I never liked planning parties. Now that I have children, party planning is inevitable and not only do I have 2 parties to plan each year (minimum because I have 2 sons), unfortunately (or fortunately for this round) they are not very far apart. So that means I will have to plan 2 smashing birthday parties almost back to back! Being a full time mother also includes being the party planner (guess I didnt get the memo)!
Anyway, im here to share with you guys how I planned the combined celebration of Charles’s 2nd birthday and Mikhail’s full month party this year! The party hosted 100 adults and 45 children. It was a successful party and im surprised that I did it without stressing out at all. YES you read it right, zero stress, which is amazing because I did the planning and coordinating solo (usually drives me crazy).
How did I do it? By planning in advance (think 2 months before the date of party) and making sure that I engage only reliable and professional people/companies/team to supply and cater to my party needs. It helps to lessen the burden if you hire people and companies that are able to deliver what they advertise so you dont get any surprises. With this, lets start with the reviews of the services I engaged for the celebration of 2015, Charles and Mikhail!
Once again, I had the party at my parent’s condo, function hall. This time however, I booked both the north and south fucntion rooms since I had such a big guest list. As I have mentioned in my party planning tips last year, always pick a venue thats indoors with air-conditoning for obvious reasons. Singapore is hot and theres haze going on right now.
Company: The Onlookers
Serviced by: Chiko and trainee
Rate: $150/hr (1-2 men team), Packages available
Service rating: 7/10
Capturing the moments you want to remember is not going to be easy if you have to please an infant/appease a toddler and entertain your guests all at once. Also, you will want to make sure all your hardwork into planning this amazing party will be seen by your kids when they grow up. If you read my post on Charles’s 1st birthday party last year, you will see that I have engaged The Onlookers once again as they provide outstanding service for photography. Going above and beyond their call of duty (helping me rally my guests for the cake cutting ceremony and clearing up after the party ended) to provide me with pictures of my party that will last me a last time. This time was still a great experience working with them although i was a little disappointed that the photographers this time did not manage to capture the party as well as i would have expected them to. But overall there were still many great shots taken. But a good work attitude goes a long way and hopefully there will be improvements the next time, Jia Wei you better be back!
Birthday/Full Month Cake plus Dessert Table (Children’s Room)
Company: Abite Sg
Serviced by: Hilary & team
Service Rating: 10/10
Dessert tables are such a focal point of parties these days due to the beautiful and meticulous themed setup. It is important that you hire a reliable and reputable company to create this beautiful table for you as both taste and presentation is of utmost importance and neither should be lacking (at least for me). Hilary from Abite really made it easy to work with her and i was recommended to her by Kristina from Little Red Balloon (she is the decor person for my venue). I instantly liked her from our conversations on whatsapp as Hilary was extremely helpful and thoughtful as well. During the course of our planning and discussions, Hilary and her team proved to be very very creative and were not afraid to venture out of their comfort zone so that we could come to a dessert table idea that I really like. She made my dessert table planning an absolute breeze. On the actual day of the party, I was really blown away by their setup.
It exceeded my expectations and turned out EVEN more amazing than what I had pictured in my mind. Not only did the dessert table look out of this world (totally what i would have envisioned but thought impossible) the desserts were really really tasty! 85% of my guests actually specially came up to me to commend Abite’s macaroons, cupcakes and cookies! The other 15% was prolly late and like me, didnt get a chance to eat it so didnt comment. Hahahha! Lucky for me, my husband saved 2 yummy chocolate chip cupcakes and 2 red velvet cupcakes for me. Im already craving for it now. Haha! Abite was also where I got this year’s cake from!
Look at this cake!
Way too pretty to be eaten (thats what everyone at the party said). My cake was a combined 2nd birthday and full month cake to celebrate both boys thus, the theme was Elmo and Hotair Balloons. Hilary completely wowed me with the final product and i really want to thank her for that. All I did was tell her what I wanted and she delievered! This 4 tiered cake featured 4 different flavours and it was really tasty.
Here are the different flavours that you can choose from.
Yes, I know, every flavour sounds so yummy! I will definitely be recommending Abite to all of you who love perfection the way I do and for a party out of this world, you need dessert table to match it!
