Author Topic: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)  (Read 1572 times)

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gadget--gal

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I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
« on: April 12, 2007, 10:38:28 AM »
So, my mum will be turning 60 in September but she started jotting down ideas in March! so this will not be a small do.  ;) On the slighj up-shot, if she's throwing her own party, I don't have to plan and pay for one  ;D

She ran a few things by me last weekend:

  • she'll be looking for a small-medium community hall for a Saturday evening  (I'm making some calls in my area and she's covering her area.)
  • there will be approximately 150 guests
  • She's asking closest and dearest to help make foods etc. we are thinking some rices and cold salads, rolls etc. [ /li]

    • it will be a dry party (mum doesn't drink). She'd taking advantage of supermarket offers and someone will source some non-alcoholic stuff for her
    • someone from church will DJ and sing. Mim wan't some live gospel or praise music for a few mintues (30 minutes?) Thing is, not everyone who's coming is devout, or even a practising Christian :-X there might also be some secular music later.
    • our family friend will do photos
    • Mum's looking for a videographer
    • Mum is going to approach another family friend who decorates halls
    • Mum will make her and decorate her own cake and one of her best friends might help (they do people's weding cakes as a small hobby)
    • I'm in charge of invitations   :)

    I think that covers most of it.

    Of course, there's plates, silverware and napkins.

    The good thing about being in charge of invtiations is that I've already pointed out that young adults living at home need their own invitation. (My generation tends to treated as an afterthought a lot of the time.) If I design them myself I can keep the cost down and that'll be my contribution. (I'll offer to pay for some things later if I have the money)


    So if anyone can suggest some nice online templates I'll be grateful.  I saw some blank greeting cards sets this afternoon, that won't cost much. they are folded A5 papers complete with cards. Would it be appropriate to send a double-sided 6x4" card in an envelope as an alternative? All we need is that date, time, RSVP information.

    AS for the date of the event: Her biirthday is September 2nd, which falls on a Sunday. September 1st evening would be ideal, I think but she'd prefer 8th or 15th. Her friend (the lady who might help with the cake) is going away and will be back sometime in September. So my mum wants plan things around her.

    The dates are ultimately her choice but I wonder if september the 1st will be more practical because it's the end of summer before kids go back to shcool and some of our relatives are in university or starting in September. Or does it make much of a difference?

    I'll probalbly be back with more inforamtion, this is the first proper event I'll help to organise. I'll be grateful for any tips or suggestion in doing my part.

Sibby

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Re: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2007, 12:31:38 PM »
Sounds good so far.

To address some points:

I am not Christian, but gospel music for a smal portion of the party would in no way offend me (heck I wouldn't mind if it was the only music).  I can't imagine anyone would be offended unless it was a straight up church service ambush or unless someone was actively trying to convert them.

I think your mum is wise to plan around her best friend's schedule.  Throwing a party, while fun, is stressfull, she should have her close friend around.  If people are starting school early Sept, a later in Sept date might be better anyway, as they will by then be a bit more settled.  many people see it as bad luck to celebrate before the big day anyway (regardless of occasion).

Office supply stores (in the US, for example Staples) usually carry really, really nice invitation kits for very good prices.  They are formal style invites, with envelopes, response cards and response envelopes.  Usually you can buy matching thank you or note cards separately.  The kit comes with templates and sample wording and everything easily fits into a home computer printer.

A nice thing for you to do, if you are doing invites or especially RSVP's is to ask people to bring (or if possible send in advance) a card or piece of paper (you might want to provide so it's uniform) with a memory, favorite story, whatever involving your mom, which you can then incorporate into an album for her (perhaps combining with photos from the party, or even old photos of you mom with the people who provide a memory).

You might want to prepare a speech, and possibly have some other key people in your mom's life prepare ones as well.  I often have seen/heard speeches at birthday parties of this nature, and they are usually quite touching or amusing.  And they lend an air of formaility to the event.

Lisbeth

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Re: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 12:36:17 PM »
  • She's asking closest and dearest to help make foods etc. we are thinking some rices and cold salads, rolls etc.

