Our digital editor's guide to throwing a bash you won't forget!
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“Oh your birthday is in April? Ah that’s unlucky” was the constant response I heard from people earlier this year as I turned 26 in the height of the lockdown. A chorus that was made even sweeter by the dozens of memes and images of “Sad Pablo Escobar” from the Netflix hit, Narcos, sitting on a swing chair and standing in his empty pool alone to the words “everyone with a birthday in March and April”.
In a year that has thrown all sorts of routine out of whack, leaving us feeling quite uneasy and uncertain as to what’s next, my birthday being a write-off was just another thing I had to come to terms with. The “Sad Pablo Escobar” seemed like my only option until I realised that sitting and feeling sorry for myself was only adding to my problems.
Instead of dwelling on what I didn’t have for my birthday like my family in Dublin and the freedom to leave my gaff, I decided to make the most of what I did have and throw myself a party.
Living with my four best friends, we decided to make this birthday and situation count by throwing a paint and prosecco bash in our back garden.
Ordering supplies from paint stores, DIY shops and online party stores, we turned our back garden into a mini workshop and created a menu of little bites to eat and party drinks thanks to ideas from Pinterest and our local supermarket for supplies.
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Planning what we wanted the day to be like was the most exciting part. Making an agenda for the celebration kept us more fixated on the different activities that were lined up next and less on the fact we were spending the whole day at home.
For example, we started the party indoors with brunch, including all our favourites like scrambled eggs, fresh berries, toast and mimosas, before moving the party outdoors for the paint and prosecco. On our itinerary this was then followed by cocktails and bites before we grabbed blankets and moved over to sit around the fire pit for a s’mores night.
Setting up different stations and having a loose running order helped to keep the party moving and the energy high, regardless of the theme.
With statistics from One4All revealing that almost one quarter of Irish people (23%) have had a birthday in lockdown so far, parties at home have become a reality for almost a fifth of the population and this figure is only rising. According to this data 38% of people are ringing in the occasion with the people they’re living with while 27% of people are attending their ‘virtual’ birthday party.
Thanks to technology and apps like FaceTime combined with incredible online party stores and websites, planning a lockdown bash couldn’t be more accessible. Yep, your birthday this year despite influencing memes (@pablo on the swing) doesn’t have to be a write-off, in fact, you could be surprised at just how special it can be when a little bit of creativity is involved.
Want some tips on throwing a party? Here are my 5 top suggestions!
1. Plan a theme – From an Italian pizza night to a paint and prosecco party, a tapas and sangria fiesta to a back garden Coachella, the theme doesn’t have to be intricate but it acts as a foundation for the day’s festivities, making it easier to plan.
2. Research what you like – Pinterest is packed to the gills with ideas so once you have a theme, look up inspiration. For instance, if you opted for an Italian pizza night, look up ideas for a DIY pizza station, cute signage you could make for your back garden and an Italian inspired movie to showcase after dinner. Want to go all out? Purchase a projector online and throw a mini outdoor screening.
3. Make an itinerary – I know this sounds very Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory vibes but I don’t mean planning every second of the day. Loosely having a POA will make the day flow and keep you busy, while staying aware of how the night will progress without any stress.
4. Sort a playlist – Music is key for any good bash. Often something we forget until everything is set up and ready to go, make sure you have a playlist sorted before the big day and a speaker that’s fully charged.
5. Order in advance – lastly, as there is still slight delays on packages and shipping, if you’re ordering party items online, make sure you order them well in advance and look for where they’re coming from. Items from the US and Asia are more than likely going to take longer than the UK, so keep an eye out for shipping updates and always make sure you’ve got a contact for the supplier or a customer care email handy before you place an order.
Aside from that, you’re set to go and we know you’re party whether with your mates IRL or virtually will be one you won’t forget anytime soon!