Jason's 50th Birthday

by Louise Manning

November 16th 2020

Sometimes a client comes to us with a secret mission – bring their event vision to life and make it all a huge surprise for their guests, or in Carlah’s case, the birthday boy! We met Carlah in early September when she approached us to organise her partner’s 50th Birthday.

The two-part extravaganza kicked off mid-week on Jason’s actual birthday. The brief: a sophisticated, stylish, classic and indulgent winery experience for 4 people that would knock their socks off and be a complete surprise. With guests who know the Hunter’s wineries inside and out and appreciate fine dining, the challenge was set to create something truly special.

After scouting some of the most exclusive vineyards and locations across the Hunter, Vinden Estate was selected for the first destination, travelling in style in a helicopter from Hunter Valley Helicopters! Unfortunately even the best laid plans are at the mercy of the weather, with the Hunter seeing an unprecedented downpour in the week leading up and low cloud forcing the difficult last minute decision to skip the helicopter and continue to Vinden Estate by limousine from Coast Limousines. With fantastic wine tasting with Angus Vinden himself waiting for them, the day was set to get off to a real ‘wow’ start.

As if a personal tasting with Angus wasn’t enough ‘wow’ factor, the group continued on by limousine to the stunning 1813 in Broke for what appeared to be another wine tasting. Little did they know that there was a once-in-a-lifetime lunch in store. The amazing Exotic Soirees had the perfect luxurious Moroccan-feel marquee to fit the occasion, set amongst the vines looking out at the mountain ranges, complete with chandeliers dripping in crystals. Ariarper Vintage Co. brought along beautiful vintage furniture, with styling items from Flamingo Flare and beautiful rugs from Exotic Soirees to make the ground a little more solid after the torrential rain the days leading up. With Ivy Lane Florists nailing the ‘masculine, decadent’ brief with gorgeous florals in deep tones and final touches like gold glasses sourced by the client, the scene was set for an incredible lunch. When Carlah snuck away from the tasting to get a sneak peak of the setup, she was blown away and couldn’t contain her excitement. After the long dry spell of postponed events due to COVID-19, it was a wonderful and touching reminder of why we do what we do!

The guests were lead outside for the big surprise and greeted by the amazing Corryne from Flamingo Flare, their private Chef for the afternoon who went above and beyond, including a trip to the Newcastle Fish Co-Op first thing in the morning to get only the freshest produce and tailoring the menu specifically for their tastes. The clouds parted and the afternoon was filled with laughter and great memories. The group finished the day with a trip home in their limousine with full bellies and full hearts.

Part two of Jason’s 50th was a roaring Saints & Sinners themed event on Halloween at the Avoca Surf Life Saving Club, with spectacular views overlooking the beach. Guests made their way up the stairs in to Heaven, with elegant balloon garlands from Belles Decoration by Design, an arbour from Confetti Party Hire, blue up-lights hired locally by the client and ethereal silver draping that we strategically wound up the stairs to transform the space. We created the ‘Gates of Hell’, with red balloon garlands and draped red fabric dividing Heaven & Hell. When guests walked through the Gates of Hell they found a whole new area local celebrity Darren Rolling Keys. The wonderful Suellen at Sweet Moments by Design created an amazing custom angel and devil cake, complete with 3D halo!

Needless to say we had a lot of fun helping Jason celebrate his 50th and he’s a lucky man to have a lady like Carlah putting in the time and effort for not one but two amazing celebrations!