I turned 36 earlier this month, and while I normally celebrate with a dedicated post highlighting what I have learned so far in life or reflections, this year, I did something completely different and out of my normal comfort zone. It was not a milestone birthday, though I think I would like to reframe thinking of certain birthdays as milestones. Isn’t every new trip around the sun a milestone? I digress. At first, I felt a bit odd by throwing a party for myself. However, I realized that it really fit with my recent goals of spending more time with loved ones, celebrating the every day things, and living in the moment. Here is my case for throwing your own birthday party!
This idea was sparked when I visited the Parlor at Heights House with Glory in the fall to sample their fall cocktails. I was greeted with a feather arrangement in the rotunda while wearing a sequin dress, and I thought, huh. I should host a sequins and feathers themed party here. January is a long month. I mean, a long month, and I thought it would be nice to break up the monotony with some fun. Thus, my theme was born.
The Case for Throwing Your Own Birthday Party
The next day, after returning home from Heights House and reaching out to them to learn more about my options using the Parlor, I started brainstorming smaller details. Full disclosure, that is not always my strong suit in life when it comes to planning events. Key details for me were finding ways to support small, women owned businesses, especially if they are local. I also wanted to be intentional about my guest list and surround myself with people who intentionally lift me up, support me, and make me feel loved.
The Guest List
I created a guest list that included 14 friends where everyone knew 2-3 other people there. In the majority of situations, most of my friends have heard about each other, though may have not met yet. So, that was a goal of mine. I also wanted there to be an opportunity for people to chat with each other and make new connections.
Once I made a decision about the location and the guest list, I reached out to Lindsay of Lindsay’s Paperworks to have her create a custom invitation. Lindsay is local to Raleigh and is my go-to gal for holiday gift tags and the creative mind behind my Instagram highlight covers. She worked up these invitations for me and we ordered through Canva. If you are looking for a local artist to make custom invitations for your next event, look no further than Lindsay!
Worth noting that I gave Lindsay the inspiration and she ran with the design. She did give me two options to pick from before ordering. Whenever I am working with a creative, I do that because I want them to run with it and not micromanage the process or the outcome.
The Parlor at Heights House offers charcuterie boards, a seasonal dip, and sweets board, zero-proof spirits, cocktails, a delicious wine list, and beers. I reserved the space in the lower level for my party and pre-ordered 2 large charcuterie boards (they put it all together on one big one for the space), 2 orders of the seasonal dip (it was red pepper and feta), and the sweets board. I also had bottles of their champagne to greet my guests as well. It was a seamless process and I enjoyed being able to relax and enjoy while the Parlor took over the heavy lifting.
Photos by Glory Roze Photography
I reached out to Tina of Betty Jean’s Flower Truck out of Holly Springs to have her make an arrangement for the space. I love fresh flowers so much and Tina makes the most stunning arrangements. Outside of sharing the theme, the invitation, a video of the space, and my favorite colors, Tina used her creativity and created the most stunning bouquet! It was better than anything I would have dreamt up on my own. My flowers are still going strong, by the way. If you are looking for special event flowers, flowers for a gift, or flowers for yourself just because, please give Tina a call. She does simply outstanding work!
It is usually not difficult for me to decide on what I am going to wear, though this was a tougher assignment for me. I recently joined nuuly and in this month’s box, I received a sequin duster and a black jumpsuit with feather trim, so that is ultimately what I decided to wear. I wore these absolutely gorgeous earrings gifted to me by Mignonne Gavigan. The Katie Luxe come in two colors. Despite their size, they are incredibly light and their design is so beautiful and intricate. Nobody does a statement earring like Mignonne Gavigan. I finished my outfit with these shoes in khaki and this bag.
Photo by Glory Roze Photography
My hair was cut and colored the day of my party and was pinned up in a very rare up-do for me thanks to my hair genius, Katy J. Baugh. She treated me to such a relaxing day before the party and I was so happy with how my hair turned out for my outfit. If you are in the market for a new hair stylist, give Katy a call. She is ah-mazing!
I finished my look with an event make-up application session at AILLEA Raleigh in Village District. AILLEA is my go-to spot for my monthly facial and clean beauty skin care. This was the first time I had my make-up done since probably my wedding in 2014 (!) so it was a really rare treat. Hajar is so talented and fun to chat with and did an incredible job. They offer make-up lessons or make-up applications in addition to their spa services.
How It Went
Photo by Glory Roze Photography
It was far and away more fun that I could have imagined it would have been and I fully support everyone doing this for themselves at least once. Because I am who I am, I did have everyone gather around so I could introduce everyone. After the party ended, we headed over to Jolie to get champagne and French fries from their walk-up window before heading over to WillCo to dance to ’90s music. It was an epic birthday and I would do it again in a heart beat!
An incredibly special thanks to Tina of Betty Jean’s Flower Truck in Holly Springs, Hajar at AILLEA Raleigh for my make-up application, Katy J. Baugh for my hair cut, color, and style, Mignonne Gavigan for the most stunning earrings, Glory for taking photos, and my friends for making me feel incredibly special and loved not only that night, but always.