1st birthday // Nathan (#natedawgdol)
venue: The Rec Room, Berkeley // photographer: Jerry Yoon // desserts: Amy Ngai // catering: Gogi Time // ice cream: Cookiebar Creamery // flowers: Zha Zha Design // illustrated favors: Sunny Kim
I chose this awesome local play space called the Rec Room in Berkeley, CA that has a lot of the modern industrial elements that I loved - string lights, reclaimed wooden bars and tables, and these bright yellow metal chairs. I really wanted to make this a party that didn't scream "KIDS' PARTY" and keep it really clean with a lot of personal, handmade touches.
I also used outlines for a lot of the typographic elements to play off of the idea that his life is his to fill as he sees fit. A lot of the signage wording was written tongue-in-cheek to fit our personalities and infuse some humor. 'Doljabi' is a Korean tradition of picking an item that represents his future, and after a mega-meltdown, he chose a gavel : meaning he will follow in dad's footsteps and become an attorney...or judge...or maybe he just thought it was a hammer and might go into construction.
Black/white and gray chambray was used to soften the overall look - used as a welcome banner as well as name banners behind the cake table. Rather than wasting time and energy on traditional Korean bean towers (dolgoim) I used vinyl letters on the chambray, hung on handmade wooden hangers.
Theme-wise it was black and white (my favorite color palette) and even though I mostly do wedding designs/calligraphy/hand lettering, I kept it super modern with bold typography, starting with the invitations - the enclosure and bow were made to resemble a 'hanbok'.
And my favorite touch was the custom portraits of each family/couple who attended, sketched by my kid sister - who took the time out of her busy college schedule to sketch almost 50 people! These were laid out at the entrance on handmade walnut photo stands. She also did a portrait of my son which I made into coloring pages for a fun activity guests could enjoy. As another fun gift for the kiddos, I handmade bowties and hair clips using the same chambray fabric.
Food! We had it catered by a local Korean BBQ place and had a DIY bibimbap bar, which was a huge hit. Desserts were the most amazing ube cookies and an alternating chocolate/vanilla smash cake made by a friend I'd met at a wedding I coordinated. We also had our favorite ube ice cream from Cookiebar Creamery catered in individual cups.