In October, we hosted a party for my husband's parents to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary and his father's 75th Birthday. We hosted friends and family from five states for a fun-packed weekend. The anniversary party, at our house, was the culmination of the weekend, which also included a day at the races (Keeneland horsetrack), two casual dinners and a brunch. My in-laws immigrated to the United States from India over 35 years ago, so we wanted the party to place special importance on their Indian heritage. Also, in addition to adults, 10 children from the ages of 2-13 attended the party, so we wanted to make it as special as possible, but still fun for the kids.
The Decorations: I started by choosing a color scheme of jewel tones -- ruby red, peacock blue, royal purple and midnight blue. My father-in-law's favorite color is purple, so that had to be part of the color scheme. The other colors were chosen to match the two saris used for decorations. One sari was cut into two pieces and used on the dining tables. The second sari, my wedding sari, (which I didn't want to cut!) I wrapped and pinned around the dessert table. My husband's parents and aunt and uncle loved the use of the saris on the table for decoration.
I searched for small gold pedestal bowls for fruit as a centerpiece; however, I was unable to find the right ones. So, I painted four small glass cake stands gold, using glass paint. Also, several vases and candle holders were made from mason jars that I painted with gold puffy paint to look like Indian lanterns. I hung jewel colored circle garlands along the wall of our screened in porch. Often, for Indian celebrations, marigold garlands are used for decorations. The circle garlands were inspired by that traditional element.
The invitations and printables incorporated an elephant and lotus image (the national flower of India). The images were repeated on the paper goods for the party. I also made fabric lotus flowers that were used throughout the party for decorations. The fabric flowers were also pins that I gave to the female party guests at the end of the party. The children were sent home with chocolate elephants I made using a chocolate mold.
For dinner, the children had their own table. They all loved sitting on cushions on the ground at the table. My husband put together the low table using plywood and cinder blocks. My daughter and I decorated the kids' plastic cups using puffy paint. At each place setting, we used a Mandala coloring page as a place mat. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means "circle" and it is a type of Hindu design, incorporating circles, squares and a center point. It was a fun way to keep the children entertained, but also learn a little about their culture.
I also set up a Heritage Table, including pictures of my in-laws over the last 50 years. Guests were asked to write something they loved about the couple on a card entitled, "50 Great Reasons to Celebrate Ramesh & Vijaya". The reasons ranged from silly ("too old to spank") to heartfelt ("wonderful example of a giving and caring couple"). The picture was framed and was given to my in-laws.
The Food: For dinner, Masala Restaurant catered the following: Samosas, Naan Bread, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chana Masala, Aloo Gobi, and Goat Curry. Yum! The dessert table also included traditional Indian desserts, made by Masala -- Ras Malai (dumplings made from paneer cheese soaked in sweetened milk flavored with cardamom) and Jalabi (deep fried batter that is soaked in syrup). The cake, made by the Twisted Sifter, was patterned after the invitations. I made the rest of the desserts -- Oreo Truffle Pops, Indian Spiced Rice Krispie Treats, Cranberry Chai Cupcakes and Cocounut Burfi Truffles. A sign was placed on the dessert table stating, "The Sweets Table will Open at 7:00". The kids asked what time it was several times throughout the evening, but they all finished their dinners before indulging in dessert! Some of the Indian inspired drinks were Mango-Orange Punch, Mango Juice and Chai Cola.
Cake: The Twisted Sifter www.thetwistedsifter.com
Catering: Masala Restaurant http://eatatmasala.com/
Party Planning, Printables and Photography: www.mirabellecreations.blogspot.com