Karen + Michael's Tropical Soirée

Fairy lights, confetti balloons, floating swans, Hawaiian shirts and tiki torches – all the magical elements that made up Karen + Michael’s tropical backyard soirée.

A few months ago Karen had contacted me about planning a joint birthday party for her and her partner - that was going to be more than just a birthday party. Karen + Michael were planning a surprise engagement, and wanted all their guests at the party to have a hint that it would be a LITTLE more than just a birthday bash, but didn’t want to quite give it away.

After meeting a few times, Karen decided on a Moroccan theme, and a party that would take place in the backyard of her home.

As a planner, it’s important in the very upfront of conversations to know the goal and outcome your client desires. It’s also important to know what the most important elements of their party are, to them. When I was planning my wedding it was all about the flowers, photography and videography. I knew I wanted to spend a little more in those areas, and maybe cut down in some other areas I didn’t care as much about.

For Karen + Michael, their #1 priority was invitations. Karen was keen on creating some type of physical invitation, as well as a social media event. This way, they felt they could reach all of their family and friends – whether it was in the digital space, or with a physical invitation. This meant working with a designer (Christina Banos, check her out – she is amazing), in order to create some custom invitations. This way were able to incorporate all of the colours and elements of their Moroccan party theme.

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Once the invites were settled, it was onto the other elements of the party. Karen knew because this would be taking place in her backyard, she wanted there to be plenty of lighting for guests. Not only should the light actually provide a good amount of light – but they should double as decorative (no thanks giant, fluorescent flood lights).

So, 3 boxes of edison bulb strands, and 2 boxes of fairy lights later – we had it looking like a magical garden, with plenty of lighting for the guests to see.

Finally, finally party day had arrived. You could feel the excitement in the air, and as guests began showing up, all the men were in Hawaiian shirts. One of the men was wearing a baby pink shirt with pink Flamingos on it. So good.

The drinks were flowing, the band was rocking, the lights were twinkling and the burger bar was making everyone’s taste buds jump.

Karen + Michael had always planned on doing some announcements later in the evening, so around 8:45 they got up on the stage and Michael began speaking. He let us know that while they were gathered for their birthday celebrations, it was also the first time many of their family and friends had met each other. He proceeded to talk about how much he loves Karen, and how much he’s loved her from the first day they met – and proceeded to get down on one knee and ask Karen if she’d make him the happiest man in the world, and if she would marry him. With a big, “I will!” and lots of smiles and cheers, the crowd broke out into song, “all our friends are getting marrrrieeddddddd.” (Watch the video, it’s funny).

What started as a birthday celebration ended in an engagement party, and we couldn’t be happier for Karen + Michael. We wish you a lifetime of happiness, Hawaiian shirts, and cold beers.



A special thanks to all the suppliers that made this event a success:

Catering: Flavours Catering

Designer: Christina Banos

Balloons: Balloon Elegance

Band: 2 Degrees South