  • someone from church will DJ and sing. Mim wan't some live gospel or praise music for a few mintues (30 minutes?) Thing is, not everyone who's coming is devout, or even a practising Christian :-X there might also be some secular music later.
  • our family friend will do photos
  • Mum's looking for a videographer
  • Mum is going to approach another family friend who decorates halls
  • Mum will make her and decorate her own cake and one of her best friends might help (they do people's weding cakes as a small hobby)
  • I'm in charge of invitations   :)

Ask your mother not to do this.  As a guest, I don't appreciate being asked to "cater" or "work" other people's parties-not even my nearest and dearest.  (This assumes that her "closest and dearest" are also guests.)  If she really wants to entertain these people, it needs not to be at their expense.  I'm afraid she'll have to budget the cost of help and entertainment into her party if she doesn't want to do this herself.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 01:12:18 PM by KeenReader »
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Pixie

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Re: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2007, 01:06:30 PM »
Is this in the US?    September 3rd is Labor Day, and usually prices go down after labor day weekend for some things.  (like vacation/tourist areas)

A week or 2 later might be best.   Best of luck and please wish your Mom a very happy Birthday for me!

.

gadget--gal

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Re: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 01:13:40 PM »
    • She's asking closest and dearest to help make foods etc. we are thinking some rices and cold salads, rolls etc.

    • someone from church will DJ and sing. Mim wan't some live gospel or praise music for a few mintues (30 minutes?) Thing is, not everyone who's coming is devout, or even a practising Christian :-X there might also be some secular music later.
    • our family friend will do photos
    • Mum's looking for a videographer
    • Mum is going to approach another family friend who decorates halls
    • Mum will make her and decorate her own cake and one of her best friends might help (they do people's weding cakes as a small hobby)
    • I'm in charge of invitations   :)
    [ /li]

    Ask your mother not to do this.  As a guest, I don't appreciate being asked to "cater" or "work" other people's parties-not even my nearest and dearest.  (This assumes that her "closest and dearest" are also guests.)  If she really wants to entertain these people, it needs not to be at their expense.  I'm afraid she'll have to budget the cost of help and entertainment into her party if she doesn't want to do this herself.


    My mistake, I should have added that she would pay for the food etc. typically in our culture (more her generation though) when there's an event/gathering people share up the cooking. The host pays for the ingredients, though and organises to transport the food if the person cooking can't do it.  (Although time is also an expense)

    It seems strange and I probably wouldn't ask people (too western!) myself, but she has done the same for many people in her circle. sometimes people approach and ask what they can bring/make.[/list]

    gadget--gal

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    Re: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
    « Reply #5 on: April 12, 2007, 01:14:37 PM »
    Is this in the US?    September 3rd is Labor Day, and usually prices go down after labor day weekend for some things.  (like vacation/tourist areas)

    A week or 2 later might be best.   Best of luck and please wish your Mom a very happy Birthday for me!

    .


    We're in the UK but some things might be reduced at the end of summer. :)

    Lisbeth

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    Re: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
    « Reply #6 on: April 12, 2007, 01:15:46 PM »
      My mistake, I should have added that she would pay for the food etc. typically in our culture (more her generation though) when there's an event/gathering people share up the cooking. The host pays for the ingredients, though and organises to transport the food if the person cooking can't do it.  (Although time is also an expense)

      It seems strange and I probably wouldn't ask people (too western!) myself, but she has done the same for many people in her circle. sometimes people approach and ask what they can bring/make.[/list]

      Actually, it's not the question of "who's paying?" that I think is problematic so much as "I don't want to spend my time at a party doing the work if I'm a guest."

      I really think that your mother should hire professionals to help her out with the serving, photography, and so on, and not count on family and friends to do it.  I feel like that about family and friends who are asked to "work" weddings too.
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      gadget--gal

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      Re: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
      « Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 01:28:36 PM »
      Sounds good so far.

