The last two years have been filled with all varieties of birthday celebrations as many of my friends, my husband, and I all turned 30. 30 is the first birthday after 21 that really calls for a celebration; the end of a decade and beginning of a new one. Some parties were low-key, others were giant parties. When my very good friend Lisa’s birthday approached last October, her husband Tim very slyly asked if he could host a surprise party for Lisa at my home. Lisa typically claims to hate surprises, but this seemed a good time to give her one; in addition to turning 30, she was pregnant with baby #2 and something special was in order.
Using Lisa’s birthday as a chance to host the first big party in my new home, I ran with the idea and planned a rather elaborate party. Lisa is a huge Harry Potter fan (I am too, let’s me accurate) and if the time was ever right to throw an adult Harry Potter party, Lisa’s birthday was it. I allowed myself to be drawn into numerous and elaborate ideas on Pinterest and slowly turned my home into part Hogwarts, part Burrow, part Diagon Alley.
The party invite was through Facebook, but I put together a themed digital invitation to let people know there was a theme.
To simplify food, Tim had the party catered so I didn’t have to worry about dinner, just snacks, beverages, and dessert. The desserts were themed and I created a candy bar to emulate Honeydukes. Dishes included Cauldron Cupcakes, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Ton Tongue Toffees (which were actually caramels), Pumpkin Juice, and Gillywater (bottles of water).
Some of my favorite decorations included the owlery, made of balloons with owls drawn on them, the Chamber of Secrets bathroom, the Ministry of Magic bathroom, and the restricted section of the library.
I have been saving my two favorite elements for last. My personal pièce de resistance were the handmade wands from Ollivanders. I found several wonderful DIYs for wand-making (my secret ambition should I ever learn that I am a witch and not a muggle). I will post DIY instructions in the future, but for now, know that every wand was unique and came with an individualized tag noting the wood, core, and length of the wand. Each guest was chosen by a wand and they served as party favors. It was such a fun activity and while it was time consuming, I loved making the wands!
Tim and Lisa also have a friend who makes beautiful custom cakes. She designed the most beautiful cake, complete with Gryffindor scarf, Potter glasses, and Lisa’s own (edible) Hogwarts acceptance letter. It was such a conversation piece, but also totally delicious!
I think it’s fair to say this party went over really well with the guests and with Lisa. People got very into the theme and I deemed the evening a success. I wish I had taken slightly better quality photos (rather than with my iPhone), but I’m glad to have pictures of so many details!