Melissa and Brent may have left their hearts in San Francisco, but they just brought the party to Raleigh with them! Melissa shares: My husband and I have had a love affair with San Francisco for years and lived out a dream by moving there in 2008. When we learned we were expecting in 2009, we looked forward to raising our daughter in the city. But shortly after she was born, we learned that due to a job transfer, we would have to move back to our hometown of Raleigh, NC when she was only 4 months old.
Before leaving San Francisco, we took her to as many landmarks and special spots in the city as possible. We wanted so badly to imprint on her the beauty of the place where she was created, where she grew in my belly, where she took her firsts breaths in the world. So often when she was tiny we would take her for car rides across the Golden Gate Bridge and whisper to her that it was her bridge and so now I have a hard time calling it anything but "Everly's bridge".
When it came to planning her first birthday party the theme was obvious - we wanted to take things back to where it all began and so my husband and I set to work making a list of places and experiences that represented the city. We decided on her party colors of Rose red, mustard yellow and gray as that was the color scheme on one of our favorite victorian houses in our old neighborhood. We set up a homemade Musee Mechanique photobooth as a nod to our favorite silly tourist attraction in the city. We hung a table cloth as a backdrop, added a sign & a table full of fun hats and silly props that people could use. A camera on a tripod with a remote allowed guests to take their own portraits.
And then we got to work planning the menu: We decided that all of the foods at her party would be reinterpretations from our favorites foods from different neighborhoods in San Francisco. Seafood chowder & sourdough bread for the Fisherman's wharf, burritos from the mission, eggrolls from chinatown, and sliders from one of our favorite restaurants in the Castro. Each dish featured a card with the neighborhood & the food listed so guests could learn what neighborhood they were eating from. The sweets table featured Everly's Bridge "Golden Gate Red Velvet" cupcakes and Ghiradelli square chocolate treats.
My husband created an awesome Golden Gate Bridge cut out and I hot glued doilies and origami paper to paper lanterns to hang as decorations. We also attached vintage SF postcards to string and draped them around the room.
We sent guests home with chinese takeout containers filled with sidewalk chalk as one of our favorite things to do in our old neighborhood was draw on the sidewalks in front of our building and leave chalk out for our neighbors to add to our designs.
Start to finish, it was an incredibly sweet day full of friends, family and memories of our beloved city. A fitting first year celebration for our darling girl, as she is certainly the best thing we ever found in San Francisco.
Thanks Melissa! Readers, you can see more of Everly's San Fran party on Melissa's blog Dear Baby.
(Images: Melissa Jordan)