This modern tropical 80th birthday party features shades of blue and green, a fab balloon arch, and some subtle tropical elements like palm leaves, pineapples, and coconuts.
About a month and a half ago, our dad turned 80! Can you believe that?! Well, you probably can, seeing as how you barely know us :’D But, if you did, you’d be blown away by that! Our dad is about the age of all our peer’s grandparents. And honestly, in better shape than all of them. (click “read more” to see a pic of him to prove it!).
Every summer, we have a little family time down in Saint George, Utah. We hang out together in a condo for a few days, swim a lot, eat a lot, go see some shows at Tuachan, and basically, just relax! This year, since that was happening only a couple weeks after our dad’s 80th birthday, we decided to throw him a party while we were there!
We were lucky enough to have all of our immediate family together, for the first time in at least 5 years. We have a bit of a mixed family, with some half siblings and step-siblings, 9 kids total. And so we rarely ever see each other all together. We decided this summer was a good time to make that happen and I decided it was a good time for me to finally try the epitome of current party decor trends: the balloon arch!
I remember (along with everyone else in the blogosphere) the first balloon arch like this from The House That Lars Built, in this bridal shower shoot, which is far and away my favorite thing she’s ever done! I think at the time I never even considered making one myself, it looked way too involved and time consuming! And, when she came out with her tutorial for it, I was even more convinced it wasn’t for me. She did a pretty intense set-up of chicken wire, shipping tape, gluing, etc. She was able to achieve an awesome shape throughout the entire room but yikes! Thankfully, as all awesome projects go, others in the blogging world have come up with their own tutorials and simplified the process a ton!
All we did was sew fishing wire through all the balloons, pushing them as close together as possible. Then we attached the fishing wire (with tape) to my photo backdrop frame, letting it hang here and there for a nice shape. After, we filled in the gaps with more balloons and rounds of tape. Finally, we topped it off with some fake mini palm fronds I got from Michael’s, stuck throughout the arch. Don’t you think it turned out well?! All these balloons came from Zurchers and I couldn’t be happier with how all the colors came together! We used a mix of blues, greens, turquoise, aqua, cream, white, and gold in the regular 11″ size and mini 5″ ones. Even though the gold ones look yellow in the pictures, it still looks good altogether! And what a big impact this one piece of decor has!
For food we chose a salad bar. My dad is a very healthy guy so we wanted to pick something that reminds us of him! Nothing does more so than salad haha. We made 6 different varieties and they were all delicious! Check out how great my dad looks for his age:
All that salad he’s had in his life has really paid off huh? :D
The rest of the decor was pretty simple, as the balloon arch made a big impact on it’s own! But the other fun thing we did was fill coconut and pineapple shells with some local florals and greenery. We found the best color-coordinating stuff just around the neighborhood! I even put the cut top of a pineapple in some and loved how it looked! Pineapples can be hollowed out with one of those coring tools (just don’t cut off the bottom) and even frozen for weeks ahead of time. They’re not the most water-containing, so I recommend sticking a vase inside of them if you have one the right size. The coconut shell bowls are from Zurchers.
Lastly, we did a collection of 3 cream pies for dessert instead of traditional birthday cake. I topped each one with a differebt cake topper, each of them from Zurchers.
I’m so glad I finally got to throw a party for my dad, and also that I got to create a balloon arch! One of my brothers remarked at the event how parties always frustrate him a little because you spend all this time planning and setting up and then, after a couple hours, you just take it all back down! But I don’t feel that way at all! I absolutely LOVE the planning process! It’s so fun to visualize everything and then see it all come together. The couple hours of joy it brings are totally worth it in my book!