Surprise Birthday Celebration
Each guest received a one-of-a-kind invitation featuring a blue velvet box with a large puzzle piece inviting them to a surprise party, giving directions to bring the enclosed puzzle piece with them to the party and asking for five words to describe the birthday girl. Those words would later be showcased throughout the décor, video montage, entertainment and a special gift for the guest of honor. Kehoe Designs incorporated these adjectives and phrases on the backs of chairs & tops of highboy tables as well as the guest of honor’s name scripted across the vinyl white dance floor. We partnered with Marc Friedland Couture Communications to design the invitations as well as custom dinner plates with each guest’s words around the perimeter of the plate and with his/her name and date on the back. These plates were displayed at the party for all to view. They were presented to the birthday girl at the end of the night as a gift from her family.
The A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center was transformed into a colorful, thoughtful walk down memory lane with the help of our amazing collaborative partners: Kishbaugh + Partners, Kehoe Designs, Lightswitch LLC and Partytime-HDO Productions. It was important to the host that every detail from the food to the entertainment, décor, gifts, flowers and photos were all of the birthday girl’s most favorite things, including a giant chocolate chip cookie cake made by the James Beard Award winner Mindy Segal. We brought in Cottage Inn pizza from the guest of honor’s Alma Mater college campus as well as her favorite frozen custard in Michigan, Gillies. We even had a McDonald’s food station serving burgers, fries and orange crush soda. Kehoe Designs created photo collage back drops for each of the food stations that were focals in the room filled with photos from the birthday girl’s childhood, adolescence, teenage years, college, etc. The main décor focal piece was an illuminated portrait of the guest of honor in a modern art style similar to Chuck Close. This art installation was also an interactive experience for guests. Guests were the ones who completed the portrait and did so from the puzzle pieces from their invitation. Each guest had a number on the back of his or her puzzle piece that corresponded to a number on the portrait. It was exciting to see guests walk up to the installation, figure out where their piece fit and step back to see the image come to life in front of them. The final piece became the photo backdrop for the evening. In place of a typical photo booth, we partnered with HYPNO and used “The Eye” which is a giant video selfie ball that was passed throughout the evening capturing moments and memories of the night.
Entertainment included Live Band Karaoke and a surprise performance by Vertical Horizon, one of the guest of honor’s favorite rock bands. Guests were invited on stage to karaoke and give special remarks to the birthday girl. The final karaoke act was by Matt Scannell, the lead Singer from Vertical Horizon. The fun didn’t stop there. Vertical Horizon performed their top hits as well as a list of cover songs from the guest of honor’s favorite artists. After the performance, Vertical Horizon joined everyone on the dance floor for a memorable cap to the extraordinary evening. To bring the whole party full circle, mock puzzles of the art installation were given to guests as party favors.
Decor & Design: Kehoe Designs
Venue: A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center
Food & Beverage: J&L Catering
Audio/Visual: Kishbaugh + Partners
Photographer: Sheri Whitko Photography
DJ: Maurice Joshua
Entertainment: Vertical Horizon
Entertainment: Live Band Karaoke