Venue Decor (Balloons, Backdrops, Columns etc)
Company: Little Red Balloon
Serviced by: Kristina
Rate: $150 and up
Service Rating: 10/10
What would a children’s party be without balloon decorations screaming “This is OUTRAGEOUS!!”? Last year, I felt like the balloons didnt brighten up the function room enough and since I had a whole room just for the children this time round, I thought why not cover it with balloons? ALL kids love balloons (almost)!! Kristina was yet another person who is absolutely wonderful to work with! She was patient in hearing out my ideas (some of which sounds a little ridiculous) and very helpful and obliging with my sometimes funny requests! Apart from that, she was also very thoughtful and bothered to listen to my problems with finding a cake for the party (as mentioned above, Hilary from Abit was recommended by her)! She went beyond her call of duty to find me a reliable vendor who could fulfill my dessert table requests and offered ideas on how to coordinate the table with her balloons since they were going to be in the same room! I love vendors who are so willing to go the extra mile knowing that it would make the final presentation much more amazing with direct communication between vendors working on the same project rather then relying on a tired mother in confinement to play the role of a telephone (might end up being a broken telephone too)! On the day of the party, Kristina came with a team to set up and because i didnt manage to give her the dimension of the function room and the bouncy castle I rented took up way more space than expected, she ran into some problems with the setting up. What really impressed me was the non existant complain and her quick thinking to make some changes to the set up to ensure i still have my decor up in time without having to add an extra wrinkle or stressed line on my face. Because of good and direct communication between Hilary and Kristina, the decor and dessert table came together like an explosion of awesome and amazing! Her vision for my vanue decor was right on point and I love love love the whole end product! I would recommend Kristina if you are planning for an event that you dont ever want to forget and you would want the most breathtaking decor!
Dessert Table (Adult Room)
Serviced by: Yuan Yuan
Rate: $250 – $400
Service Rating: 6/10
This dessert table was also a dual themed concept of Elmo and Hotair Balloon. The set up of the table was done by Yuan Yuan herself. I give her credit on the set up and design of the dessert table but I was disappointed that 80% of the the dessert were made up of convenience store junk snacks such as “Hello Panda”, “Pocky” and “Beebee” etc. The stuff just has customised stickers stuck over them. Good effort though and the customization was nice.
The background banner was also not big enough for the 2 dessert table but to be fair it is her first time doing a combine theme. The only baked goods there were mini elmo cupcakes which were tasty. It had chocolate filling in the middle which oozes out into your mouth when you pop one in. However, i guess this is more of a candy bar and not a full fledge dessert table. Plus, its very affordable compared to many other candy table set ups in the market. It would be good to maybe up their ante and use more gourmet candies but i guess its a good start and in future they will get there. (: I would recommend Balloonsity for house parties that arent too big. (:
Entertainment (Face Painting and Balloon Sculpting)
Company: Happier Singapore
Serviced by: Alicia
Rate: Rate varies depending on packages and selected entertainment
Service Rating: 8/10
With 45 children on my guest list, I knew it was important to plan some fun entertainment for them. Since I rented a bouncy castle, I wanted something that was more flexible with schedule. Party games striked out because the children were all of varying ages (1 month old to 15 years old) and it will not be easy to get all 45 kids to participate at the same time or cooperate long enough to complete a game. No sitting down to watch a magic show either because some kids might be late and miss out. Instead, I decided to go with face painting (can also paint your arm or body) and balloon sculpting! Its great because its flexible on time (no fixed schedule, you go to the station when you want) and doesnt require the kids to sit down for a period of time. Alicia was very bubbly and friendly! I kept forgetting that she is an adult (married too!) because she looks like a child! When I spoke to her over the phone, i was about the go into the operating theater to get Mikhail out from my womb and she was so chirpy during our conversation. Meeting her in person, you will find that she is the perfect person for the kids as she has an absolutely adorable personality (kinda reminds me of the cast from Hi-5!)! Her balloon sculpting was top notch! Superheroes, cookie monsters, elmos and butterflies were brightening up children’s faces at my party! Her face painting skills were excellent! She painted my granduncle’s face a tiger!! How cool is that? I wanted to be a fairy but halfway through my painting I got called away ): I rated her services an 8 because her signage was a little small and for the first half of the party, nobody knew there was face painting available. Hahaha! I had to start the ball rolling by getting my face painted. Other then that, everything else was great about Happier Singapore and I will definitely engage her services for my future parties! Alicia even made 2 very pretty balloon columns for my adult room to accompany my dessert table there! 1 column has a baby with letter M for Mikhail and the other column has a C for Charles. I would recommend Happier Singapore for all kinds of events because it suits ages of all kinds and everyone loves a good balloon sculpter! (: Another thing to note was that her paint comes off easily with water! So i didnt have to worry about the paint staining my skin.
