I once called out for guest contributors to this blog for moms (and dads) who wanted to share tips for party planning, luckily Belle of Cruisin’ MommyHood answered the call and answered a few questions about how she planned her party for her daughter Julia.
Belle planned a Gymboree Party for her daughter Julia. If you’re thinking about hosting one at Gymboree then this post is for you!
Here’s my Q&A with Belle:
What was the occasion for the party?
Julia’s 1st Birthday
What were the challenges you faced in planning the party?
Don was my major challenge. Yes, my husband. He didn’t want us to celebrate Julia’s birthday with a party. Well, I can understand. We have been to a lot of 1st birthday parties and we have also seen a lot of 1-year old celebrants who cry, sleep, cry, sleep during the party. In short, we have witnessed 1 year old kids who don’t enjoy their own party! So, Don concluded that 1st birthday parties are for grown-ups. Julia will not even remember, he added.
I agree, but of course, I WANT A PARTY FOR JULIA! I had to write and present to him a concept paper (complete with details — expenses, objective, etc.) It was like I was presenting an employee program to my President at work! Anyway, his ONLY consideration was: Julia should enjoy the party.
Luckily, there is Gymboree. We used to go to Gymboree Shangri-la every Sunday so that Julia can practice walking and just play and walk around without me saying “no” all the time. Without a doubt, Gymboree was the perfect venue for Julia’s 1st Birthday. Julia did not cry and did not sleep the entire time we were celebrating her birthday. The place was familiar to her. One parent even asked if we go to there often because Julia looked like she’s “home”.
In choosing which branch of Gymboree to hold the party, we considered the proximity of the branch. From our experience during Julia’s Dedication (North Forbes Park Clubhouse), some guests did not attend because the venue was far and “too exclusive”. We initially considered Serendra and Shangril-la. We ended up signing a contract with the latter because it’s the most accessible to our guests.
We only invited 20 kids and 30 adults. I did not spend too much on the invitation. I used Smilebox (www.smilebox.com) and had it printed at Kodak.
For the giveaways, aside from Gymboree’s ball, I included Sleepcare body wash for kids and some treats. I placed them in a brown bag. I added flowers from my scrapbook materials.
We had no theme. Hahaha! I just relied on Gymboree’s program. The cake was a gift from Julia’s Lola (my aunt). It’s from red ribbon.
I hired a photographer to document the party. Pau Bengero photographed my daughter when Julia was newborn and during her dedication.
What were your planning priorities?
The venue was my planning priority. I had to book early because Gymboree Shangri-la is a popular birthday venue. I spent a lot of time on venue, it was a component of the party that had a lot of considerations. A place where Julia will enjoy, can accommodate only about 50-60 guests, convenient for guests and not very expensive. Ang hirap ha! Hehe!
Suppliers and ratings
My caterer was Alvin Magpantay (the former basketball player). He’s our caterer at work for our employee activities. Price is affordable but masarap. The most important thing is, he is flexible and reliable. 4 stars for him.
Pau Bengero Photography Don and I are comfortable working with him. His price is not OA and he is easy to deal with. 4 stars for Pau.
Gymboree Shangri-la – the venue as a party place is really great. I had just some issues about some instructions that were not followed. Also, I forgot my daughter’s dress at one of their cabinets. They were not very helpful. I didn’t find it na, that’s okay. But I was really disappointed kasi they were not helpful. 3 stars for Gymboree
The Red Ribbon cake was a gift so I can’t complain 🙂
Tips and lessons learned that you could share
Kahit na pinahirapan ako ni Don, he taught me one valuable lesson. The most important thing about birthday celebrations is the birthday celebrant. Don’s main goal was for Julia to enjoy her own party and not what I want or what the guests deserve etc.
Creativity is key. I don’t believe that the more expensive a thing or venue is, the better. Sometimes, we just have to be resourceful and creative.
Julia received a lot of gifts. She unwrapped all her gifts but we did not let her play with them all at the same time. Until now, she still has a few gifts left in the cabinet. We give her at least 2 “new” toys every month.
Thanks so much Belle for sharing your tips and pics of the party! Don’t forget to visit Belle’s blog Cruisin’ Mommyhood
If you want to read more posts about party planning please visit my section on party planning tips HERE.
Do you want to share your tips and tricks? Just drop me an email at info(at)manilamommy(dot)com
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