About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view ourbabyjb's profile
    Posted May 5, 2013 by
    Bentonville, Arkansas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 1920s parties

    Saying Goodbye to my Roaring 20's


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ourbabyjb says he was 'absolutely floored' by the 1920s-themed party his wife pulled off for his 30th birthday. 'I knew there was going to be a party but didn't know it was going to be a theme party and definitely didn't anticipate all of the work and effort she put into it,' he said.
    - katie, CNN iReport producer

    My wife and I are BIG fans of Boardwalk Empire on HBO, but also of the 1920's in general. The dress, the music, the famous gangsters, the seemingly unfathomable law of prohibition. It all carries a mystique that I think appeals to most people because it seemed to have kickstarted America's obsession with Celebrity and the finer things in life (booze, fancy clothes, etc...)


    So, for my 30th Birthday, my wife planned a 1920's themed party for me (so I could say goodbye to MY roaring 20's). She knows I hate surprises and we had just moved to Arkansas from Chicago, so getting everyone to our home without me knowing would have been impossible. Instead, she let me know that all our friends were coming, but never alluded to any theme or specific plans for the big soiree. Helping her cause is that we also throw a big get together around this time (November) called Friendsgiving, which gives us friends an excuse to get together and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without the stresses that family can sometimes bring. So, she could get everyone down to Northwest Arkansas, and BOOM; two birds, one stone.


    But about the party....Basically, I came home from being distracted at a bar with the guys, and she had totally transformed the house. A 3-piece suit (including a selection of various fedoras) was laid out on the bed, and I was told to wait. Then, I was brought out into the main room for the festivities. Even my little 2 year old boy had his gangster get-up on. What a night!


    The party was incredible. She went to tremendous lengths in order to ensure authenticity of of the food and drinks and made sure our home was decorated in a way that would really make people feel like they were in another time (minus the flat screen TV on the wall...lol). Everyone dressed the part, with flapper girls and gangster suits all around. Awesome.


    Details: She sprayed a chalkboard type of shellack over cardboard to create old fashioned chalk drink menu's. The drinks themselves were a true testament to the detail she strived for, with old fashion ingredients and names. She paper mache'd a to-scale gramophone and painted it gold as a centerpiece.


    The bar was laid out on our breakfast bar area, with an amazing selection. The dining room was lit up by candlelight, complete with custom wine bottle candle holders, and the chalkboard signs were hung around the house ensuring the ful 20's experience. She made a trip that afternoon to a party store 30 minutes away for gold balloons, and then hung pictures from our 9 years together at the end of each string. It was like walking through a floating slide show. Incredible.


    The surprises didn't end there, as she transformed our bonus room upstairs into a Speakeasy. There was a separate bar upstairs (a nifty trick with an ironing board made this possible). There was a nook for poker and various "illegal" gambling. And a lounge area for cigars and the like (for show of course, NO smoking in the house :) ).


    Everything went over great. We posted pics to facebook and our family blog (http://ourbabyjb.blogspot.com/2013/01/johns-30th-birthday-post-in-progress.html). People have reached out to my wife after seeing the pics to ask her for advice on how she put everything together. She's a pro!


    Our friends really did a great job helping out and I found out later she definitely put them to work to ensure this party fit her vision. She couldn't have done it without their help, but I think they would all agree that all credit goes to the mastermind behind this great party; my wife Ashleigh. She made leaving my roaring 20's easier than ever!

    Add your Story Add your Story