One of life’s greatest joys is celebrating important milestones,’ says Bupa Life Insurance in a recently published article How to Make Life's Milestone Celebrations Special. Here at Something Wonderful Happened, I have been lucky enough to work on some really special milestone events, from 1st birthdays to 21st birthdays. It was a refreshing change after a career in marketing and events for big name companies such as Coca-Cola. In starting my own boutique event planning company I’m able to help clients create moments that go on to become lifelong memories.
For the article, Bupa asked me to nominate my favourite milestone party, giving me a great chance to reflect on all the wonderful moments I’ve shared and whittle it down to just one. In the end I had to nominate an event which may not traditionally be classified as a milestone. Not long before little Allie turned five, her parents found out that they would need to transfer overseas for career advancement.
Allie’s fifth birthday party then became a very unique milestone: it was her last birthday party to be celebrated in Australia for some time and it was the last party the family would ever hold in their current house. ‘This is the house that we brought Allie home to as a newborn,’ said Allie's mum. ‘It was very important to us that the party take place at our house and that we surround ourselves with the friends and family who have watched her grow and shared their lives with us.’
In order to create a memorable party, Something Wonderful Happened chose a theme that was relatable to guests young and old. The scene from the 1960s Mary Poppins movie, where the cast jumps into a pavement drawing of a country fair. It was a huge success thanks to the fact that the theme was familiar to adults and enchanting for children.
The menu took its cues from a country fair with cakes, fairy-floss-topped pannacotta, pinwheel biscuits and handmade pies and lemonade. A dessert table and lemonade stand meant that food didn’t get in the way of socialising. Old fashioned entertainment such as ‘knock down the pins’, provided the adults with fun opportunities to compete with each other as well as with the children. Café-style tables where laid out allowing guests to sit down with different friends at various times throughout the event and to mingle as they chose.
When choosing a theme for your milestone event the crux of a perfect celebration is about what is important to you. After all, you are celebrating your life. Start by jotting down the moments in your life that have stayed with you. Who was there? Where were you? What were you doing? What moved your heart? The answers to these questions become the beginnings of your guest list and can give you great ideas for venues, themes and entertainment. The best party is always the one that celebrates the people and passions that make you, you.
I would love to hear about the milestone events that stand out in your memory in the comments. For more great inspiration on hosting a milestone event be sure to check out our feature in Bupa’s article.