Three years back, if you asked me ‘how are you going to celebrate when you turn 21?’ My answer to you will most likely be,’Probably travel with friends…’
However, now that I’ve finally reached the ‘prime’ year of becoming an official adult, somehow, there will be a drive within that will have the desire to want to open the best 21 party of my life! #YOLO
In my case: I’ve brought my 21st party exactly 4 months in advance to gather and celebrate my last few moments of youth as well as farewell with all my loved ones…
Trust me, organising a party yourself is crazy madd and stress, especially on that exact day! It is quite a hassle, but you will appreciate this hectic process and know that the amount of unconditional love and help you get from your friends are nothing else but a sparkling gem etched in your heart. ❤
1. Start Early—Set a Date.
Planning a 21st birthday party isn’t just about planning a party. IT IS A BIG PARTY. A MASSIVE PARTY. It may probably be the last party of your life (unless you are getting married then wedding party will be a much more grand and magnificent one). Hence, setting a specific date early would be good so as to notify your guests early as everyone is busy with their own life happenings. It will be good for them to know early so that they can block out and draw a huge circle on their calendar stating: _______ 21 Birthday Party!!
You might end up feeling that this first part is already a pain in the ass because you will want all your important people to attend but at the same time, worried that they might not be able to make it on that day. Weekends are usually the best days to hold a party—Either a Saturday or a Sunday.
A word of advice: Saturday is usually best for night events as some people do have to work on a saturday such as hospital jobs.. etc. Sunday will be best for a whole day event such from morning till prolly 10pm as it is a public holiday, so the probability of turn ups will be much higher.
People that actually do care about you, will definitely attend your party, no matter what circumstances. So, just select a date that best suits you!
The first part of planning a party is the THEME. Now, this is probably one of the more crucial part as you will want your party to be memorable to yourself as well as others. Most importantly, it must be unique and extraordinary! So, be creative, and think of whatever ideas and inspirations that comes to you. Let your inner artsy-fartsy character out (no one will judge you even if its the worst colour combination ever, its your party)! Eg. wild & crazy, quirky & fun, sexy & naughty, dainty & flowery, pinky & barbie… etc.
Well, one thing is to do tons of research online. Your best friend in this period will probably be Google. HA!
Theme for #C.Faith’s 21st: Parisian style, together with Tiffany Mint Green as main colour. Well, my theme is chosen out of love! Because it is how I love paris so much and also, Tiffany mint green 🙂
So now that you are all set for your date of your party and the theme, you can start thinking about the cost.
This section is subjective. It depends on the how important this day is for you and how you want it to be displayed to your guests. You can be simple and nice, expensive and glamorous or just average but still look as awesome.
Budgetting fora party is typically about $500 and above (including the venue). Ultimately, it all depends on yourself, number of guests and how many sponsors you can get.
Budget set for #C.Faith’s 21st: $1000 nett. (including venue and food)
As I am not a filthy rich person, my budget is rather tight. So this is my breakdown of the cost of my party:
1. Birthday cake— approx. $250 (sponsored by my brother)
2. Decorations— $150
3. Food and drinks— $600
4. Venue— $0 (condo function room)
5. Photo Booth— approx. $300 (sponsored by my sister)
Since my cake and photobooth are sponsored by my siblings, I actually spent less than 1K for my party! Also, note that my venue is FOC because I already had plans to host my party in a function room. The approx. amount of people I invited was 80 guests, turn up was about 60plus? (More people = more money have to be spent on food and drinks—bear this in mind). Having to pay for a venue on your party is really expensive. Eg. Chalet— run down and not unique but yet it is still about $300 per night?!
5. Venue and Environment
At this section, I need to stress and emphasize that, if you want to get a good venue, or rather the BEST location to fit your theme party then you must start planning at least 6 months in advance. The fact that you are not the only 21 years old baby of the year, there will be lot of other people that might had booked the place way ahead of you!
