Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Surprise Party for my Brother ~ Jack Daniels Style

Let me tell you about my amazing sister-in-law, Ryann, who just delivered a baby two weeks ago and simultaneously planned a surprise 50th birthday for her husband/my brother, Ron. She enlisted a few people for help, but she orchestrated the entire thing with a brand new baby.

Ryann is originally from Tennessee, and my brother is a fan of Jack Daniels whiskey, so she chose a Jack Daniels theme for his party. I love how the whole thing came together! Decorations were done in black, brown, and white, and she used bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey here and there as well.
Ryann made the awesome birthday banner to hang over the drink station, and the tissue paper poms were made by me during our drive to California.

Cupcake toppers were purchased from this Etsy shop, along with the letters for this banner...

...and water bottle labels too.

I love that Ryann created a private Pinterest board that I had access to, and one of the things she had pinned was a wall display of photos in the shape of the number 50.

Ryann collected photos of Ron's life and had them printed in black and white. As soon as the guys left for golfing that morning we all got busy with decorations, and Carrie and her cousin Britny were in charge of arranging the photos on the wall. I loved this piece so much!

Over the kitchen/food area we hung some fringe banners that I made using this tutorial, along with a banner I made using my Cricut - sticking with the Jack Daniels theme "Aged to Perfection."

I love that the women in my family all gathered at Ron and Ryann's house Saturday afternoon to help with the party prep while the guys kept Ron distracted with a game of golf. My sister, Valerie made her yummy stuffed mushrooms for appetizers, and she was happy to entertain baby Olivia while we hung banners and photos.

Ryann had found a recipe for Jack Daniels cupcakes and I was in charge of those. You guys, I worried about these crazy cupcakes for weeks leading up to the day of the party! LOL. Seems silly now! I tested the recipe a couple of weeks ago and discovered there wasn't enough whiskey in the frosting to taste, so I added some to the cakes by poking holes with toothpicks before they were frosted and using an eyedropper to soak them with a little Jack Daniels. Kind of like a rum cake, you know? The result was still a slight whiskey taste, but they were really yummy. I loved them, and I am not a fan of whiskey. I baked the cakes Friday night when we got to my sister's house, and then frosted them on Saturday with frosting I'd made at home and brought to California in an ice chest.

Is it wrong that we had my five-year old nephew help load beer and ice into the tubs? :o) Stone is an awesome helper!

Of the 300+ photos I took last weekend, this next one is in the top five. My brother Tim and his family drove from Arizona on Saturday to be part of the birthday surprise - Ron didn't know they were coming. I took this photo just after they arrived and were meeting Olivia for the first time. It melts me every time I see it! ♥ ♥ ♥

I am terrible about keeping secrets and was so glad when the guys left for golfing that morning because I felt like I'd made it without slipping and spoiling the surprise. Imagine my horror and panic when I texted Tim with Ron's address and said "Hi Timmy! When will you be here?" and then realized I had accidentally texted it to RON instead! Holy smokes. There was some frantic texting to my two nephews on the golf course and Tyler was able to get to Ron's phone and delete my text before he read it. For crying out loud, Deb. Really?!?!

When the guys came home my nephew Cris texted that they were coming in the back door so all of the party guests gathered and faced that direction. Another text, "No! FRONT DOOR!" so we turned around. And finally, "AAAHHH! BACK DOOR!" Ron was really surprised when he walked in and I loved that. I had never been to a surprise party before, have you?

One of the best things about the surprise was that our brother Tim was there. My brothers have such a close friendship, and it just wouldn't have been the same without him. After dinner the guitars came out and we sat around the fire and enjoyed my brother's music and comedy show. It's always so much fun!
It was a great night with family and friends - the perfect way to
celebrate a really great guy like my brother, Ron. Big thanks to
Ryann for making it such a special occasion for him!
And great big happy birthday wishes for Ron!


scrappyjacky said...

The wall photos are such a great idea.It all looks like such a fun party.

Ruth said...

Wow, what a party! You all did an amazing job, well done!
My sister and I threw a surprise party for our parents' 30th wedding anniversary. It was a great success, but we said never again ... too many fibs told as to what we were up to! But I'm so glad we did it, because Dad was gone from us in less than 2 years.

Karen said...

Your family puts on the BEST parties. That photo wall is amazing!

helena said...

what a lovely family you have. love all the d├ęcor details and the 50 of photos is amazing. And so many smiles had me smiling as I scrolled

Audrey said...

AMAZING PARTY! Looks like so much fun and I love the theme. I'd love to try one of your whiskey cupcakes. Yum. Can't say that I've had one of those before.

Maria Ontiveros said...

What an amazing story! Your sister in law is such a great crafter! That 50 in photos is awesome! Thanks for sharing the fun,

Anonymous said...

Party decorating definitely seems a family must in your family. The decorations and cupcakes look great. Glad you were all able to pull it off.

S said...

Wow, you went all out. Love your theme decorating - and that big 50 of photos is fab.

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