Then Pinterest happened, magnifying my penchant for things pink and frilly, and the idea of Lia being a ballerina for a day became a much coveted decision.
The one issue I had was that a party as pretty as that sounded, in all senses, expensive. Soft. Flowy. Sheer. Whimsical. That collective effect often comes with costly fabric like mesh and tulle – both aren’t widely available in the Philippines. And I wasn’t willing to spare twenties of thousands for a party my daughter wouldn’t even remember.
Ergo, the DIYs.
If anything, this was probably the most I made for an event. Maybe even more plentiful than the ones I crafted for our wedding. The experience was unnerving,what with less than a month to go and a growing tot who couldn’t stay put in an already chaotic household.
But all’s well that’s end well as they say, and Lia turned one in a poof!
Venue: The Gazebo
Address: Sta. Maria, Bulacan
Rate: P1,500 for 5 hours + P1,000 refundable deposit
Up to the last minute we were considering a hassle-free, cheaper Jollibee party. Our biggest consideration was that holding a party in an air-conditioned venue was more convenient for guests especially on an arid April day. However it also presented a lot of restrictions in terms of creative freedom. I want the Ballerina theme, not Jollitown, damn it!
Since half the guests were neighbors and only a few are from Manila, we opted for the gazebo in our subdivision and moved the party to 5:30pm.
Wouldn’t say the venue was awesome, it could use some refurbishments, but it served its purpose. There were toilets at the back, and it was breezy and spacious enough for 55 guests (We invited 70 but there’s the usual on-the-day guest fallout). The lush greens and adjacent pool made for a nice summery backdrop for photos.
Caterer: L. De Vera Catering Services
Address: San Jose Patag, Sta. Maria, Bulacan
Inclusions: 5 viands, rice, buco pandan, bottomless drinks, servers, venue styling; gift table, cake table, and other extra tables
Living in the province, there are very few choices one has when it comes to catering services. We only had 2 at that given rate. While this is one of the most established caterers in Bulacan, I had reservations booking them. We had two food tasting experiences, both pretty average. (My mom makes much much better morcon and lengua, I could tell you that.)
Second, our AE always seemed so…spaced out. Text replies are difficult to elicit. I had to unleash my inner dragon to have them change the so-so morcon to chicken lollipop, because they already went to the grocery for ingredients five minutes after we talked the menu over, and because apparently, I had to call to confirm the change, not simply text – which I did over and again, only nobody was picking up the phone.
Food was decent enough. Crowd favorites were chicken barbeque, green peas with quail eggs, and fish fillet (last two were consistently delish). The beef caldereta was good too, although some slices were tough to chew. Buco pandan was okay. As expected, the chicken lollipop turned out dry and quite vapid. The four seasons juice was yummy though.
Waiters were attentive and customer-centric. We were greeted with smiles and ice cold water while setting up the sound system and candy buffet table, even if we didn’t ask for it. They granted our requests on pretty much everything and solicited our opinions while setting up the venue. We – alright, alright – I requested them to use more organza and less shiny fabrics, and they did. Additional tables? Done, no charge.
Oh, and the craftmanship on the venue stylish was superb. Very classy and whimsical. I love, love, love the wick centerpieces on the buffet table 🙂
Photographer: Sister-in-law’s husband 🙂
We couldn’t thank JB enough (and the SIL of course!) for saving us the work on doubling as photog, and giving us wonderful mementos to share with Lia when she grows up. We are fortunate to have a brother-in-law who’s artsy and gifted with an eye for detail. From the bottom of our heart, salamat ng marami!
Birthday cake: Box Of Sweets by Punky Porca
Rate: P1,000 for an 8-inch fondant cake with simple design (Gift from SIL)
Address: Marilao, Bulacan
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/BOSbyPunky
Found Punky while looking for DIY candy buffet designs. This Bulakenya is highly recommended even by Manila brides for her reasonably priced, tastefully crafted cakes and unique candy buffet creations. Very respectful and nice supplier to deal with. Transaction was a breeze. I simply e-mailed her a picture of the cake design I wanted, had the in laws pick up the cake on the day itself, and that was that.
I expected more though in terms of flavor. Maybe it’s just me, but I found the chocolate sponge to be more milk and mint than chocolate, and quite on the bland side.
But no doubt she delivered in terms of design quality 🙂
Chocolate cupcakes and macaroons for cake tower: Baked with love by sister 🙂
Cost: Labor of love. For the raw ingredients, we spent around P1,200 for about 80 pieces of 3oz cupcakes and around 100+ pieces macaroons
Confession: I’ve always wanted a cupcake tower for our wedding. So now that I can spare extra for one, I made sure we’re getting it! Good for me because my sister happens to be one of the meanest bakers this side of the planet!
Everyone loved her treats. She uses cake flour and pure chocolate bars (no cocoa) for her cupcakes, so not only are they soft, the chocolate flavor is also thick. For her macaroons, she incorporates a hefty amount of nougat, which makes them very filling and not too sweet. Taob ang cupcake tower! My niece had to replenish every so often, and guests even brought some home 🙂 Yey!
