Events by GLWE {Phil’s Surprise Birthday Celebration}

Beg_REOver the summer I had the pleasure of throwing my husband a surprise 30th birthday bash. The plan was to host our family and friends the day after the hubs and I returned from our trip to Anguilla. (More details on that amazing trip coming soon!) Planning a birthday trip and a surprise party within days of each other can cause quite a few challenges. Not sure what I was thinking when I made that decision!

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In between planning amazing weddings for our 2013 brides, I spent hours planning the perfect party for my best friend. As we would be in Anguilla the week leading to the party, I recruited the GLWE team, my in-laws, friends and a few of my favorite vendors to help me pull off the ultimate surprise!


It was important to me to incorporate my husband’s favorites into the party. Red is Phil’s favorite color so I selected a red, black and white striped theme. The guests were instructed to wear red or black cocktail attire. The guest of honor and I wore white.

Phil’s guests munched on a Mexican inspired display station while they awaited his arrival. They also had the chance to view a collage of images that were displayed in the entry way. I loved the series of geronimo balloons that we used to decorate throughout.


Phil is also a huge snacker. Instead of a typical candy bar station, I opted for a snack bar. I included his favorite snacks that included peanuts, kettle chips and popcorn that were scooped into fun striped boxes I ordered from Oriental Trading. The signature drinks were strawberry margaritas and the “Bee Sting” that included Maker’s Mark, Phil’s favorite whiskey.

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One of the highlights of my husband’s surprise birthday weekend was seeing him sending time with his childhood friends. I was even able to fly his friends from California in town without him having a clue as to why they were actually here!

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When I asked Phil what he was thinking when he entered the party, his response was, “WOW!” As you can see from the picture, it took him a minute to process what was going on.

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After I welcomed our family and friends, Phil’s roommate from college gave the dinner blessing. We enjoyed a southern themed buffet complete with Phil’s favorite foods.

The photo booth and props were a huge hit! The DJ kept the dance floor packed the entire night. Our friend Don from My Easy Photo went out of his way to capture every detail of the party.

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The night ended with a dessert buffet that I designed around the red, black and white color palette. The two-tiered cake was designed by me and made by our friends at Sweet Creations Cakes.Cake-REVjpg

When I asked Phil what he enjoyed most about his party, he said, “Spending time with my family and friends.” It meant the world to us both to have family from Ohio, California, Texas, North Carolina, DC, Maryland and Virginia celebrating with us.

Thank you to all who made Phil’s surprise party a night that he will always remember!

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Phil’s Vendor Dream Team:

Event Planners: Geomyra Lewis Weddings and Events

Photographer: My Easy Photo

Caterer: Gist Family Catering

DJ: DJ Jo’Iyce

Flowers: Veronica Perez

Birthday cake: Sweet Creations Cakes

Linen rental: Wildflower Linen & A&A Rental Station

Invitation design and assembly: Geomyra Lewis Weddings and Events

Photo booth: Red Eye Photo booth

Custom Photo booth sign: Etsy

Photo booth props: Etsy

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