Company: Bouncy Castles & A Whole Lot More
Serviced by: Louise & Jay
Rate: $590 for 5 hours
Service Rating: 10/10
What can I say? The bouncy castle was a BIG hit with the kids. If you are thinking of renting one, you need to ensure that you rent from a safe and hygienic company. I heard of a company who doesnt clean their bouncy castles properly, alot of the guests had rashes after that party. The service provided by Louise and Jay was great! Louise made all the arrangements with me and Jay was the guy who showed up to deliver and set up the bouncy castle on the day of the party with his team. They were very patient and professional in explaining the rules on the usage and Jay even shared some tips with me. Im happy that they didnt rush me when I needed time to clear out the space for them to inflate the castle or when I couldnt make up my mind on where I wanted the castle positioned. Jay was very very friendly and helpful, also super experieced with the bouncy castles. It was very assuring when I saw the guys from Jay’s team cleaning the castle once more before my guest could start using it (im very germophobic mah). When it was time to deflate and collect the bouncy castle at 9pm, Charles refused to come out of the castle and im pleasantly surprised and pleased to say that Jay and his team were very very patient and im thankful for that. I appreciate them not spoiling the day by rushing me or giving me rude looks since I was wasting their precious time. I would definitely engage their services again if I ever need bouncy castles! (:
Goodie Bags (For Children)
Company: Pink Shade
Serviced by: Eunice
Rate: $2/goodie bag and up
Service Rating: 8/10
Goodie bags for the children seems to be getting boring. Its always the same old stationary sets with notebooks (I did that last year) and bags or store bought junk snacks. As a parent myself, I wouldnt want my kids to eat the store bought junk snacks so it will most likely end up in the bin. As for stationary, its only a practical gift if ALL your little guest were the age of 6 – 9 or it will just end up somewhere in the house forgotten. Anyway, I wanted something that would put a smile on every kid’s face regardless of age and as I mentioned above, kids love balloons. Since Elmo was my theme, I decided to get Eunice from Pink Shade to source for a nice Elmo balloon that all the kids will go crazy for. She was quick in her replies and found me what I had in mind. The quality of the balloon was good and she even had high quality personalised stickers printed out and stuck them on the balloons which I didnt even think about! How thoughtful! She was also super sweet to give me extra stickers and 5 extra balloons to make sure I had enough incase more kids came because I mentioned that some guests decided to bring their kid last minute. Of course, that was done at her discretion and is subject to availability. Another thing good about getting your stuff from Pink Shade is that you can be assured of quality because Eunice has spent months personally visiting the factories overseas to ensure she works with one that produces quality products that are true to their pictures. That is important to me because I dont want to be shocked when I give out my goodie bags and find out the products look different from what I was ordering from the photos. True enough, the huge elmo balloons were a hut with the kids and I know some tried to bring home more than 1! Hahaha! For quality, variety at a reasonable cost, Pink Shade!
Door Gift (Baked goods)
Company: White Spatula
Serviced by: Phyllis
Rate: $1.40 – $2.50/cookie
Service Rating: 5/10
I wanted something simple for the adult guests to bring home from the party and a nice sugar cookie intricately designed would have been perfect. I was a little disappointed in the cookies as the proposed design shown to me via photos were really pretty but the actual cookies didnt turn out looking too well. The “elmo” cookies looked like elmo went to a bad plastic surgeon and had a botched face lift. The hotair balloons also didnt look very nicely done. Lines were not clean and the shape was a little off. The taste of the cookies were good. So maybe the design job needs more work? White Spatula is rumoured to be good for her macaroons, maybe I should have gone with macarons instead for the door gift.
Company: Neo Garden Catering
Serviced by: Catherine
Service Rating: 6/10
Im sure many of you know this caterer. I am horribly upset about the service Neo Garden Catering provided during the planning process. Catherine was very rude and super unhelpful. She was very impatient and irritated the hell out of my cousin who was helping me out with the ordering from Neo. The set up was late and they didnt provide enough disposable cutlery for my guests. Also, the ice lemon tea was not enough and finished very quickly! Luckily we had alot of alcohol for the adults but the children quickly ran out of drinks. I must say that their food is good. Especially their “Signature Curry Chicken”. Many of my guests really liked it and i was also impressed by their sambal fried fish. For $25/pax, the food was really worth it but I do hope that they sack Catherine and hire a better person to liase with the clients. We dont need extra stress from our catering company’s lousy representive.
Party Printables Graphic Design
Serviced by: Erna
Service Rating: 9/10
Invitation cards, name tags, drink tags, thank you for coming cards are some of the things I wanted to have at my party. I wanted them to be designed according to my theme and so here is where Erna from CallaChic comes in! She does the graphic designing for my printables and it was really really pretty. The only thing was that she only does the graphic designing and you will have to get it printes out yourself. She was very kind to help me out with printing the stickers for the name tags and drink labels because i couldnt find a printing company in time to do it for me. If you need any kind of graphic designing done such as namecards, personalised stickers for party favours, Erna from CallaChic is your girl!
Planning a party for your little one? Want to win a party service for your next party? Follow the simple steps below!
1) Like and Share this post! (please set to public)
2) Comment on this post with the answer to my question.
Q: Which party service had the highest service rating at this year’s party?
*giveaway ends 15 October, 2359.
No expiry on the prize.
3 Lucky winners!
That is it for this year’s party services review! I hope it will help you guys out with your party plannings. Next year’s will be even BETTER!! I PROMISE!! 😀
Heres a gallery of all the pictures taken at the party, if you guys are interested to take a look! (:
Thank you to ALL the guests that joined us at this very special party and we will see you guys again next year!