      To address some points:

      I am not Christian, but gospel music for a smal portion of the party would in no way offend me (heck I wouldn't mind if it was the only music).  I can't imagine anyone would be offended unless it was a straight up church service ambush or unless someone was actively trying to convert them.

      My mum said "praise and worship" or something to that effect so it seems that there will be some guest participation for a few minutes. This seems like a sticky but to me. I'm trying to remember if a similar thing went on at another 60th birthday some years ago.  ??? Most of the guests will be fine with it but there will be a minority who don't share the same beleifs.

      I think your mum is wise to plan around her best friend's schedule.  Throwing a party, while fun, is stressfull, she should have her close friend around.  If people are starting school early Sept, a later in Sept date might be better anyway, as they will by then be a bit more settled.  many people see it as bad luck to celebrate before the big day anyway (regardless of occasion). 

      children go to school in early Sept. but the teens and older go to university mid-late september and most of them will be out of the city. If we go for mid September, they might still be around.

      Office supply stores (in the US, for example Staples) usually carry really, really nice invitation kits for very good prices.  They are formal style invites, with envelopes, response cards and response envelopes.  Usually you can buy matching thank you or note cards separately.  The kit comes with templates and sample wording and everything easily fits into a home computer printer.

      I bought some card to play around with at lunch time, and I might go to staples tomorrow or Saturday to see what they have. I tried to search on google for templates but was to much rubbish and dead links showing up too.

      I had forgotten about thank you cards. Thank YOU for the remind!

      A nice thing for you to do, if you are doing invites or especially RSVP's is to ask people to bring (or if possible send in advance) a card or piece of paper (you might want to provide so it's uniform) with a memory, favorite story, whatever involving your mom, which you can then incorporate into an album for her (perhaps combining with photos from the party, or even old photos of you mom with the people who provide a memory).

      That's a nice idea, I'll consider it. :)


      You might want to prepare a speech, and possibly have some other key people in your mom's life prepare ones as well.  I often have seen/heard speeches at birthday parties of this nature, and they are usually quite touching or amusing.  And they lend an air of formaility to the event.

      I thought I'd have to do something like this. I get nerves in front of people so I'll have to work on this during summer.  :-[

      gadget--gal

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      Re: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
      « Reply #8 on: April 12, 2007, 01:36:45 PM »
        My mistake, I should have added that she would pay for the food etc. typically in our culture (more her generation though) when there's an event/gathering people share up the cooking. The host pays for the ingredients, though and organises to transport the food if the person cooking can't do it.  (Although time is also an expense)

        It seems strange and I probably wouldn't ask people (too western!) myself, but she has done the same for many people in her circle. sometimes people approach and ask what they can bring/make.[/list]

        Actually, it's not the question of "who's paying?" that I think is problematic so much as "I don't want to spend my time at a party doing the work if I'm a guest."

        I really think that your mother should hire professionals to help her out with the serving, photography, and so on, and not count on family and friends to do it.  I feel like that about family and friends who are asked to "work" weddings too.

        The photographer is a professional, so he will be paid his rate etc., it's just that he is a family friend too.

        I hate the idea of asking people to cook etc.: being relatively young, my cousins and I do get picked (even on the day!!  >:( ) to serve at events.  Trouble is, I come from a background of everything being done within the family. More often than not people volunteer or offer but it's bloody annoying when you haven't offered your services. I wouldn't do it to people myself but I am sure she'd never hear of hiring help. I'll broach the subject with her nonetheless.

        bopper

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        Re: I'm helping to organise a 60th birthday (heeelllllp!)
        « Reply #9 on: April 20, 2007, 04:16:29 PM »

        My mum said "praise and worship" or something to that effect so it seems that there will be some guest participation for a few minutes. This seems like a sticky but to me. I'm trying to remember if a similar thing went on at another 60th birthday some years ago.  ??? Most of the guests will be fine with it but there will be a minority who don't share the same beleifs.

        [

        It could be your mom was referring to a style of music...to me "gospel" is what I think they sing in traditionally black churches, and "Praise and worship" music is more contemporary christian music.