Top list of birthday venues:
-Condo function room
-Hotel (eg. marina bay sands, studio M, etc.)
-Chalets (eg. costa sands pasir ris, east coast park)
-NSRCC at changi
Well, from the list above, the only one that is FOC is condo function room. Others are just too costly or too small like opening in a hotel (unless you host in a suite).
Venue for #C.Faith’s 21st: Marina Bay Residence
Because my party is parisian-themed, to find a venue that is able to fit my theme had been a real challenge for me. With my wide social networking and connections, my bf and I managed to get a function room at Marina Bay Residence. It is a huge space and could cater to just the amount of people I invited— 80+ guests.
The breeze up there is soothing, the mind blowing infinity pool, the gorgeous sight of Marina Bay sands right in front of your eyes and the choice for my guests to choose to sit indoor or outdoor~ impressive! The whole level is literally mine!
Thank God for the existence of nice and kind people in the world~ 🙂
At this stage, everything is more or less set, move on to decorations—the most interesting and fun part of planning a party! It is also very important as it is a showcase and impress your ‘dream’ party to all your guests.
If you don’t want to spend too much money on decorations, it will be highly recommended that you make them out of your bare hands and not just buying off the racks.
Besides, your DIYs will definitely be exquisite, special and EXTRAORDINARY.
a) Invitation Card/ Facebook event page
Now, this is the very start and beginning of your party. You want this invitation card to look good so people will actually be of significance to them.
Since your theme had already been selected, you can go ahead and create that collage of words and pictures to entice your guests. MAKE THEM EGGCITED FOR YOU!
This card/image should include every details of your party (so you don’t have to spend too much time answering questions about details of your event).
Invitation card/ image for #C.Faith’s21st:
FYI: Easily made with iphone apps such as vscocam, doodles, picarts….
Parties are all about taking photos… Therefore, the backdrop must be the one that displays exactly what your theme is, by just a glance at photos.
Backdrop for #C.Faith’s21st: Mint Green-Dyed Streamers with Eiffel towers.
In my case, as mint green streamers are not commonly sold (either buy them from extremely expensive online stores and ship from america, or can just forget about it).
I have a budget so I made my backdrop from scratch, literally. & I can say, the backdrop is my proudest part of my party. It took me a whole long of one and a half month to finish it, apart from my busy schedule. And I am so happy that the finished product look so fantastic and dreamy…
TIPS–How I made this beautiful streamer that I love so much :
- Step 1: Use green white board maker inks and mix with ethanol. The use of alcohol is essentially because apart from the fact that it evaporates faster than water, it will not disintegrate your streamers and retain the crinkly crepe paper effect still.
- Step 2: Find the picture (eg. eiffel tower) and paint ’21’ on the lace baking papers.
- Step 3: Paste the lace paper and eiffel tower alternatively on sewing strings that are so thin that it is not visible from far.
- Step 4, tie the streamers individually on a rafia string or normally rope and alternately, string the lace papers and eiffel tower. Repeat as many time as you want to make it as long as you want.
FYI: It is easier for me since I work in the lab. Do not attempt unless you know how to handle ethanol!
c) Miscellaneous decoration goods for the venue
Party goods such as balloons are definitely a must! I chose 21 helium balloons of colour combination of yellow, pink, blue and white. Wall streamers were made of white lace papers (folded into halves) and tied with balloons in between. The colour combination complimented my photobooth backdrop so well!
My guest book shown below is DIY by my talented sister.
You can purchase balloons from: PARTY JOY http://www.harvestwell.com.sg/party.htm
– highly recommended and is the cheapest among all party shops in Singapore that I know.
You can also get decorative papers and glitter powders from paper market to enhance the ambiance of the venue.
Eg. ‘Welcome to my party’ (as shown below)
7. Food l Appetisers l Dessert Table
The highlight of all parties–FOOD/DESSERTS/SWEETS. This practically what your guests anticipates and look out for. Who doesn’t love desserts? Not only must it taste good, it must look IRRESISTIBLY TEMPTING too!
