How to Plan a First Birthday Celebration in Singapore - Baby Maeleth Sarah Goh's 1 Year Old Birthday Celebration at The Star Loft (Featuring Party In A Box, Give Fun, and Chalk Celebrations)
Do you find that having a memorable first birthday celebration is important?
To my love Amilee Kang and I, our baby girl Maeleth's 1 year old birthday is a big milestone to us!
That's why we decided to make it a day to remember, to go big on it.
Our mindset is "She's only 1 years old once. Let's just do a good one."
Next year we'll probably just run away and bring her overseas for her birthday maybe, haha.
Praise Jesus for He blessed us with some awesome sponsors that really helped to make the big day memorable!
Firstly we would like to thank the three sponsors, "Party In A Box", "Give Fun" and "Chalk Celebrations" for generously blessing Baby Mae to make her birthday celebration awesome!
Click the names of the companies above to go to their respective websites :)
We are also very thankful for our dear family who also chipped in to sponsor various aspects of Mae's birthday celebration:
Maeleth's Ye Ye and Nai Nai sponsored all food, birthday cake, and desserts.
Maeleth's Mah Mah, Dioh Dioh and Ee Ee sponsored some of the kid's entertainment - namely the ball pit and bouncy castle.
Maeleth's Tua Ee sponsored the visual media - the filming and production of the birthday celebration video.
Maeleth's Lao Dioh (Click Here to go to his Facebook profile) provided photography for the whole birthday celebration free-of-charge.
If we had paid for the whole birthday celebration without any sponsorships from anybody, it would all add up to a significant sum of money.
Doing a big celebration in Singapore is not very affordable, so every bit of help goes a long way.
What I hope to achieve from this post is to share with you what our experience was and how you can have a high-quality and still affordable first birthday celebration for your beloved little one.
Here are some aspects which I feel makes a good first birthday celebration:
1) Beautiful Party Decorations
2) Delicious Catered Food
3) Beautiful and Delicious Birthday Cake and Dessert Table
4) Fun Kids Entertainment
5) Reasonably-Priced, Spacious and Beautiful Event Venue
6) Skillful Event Photography and Videography
The above six aspects are important points to consider when you are planning for your little one's first birthday celebration!
I will be focusing on sharing about point 1 in this post which is "Beautiful Party Decorations" as I feel that this aspect of Maeleth's first birthday celebration was the one that elevated it to a memorable and fun experience.
At first, we were pretty unsure as to where to have the birthday celebration.
We wanted to invite about 200 guests, and we didn't know which venues had availability during Chinese New Year period, had a price point that we were willing to spend and that could house that many guests.
Finally we checked out The Star Loft at The Star Performing Arts Centre and it was a good fit for the celebration we had in mind.
The Star Loft is located on level 11 at The Star Vista (nearest MRT station is Buona Vista).
The space is quite big, and it can fit a maximum of 144 party guests.
For a banquet setting, it can fit a maximum of 11 banquet tables with 10 guests per table (total 110 seated guests) in the main event room.
For the party guests to go to level 11, there must be someone to tap the lift with an access pass to grant entry.
It's a good thing that security is tight to prevent random people from barging into the event venue to steal the food or wreck havoc.
We hired an usher from the Star Performing Arts Centre at an hourly rate to help us to tap our party guests up to the Star Loft.
We sent this e-invitation to our party guests and told them to show it to the usher to be allowed entry into the birthday celebration venue:
The Star Loft's main event room has two LCD TV screens at the back which were used to play our videos and photos that we prepared for the birthday celebration.
Throughout the event, a slideshow of baby Mae's best photos was played on the two TVs on loop, as well as an awesome video of her growing up journey that was made by her Lao Gu.
We had to bring our own laptop to do this.
On top of that, a CD of Hillsong Praise and Worship songs that we prepared was played in the main event room on loop as well.
The playing of songs, photos and videos was operated by one of the Star Performing Arts Centre's Technicians.
The equipment at the Star Loft was disappointing because they can only play CDs, which means they can't play music from a laptop/iPhone/iPad.
Or it could be that the technicians didn't know how to play the music on our laptop using the equipment.
If so, their knowledge on audio and video equipment needs to improve.
Another thing is that venue hirers like us have to provide our own music.
They don't provide any spare or backup music at all.
It was apparently compulsory to hire two technicians for our event according to the Star Performing Arts Centre's protocols, despite the easy job scope which can actually be performed by just one person.
The photos and songs were all played on loop and the only time the technician had to do something manually was during the cutting of birthday cake where we cued him to press play for the "Happy Birthday Song".
One technician is provided complimentary as part of the venue rental package, whereas the other technician is based on an hourly rate.
Although Amilee and I were confused at the need for two technicians, we accepted it because we trusted that the second technician may be helpful during the event and that God wanted to bless them with this job and the income.
I didn't see the technicians during the birthday celebration as they were hidden behind a screen, but I believe they did their job well as everything proceeded smoothly.
