We live in California but all of our family lives in Colorado, so this was a destination dol. It took us the longest time to find the right venue, but luckily a new place was opening and the in-laws knew the owner so we were the first customers to use Seoul Palace. We actually didn't see the place until we arrived in CO but my parents sent pictures of it in progress so we weren't too worried about how it would look. It turned out beautifully and was the perfect size for our party.
Our theme was shades of blue and bunnies, since Luke was born in the year of the rabbit (as were his mom and dad!) and even his nickname while he was in the womb was "tokki." I wanted it to look refined but still casual enough to look like a baby's birthday party.
Welcome table, Photo table, & Doljabi Raffle
We had a welcome table with a guest book and raffle tickets (designed by me) handed out and two more tables with a photo from each month of Luke's first year, the raffle, and wishing tree. The welcome poster and doljabi poster were also designed by me, although I got the rabbit ear icons from a template on a Korean blog. The ceramic number one and blue bunny which held the raffle tickets are from Michaels. The frames were from Target and the wishing tree from Beau-coup.
It was so nice to see all of the weekly pictures from L's first year together and seeing how much he has grown!
Food & Dessert
The dinner buffet was provided by Seoul BBQ which is right next to the venue owned by the same owner (so much amazing food that we don't have pictures of and didn't get to eat much because we were so busy with a cranky baby and the event itself). For desserts, we booked the cake & cupcakes from Happy Cakes trusting Yelp reviews and ordered chocolate covered strawberries from Edible Arrangements. I designed the cupcake toppers myself and found a cute chalkboard frame from World Market to write the different flavors. My cousin went above and beyond what we requested and made six different types of macarons (double chocolate, raspberry, yuzu, green tea with white chocolate, black sesame) for the most popular dessert of the night! They were so delicious and beautiful to look at.
The main table was pretty simple with just the cake, go-ims, and fruit arrangements. I wanted the cake to be plain but with a little blue and I made a bunting cake topper which is very popular these days. The letters are from Michaels and the fruit arrangements are the cute Easter bunny arrangements from Edible Arrangements. They went with our theme so well and were a twist on the stacked whole fruit arrangements I saw on others' dol tables. The bunting and tissue paper pompoms were DIY.
We made the "chuk-dol" and rabbit go-ims beforehand and sent them to CO (my husband actually made one of them, can you guess which one? ;) Yep, it's the not-as-pretty-but-effort-that-counts "chuk-dol" one) and made the wave go-im a few days before the party. We used different sized lima beans and black beans, as well as skittles and pompoms for the bunny's face. I drew the bunny face freehand because I couldn't find a cute enough template. The wave one was made with colored sixlets found at Party City which were expensive but pretty and easy to glue.
For centerpieces, I went the easy route and did balloons on weights. There are bunnies hanging from the balloons which were a hand-cramp to cut out but very cute as little garlands. I also ordered confetti in shades of blue in the shape of bunnies to scatter on the tables from Etsy.
We made a standing brochure(?)/information card thingie for the guests to read facts about Luke and order of events. We found a template on a Korean blog and I customized the colors, picture, and other things to match our party.
Favors were a variety of dduk (rice cakes) packed in boxes with a cute sticker of Luke on them (designed by me). Obok Dduk did an amazing job packaging the favors for a very reasonable cost.
Throughout the party we played music (a special playlist) and a slideshow of pictures on the TV near the buffet area. This worked out well because while people were waiting in line for food they were able to watch Luke's first year in pictures!
Luke went straight for the pencil!
The party was beautiful and looked almost exactly as I had envisioned it for the few months leading up to it. There was just the right amount of DIY-ing that made me feel really involved in preparing for the party yet didn't have me tearing my hair out in stress. I wish baby had been in a better mood (he was teething) but our whole family enjoyed it and it was fun to celebrate our little one's first birthday with everyone.
List of vendors (in Colorado):
Balloons - Absolute Value
Banner - Little Seouls Party (online)
Event hall - Seoul Palace
Catering - Seoul BBQ
Cake & cupcakes - Happy Cakes
Macarons - Jay Lee (cousin)
Dduk - Obok ddukjib
Posters - printed at Costco
Photographer - Fall Child Photography