This is Part One of a two part story of my 60th birthday party celebration in 2019.
“All of your life you think 60 is ancient, and all of a sudden, you find you’re 60 and you don’t really feel that different. I feel stronger and more engaged. This is the best time of my life.” ~ Glenn Close
Last year I turned 60…
It seemed to happen so quickly too! I mean, wasn’t it just a few years ago that I was being surprised by my husband and kids with a 50th birthday party at La Brisa restaurant in Hoover? Four years prior, I had surprised my husband Eddie with a 60th birthday party at our house. It was James Bond themed but instead of Agent 007, he was Agent 060! I had a tuxedo cake and Eddie’s face superimposed on several James Bond movie posters. We had so much fun! So, as my 60th was approaching, Eddie wasn’t sure what to plan and worried he didn’t have time due to his work schedule either. I told him I would take care of it and he was clearly relieved!!!
I started thinking about a party theme quite a while ago. There was a story about a retirement home having a “senior prom” for their residents and that’s when the idea hit me…why not have a senior prom party??? I mean, when you’re 60, isn’t that when a lot of the senior discounts kick in? And on top of all that, I didn’t go to my own high school senior prom so this was my chance to have one, right?!
I floated the idea to a few friends and they all thought it was terrific! So, now I just needed to get the party planned. I got an early start, as I said. I started looking through Pinterest and trying to think creatively about how to do this. My sweet friend, Denise Koch, an event planner extraordinaire, offered help and ideas and even gave me a book to order supplies and decorations. So, I had a good start on the planning and then I just stopped. I had so much going on during the fall of 2018 and quite a number of event commitments over the first few months of 2019 that I just started running out of time. I also began thinking it was a little weird to throw my own birthday party even though my husband was fully supportive…it just felt a little odd.
That’s when my friends, Denise and Vanessa, lit a fire under me! This was January 17, 2019 and I was doubting whether I had enough time to get it all pulled together. But in true form, they started throwing out suggestions right and left and helped me set things in motion. It was too late to have the party on Saturday, Feb 16th, since my birthday is February 17th, so I decided to have it on Saturday, March 2nd. My “prom committee” agreed this was a good move.
The hardest decision was finding a venue to have my party. I didn’t need anything huge but I did want enough space for about 50 to 60 people to dance and spread out. Vanessa suggested our friend, Luis Delgado’s Miami Fusion Café in downtown Birmingham. I met with Luis and Samantha Delgado to book the date and arranged for Luis to cater the party with his delicious Caribbean style food. The restaurant had the perfect décor for my party colors too with their original black and gold art deco floors!
After securing the venue, I was able to get the invitations created and printed. I decided to do them myself at home and used my senior photo from 1976. In the invitation, I asked everyone to come to the party dressed for prom in the decade of their choice. I toyed with the idea of making it a 1970s prom, since that’s the year I graduated, but decided to leave it up to my guests to choose their preferred decade and it proved to be a good move!
DJ Rod brought some great dance and popular prom themed music throughout the decades to my party!
Posing with DJ Rod right before the music started!
For music, I wanted a DJ so we could have an array of music across the decades and allow people to make requests. Vanessa put me in touch with DJ Rod who played at Fiesta the year before. He was wonderful to work with and really provided the perfect soundtrack for the party. I added a few “prom” songs from the decades which he weaved into his set and it was great for dancing…and my guests DID DANCE!
My Teri Jon prom dress found at Second Hand Rose consignment shop in Cahaba Heights
Love the way the dress is cut and the way it flowed!
This bracelet belonged to my mother from high school. I loved wearing it for my party!
These are the I.N.C. earrings I wore for the party – found them at Macys
At this point, it was Feb 20th – a week and a half before the party, and I didn’t have any idea what I was going to wear. While I graduated high school in the 70s, I had more of a 1950s idea in mind for myself. But at this late date, I was going to go with whatever I could find! I got an early start on Feb 20th and figured I would head to a few thrift stores and then a consignment store I had been to years ago when my girls were in high school and college and looking for formal dresses. I just knew I would find something there but when I drove up, the place no longer existed!!! I was shocked and disappointed. So I did a quick google search and found another place nearby, but that place had gone out of business too. Now I was starting to panic. Then I remembered Second Hand Rose in Cahaba Heights and decided to try them. There wasn’t anything spectacular in the formal section. I tried on a few dresses but they just didn’t work. I was starting to give up when I looked through the regular dress rack and found “the dress!” It was a quarter length black and deep blue Terri John dress! It was the perfect fit too! I texted a photo to my daughter Emily, and she loved it!!! She added that I needed some “sparkly” shoes to go with it to complete the look.
The Michael Kors silver “shiny” shoes I lucked up on at Belk!
So off I went to Belk, which was nearby, to look for shoes. I spotted some Michael Kors sparkly gold shoes with a low heel which got my attention. Then I saw the same pair in silver. The silver ones were 60% off! (Now I was excited!!) As I was admiring them, the sales lady came up to me and said “those are the last ones,” and my heart started to sink a bit. But then she added, “They’re a 9-1/2.” I looked at her in disbelief and actually said, “are you kidding me???!!!” That’s my size!!! She ran off to get the other shoe and when I tried them both on, I felt a little like Cinderella. Seriously, I almost cried when I paid for them. My outfit was complete after a roller coaster day of shopping!
Every good party has to have a good hashtag!
I worked on blowing up a few myself but I got a little dizzy!!
Eddie helped blow up the black and gold balloons for the dance floor
Working on the cheesy photo backdrop – Vanessa and Cristina make it work!
Photo backdrop is ready!
Dance floor ready with balloons!
DJ Rod set up on the left side of the restaurant next to the food buffet.
We ordered some helium balloons for the tables
My gorgeous cake from Louises Cakes in Hoover. I found the “sixty” along with candles at Hobby Lobby.
Tables are set with centerpieces…
My focus shifted to making sure I had all the right party decorations and the perfect cake. I picked up a number of things from Dollar Tree, Party City and thrift stores. I also ordered from Amazon. I envisioned a simple but elegant venue throughout except for the cheesy photo booth in the background! Our family always gets our special occasion cakes from Louise’s Cakes
in Hoover and they always impress. I took a few photos of what I wanted and together we created my perfect elegant cake. I had two layers – the bottom was white and the top gold with the gold on top appearing to drip to the bottom. It was beautiful and chocolaty delicious!!!
Part two – Party setup and the celebration begins!
Ready for my party guests to arrive!
I used my new Designs by Lolita “Sixty is Sassy” wine glass for the evening!