We also liked that apart from the main event room, the Star Loft even has a foyer with some counters where guests can chill and eat at, and also a rooftop terrace area where cocktail tables can be placed.
People who like the outdoor breeze and to view scenery can also opt to eat and socialize there.
Another good amenity that the Star Loft has is a very clean and accessible changing room for children.
We had to bring Mae to change her diaper twice.
The first time was because her diaper was full.
The second time was because somehow the diaper shifted and she ended up getting pee onto her clothes.
Thankfully the second diaper change happened after the birthday celebration was over, and that we brought an extra set of clothes for her to change into.
One concern we had about the venue was that it is undecorated, so it would just look like a massive blank space without any party decorations.
Fortunately for us, we were blessed to have Soyeon and her team from "Party In A Box" to do our party decorations for us!
Maeleth's birthday celebration theme was "Dreams and Fantasy", so using that as a reference, they decorated the venue to look like a magical forest, where dragons and unicorns could live in.
Have a look at the beautiful work they did:
Using just one hour of set-up time before the birthday celebration started, they turned a blank venue into a beautiful wonderland!
All our party guests had positive comments about the party decorations and we absolutely loved what they did!
The party decorations were crucial to the success of the birthday celebration, and the team from Party In a Box totally delivered.
One fun fact about baby Maeleth: She loves balloons! Especially the really big, floating ones!
We discovered that at one of the media events we were invited to, when Mae couldn't stop pulling, hitting, and jumping on the huge 36 inch Perfectly Round Balloons provided by the company called "Give Fun".
When it was time to go home, we literally had to pull Mae away from the huge balloon while she whined and threatened to cry loudly, haha!
Seeing how much she loves balloons, we simply had to include balloons into her birthday celebration.
We decided to hire Give Fun to provide the balloons for the birthday celebration because Mae loved their balloons at the media event I mentioned above.
Soyeon from Party In A Box looked through Give Fun's website and chose the balloons that were required to achieve the desired atmosphere and look for the birthday celebration.
Give Fun has so many different types of beautiful balloons on their website and browsing through them was a feast for the eyes!
Making payment for the balloons was done online via PayPal, and they were punctually delivered to The Star Loft on the birthday celebration day.
Mae was also blessed to have a beautiful customised chalkboard hand-drawn and delivered by Li Xian from "Chalk Celebrations" at her birthday celebration.
Take a look at it:
Li Xian was kind, nice and punctual in delivering the chalkboard, so we had a really positive experience with Chalk Celebrations.
We feel that the customised chalkboard is a fun, engaging and novel piece of party decoration that is memorable for our party guests.
Through it, we are able to let our party guests know more about Mae and feel more connected to her.
I would say that every first birthday celebration should have a customised chalkboard!
The catered food for Mae's birthday celebration was very normal, nothing impressive, so I will not mention the name of the catering company.
As the hosts of the birthday celebration, naturally we did not have time to really eat the food, so we could only rely on the feedback from the party guests to know how the food was.
We received some negative feedback that the dim sum was dry and the skin was tough.
We also heard that the lemonade drink tasted very diluted, like sour water, and that they would have preferred to have coffee and tea as well.
But we also heard that the Zha Jiang Mian was delicious and that it is the best dish.
We did not know how many party guests to expect, so we just catered for slightly below a hundred guests.
It seemed that we made the right choice because there was not much wastage of food after the birthday celebration.
It is a good choice to cater for less than the number of guests that you are expecting because usually the portion of food is able to feed more than that.
This way, you will also have less food wastage, which is very good. No heartaches!
Mae's birthday cake gave us mixed feelings because the baby figurine on the cake looked really ugly, and it looked like a boy!
We felt slightly disappointed because when we provided the reference photo for the cake, we were expecting a better result.
More shocking than that, while the cake was being transported to the birthday celebration venue, the driver apparently managed to sever the baby figurine's head from the body!!
Thank God that Soyeon managed to balance the head back on the body, if not we would have had a headless baby figurine on the cake!
When things like that happen, I feel that God is watching to see how we would respond to it.
In life we can't choose what happens to us but we can choose how we respond to it.
We chose to be gracious and forgiving about it as we know that God will surely restore us with a greater blessing in the future!
On the positive side, the cake was really delicious!!
It was salted caramel flavor and it was a buttercream cake, not a fondant cake.
The same bakery also made the delicious pink-colored vanilla-flavor macaroons and the AMAZING chocolate-flavor cupcakes that were placed at the dessert table.
We also hired some kids entertainment to make the birthday celebration fun for the children attending, and to give their parents some time to relax and enjoy the food.
We hired a Balloonist and also rented a Bouncy Castle and Ball Pit.
The balloonist was Agnes (Click Here to go to her Facebook profile), a very talented lady whose skill is so good that she went to the USA to compete in a balloon-sculpting competition.
