For those who know me, I am one practical and most of the time – frugal momma. When it comes to planning for my kid’s birthdays, I know I don’t need to hire an event stylist or planner when I know I can do those things on my own! For one, those services are way too expensive nowadays! I can buy so many things with the amount they are charging just for styling. And since there are so many resources we can get ideas from, I guess the only question would be “Do I have the time to DIY?” 😁
Thankfully, in my case, Yes. I have the time and would literally MAKE TIME just so I wouldn’t spend 30k for a stylist! I challenged myself that I can style Lauren’s first birthday party at half the price.
But before I get into the details of this party, let me take you back to my first DIY party 5 years ago… Brie’s 1st birthday – shabby chic theme.
So with that, I knew I could pull off another DIY party! Only this time, I kinda crammed and started with only 3 months left!
HOW DO YOU START PLANNING?
Of course you have to book the venue and caterer first before anything else! Determine how many people you are inviting and from there you can research and narrow down your options depending on location and budget. We opted for East Bay Residences Clubhouse as it is brand new, has so much daylight and already has draping. It was spacious enough to fit 150 people.
For the caterer, I saw good reviews on Queensland Catering. You can schedule a food tasting in their office in Las Piñas every Sunday. The food was great, we enjoyed most of the food served and we loved that their rates are very affordable and they provide a lot of options from each food category.
Now for the styling and decor… Brie picked out the unicorn theme although I initially planned a woodland fairy theme. I figured soon that unicorn decors are much easier to find. I researched on different suppliers and looked for pegs on Pinterest.
Divisoria – a gold mine for party supplies
Not in photos but I also found in Tabora street: Paper lanterns at 30 pesos per piece, all kinds of toys for prizes and giveaways, candies, gummies and sweets for candy buffet as cheap as 50/bag.
At first, I wanted to create it on my own… but calculating the costs plus time and effort, it was still best to hire someone to do it for me this time. Luckily, I found THE source and maker of most of the styrofoam backdrops used by stylists! Check out Ana Romasanta’s creations here. When I showed her my pegs, I was completely shocked when she told me she made all of them. Like wow! She made a 7×7 backdrop that was just right for our venue.
To add oomph to the backdrop, I already booked to rent 2 3D unicorns (each at 3ft tall) from Rental House PH , it was only 500 pesos each with security deposit. I recommend you pick up the items yourself to save thousands from transportation fee. They are very generous with the duration of rent, you can get the items days ahead and return up to a week.
CANDY BUFFET SETUP
Candies and gummies are all from Divisoria. 800 pesos worth is already more than enough! Unicorn fondant cake and the vanilla cupcakes were lovingly made by my sister Ojie. I printed two of Lauren’s photos from her Cake Smash session with the Stork Studio and put them on colorful frames to serve as accent decors. Unicorn ballpens given to us as a gift were scattered all over the table as part of the giveaways.
Thanks to the hubby for hanging each ribbon bunting and paper lanterns on the ceiling! I on the other hand tied each circle garland on to the chandelier. I added glittery silver star garlands (also from Divisoria mall along Tabora st.) and it was a perfect match to the garlands! If you are planning to do this kind of ribbon decor, I highly recommend you get the silk ribbon instead of the plastic ribbon to avoid the curled tips.
PRIZES & GIVEAWAYS
If you are on a budget and would like to get the most out of your money, going to Divisoria to buy game prizes is always worth the travel. They sell by the bulk and you can even haggle if you get a lot. Along Tabora street you can already find a lot of vendors selling toys and if you have the time to compare prices, do so coz some vendors sell a lot cheaper than others.
For the giveaways, I chose to give something more useful for each kid and I’m happy to have discovered Handicrafts Atbp. through a recommendation. I ordered their Mini Stool and patterned it with cloud decor of the stage backdrop. Such a cute, sturdy stool that’s perfect for kids.
Party Host and activities
Another concern for me was finding the right party host and what other activities to book. Do we get a magician? Do we hire a face painter? A bubbles show? I checked on all those but it will be going way over our budget! I searched in Facebook from a mommy group I was part of, and I sifted through majority of the recommendations. I decided to go for Teacher Celine because I read the reviews and browsed through her albums and fell.in.love. I was actually excited because I saw how different her approach was! And true enough, she nailed it!
We didn’t need all the other suppliers anymore coz she is the complete package. She had her own props, her own sound system, her own songs, her own style. The guests even raved about her even after the party and everyone went home happy. She also brought her own photographer to document the party, click here to see the album! Check out her page and you’ll understand why I am highly recommending her.