Recently, I hosted a 40th birthday party for my boyfriend, who loves airplanes — especially vintage ones. I wanted to use this as a theme for his party but not in an overly cutesy way that is reserved for the toddler set. With some Internet sleuthing and some ingenuity, I think I earned my wings on this one. 🙂
First, I created the invitation in the style of a vintage airplane ticket. Sealed in a “Par Avion” envelope with a vintage biplane stamp, what better way to set the stage or the… er… runway?
Then, it was all about creating a party atmosphere to drive home the theme. Having a photo booth area in the garage (“hangar”) labeled, “Passport Photos,” with some great travel-related props was a great way to get everyone in the mood… AND provide some mementos from the evening. Props included a plane propeller, world map poster, actual vintage airplane seats (for only $35 off Craigslist!), a globe, a steamer trunk, bomber jackets, and goggles.
Signs also added some whimsy — “Welcome Aboard,” “Baggage Claim Area” (for coats and purses), and “In-Flight Snacks” for food and beverages. I also used a “Lavatory” sign for the bathroom, as well as “Authorized Personnel Only” for areas of the home I wanted to keep private.
Planning the menu was so much fun and gave way to lots of creativity — including Soda Suitcase (a vintage one bought at Goodwill for $2), Cumulus Cupcakes, Jet Fuel (pumpkin pie martini), and Air-Devil Eggs, just to name a few.
I had planned to use mini-laminated map luggage tags for parting gifts, but they did not arrive in time. Instead, I had a door-prize drawing for a basket filled with travel-sized items and an “In-Flight Movie” (DVD).
When it was all said and done, I think everyone had a good time. All items were purchased or made on a minimal budget, and clean-up was a breeze. A good take-off… a flight without turbulence… and definitely a happy landing. I’m ready for my next adventure.