Thursday, April 21, 2016

Moose's Vegas Casino Bash!

For years, the running joke in our family is that the Roberts do birthday parties big and the Savilles do family time. Moose has said often, "our last birthday party was when I was 8." We love to tease him about this and his limited memory of childhood. :) 

However, I have known for awhile that I wanted to do something big for his 30th birthday. When we found out we were having a baby, I upped the ante (pun intended) a little and decided that we were going to have a major birthday bash--turning thirty the year before you have a child is sort of a big deal--after that, it's all changing ;) I don't necessarily believe that 100%, but it is the number one tidbit of info we get, so I figured I would use it myself. Ha!

 I utilized Pinterest and came up with a super fun casino theme. I slowly swindled a little bit of money at a time and started planning. I could NOT have done it without my mom. I have said often on the blog that she and I together make a great party planning team. We certainly couldn't do it alone...our brains work much better together!

 I just loved the invitation I designed! Sometimes I feel proud of my designs and sometimes they're just "eh". I really liked this one!

We had so many stations. Confession--I've never been to Vegas and I've been to a casino one time (when I was eat). So, it may have not been the best idea for me to plan a casino party, but thank goodness for the internet!

The photo booth sign made it feel so authentic!

The check in table had $200 of chips for each person. Later we switched out the basket for cookies (poker chips) for them to trade out and take home. It also had a spot for cards for Moose and some  cute decorations. We put the "rules of the night" i.e. take the chips, feel free to reload if necessary, turn them back in, it is all for fun, etc. on this table. Throughout the room, we hung rules for each game station. We also hung signs with chip values for those of us who have a hard time remember if green or blue is higher!!! To be honest, I dealt mostly in red and white...and lost those!

I ordered all of these things from Amazon (except the poker chips. We had several sets and borrowed a few from friends. Poker chips aren't cheap.) The felts made the stations feel way more realistic!!! Mom found felt for fairly cheap at our local fabric sale and we covered the poker, blackjack, and underneath of the other stations. We put the purchased mats on top of the felt. I loved how that turned out. The "wood-like" signs added a nice touch and made it feel more professional. 

We asked several friends (and family members) to be dealers at each station. I ordered a green visor for each of them and they wore them to distinguish their position. Loved this touch!

We had a roulette table:
If you do this, make sure you buy a substantial roulette wheel. This one was 16 inches and people could actually see the numbers inside it. Many on the internet were much smaller. As you can see, I put a diagram of the board and how you could bet on the end of the table as well as chip values. I wanted people who had NO CLUE what they were doing to feel comfortable playing. Mrs. Anna, the dealer did an excellent job of convincing people to play, bet, and win! 

A craps table:
I have no idea how to play this game, still. But, it was a HIT! Lots of opportunities for betting, winning, and getting loud is all I got from the chaos at this table. Micah rocked this table out and everyone who went over there had an absolute blast!!!

Some blackjack tables:
This is, of course, the one that most people knew how to play. Still, I had the rules at the table. I also used a chalk pen to draw the "casino layout" on the felt for a more authentic look. I put change at each station so the dealer could handle money at each location. My blackjack dealers were so varied--one was laid back and easygoing (Tim) and one was a little more Vegas-serious (Gregg). I loved that we got variety!

Some poker tables:
My dad ran Texas hold-em and let me tell you, this table was SERIOUS! I'm not sure if the crowd left that table for the first hour. It totally cracked me up. My 90 year old grandpa was one of the players and I think he enjoyed himself more than anyone else there ;)

I set up this table for anyone who was too reluctant to play the casino games. However, we had none! I was so glad that everyone got in the spirit and at least tried one or two things. 

and FOOD!

Some other decor throughout:

For the food, we had "high roller meatballs", chicken salad sliders, "chips and 'poker' dip", strawberries, layered marshmellows, cookies and cake.

I ordered the cookies from Lisa Cassidy (Mrs. Cassidy's Confections)
I LOVE THEM! They were both delicious and beautiful :)

The cake was the brainchild of myself and my co-teacher Mrs. Cooper. She bakes on the side and I knew I wanted her to do the cake. We looked and looked on pinterest and finally found several different ones we liked to combine.
It turned out AMAZING!

The poker table was so serious! People stayed there forever, but it was definitely not for new-bies! The blackjack area had two levels. Easy and a little more complex. I think everyone took a turn on the blackjack table.

Craps and Roulette were the crowd favorites! My dealers for those (Mrs. Anna C and my brother, Micah) were so outgoing and loud and fun. They called people over, riled up the crowd, and taught the game as they went. People definitely won or lost big at these tables.

I really think Moose was surprised!!! 

One of my favorite things about this party was actually a reflection of our community. We go to church in a traditional church setting and it is times like this party that remind me why I am so in love with that. We go to same-gender small groups with people from 20 to 70, our Sunday morning class is co-ed and has friends from all walks of life, but are all in the same age range. We go to a Wednesday evening small group that is about as diverse as they come and includes some of the sweetest friends--and several of them have kids who are teenagers or older. Being able to enjoy the company of so many diverse people and ages makes life fun. You have so many built in mentors and people to love on you...and yet, you're called to do the same thing. Traditional church blends ages, families, races, and genders to come together in so many varied settings. I would SO miss that if we ever went to fewer meeting times or fewer options. I just love our church and the people we get to know and love because of it.

That being said, the guest list for Moose's party was extensive and extremely varied--and that is what made it so special!!! Older friends, younger friends, friends who were family, friends who feel like family, etc. They love us so well and I am ever so grateful!!!!

Happy Birthday Moose! I hope 30 is the best one yet :)
I love you much!

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