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modern vintage dol decor

I know that using “modern” and “vintage” as descriptors for the same party might seem odd, but Karen crafted a beautiful party that can only be described as such for her son’s milestone first birthday! This Whimsical & Modern Vintage Dol Celebration combines chevron, crisp whites and shimmery tassels with vintage frames and antique accents. For more creative Dol Celebration ideas go here and here!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Friendship bracelet escort cards (doubling as favors!)
  • DIY paper flower backdrop for the head table
  • Vintage frames, suitcases, cameras & toys
  • Ruffled cakes + billy ball and white hydrangea floral accents

ruffled cakes

friendship bracelet favors

modern dol celebration

friendship bracelet escort cards


simple yellow centerpiece

modern white cake

modern vintage party decor korean dol ceremony

dol ceremony

dol towers

modern korean dol

geronimo balloons


PARTY DETAILS, as told by Karen…

Although we are aware that Weston will not remember his 1st birthday party, it was the perfect excuse to hang out with friends and family, especially since we’ve been MIA our first year as parents. It was a celebration for everyone! In the Korean culture the first year birthday, also known as “dol,” is a huge milestone and is usually celebrated in grand style. I wanted to incorporate my own personal style into the party because I know before long Weston will be demanding Power Ranger, Yo Gabba Gabba, or Sesame Street themed parties. I fell in love with Pandora on Green the minute I walked in and wanted to keep the integrity of the venue. I kept things classic, simple and muted; and tried to create a modern vintage themed party centered around whites and neutrals with a touch of chevron. I’ve always been a fan of Geronimo Balloons and knew I’d have to incorporate those gorgeous balloons into the décor as well.

I understand the sentimentality of a memorable invitation and knew I wanted something unique and different, something I could keep in Weston’s book of memories. I contacted Louisa Park from Flipawoo. She far exceeded my expectations and created a balloon invitation to complement the Geronimo Balloons. Louisa designed matching RSVP cards and a special “Project: Birthday Wishes for Weston” instruction card. I upcycled the RSVP cards and used them as escort cards. I used vintage number stamps and handstamped table numbers on each escort card. Louisa also designed placecards, the welcome sign, the doljabi game sign, and the doljabi raffle tickets. As keepsakes, each child was given a friendship bracelet that I personally made myself. Louisa designed the card with each child’s name that was inserted with each friendship bracelet.

I’m really into DIY projects and decided I was going to try to personally make and design as many things for the party that time would allow. So I started early—when Weston was 3 months old! The head table is where many photos are taken so I knew I wanted to create something that would look great in photos. I decided to go with a handmade paper flower backdrop. I bought the linens for the head table in the garment district downtown and ordered three different cakes and kept the head table very clean and simple. Diane Choi from Diane’s Creations designed the floral arrangements. We set up the escort cards and the friendship bracelets along the side of the venue where we strung burlap string in a zig-zag pattern between three pillars. Diane then designed a vintage photo table with toys and frames to complement the décor as well as a photo table near the entrance. I created two number “1” signs to match the paper flower backdrop and we hung tassels from the ceiling as well. The table centerpieces were designed by Diane as well and she kept it very clean and simple to complement the rest of the décor. She hand painted mini frames and incorporated vintage jars, bottles and books with a table sign written on chalk paper for each centerpiece.

In addition to the slideshow, we played the Project: Birthday Wishes for Weston video. We had the traditional doljabi future game and raffle with prizes. We also had a cotton candy and churro cart for all the guests to enjoy. And lastly, we had Brian the Ballusionist who is hands down the best ballusionist in the LA area. He was blowing away the guests with his creations!

Pandora on Green is owned and operated by the Café Santorini in Old Town Pasadena. The food was delicious and the staff and coordinator, Barbi, were awesome to work with. She was the icing on the cake! I couldn’t have asked for a better party. Weston was a trooper the entire way through and everything went very smoothly. We had 190 guests and 38 of those guests were children. It was a day to remember and I hope all our guests had as much fun as we did.

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