I still cannot believe I turned 30 this month. When I was younger, I always thought 30 was so old, and I would definitely be married with kids by this age (like most of my close friends). However, marriage and starting a family is not in the cards for me at the moment, and I don’t hate it as I am super focused on my career and building an empire.
This is 1988:
Looking back at the last year of my 20s, I can definitely say I lived my life for me and will continue to do things that make me happy like travel (hello I’m a Sagittarius and if you say you don’t know anything about astrology and zodiac signs I’m calling your bluff), and create epic content on my own terms. Life seems to fly by so quickly that I don’t want to blink an eye and suddenly be 80 years old thinking about the what if’s and regret missing opportunities.
I’m learning so much about myself and taking each day as it comes all while trying to be present and enjoy life to the fullest. I won’t lie the last week of my 20s felt like doomsday leading up to my birthday, and I was scared shitless about turning 30. Heck, I didn’t even want anything that had the numbers 3-0 present at my birthday party- hence the 1988 floral decor idea I came up with instead. I mean I will admit I can be a little bit dramatic at times, but I was not ready to face this considerable milestone birthday. Now that my party is over and I didn’t have a complete meltdown after turning the big 3-0 (still so weird) it’s safe to say I actually enjoyed planning my party. The theme was Great Gatsby, and I politely informed my guests that I run a strict dress-code. I was pleasantly surprised when everyone showed up to the party in their best Great Gatsby inspired attire complete with faux furs, headpieces and cigarette holders.
Several people reached out to me inquiring about the party details after they saw some of the Instagram stories I posted from the party. To answer everyone’s questions I thought it would be fun to share a full recap of the party planning, and details so you can plan a Gatsby themed party of your own. I’ve always been a huge fan of the original Great Gatsby movie (no offense to Leonardo Dicaprio’s performance in the remake) and glamour surrounding the 20s so I knew that the theme would be a great fit for my party. Find the complete guide to my Great Gatsby themed 30th birthday party below:
The Venue: Soho House – The venue was one of the hardest things to nail down. Since my birthday is so close to the holidays most places were already reserved for corporate parties. But my luck quickly changed and when Soho House confirmed the eve of my birthday, December 1st was available to book. Booking Soho House was a no-brainer especially since the prohibition interiors matched the theme of my party so perfectly.
The Food: The food was provided by Soho House and even though I did not have a chance to taste all of the canapés that were passed around that night, I heard great reviews from my guests. I chose the heartiest food from the Soho House catering menu since I provided an open bar that evening that offered three signature cocktails along with any other drink requested.
The Music: Conor Cutz– I enlisted my friend Conor Cutz to DJ the party. I knew Conor would be the perfect DJ for my party since he’s played several events in the GTA, music festivals and even produces his own tracks. Funny enough, I never told Conor about the Great Gatsby theme or the surprise performance I had planned for the evening but Conor’s talent goes beyond measure and he undoubtedly nailed the vibe I envisioned for my party. Conor Cutz is definitely a crowd pleaser and completely sets the mood for any party.
The Decor: Fuscia Designs– I briefly mentioned my disdain for seeing the numbers 30 plastered anywhere at my party. I knew I wanted to add a personal touch to the space at Soho House but did not want to go overboard with birthday themed decor so I enlisted Fuscia Designs to make a floral display with the numbers 1988- my birthday year. The arrangements were stunning and I refused to toss them out after my party, so instead, I brought them home and had a photo shoot in my living room with my dog, Winston (see the Instagram post here). Lisa specializes in luxurious event designs for bridal parties, weddings and special events. If you’re interested in having her create a beautiful floral arrangement for your next event check out her Instagram @fusciadesigns.
The Photo Booth: Make Lab– I knew having a photo booth at the party was an absolute must, but I did not want to stick with the traditional route and have a step and repeat type format. Instead, I discovered Make Lab at a Nars event that I attended in Toronto recently and fell in love with the concept. Make Lab specializes in pop-up interactives for private events. Even though there was a step and repeat aspect to the photo booth setup provided by Make Lab the concept was completely different. Guests took a photo infant of a ring light or a selfie and their personalized photo was laser printed onto a cookie. Added bonus: The ring light for the Make Lab photo booth was a huge hit with my guests. They loved the professional quality the ring light provided and took several personal selfies with their phones.
The Dress: Jovani– I originally purchased an Elisabetta Franchi dress at a boutique in Amsterdam and thought to myself this is THE birthday dress. Then the more I saw this dress the more I thought this dress isn’t 20s enough. Sure there was fringe but the dress lacked the sparkle that I yearned for to wear for such a special occasion. I ended up finding a dress at Jovani in Los Angeles on Roberston. Jovani is a very special designer to me because cut scene to nine years ago, I wore a Jovani dress at my 21st birthday in Las Vegas in the Barbie Suite at the Palms Hotel. If you’re looking for something extra sparkly, Jovani’s got you covered.
The Makeup: Melanie Viger– Celebrity makeup artist, Melanie Viger is an absolute gem and she made me look and feel so gorgeous the night of my party. She did my makeup in about 45 minutes tops and made me look so glam. I always joke with makeup artists and tell them please give me the extra contour and complete a look I would never be able to achieve at home on my own. Melanie nailed the vision I had in mind for my birthday without applying too much product or making me look like a “cake face.” If you are interested in booking her for a future event check out her Instagram here.
The Hair: Fiolino Salon Sherway Gardens Stylist: Agnes- I’ve been going to Agnes to get my hair coloured and styled since I was 17 years old. She is the best at color and color correction. I haven’t had a hair cut since September but I usually go to another salon in Yorkville called Medulla and Co and see the stylist Saina. If you’re interested in booking a hair appointment with either stylist check out their Instagram accounts here & here. The inspiration behind my hair style was Jennifer Lopez in the music video My Love Don’t Cost a Thing.
Get the look:
Dress: Jovani, (similar style here) | Shoes: Yeezy | Coat: HSG Furs | Earrings: Serefina |
I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me and I’m sure 30 will eventually start to grow on me. I must admit I felt like it was the start of a new year on December 2nd and I was taking the reins of everything in my life. I’m officially doing this thing called adulting and will continue to grow, learn and work hard to achieve my goals all while being kind to others.
I literally cried tears of joy after viewing the photos and video footage captured at the party. I didn’t shoot many photos on my phone that night which was a nice change, but I found I could actually live in the moment and be present with all of my family and friends which was the icing on top of the cake.
Photography by: Elaine Fancy | Videography by: Michael Romero
Thank you all for helping me ring in a new decade of life it was so much fun celebrating with each and every one of you!
Mira TolvanenDecember 17, 2018
Looks so much fun! 🙂
Kelsey BangDecember 17, 2018
what a fun party! looks like a great time!
LynnDecember 18, 2018
What a magical evening 30 looks good on you doll face!
JessicaDecember 19, 2018
This is definitely one of the most fabulous birthdays I’ve seen in the blogosphere! Must be really fun!
Jessica | notjessfashion.com