ICYMI, this year J and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We decided that this year, rather than a big vacation (which is what we do almost every year), we would throw a party for us and our close friends and family. Both of us love to entertain and in our tiny condo this just is not possible as often as we like. So this felt like a perfect excuse to get everyone together, catch up, eat and have fun.
I thought I would share our party planning and how it all went down because honestly, it was a lot of work, and I want to remember it. And there’s nothing more permanent than the internet amirite?! Also I do think we had some really fun ideas that I hope can inspire you too!
The most important thing for us with any big event is the food. It is probably the only thing people will remember or talk about when it comes to special events in our family. So we knew it had to be good.
And if you know me in person, you know I am a huge fan of street food. Especially if it comes off a truck! So this was what I wanted for our party. Luckily J was totally on board with this.
When deciding on the menu, it had to be easy to eat, and crowd pleasing. We went with a fusion: fish tacos, beef brisket sandwiches, crispy fried chicken sandwiches and beetroot burgers (for my veggie friends).
The food truck was definitely a big hit. People were standing in line in the blazing sun for their food, and they still raved about it! I barely got to eat any of the myself since they sold out! But what I did taste was delicious!
For refreshments, I decided to do a lemonade stand with 3 different flavours: regular lemonade, iced tea and butterfly pea flower tea. People could mix and match their flavours to make all sorts of fun drinks.
The butterfly pea flower tea was especially fun because it changes colour from blue to pink when added to the lemonade! It was so fun, and with the weather being so hot, the lemonade stand was a popular area to be around. We even ran out of drinks toward the end!
With a food truck based event, the venue had to be something outdoorsy. It was a risky choice given we booked the venue about 4 months in advance. We had no idea what the weather would be like – other than it was the middle of summer.
I was honestly terrified it would rain and nobody would come! But it turned out that it was bone dry and so incredibly hot that day. We ended up having a heat warning the day of our event and I was afraid no one would come because it was so hot!
We chose to host the party at Kelso Conservation Area Park in Milton. The key things I needed for our location was: access to washroom facilities, running water, electricity and of course it should look pretty too.
Kelso managed to check all the boxes, except they didn’t have electricity on our site. We solved that problem by renting a generator for the site. This was the best decision. It was not too expensive (about $60 for the day, plus fuel) and we used the electricity to power speakers and laptop for music and even a couple of electric fans to help cool everyone off! Highly recommend this if you are ever hosting an outdoor event.
Luckily, I had anticipated needing some form of shelter and rented a tent for our site. I thought we would need it in case of rain, but it provided some much needed shade on one of the hottest days of the year. I also rented tables and chairs so everyone had lots of place to sit and relax or eat.
Thankfully we had a great turn out and people stayed for hours! I honestly am so thankful to everyone that took the time to come! They made it so much fun!
This one was pretty simple. I just went to the party store and picked a colour theme. Went with teal blue (J’s fav) and some coordinating pastel pinks & oranges and bought some fun decor to go with the theme.
My sister (a graphic designer) was awesome in coming up with these cool signs for all the games and food and drinks we had so the whole thing looked all put together.
I also wanted to minimize waste as much as I could since we were outdoors. The food was mostly finger foods, served in individual portions on paper boats, so no need for additional cutlery or plates.
For the drinks, I decided to do mason jars for everyone so they could all reuse the jars (no paper or foam cups) and minimize waste. I ordered some chalk markers off amazon so everyone could write their name or draw a pretty design on their glasses so they didn’t get mixed up. And they got to take home their artwork at the end of the day.
As a bonus this turned into a fun activity for the kids to keep them busy too!
I loved doing this. But I think some of the more mature family were a bit annoyed at this. They kept looking for disposable cups for their drinks and tea! I think this is something that people need to get used to for sure.
The Mason jars cost about $0.30 each which is a bit more than a paper cup costs, but I love that they are reusable. We had plenty leftover and have reused them for parties at my sisters place twice already! Totally worth it in my opinion!
This is where we had a bit of fun. Since we were going with the whole casual outdoor vibe, I decided to have a few outdoor games and a scavenger hunt to keep everyone occupied.
I also rented a giant jenga game, set up a croquet and badminton areas and we put together a musical bingo game.
I also had a flash tat station. I bought some of these gorgeous temporary tattoos that almost look like glittery henna and let everyone help themselves. Everyone got really into blinging themselves out!
The idea with the scavenger hunt was to encourage people talk to each other (since we had guests from both our working world and family worlds which tend not to mingle together much).
Musical bingo was another fun interactive game. J and I came up with Spotify playlists with a certain theme e.g. bollywood/hollywood, one hit wonders and disney hits. Then we went online to this bingo card generator site and printed off bingo cards with the names of all the songs on the list. Each person got a bingo card and crossed off the song when it played. It was so much fun. And people really enjoyed the music too! I think Disney hits was the most popular since the kids got to help identify the songs.
I also had some fun dollar store prizes for the winners to keep things interesting.
The Dessert & Favours
Normally dessert is a bit of an afterthought for me. I just don’t have a sweet tooth for it. Even for our actual wedding I didn’t want a wedding cake. But we did end up getting one and it was one of my favourite things of the day (next to marrying J ofcourse).
So this time I decided we would have cake. I ordered a ‘naked’ cake and some cupcakes from my friend at Golden Whisk. It turned out gorgeous and ended up being this lovely centre piece for the day.
Finally the party favours. We actually didn’t intend to have any favours at all. But when we saw these Pakistani Martha Stewart chocolates on instagram we had to have them. They were the perfect mix of cheeky and fun just like J and I. Everyone got to take home a chocolate with a fun thank you message from us.
Overall we had a blast celebrating our anniversary with our loved ones. We had family travelling from out of town to attend and that’s what made it all worth the effort. To get to see and spend time with people that we don’t always get to see.
Until our 20th (or maybe 15th?)!