GOLDEN BIRTHDAY & VOW RENEWAL
The year is 2009 and I'm at a bar in Annapolis for my 5-year high school reunion. I run into a friend I haven't seen in a while who tells me she's getting married in Vegas in a couple months so I drunkenly invite myself to join. I don't know if she feels obligated and awkward or if she legit is just hoping I'll ask to join, but by some miracle she welcomes me to join with open arms. The next day, when I've sobered up, I'm thinking I should reach out and apologize for my pushy brazenness and then graciously back out of the whole affair. But DrunkMe had already bought a plane ticket the night before, so...
To this day, it remains the most fun I've ever had so I really cannot hate on DrunkMe for even one second. Flash forward eight years and Kristen and JT are still two of my favorite people and real life #relationshipgoals. In May of 2017 Kristen was celebrating her golden birthday--turning 31 on the 31st--and asked me to assist with her Golden event. But with a twist! Secretly, they'd also be renewing their vows and celebrating a life of love and happiness.
Listen fam, not much has changed here. Kristen and JT are still #relationshipgoals and I'm still an overbearing control freak who pushes her way into all things. So did Kristen just want some help brainstorming? I dunno, maybe. Did I weasel my way into every detail and next thing you know she's spray painting her lawn ornaments gold? Yes, duh. Here is what we put together in just a few weeks.
First, even though she probably didn't want me to, I designed an invitation suite. I actually designed two and I'll include both here, but Kristen was vehemently opposed to the palm frond suite. Like I've never seen someone have such a guttural reaction of hatred to leaves.
Here is the suite we went with.
The venue was an amazing little gem in Edgewater, the Selby Community Center. There's not much to the building but it has nearly floor to ceiling windows and is right on the water so the lighting is the goat's grundle. It's a perfect blank slate and super affordable if you have a connection in the neighborhood.
Remember the Vintage Carnival wedding I did with the thousands of handmade pinwheels? Bet you thought your girl was a hoarder for keeping all those pinwheels. THINK AGAIN SUCKA. Not only were they repurposed for this event, but I somehow managed to escape having to spray paint them and Kristen & co. did it all themselves.
Not only did the pinwheels greet guests outside the building--they also served as vase fillers lining the banquet tables. The milk glass vases I already owned from my [also hoarder-y] stash. At the center of each table was a large lawn ornament spray painted gold to match. The gnome was from my own home and everything else was scooped up from Kristen & JT's yard. Golden mylar balloons were sprinkled throughout. Because why not? Sequin tablecloths and table runners were Amazon finds and were the bulk of the budget here (but, even still, not a huge expense). For the table greenery I went to Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm and had them fill a bucket with snipped greens.
I really tried to strong arm Kristen into a very strict gold palette for the candy bar, but she insisted on actual good candy and I'm so glad she did. It ended up looking great AND the candy selection was every 10 year old's [read: "my"] dream. Using the same greenery from the other tables, a gold table runner, and gold vessels helped to make it cohesive.
Kristen's mom supplied the cake, but we realized at the last minute that my cake stand was MIA, so I made do by simply flipping a gold bucket upside down and using that as a cake stand.
For the photo backdrop I had grand plans to spell out "Everything is Golden" using this marquee letter method (but minus the lights bc it was broad daylight during this event)... but then I got started and remembered how long this took and "Everything is Golden" quickly turned into "Golden AF." 🤷
Food was prepared mostly by JT (if I recall correctly--let's be honest, this event was 9 months ago) and served in metallic bowls and trays. I created home-printed food tags to match the invitation suite and laminated them with a small machine I have.