Moroccan Birthday Celebration: Part I

I’m in NYC for the weekend, but couldn’t wait to share the professional pictures we got back from my husband’s party on Friday.  I couldn’t fit everything in, so it’s split into 2 parts.  Enjoy!  xx

The lead up to my husband’s 40th birthday was intense, particularly because I had a ton of DIY projects in mind that I wanted to finish for the party.  I chose the Faux School for the party because it was a blank space, but also had a number of unique features, including screens and televisions on all walls to project pictures and videos, exposed brick, two built in bars, colored panels, an entryway medallion, a back room that was separate from the main space (perfect for smoking hukkas), a private driveway leading to the event space (to lay out the Persian rugs), high ceilings with exposed beams, and, best of all, these gorgeous lights.







The theme was A Moroccan Night in celebration of my husband’s 40th  birthday.  He is also half-Persian, but the main selling point for me of the theme was the exquisite décor and bright colors that went along with it.  My husband is a total extrovert and loves to be the center of attention.  He kept joking throughout the planning process that this was “my party” (in all fairness, I did refer to it as “my party”), but if it were me, I would have steered clear of anything of the sort for myself personally.  But I knew he would love every minute of it, which I think he did.







277I asked guests to wear white for the party and was shocked that almost everyone did.   I thought that asking people to wear white would help get them into the vibe of our themed party, making it more interactive, but also the pictures look oh so much more coordinated with everyone wearing the same color!   As I wrote in my Father’s Day post, I picked out complementary paisley bow ties for my husband and father-in-law for the occasion.  As of my recent obsession with Gossip Girl, which thankfully has ended, I couldn’t help but coordinate the bow ties with a matching pocket hankerchief for my father-in-law and a turquoise flower lapel pin for my hubby.  I have to say, remembering this detail may have been my finest hour as a wife in our 2 years of marriage.  My dress was by Sue Wong—she is spectacular and has a flair for all things sparkly, feathery, beaded, gold, and dramatic—right up my alley.004



We got the idea for the picture nook at the Best of Frederick party last year  and I had to have it for the party.  I found the sequin gold fabric at JoAnn’s and, because the only piece they had wasn’t big enough (we needed 10 feet by 10 feet for the backdrop), we sewed a satin plum fabric on either side.  I’ve had to do this on one other occasion and both times, I’ve been so pleased with the result.  I wouldn’t have thought to blend fabrics like that (the other time was for curtains), but the textually distinct  fabrics side-by-side looked phenomenal.  The photographer printed the photo right on the spot, put it in a paper frame, and guests took it home with them.  Most people did more than one photo, some by themselves, in groups, or silly variations.






I also offered little baggies of macaroons as guest gifts tied off with ribbon, but I think everyone really enjoyed taking the photos home—especially the out of town guests we had from NYC, Michigan, Gloucester, and LA—two friends  even rearranged the dates they were coming back from Italy to be at the party.  It was especially entertaining seeing the individual photos get crazier and crazier toward the end of the night…155

156Now, unfortunately, the day of the party there was an air conditioning snafu and the temperature of the room began to reflect the middle east a bit too much.  So, at the last minute, I decided to do a cocktail hour on the driveway outside to give the room an extra hour to cool off.  Laying down the rugs was an idea I had when I was first scheming for the Moroccan theme, and we added a llama to the mix at the last minute, which turned out to be a big hit.  The llama’s handler was also in costume—apparently, the costume was made for the nativity scenes that the llama normally attended at Christmas time, but it fit the occasion superbly.069






I had planned for the servers to offer champagne with floating berries at the top of the hill as they arrived.  But, with the change of plans, I just had them circulate the champagne along with wine and beer, and sweets from the dessert buffets inside.



After the initial stall due to the indoor climate (and also an unexpected delay by the belly dancer who didn’t have her music), we were finally ready to open the doors and party ….

… be continued.



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