It’s the Big Boy’s birthday month and I’ve got a small, intimate themed party I need to prepare again. The Big Boy said he wants rocketship for his party theme so his wish is my command. 🙂 But, before I get busy conceptualizing and researching for DIYs for his coming birthday, I promised myself I will document the party preparations I did for all of his birthdays since his 1st for my personal reference and for other people who would like to get some ideas for their parties. Let me start off with his Superman-themed 1st birthday and baptism which ignited my interest for parties and DIYs.
A DIY Superman party is actually manageable to put up. The key is to plan everything ahead of time, as early as 4-6 months before the party, to be able to scout for the most cost-effective party suppliers and book them on time and save your self from all the cramming and hassle especially when you are doing DIY stuff. We only had a budget of maximum P50,000 to work around way back in 2012 so I just hired myself as the party planner free of charge and used my research skills and some creativity to come up with ideas. My Big Boy’s 1st birthday was a mix of outsourced and DIYs through the help of my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, uncle, brother and our helpers. For the ones we needed suppliers, I’ll try to remember how much each costs but I’d probably be giving just a rough estimate just to give you an idea.
Let me take you through first the party stuff we hired/rented.
Venue: UP Balay Kalinaw
Our requirements for the venue were 1.) easily accessible for us and the guests, 2.) can accommodate at least 100 guests and 3.) within our budget. After checking the rates of several venues, I was able to convince hubby to consider UP Balay Kalinaw whose rates were half lower than the others I inquired from. There was bias I guess on his part being a UP alumni himself. 😀 After doing an ocular visit of the venue, hubby and I decided to book the place for an afternoon event from 3pm-6pm. I think the rate was around 4,400 for 3 hours but since hubby and I are UP Alumni, a discounted rate of less than P1,000 I think was given to us upon presenting my alumni card (one alumni card would actually merit a discount). The rate was merely for the venue rental though, additional minimal costs ranging from P50-P150 was applied for anything that would require electricity use such as the sound system, chocolate fountain etc. There was also a corkage fee for non-accredited caterers for every 50 guests. All in all I think we paid around P4000+ for the venue.
Baptism Venue: Sta. Maria della Strada Parish Church
Daddy J wanted a Catholic baptism for our firstborn. Since we had already booked Balay Kalinaw as the party venue, we scouted for churches near the area. Our first choice was the UP Chapel which is just a stone throw away from Balay Kalinaw but they only hold mass christening on Sundays and Daddy J does not like that idea. He, and I also, preferred a private, intimate event for our first baby’s christening so we visited other Catholic churches near UP. We went to Teacher’s Village at the Claret Church but I think they required that both parents are Catholic if I’m not mistaken so we crossed it off our list. Then we proceeded to Sta. Maria della Strada Church along Katipunan which thankfully did not have strict requirements and we found a suitable schedule at 2pm. There was a P2,000 fee for exclusive baptism.
Caterer: Verleo Catering
I’ve read good reviews about Verleo Catering so I considered them in my list. I was surprised to find out that they offer budget-friendly rates so I computed for a P230/head for 100 pax and P150/head for 30 kids and it actually fitted our budget! I got hubby’s approval who was the financier so I closed the deal. 🙂 The representative assigned to me was also easy to deal with and accommodated my requests for the color theme and all the additional tables for the gifts, prizes, etc. For a merienda event, we got Garlic Rice, Baked Macaroni, Chicken with Lemon Sauice, King Dao Spareribs, Mixed Vegetables with Quail Eggs and Mango Crepe for Adults and for the Kids, Baked Spaghetti, Chicken Lollipop, Hotdog with Mallows (1 stick), and Choco cupake with Sprinkles. The food was good and did not disappoint and I’m actually considering getting them again for future events.
Chocolate Fountain: Choco Bliss & Fairy Cakes
I personally love choco fondues so I made sure we had one at the Big Boy’s 1st birthday party to make the event more enjoyable as guests would have other food to munch on and other stuff to get busy on at a children’s party. 🙂 The most affordable one I found online was that of Choco Bliss & Fairy Cakes. We got their Baby Bliss package good for 80-100 pax with 3 hours dipping time worth P3,000 plus P350 transportation fee. I liked that they used good-tasting premium chocolate which defines a chocolate fountain regardless of how many dips are available. The Choco Bliss team was at the venue an hour before the event and even assisted in setting up our DIY candy buffet. 🙂 I also had an easy breezy transaction with them.