Appetisers for #C.Faith’s 21st:
Mini Tart Canapes by Delifrance.
Delifrance has a wide range of mini party delights to choose from! From sandwiches to quiches and tarts…etc.
Make your order at: http://www.delifrance.com.sg/deli-cater/mini-party-delight.html
Mains for #C.Faith’s 21st:
Dessert Table for #C.Faith’s 21st:
Cheesecake in shot cups by Yours truly.
Jelly Shots by Yours Truly.
Choco-dipped marshmallow by Yours Truly.
Best Macarons ever by TWG Tea.
Chocolate sugar cookies with royal icing by Afternoonsinthekitchen (she baked my birthday cake too)
Luxurious Cupcakes by the High Society.
My super GLAMOUROUS eiffel tower-laced chocolate cake by Afteroonsinthekitchen. Check out her website at http://afternoonsinthekitchen.wordpress.com/tag/21st/ .
8. Dress code
Typically, a party is a time where everyone gathers to celebrate a joyous occasion with you.
Usually, most of people will just sit and talk, catch up on one another’s life happenings, but this is no difference from celebrating Chinese new year, clubbing… where it is all about mingling.
Therefore, to make things more interesting, since it is a themed-party, there should, obviously, be a DRESS CODE/ COSTUME to fit the theme. This, not only makes photos to look nicer, and also it makes your whole party like a ‘perfect package’.
Dress code for #C.Faith’s21st: Lace and Leather.
While most parties that I had attended are commonly based on colour dress code, I did not want my party to fall in the same category of colours…
Knowing that my party is a French-Paris style party, it is impossible that people will be spontaneous to actually dress themselves with stripes and berets. I did a whole lot of research and finally got inspired by Maria Antonietta.– the classic, vintage concept of using LACE. Lace and leather is therefore decided.
I am really happy that eventually many of my guests did turn up according to the dress code!
Some of the best outfits:
Of course, not everyone will be bothered to dress up as well, which is why, I organised a BEST-DRESS COMPETITION, so as to encourage people to actually bother to dress up for my party.
FYI: It is a cash prize. 😀 As a token of appreciation that you actually did dress up by going through your messy closet to find that perfect look!
My two lovely judges- Jessilyn and Mavis.
9. Photography l Photo Booth
For such big parties, an instant print photo booth is no doubt, A MUST!
A photo booth is always fun and most importantly, the instant printout for your individual guests will be a piece of ‘memory’ for keep sake.
Some fun ideas could be adding props such as:
Paper straws are great crafts for props!
I purchased them from TAOBAO, which is so much cheaper!!! Not to forget, the pattern and colours of the paper straws are prettier on TAOBAO~ ^^
Photo Booth for #C.Faith’s 21st: Photolux Singapore.
I love how Photolux personalised and customised the border of the printouts to fit the theme of my party!
To engage photolux, visit their page at: https://www.facebook.com/photolux.sg
10. Don’t Panic! Just KEEP SMILING and be PHOTO-READY. BE THANKFUL.
Because you are the host and you are the limelight of the day, you do not want your candid shots to be a sulking and frowning face.
The first thing to tell yourself is to NOT PANIC. Alright, this might sound impossible since you are the party-planner and you won’t want to afford any forms of mishaps or screw ups.
But in order to really enjoy your big day is to calm down and go with the flow, remember that your family and close friends will always be there to clean up any mess for you and help make sure that everything runs smoothly. So, the only thing you have to do, really, is
to SHOW THAT WIDE BIG SMILE OF WHITE, SHINY TEETH.
Overall, my party was a success. Even though there was quite a few hiccups, but still, everyone enjoyed themselves! I am really thankful for all who had sacrificed their time to attend my party and also the ones that really put in 100% effort to help me! Really, THANK GOD for all these wonderful people that I had met in my life. ❤
Ending this post with my quirky ladies~