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{A Pirate Looks at 30} Jimmy Buffett Themed Surprise Party

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Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

“Paradise” cheeseburgers, french fried potatoes with Heinz 57, Margaritaville cake pops,  “Nibbling on spongecake” cupcakes topped with themed fondant toppers like parrots & salt shakers, & more… HUNGRY yet? Ya, me too… not to mention LOVING every clever detail in this cool {SURPRISE} Jimmy Buffet themed beach bash that Nicole threw for her husband’s 30th!

It’s SERIOUSLY impressive how many different song lyrics Nicole was able to work into everything from the food & drinks to the favors (see party details below for a complete list). One thing that’s definitely a standout though – even amidst the witty goodness of all the edible treats – is the autographed picture customized specifically for the guest of honor. It served as the centerpiece on the “Buffett” buffet…and apparently Nicole was able to get this for free via the JB fan club – what a thoughtful touch!

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Read on for more fabulous pics that will leave you craving a margarita with salt, plus all the {very creative} party details…

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party

Jimmy Buffet 30th Birthday Party


PARTY DETAILS, as told by Nicole…

{A Pirate Looks at 30} A Jimmy Buffet Surprise Party
Toes in the sand… a drink in hand… celebrating 30 years with lots of Mexican beers!

“I had a blast throwing my husband the coolest Jimmy Buffett-themed beach bash at a swanky, boutique hotel in Huntington Beach, CA.  The Pointe Terrance Suite at the Shorebreak Hotel was the ideal location, overlooking the Pacific Coast Highway and the iconic Pier 39 in ‘Surf City, USA’!  Inspired by all things Buffet, I used Jimmy’s lyrics to tie together a party fit for a Parrothead.  And… I kept the whole thing a SURPRISE which means I was dealing with hotel furniture, a strict packing space, and limited budget to hide it from the hubby!

This table was filled with yummies for the young at heart and some treats for those over 21 years of age.

•    ‘Nibbling on spongecake‘ cupcakes baked adorably the Tom sisters of Huntington Beach and topped with edible works of art by my favorite edible artist, Brittany.  The fondant toppers included a cheeseburger, flip flops, a volcano, a shark, a parrot, and a shaker of salt (with a mini lime).  Too cute and way too tasty!

•    ‘Bottoms Up‘ cake shots of deliciousness layered banana cake with frosting, whipped cream, and sprinkles

•    ‘Margaritaville‘ cakelettes on sticks and ‘Fins’ cakelettes swimming in a sea of blue
M & M candies

•    ‘Lost Shakers of Salt‘ filled with margarita-flavored Jelly Belly beans

•    ‘Sandbars‘ rice cereal treats topped with a gummy cheeseburger lounging under a mini umbrella

•    ‘It’s 5 o’clock somewhere‘ cookies covered with fondant and hand-painted with that oh-so important hour of happiness.  Gotta love the parrot as the hour and minute hand!

•    Cocktails included Corona beers on ice with lime slices, vintage Coca-Cola bottles with mini Captain Morgan rum bottles, and Jose Quervo tequila mini bottles displayed next to shot glasses filled with gummy worms.

Guests helped themselves to dinner and read a special birthday message from Jimmy Buffett, himself, to the birthday boy.  The framed, autographed photo amazed the birthday boy and his guests.  Yes, it was real and yes, it was free!  How???  Find a fan club or autograph inquiry address on the internet, write a letter, and include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

•    ‘Cheeseburgers in Paradise‘… I liked mine with lettuce and tomato from BombBurger
•    ‘French Fried Potatoes‘… like a veggie crudités, but with fries, ketchup and a dill pickle
•    ‘Wastin’ Away Again…‘ Jell-O cups filled with lime jello and Knox gelatin, topped with a candy lime

Guests helped themselves to faux Ray Ban sunglasses (an idea I adored from the HWTM Hangover party), sunscreen tubes, pirate eye-patches, mini customized Heinz 57 bottles, juicy fruit gum, and flip flops (Of course, all cleverly labeled with song lyrics)!

