Saturday, 14 July 2018

Birthday Brunching

I recently turned 21, and I decided that for my birthday, I wanted to get all of my favourite people together to celebrate, as it's the last excuse I have to do it until my wedding really! Having divorced parents, there's people from either side of my family who haven't seen each other in almost 20 years at this point, so I was quite nervous about how it would be, especially with friends from all corners of my life there too, but it was such a lovely day.

I knew I wanted to have a brunch, because that's easily my favourite meal of the day, and I found The Lost and Found in Birmingham which offered the option of a bottomless brunch. This meant that everyone ordered a main dish and then for a set price, we were given unlimited Prosecco and Bloody Mary's for the 2 hours we were there.

The food at The Lost and Found was amazing, and they were so accommodating and welcoming for all my requests. I'm so glad I chose them for my venue, and would highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for somewhere in Birmingham, or I think they have other locations around the country. You can't really see in these photos, but the Birmingham one used to be a bank, so the actual building is just stunning.

To me, it was really important that the focus of the day to be for everyone important to me to realise how much I loved each and every one of them, rather than it being all about me. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write everyone a letter telling them how much of an impact they had had on my life and how much it meant to me that I could celebrate with them by my side, so 17,789 words later, everyone had an envelope addressed to them.

I was really nervous that no one would end up talking to each other, because I also wanted to try and get across how important everyone else there was to people, and wanted all of my friends and family to actually get to know one another. Something that I tried to do to get around this, was that I ordered everyone a packet of sunflower seeds from Wedding in a Teacup. They kindly personalised the packets for me to include a banner, so I could write everyone's names on the top. I then mixed the seeds around so that everyone had someone else's sunflower seeds in their envelope, and included in the letter why that person was so important to me, and encouraged everyone to reunite their seeds with their owners.

Whilst that worked quite well to get everyone talking, the main ice breaker was actually these cupcake boxes from eBay, which were set out in front of everyone when they sat down! I ordered cupcakes from Chitty's Cakes (would highly recommend if you're looking for someone in the Birmingham area, the cakes were so professional looking, and most importantly, delicious!!) in Vanilla with fresh fruit on top, Malteaser, Red Velvet and Salted Caramel. I wanted to encourage people to come and actually grab a cupcake rather than leave me with 40 at the end of the day as I don't actually like cake... so I gave everyone the net of a cupcake box so that they could build the box and take a cake home with them if they didn't want it then and there. Apparently they were quite hard to build so it was really good to get people talking!

The other thing I set out in front of people was a name badge, saying 'Hi I'm... and I'm Meg's...' so that people would not only know each other's names, but also how I'd come to know them! I mainly did this because I thought it would be helpful for finding who they needed to return their seeds to, but also it's just a nice little keepsake for people to have I guess.

My mum kindly got me a guest book for my birthday, which is something I hadn't really thought about arranging to be honest, but it's now filled with such lovely messages from all my favourite people that I'm really glad she did! The night before the brunch, I popped to Aldi with my best friend to get some food and ended up finding this heart frame, which came with lots of little wooden hearts for people to doodle on and slot into the frame. This is a lot less formal than the guest book, but it's filled with lots of little messages and memory prompts which make me laugh at whenever I look at it! I bought these pens for writing on the envelopes for everyone's letters and they worked really well for writing on the wood as well, plus it meant I got to keep to a colour scheme which always makes me happy!

I wore this jumpsuit from New Look (now sold out, sorry!) with these heels from ASOS. The jumpsuit was the perfect thing to wear because I felt so comfortable and confident all day, plus it has pockets!! Admittedly the heels could have been a bit more comfy and 3 weeks later I still have the odd blister or two from wearing them... My fault for not wearing them in first!

What did I learn from planning this brunch? a) I love party planning, but b) it's incredibly stressful when you have a family divide to try and consider... However, it just reinforced the feeling of how incredibly lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't spend pretty much the whole weekend in floods of happy tears!

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© Meguana
Maira Gall