The not so surprising party…

As an only child, birthdays in my family have always been a huge deal. April is basically my birthday month, why limit your celebrations to just a day?

However, the hubs, youngest of five, was never really much of a birthday/celebration kind of guy but he’s come a long way. 

This year, he kept insisting that I keep his birthday a low-key, low budget ordeal.  But he was turning 35 – how could I not do something? And so I thought long and hard until I came up with the perfect plan, something that would celebrate him but would still fall into his low-key/low-budget rules. 

I planned an intimate surprise dinner party with some of our closest friends.  However, when you’re living with someone it’s hard to keep a surprise, especially when he knows you’re up to something.  

Honestly, surprising someone you live with, with a party at home is really tough… so I was able to keep the surprise until day of until he found the balloons… In the end, he was pleasantly surprised that some of his dearest friends made it & in my eyes, that’s all that matters. Happy Birthday Meri Jaan.

Planning any event big or small especially for the first time can be a little overwhelming. I wanted to have a nice evening but didn’t want to stress myself out over the details. Here’s the nitty gritty of planning a low-key party:

Once you’ve decided on a budget, date, and guest list –

Send out invites – I used an evite template and texted it to all our friends.  Wanted to have somewhat of a theme – so I chose Karaoke since he very recently got one as a Christmas present. Not all occasions call for this and that’s okay, but I like adding my own creative touch.

Food – usually requires the most amount of work and preparation but I also wanted to enjoy the evening so I chose to cater his favorite food.  Luckily his favorite food is Halal Guys. (if someone at Halal Guys is reading this post – please hire him as your Brand Ambassador)

I also picked up some dips with chips and created a cheeseboard.

Also picked up some crowd pleasing drinks. 

Ordered a cake from our local baker and picked up some classic Indian desserts to add some options.

Tabla Cake

Décor – The only décor I opted for was a balloon banner and some hanging tassels as well as some high quality paper plates, utensils, and napkins.

Prepping – I used a couple hours cleaning up our place and decorating our dining area where we’d set up food/drink stations.  Quickly dusted and vacuumed, and wiped down the powder room. 

Cleaning up –As the party comes to a close, start cleaning up the table and putting away the food.  We had WAY too many left overs and so I used the foil trays that the food was delivered in to make to-go boxes for everyone. And tupperwar-ed the rest for ourselves.  Luckily everything was in foil trays so there was minimal dish washing required. #smallwins
It was a long day, so I saved the rest for the next morning.  After eating breakfast (aka left over cake), I cleaned up the kitchen, loaded up and ran the dishwasher, wiped down the countertops, oven and stovetop.  Swept and mopped.  Moved onto the party spaces- picked up all the remaining trash, wiped down tables and vacuumed.  Put the dining table and chairs back, and the place settings as well.   Dimmed the lights, lit some candles and used the remainder of the day to have a relaxing evening. 

Hope this post helps you plan and streamline your next party with a low stress mindset.  It’s always been my dream job to be the Desi Martha Stewart & maybe she would advise against using foil trays but ain’t nobody got time for that. Leave some of your best party prep/clean-up hacks in the comments below! I’m working on my next couple of posts –sharing some of my favorite winter recipes and how to host the perfect, Classy Desi Dawat – no foil trays this time – I Promise!

If any of this was helpful to you – tag me in your next party post!

Happy rest of the week lovies. 

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