During the party, we ate, drank, and gazed out at the Pacific Ocean.  Party goers used chalkboard thought bubbles to write a message to Graham in a photo booth lounge.  We used a portable printer to print them out, then guests used Sharpie markers to draw moustaches, eye patches, and beards declaring ‘The Captain was Here’! Arrrgghhh!

Life’s a Beach!”

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  1. Mary I August 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Absolutely LVOEEEE this theme!!!! Great job!! Have not seen anything like this before :) Awesomenesssss!!!

  2. Sarah @http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com/ August 15, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I love the fries dipped in Ketchup!- Sarah http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com/

  3. Chris @ Celebrations At Home August 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

    How fun and original!

  4. Kelli Walden August 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I have never wanted a party more than this one. Every last detail! fins to the Left!

  5. Toniq August 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Wow! This is impressive! And…. It was a surprise? You are amazing! And… What a great time!

  6. Kathy August 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Great fun for a 30th party! Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Faith Gauthier August 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

    What a brilliant idea for a birthday party. Well done!

  8. lisa August 15, 2011 at 11:16 am

    WOW! Kuddos to you! This is an amazingly creative party. Lucky husband.

  9. Jennifer August 15, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I have a friend who loooooves Jimmy Buffet , she would love this party!

  10. Maureen August 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    This is So awesome! Such a fun and unique theme!

  11. sami August 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    omg the best party ever! love it!

  12. Get Cake Stands August 16, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Awesome concept. I’d have lots of fun in this party if I were invited to it! Everything from the pretty decor to the wonderfully arranged food, to the favors was just amazing. Loved every bit of it!


  13. Janelle August 16, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Omg, one of the best party ideas ever!! So incredibly creative & unique – every little detail is just awesome. Kudos to the Mrs who pulled this off…..wouldn’t you know there’d be a ‘woman to blame’!?!

  14. Brittany August 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    This is awesome. We are having my mom a Jimmy Buffett themed 40th birthday part and I have had trouble coming up with ideas. Thanks for posting this!

  15. Amy Ulmer August 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Would there be any way to find out which Fan Club you went through to get the autographed picture?

    • Nicole Gould August 17, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      Hey Amy,
      I googled Jimmy Buffett fan club and found two addresses… Both in Key West, Florida. I sent a letter to both, along with a self-addressed stamped 9×12 envelope. Not two weeks later, I got a photo back. I’m so sorry… I was so excited to get something back that I ripped it open and didn’t check where it had come from! Cheers!

  16. Mark Love August 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

    What a thoughtful party concept! Nicole deserves a lot of credit for this one. The Margaritaville cake pops are marvelous! Such a unique spin on an already new and trendy treat!

  17. Colette September 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I love this idea! Everything about it cute!!!! Love Buffett

  18. Kacey March 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Awesome party! Did you do your own pritables or buy them somewhere?

  19. kristin March 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Nicole ! this was a great ideaaa ! ii actually just started planning my mothers 50th surprise party ( it will be this june!) and she LOVESSSSS jimmy buffetttttt so that was an automatic decision for me to use margaritaville as a theme with a little bit more of a feminine twist to it! I have to ask youu — where did you buy the jose tequila nip bottles? i was thinking of doing those for favors with a personalized margarita mix. I also wanted to ask if you had any suggestions or tell me where you bought those solid flip flops? I wanted to dazzle them up with rhinestones for my little parakeets (cousins under 21) but most importantly, last but not least- – what is that font you usedddd for the little description tags on everything! im inlove with it ! GREAT JOB!!

  20. Lauren March 28, 2012 at 4:13 am

    This is brilliant! Love this!

  21. Kelsey June 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Where did you get the cards for the food from?

    This party is absolutely amazing! I am planning a graduation party for my brother and I will definitely be stealing some ideas :)

  22. Melody June 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I know it’s a long shot since this post is older, but can anyone tell me what fonts were used for all the signs?? Thanks so much!

  23. colleen January 29, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Where can I find your awesome food and party favor printables you used?

  24. Lissbeth August 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    What’s inside the big Margarita glass ?

  25. Hillary September 22, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    This is so great! I’m seriously in awe of your creativity!

    Can you tell me how you made the labels? And how the cake shots were made? Also did you just use corona boxes as decorations? It looks soooo fabulous!

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