It’s Giulio’s birthday today and as the wife, it falls me to organise his birthday party. And like every year, I have absolutely no idea. He’s 34 and one of those insanely annoying people who hate birthday parties and never wants anyone to make a fuss.
He’s also an only child and doesn’t have any close family. You probably have this idea of giant Italian families, but in modern-day Italy and especially in central and northern regions, one-child families are the norm and have been for generations. So my husband is the only child of only children.
Like most expat couples, we don’t have a lot of friends either. We might live in a small town, but we work from home and spend a lot of time abroad. In other words, getting together a bunch of people for drinks is out of the question.
But just because you’re too old for a MacDonald’s party or you’re far from home and it’s just the two of you doesn’t mean you can’t put together something truly special. Here’s what I have in mind.
Obviously, I didn’t start planning this today. I’ve spent the best part of the week thinking about it. I headed to Martha Stewart’s website, but her fun and quirky adult birthday party ideas were pitched at parties where there were more than two attendees.
My parents-in-law suggested going out for dinner with them tonight and while that’s sweet, it’s not what I had in mind. I wanted something a little more romantic and memorable, but not a date! We can go on a date any night of the year. I want something out of the box.
Google was no help. Found a lot of really sad stories about birthday parties where only two people showed up, when I wanted ideas for two-people birthday parties instead. Also About.com started their article about couple birthday parties with the tip, ‘remember their birthday’ – suffice to say the article was a letdown.
So I had to dig into my creative juices and come up with something on my own. Obviously this is super catered to Giulio, but I think the fundamentals can be adapted to your own taste.
The method behind the madness is pretty simple. Think about the things you love about birthday parties – the decorations, the food, the invites and the fact that someone thinks you’re important enough to make a fuss over, even for just one day. Then do that on a miniature scale.
For example, birthday cakes are something we always overlook when we’re adults, but it’s what elevates a normal romantic dinner to a birthday party. I’m making a miniature version of this gorgeous Gourmet Traveller lemon and thyme sponge cake. The combination of flavours is unusual, but special and I’ll pop on a candle or two so he can blow them out!
I always say to my husband that we go to such lengths when we have people over for dinner, pulling out the fine china and setting the table beautifully, but we don’t do the same when it’s just us two. Why? The most important person in your life should be your spouse, so shouldn’t you make more effort for them than for anyone else?
With that in mind, the party I have planned is extravagant to say the least. The theme is Destination Unknown (like the House song) and it all starts with the invitation. With a bit of help from Photoshop, I put together this super cute invitation that I’m going to give to Giulio tomorrow morning, inviting him to his own birthday dinner. I headed to the Paperless Post for design ideas and then printed it out on thick graphic design paper I picked up from my local discount store. I even used a wax seal to close the envelope.
I chose a Turkish greeting because we’ve just come back from Istanbul.
I’ve been pinning party ideas like crazy today and here are some that have inspired me! Hopefully tomorrow night goes off with a bang. I can’t wait to share it all with you guys.
Have you ever planned a party for two? I’d love to hear what you did!