Back in January 2016 my sister, Zoe, kindly reminded me that it was the year of her 30th (as if I didn’t know!) and it was my duty to organise her ‘best birthday yet’ in December. I greatly accepted and took on this challenge.
When putting pen to paper, the first venue that came to mind was The Polo Club. I know what you’re thinking… why would you not chose the barns? Simply because it was already booked! But weirdly enough, I don’t think my ideas would have fitted in as well as it did down in the pavilion. With maximum numbers of 50, I wanted a more intimate setting with the space to get creative.
Zoe and I are very similar and we both love the same things so I knew theming her party wasn’t an issue. Suggestions were made, but I wanted to do the opposite to all things Christmassy for that time of year. Following a trip to California earlier in the year, where we cruised along the west coast, we have since dreamed of going back to LA but unfortunately my budget didn’t stretch to get her there so I went with the next best thing and brought ‘Cali’ to Suffolk!
Pinterest soon became my best friend and massively helped in blowing budgets out of proportion! Luckily I have creative friends and family in which we made a DIY Bar and DJ booth out of wooden pallets, numerous purchases on Ebay for hanging decorations and the expertise of Lynne Datson’s illustration skills for the finer details. Those that helped, saw my vision and helped me bring it to life (thank you again)!
Having the flexibility to gain access the day before to set up was a massive bonus. The family were roped in and starting pulling everything together that had amalgamated in boxes under the bed!
To create a Palm Springs vibe in the middle of winter, I did need to call upon the assistance of some trusty suppliers.
I used the services of the award-winning Elizabeth Hall Event Design for her endless festoon lighting, trademark rose-gold sequin table cloths and cocktail-shaker-extraordinaire bar staff! Any excuse to visit her at Little Acre Kitchen in St Ives to eat and sample bespoke cocktails! She even advised me to select quirky glassware that I hired in from CMA to finish the drink!
Along with putting up fairy lighting outside, I needed some accessories to complete the look, so I called upon Rocks n Frocks Ltd who I hired ten Flamingos from to line my entrance as the guests walked in, setting the theme!
Cambridge Wedding Services started and finished the party with a minimalistic setup (as requested), an infamous disco ball, an exceptional DJ, Tom Stedman, to blast out some tunes, and Sam finished off the room with uplighters enhancing the atmosphere. A real finishing touch!
Cake is a huge tradition within our family, and a much loved treat, so finding a tasty show stopper was a priority. Two Little Cats Bakery have been to the barns delivering mouth-watering cakes over the summers, so it was my chance to send Jenni my brief and watch her bring the cake to life. Vibrant, moist, and a real statement to the party. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!
Before arriving at her dream party, I called on the amazing Charlotte Shaw to make the birthday girl feel fabulous! Zoe looked amazing and The Polo Club was the perfect location. I had the exclusivity, space and the freedom to create, in my mind, what was the perfect party...
The hardest thing about organising Zoe’s birthday was keeping it all a surprise from her, but it was all worth it to see her face when she walked into Palm Springs with all her family and friends to celebrate her 30th! No pressure for mine Zoe… ;)
GG Mikaela x