Guest post by Seattle Wedding Planner, BreeAnn Gale of Pink Blossom Events
With two months to plan Sahaee’s Hot Air Balloon-themed 1st Birthday I discovered finding a balloon company during fall as well as a venue that suited my client’s vision proved a challenge. Yet this October my clients stood in front of an inflated balloon celebrating one unforgettable 1st Birthday at The Golf Club at Newcastle.
Face painting, coloring and a personalized painting activity for kids; a raffle drawing and cake decorating competition for adults; mouthwatering food stations from John Howie Catering including a gourmet mac ‘n cheese station, soup and grilled cheese station and a roasted chicken station inspired by their travels to Paris. And not to miss endless deserts, favors and tethered balloon rides under blue skies.
As guests arrived that late morning they left their thumbprint on the Hot Air Balloon guestbook and caught up on Sahaee’s milestones as she celebrates one year!
One of our favorite areas in the room was the seating vignette incorporating the Bella Pink Couch and Odette Chairs from Vintage Ambiance. Overhead metal hot air balloons with arrangements of soft blooms in the baskets hung above lounge area. Yarn wrapped letters spelling out the birthday girls name finished off the vignette.
Shantung blush linens and vineyard chairs surrounded dining tables dispersed around the room. Wood boxes filled with white hydrangeas, pink majolica spray roses, quicksand roses and cafe au lait dahlias were topped with metal globes and ribbons to mimic the look of a hot air balloon and made for the perfect centerpiece. Each table featured a picture of the birthday girl ranging from months one through twelve and a bit about her at that age.
While kids enjoyed one of the many activities or grabbed a bit from the kids buffet (fruit skewers, yogurt parfaits and beef meatballs), adults enjoyed a mimosa and nibbled on tray passed appetizers from John Howie Catering. Cheese stuffed red potatoes, pastry cups with roasted vegetables, American wagyu beef meatballs and mushroom stuffed filo crisps were well received!
With guests seated and a warm welcome from the hosts, a raffle drawing was held (winner received a $25 Amazon gift card) and the food stations were open!
A soup and grilled cheese station included a choice of roasted heirloom tomato-basil soup or porcini mushroom soup with black truffle creme. Toasted cheese sandwiches of cheddar on challah bread or a fontina & pesto on hearty Italian. Yum!
A mac ‘n cheese station allowed guests to customize their mac ‘n cheese with topping choices of bacon, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.
Another station, a favorite of the hosts, featured fresh organic whole roasted chickens carved to order with sides of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and gravy and grilled asparagus with a Meyer Lemon vinaigrette. Yum!
With bellies full, a cake decorating competition was rolled out! Teams of 8-10 were given a 6″ plain cake set on a disposable cake board; decorating tools, a spinning cake stand, sprinkles, writing gels, a container of white buttercream and three individual piping bags filled with colorful buttercream (pastel/dusty pink, purple and yellow) to create the hot air balloon designs. With the start of the timer friends and family had 10 mins to create a Hot Air Balloon inspired cake. The party hosts were given the task of deciding who the winning team was. The best cake designing team received a $10 Starbucks gift card for each person on the team. What fun!
The moment everyone was waiting for soon came as a round of Happy Birthday and a vanilla velvet smash cake was presented to Sahaee! The exterior finish of the smash cake was a smooth white Swiss meringue buttercream with a hand cut sugar paste balloon and a gold “1” topper.
It was now time for dessert for everyone! Three incredible cakes from Honey Crumb Cake Studio were a highlight. The focal cake, a three tiered cake (looked like a tall two-tiered cake), was a velveteen carrot and a toffee vanilla latte cake. The exterior of the cakes top tier was a smooth white Swiss meringue buttercream with gold gold lettering. The base tier was covered in a thin dusty pale aqua fondant with a hand painted abstract cloud design inspired by the party invitations. 2-D hand cut sugar hot air balloons, in dusty pink, pale dusty pink, rich aqua, dusty golden yellow, and dusty mint green were adorned to the cake. Stunning!
A kids cake of dark chocolate cake with milk chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream filling featured an exterior of smooth Swiss meringue buttercream tinted dusty pink, to match invitations, with vertical pinstripes in a darker dusty pink color.
A smaller 5″ GF chocolate cake with espresso buttercream filling and a smooth Swiss meringue buttercream with a gradient coloring was also on display.
Since you can never have enough desserts, a complete dessert buffet included hot air balloon cookies, creme puffs, mini apple pies, mini blackberry pies, banana pudding cups and to honor the birth of daughters everywhere Pink Ladoos.
With the weather uncertain that day, we gave guests a few minutes to grab a dessert as we ushered the family outside for family photos underneath the inflated balloon before inviting friends and family outside for the big surprise. With jaws opened wide guests gathered around for a group photo, thanks to both Kirsten Honeycutt Photographer and the aerial photographer before taking turns riding in the hot air balloon.
While friends and family took turns taking tethered hot air balloon rides Street Treats was on hand serving made to order ice cream sandwiches! The combinations were endless with multiple choices of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, coffee and toasted coconut and a strawberry sorbet) and cookies (chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal cranberry and funfetti).
Event Planner & Design: Pink Blossom Events
Photography: Kristen Honeycutt Photographer
Venue: The Golf Club at Newcastle
Catering: John Howie Catering
Rentals: Vintage Ambiance & Pedersen’s Event Rentals
Birthday Cakes & Hot Air Balloon Cookies: Honey Crumb Cake Studio
Desserts: Delicately Sweet Confections
Ice Cream Sandwiches: Street Treats
Floral: Aria Style
Stationery: Paper Fling
Chalkboard Signs: Chalk & Pine
Face Painting: Happy Faces Facepainting
Childcare: Stay & Play Childcare
Art Project: AR Workshop Mill Creek
Hot Air Balloon Rides: Balloon Depot
Aerial Photography: Carol Harrold Photography