This week’s post is both part 6 (of 10) and part 1 (of 2). Today I’m going to give you a rundown of all the little touches and plans we have to create the cruise theme. Next week, I’ll dive into more of the specific “how to” for the various things, including how I approach the “creation process” and some templates you can use for your own future cruise party.
As you think about your next event, brainstorm a list of ideas that remind you of the theme. For example, if you’re having a barbecue, what are all the things that would make it feel authentic? If you’re having a mermaid party, what must you have to create an “under the sea” feel? Use that list to help you determine what you can do and how you want to bring various elements into the event (ex. you probably wouldn’t paint all your walls blue so you feel like you’re under water, but maybe you could blow up a bunch of blue balloons and have them float around the floor).
To start, we made a list of all the things we’ve loved from our cruise experiences and then divided our location into 6 main areas, each of which correspond to a part of the evening. Then, we took our list of elements to incorporate and assigned them to one of the locations.
Area 1: The Gangway
On every cruise ship, there is a designated point where you enter and exit the ship, both when you first board and ultimately depart, as well as for any ports of call. We’ve designated this as the room directly attached to our hosts’ garage. When they return from their “excursion”, they’ll enter from the garage and be asked to present their SeaPass card and ID. They’ll then be directed to “washy washy” their hands with sanitizer before heading to their stateroom to get ready for dinner. We’re planning to dress in “uniforms” and wear nametags that have our name, where we hail from and how long we’ve been with “the company”. For us children, we’ll list this as their marriage year and our spouses will have the year they married into the family listed.
Area 2: Their Stateroom
This is, quite logically, their master suite. We’ll be posting their stateroom number on the door. Inside, we will have a cute towel animal awaiting them, along with their Cruise Compass to give them all the info they need for the evening. And, since it’s their special night, we’ll have a bottle of champagne on ice with two 25th anniversary engraved champagne flutes.
Area 3: The Pre-dinner Photo
Full transparency, we’re still sorting out exactly where in their house this is going to go. I’d love to say it will be perfectly placed between their stateroom and the dining area, but we want to make sure that we choose a place with good lighting and a nice background. As such, we’re still scoping this out. But, on their way to the Main Dining Room, they’ll be greeted by our designated photographer and led to have a formal photo taken.
Area 4: The Main Dining Room
This will be set like a typical cruise dining room. They will have a table marker with their servers’ names listed. The table will be set with wine and water glassware, cutlery and salt, pepper, etc. We’ll also have seating placards (#covidrules) to designate where each person will sit at the table. Once they’re seated, they’ll be presented with menus to select their beverage preference along with what they’d like for each of their three courses.
Area 5: The King’s Lounge
This is where we’ll be hosting the main evening event after dinner: The Love & Marriage Game Show. This is in their family room, so we’ll take advantage of the existing furniture. The TV will be used to display the logo for our game show and two of our hosts will lead the event while everyone else participates alongside our guests-of-honor. I can’t tell you too much more about what I’m planning for this (and won’t next week either) because one of my sisters subscribes to this blog and I don’t want her to have a leg up on the competition during the game 🙂 If you want more information on this piece in particular, leave a comment or send me a message and I’ll give you the lowdown.
Area 6: Dancing on the Pool Deck
Since they don’t actually have a pool, some imagination will be required, but we’re planning a space where, should everyone be up for it, we can do some late night dancing. Weather depending, this will either be on their outdoor covered patio (we’ll hang up some pretty lights and set up a Bluetooth speaker) or in their basement bar (pretty similar setup plan…) Most importantly, we’ll craft a playlist of “their” music, which will probably be a lot of 60s and 70s hits. And then, of course, the wedding classics like “We are Family”, “YMCA”, and “The Electric Slide”.
As I mentioned at the beginning, if you want more of the ins and outs of organizing all of these various pieces and the components that go into each area, check back next Monday for a deeper dive into each.