Cake and Cupcakes: Swell Sweets
When I saw the beautiful and creative product portfolio of Gel Colet of Swell Sweets online and found out that her cost was more affordable than the other cake and cupcake bakers I inquired from, I immediately booked her and paid the downpayment to bake and create a Superman-themed cake and 24 pieces of cupcakes for my Big Boy. The total package costed P3,940. We communicated via email and I was confident that we were aligned on the details of the cake and cupcakes. Come party day, I was expecting to see a 3D building cake with flying Superman and a Daily Planet globe but what was displayed on the cake table was a round yellow 8×3 cake with a patched with blue stars and 2D superman, globe and building toppers. Also, the cupcake toppers were supposed to be Superman’s logo and the Big Boy’s name stamping similar to the ones in her portfolio but what was prepared were below my expectation. It seemed like the cake and the cupcakes were done last minute. I never placed an order from her again even if I was offered a discount for future orders.
Host: Butch Gonzales
The original host that I booked for my Big Boy’s party was Chayno who I got through Jacque of Partyboosters. But due to some miscommunication, Chayno accepted another booking for the same date and cancelled mine (which was actually irritating given that I was the first one to book!). Jacque looked for a replacement and recommended Butch Gonzales who I read positive reviews about so I approved her reco. I was expecting Butch though to come in an outfit related to our theme but Jacque wasn’t able to inform him about the party theme. I just let it pass because what was important for me was how the host would lead the party and handle the crowd and Butch was able to deliver! 🙂 The kids and the adults alike enjoyed his games, magic show, balloon twisting and ventriloquism. There was never a dull moment. The P8,000 was worth it! 🙂
Face Paint: Groove Paint Party Needs
Our budget could no longer afford a lot of side entertainment so we just settled for face painting for the kids. I read about Groove Paint from a blog and the review was positive so I decided to book them. Besides, they were the ones that suited our budget. For the P1,500 package that I got, they provided 2 face painters for 2 hours. Thankfully, I had no problem dealing with them except that the people they sent to the event sounded unprofessional via text because when they were asking for the direction to the venue, the SMS was “jeje” (you know what I mean :D) and there was a missent jeje text to me with foul language which prompted hubby to ask me where I found them. 😀 Other than that, no complaints as they were able to deliver on their service.
Photobooth: White Elements
The photobooth was not a priority given our budget but my MIL thankfully volunteered to sponsor it mid-planning so I took time to look for an affordable photobooth provider and stumbled upon White Elements via sulit.com. The 3-hour photobooth with unlimited shots in 4R prints and customized template and backdrop/tarpaulin costed P4,500. The owner was responsive, accommodating and provided good service pre, during and post event. I just had a little difficult time finalizing the template and backdrop design because they couldn’t execute well the design I had in mind even if I already sent the pegs. I had to render it myself just for them to visualize what I wanted. I think creativity in terms of design was something they could improve on. Also, the photos were not printed on photo paper and the print easily faded. I provided feedback and they were generous enough to send me another batch of good quality prints.
Party Giveaway: Choclit Talk
Since we had a birthday and baptism party at once, we decided to give a souvenir to everyone. I wanted something personalized that can be used or consumed so the idea of chocolate bars came up after doing some research. I contacted Choclit Talk and booked my order of 100 pieces of medium sized personalized chocolate bars (P24 per piece) worth P2,400 via email. This supplier was really good to deal with — he was quick to reply and constantly provided updates, was able to execute the Superman wrapper design I wanted and accommodated some revisions I requested and provided my order on the agreed upon schedule. The chocolates actually tasted good and the guests loved the giveaway. 🙂
Baptism Tokens for Godparents: Thought of You
I also incorporated the Superman theme on the tokens for the Godparents. Thankfully, I discovered Thought of You that creates handmade, personalized crafts. So I placed an order for personalized items made of polymer clay — business card holders for the Ninongs and Lolos and compact mirrors for the Ninangs and Lolas — and relayed the design I thought of. The owner was very easy to talk to and was prompt to reply. She provided a really excellent customer service when she made prototypes of the designs and showed them to me for my approval before proceeding with the rest of the orders. I was so amazed with how well she executed the design. 🙂 I actually contacted her again for the Little Princess’ 1st Birthday and Dedication last year but she was tied to a project at the time and couldn’t accept orders. Anyhow, the 10 business card holders and 10 compact mirrors amounted to P2,500, discounted P130 per piece for the card holders and P120 each for the mirrors.
Photographer: Gerard Aquino and Apa Bagawan
I got the kind service of my photographer cousin Gerard, who also took some of the photos on our wedding, for free and just requested him for an additional hand to help him shoot the event so he tagged along his photographer friend, Apa who we handed a friendly rate of P2,000. The photos were in raw files as agreed with them but my cousin was kind enough to edit some of pictures. 😀 What I loved about their shots was they were able to capture emotions even if I myself look weird in some of the photos. Haha! But nonetheless, the photos were filled with smiles coming from the faces of the guests. 🙂
That was our supplier list. I’ll be sharing about the more enjoyable part in the next post: the DIYs! 🙂