Mini chocolate fountain: Bought from online seller in Sulit.com
Cost: P450 + P90 shipping fee
Dutche Chocolate Fondue: Bought at All About Baking for P195 per aluminum pack (sells at P250 and up online)
Cupcake tower: 3-tier DIY cupcake tower from All About Baking in QC
Sassy and very easy to assemble. I only had to add lace on the sides to cover the carton and voila! We have a beautiful cupcake tower.
Circular paper lanterns: Bought in bulk from online seller in Sulit
Cost: Around P1,500 for 26 pieces of 10″ lanterns (assorted colors)
Another nice-to-have I wanted during the wedding. Had I known they were as affordable in bulk, I would’ve spent on these beautiful babies without a blink.
The lanterns came with instructions, though one could easily manage without it. Easy to assemble and disassemble. Needs satin lace for hanging, but the cost is almost negligible. Definitely added more oomph to the worn-out venue.
Ballerina dress for venue designing: Bought from Kamuning ukay ukay
Rate: P50. P35 for fuchsia flower clip from PrettyClipz
Was supposed to wear this but it turns out ballerina dresses don’t go well with rounded figures. Hehe.
Lia’s ballerina outfit
Cost: Roughly P1,100 including shipping costs
P100 for pink onesie – bought from online garage sale
P200 for Minnie Mouse-inspired tutu – bought from online garage sale
P70 for OshKosh Bgosh pantyhose/leggings
P520 + P90 shipping fee for Ballerina flats with hardsole from Kasey Summer Padilla of Little Imelda
P170 – Aphrodite halo from Kasey Summer Padilla of Little Imelda
The front stitches on the sole became loose that if she wore it one more time, I’m afraid it will flap open and expose Lia’s foot.
Sayang kasi the rubber hardsole is really thick and high-quality. Looks like Lia won’t be able to use this pair anymore. For me, the quality is nil compared to Tot Couture’s. But I couldn’t speak for Kasey’s other creations. Heard she makes great crib shoes 🙂
DIYs by moi:
Cost: Labor of love. For the raw materials:
P35 each for the teddy bear centerpiece from Sarah of Stephensmom Balloons + P110 shipping fee
Around P36 for 4 yards of pink tulle
Plastic cup, pebbles, pearl and organza ribbon came from my stash at home
Sarah as usual, was very accommodating and delivered the additional teddy bear sticks on time.
Cost: Around P15 each lootbag including:
One 2-piece pack of Oreo – P4.50
One Goya lollipop – 0.80cents
One Jelly ice candy – 0.80cents
One Mongol pencil – P6.00
6 pieces of M&Ms – Free, pasalubong from US; P.050 for the plastic container for repacking
National Bookstore multi-colored paper – P1.00
Printable tags – Around P1.50 for cardboard type paper and printer ink
Cost: Around P250 for the tulle, wreath, satin lace ribbon
While time-consuming, this is an easy project to make. It took me around 4-5 hours to finish, layering and knotting included.
Here’s how I did it: https://www.ourworldinwords.com/2013/04/how-to-make-ballerina-tutu-wreath.html
Baronnial envelope: P1.50 each
Organza ribbon: Around P.050
Cardboard type paper: P.75
Ink: Maybe P1.75 for the tag and half-paged invite
I downloaded the tags and invitation designs from here:
Glasses and jars: Free. Used empty salsa and jam containers at home.
Bamboo stick: P30 for 100 pieces
Breadsticks: P20 per 50 pieces from All About Baking in QC
Marshmallows: P45 per medium pack from local grocery
Stik-O wafers: P40 per jar (around 100 pieces?)
Pochi candies: P27 per pack of 50s
Pink choco balls: P120+ per 1/2 kilo pack from All About Baking, QC
Wine glasses and candy jars for candy buffet
Cost: Around P2 each for organza and tag
Pen holder and note for guestbook
Cost: Around P50
Note/ paper holder: Bought from Ukay in Kamuning at P20
Materials for pen holder and note: Around P20
Organza lace and print-outs: Around P10
Photobook/ guestbook from Artscow.com. Will discuss on a separate post.
Cost: Around P150
During the party itself, we had a couple of misses just as there were perhaps a couple of hits. People started pouring in by 5:45, but we waited forty more minutes to start the kiddie games in consideration of other guests who haven’t yet arrived, and people obviously got bored. We didn’t have a specific program in mind. Born with no hosting skills whatsoever, there was occasional dead air.
For lack of communication, the boys lit the fireworks while we were doing Pinoy Henyo, which divided audience attention, leaving some wandering about till the end of the party. We burned a DVD of party music to play but it won’t skip to the next track manually. Kids were all in position for a Trip to Jerusalem sesh, and we had to break their enthusiasm because the player can only play jazz for that time. Sheesh.
Note to self: Hire a host next time.
But at the end of the day, I think the kids pretty much enjoyed their day and we’re happy with that. Hey, after all, this is a kid’s party. Adults get to eat, kids get to eat, play, slobber around the candy buffet station, take home cool prizes, lootbags and even table centerpieces (which they transformed into a magic wand. Heh).
And most importantly, we were able to celebrate a year of Lia’s milestones and quirks with people that mattered – all in a single day.
Ze sister for baking those sweet treats with love even when she was dead hungry herself.
Thanks to her, I gained 4 pounds in the course of 10 days
eating leftover brownies and macaroons.