Her rates are very affordable, and the quality of her work exceeded the amount we paid!
She did many adorable balloons for the children and even adults loved it!
Even my 85 year old grandma loved the balloons, especially these cute rooster ones! She brought them back to display at home.
We also appreciated that Agnes prepared baby-friendly balloons that were non-toxic so that if a baby were to bite and chew on the balloon, there were be no risk of poisoning.
This is important because we had a few baby guests at the birthday celebration under the age of one.
The children loved the bouncy castle and ball pit too!
Mae was still too young to play in the bouncy castle, but she really had fun playing in the ball pit.
We knew that she loves playing in ball pits because we brought her to an enrichment class last year which had a big ball pit, and she totally played in it happily!
In my opinion, the rental cost for the bouncy castle and ball pit isn't cheap.
I think it's really a smart idea to do a business that rents out all these kids entertainment equipment!
Just put in a relatively small capital to buy the equipment and after renting out a few times, you can be in profit!
The downside is that you gotta be willing to be the one transporting the items around and inflating them at the event venues.
The bouncy castle and ball pit can be deflated to small size and they are carry-friendly.
What's big is the air blower that keeps the bouncy castle plump with air at all times.
If not, you'll have to hire workers to do it for you and pay them to do it. That's added costs.
Just playing around with this idea here (see if anyone gets inspired to do such a business, haha).
One problem about the rental service though was that the company was very late in coming back to collect the equipment.
The tear down time for Mae's birthday celebration was at 3pm, but even at 4.30pm there was no sign of the company's representatives.
We stayed until that time because Mae was hungry and had to drink milk.
After drinking, she fell asleep when she was wrapped in the Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier, so we stayed longer to let her nap.
They eventually only arrived at 6pm!!!!! Really thank God that we didn't have to wait until then, because the staff working at the Star Performing Arts Centre helped to oversee the handover and return of the bouncy castle and ball pit.
Mae was such a good girl that day! She behaved well, and despite being awake since 9am, she wasn't cranky at all.
She only cried when one of our friends carried her against her will, haha!
I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to our dear family and friends for coming to celebrate baby Maeleth turning 1, and for all the well-wishes, gifts and most importantly your presence!
Mae totally had fun that day and we enjoyed ourselves very much too, seeing all our family and friends coming together to have a moment of joy and relaxation amidst the busy pace of life in Singapore.
Here are some group shots - wonderful memories!
Okay, so I have covered the six aspects to consider when planning a first birthday celebration in Singapore, and I will attempt to rate, out of 10 (1 being terrible and 10 being amazing), how each aspect fared at Mae's first birthday celebration:
1) Beautiful Party Decorations - 10/10 (Simply AMAZING!!! Thank you "Party In A Box", "Give Fun" and "Chalk Celebrations" once again!)
2) Delicious Catered Food - 5/10 (lackluster and we received mostly negative feedback about the food and drink).
3) Beautiful and Delicious Birthday Cake and Dessert Table - 7/10 (although the cake was ugly, it was delicious. The macaroons and cupcakes were both beautiful and delicious!)
4) Fun Kids Entertainment - 8/10 (Agnes the balloonist was perfect, but the Toy Rental company was very late in coming to collect the bouncy castle and ball pit after the birthday celebration had ended.)
5) Reasonably-Priced, Spacious and Beautiful Event Venue - 8/10 (minus points because of the second technician that we had to hire when we didn't see the need for it.)
6) Skillful Event Photography and Videography - 10/10 (Mae's Lao Dioh, Wong Chek Poh, who was our event photographer was dedicated, skillful, and managed to snap many good shots during the birthday celebration.
Almost all of the photos used in this blog post were snapped by him.
He is always winning photo competitions in Singapore, so we knew that he would do a great job for sure!
Our dear bro Sim Kok Hin ( Click Here to go to his Facebook profile ) was the event videographer and he managed to film many great clips at perfect angles and moments.
He did that and compiled them into the most PERFECT video for us! You are so talented bro!
Both Mae's Lao Dioh and Kok Hin did the event photography and wedding lunch celebration highlights video respectively during our wedding lunch two years ago which was also PERFECT to us and that's why we asked for their help again for Mae's birthday party.
They were so nice to agree to help even though we asked them at the last minute. We are so blessed to have them in our lives!)
We absolutely adore this particular photo series of Baby Maeleth taken by Mae's Lao Dioh. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
...And to wrap up this post, I would like to share with you the PERFECT video filmed and edited by our dear bro Sim Kok Hin.
This video is so touching, the song choice is on point, and we can't stop watching it over and over again to relive the wonderful memories.
Please enjoy watching Mae's Journey to 1!
I hope you enjoyed reading my post on "How to Plan a First Birthday Celebration in Singapore - Baby Maeleth Sarah Goh's 1 Year Old Birthday Celebration at The Star Loft (Featuring Party In A Box, Give Fun, and Chalk Celebrations)".
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