decor I hung up. I placed some fresh purple Hydrangeas 2 tin vases to sit on each end. A few days out from the party I went into kmart to buy the candy for the Pinata. (Another great idea to keep the kids busy while we picked up all the main plates and put out dessert). While I was there I saw these gorgeous blue and white lolliepops! Only $2 each! I grabbed as many as I needed. Making the cake table complete.
Reader, when you plan a party you need to think of these few things.
At each transition (mains, dessert, speeches etc) how long will it go for?
Can the children sit around for said period of time?
What things can we have for the children to do or make their day a little more fun?
Always look at reject shops, dollar stores etc for cutlery, plates etc. Then compare it with what’s available on Ebay!
Now for the adult menu. We catered for about 100 guests. A few helped by bringing a dessert or salad. You must be organised! I’ll say it again, organisation is key so you have a stress free event.
Glazed Maple and Mustard Ham off the bone.
Corn on the Cob salted and drizzled in fresh lime and Coriander (I boiled 3 bags of the frozen ones)
Asian Noodle Salad
Chickpea and Roasted Veggie Salad
Fresh Bread Rolls
Condiments * Don’t ever forget the butter! *
Noah’s Birthday Cake
Profiteroles filled with custard
Watermelon cut into the shape of Fish
A Huge Box of Whitmans Chocolates (A gift to us)
With the ham, I glazed it slowly at 150 degrees for an hour and a half. I simply put it on when I arrived in the morning to set up the venue. And for the corn I sent a friend into the kitchen to boil the water 10 minutes before the end of the service.
I organised thank you cards for the gifts Noah received by writing a simple bible verse on his foot. On the back of the card was a personal thank you for each guest. I looked around and researched for an envelope that would really stand out. And I totally found one on Etsy. Unfortunately it’s not around anymore but the one I bought had a nautical pattern inside!! Seriously!! Just the perfect touch!
Like I’ve said before, James and I love to entertain and serve. A dedication and first birthday is a wonderful occasion. To have those you love witness us giving our precious child back to God followed by a celebration.
God is good. We cherish this day and each of our children’s dedications.