Just when we think we’ve seen every amazing birthday party theme, this 1st birthday brings us a taste of Korean culture. We have seen the increasing popularity of all things Korean, including PSY and his Gangnam style and the rise of Korean BBQ. This birthday bash was creatively crafted by event planner, Sophia Kim Park, who is a mom to two beautiful girls and the owner of Petite Productions where she creates grand events for petite clients. Here’s an insider’s peek into her youngest daughter, Seraphine Elle Park’s 1st birthday party.
From the food to the entertainment and the birthday girl’s dress, every little detail reflected the birthday girl’s Korean heritage. The décor, yummy sweets display, amazing entertainment, and delicious food created an inviting setting for little ones to comfortably celebrate Seraphine’s 1st birthday as well as discover a new culture for those not too familiar with it.
Many neighborhoods these days have convenient and spacious clubhouses that are available for event reservations. Seraphine’s party took place at the clubhouse in the Woodbury neighborhood of Irvine, Ca. This particular clubhouse is equipped with a kitchen, indoor seating, as well as a spacious and private courtyard for the little ones to run around in.
Enchanted Florist created the impressive tabletop displays, fancy enough to rival those found at weddings. The main table, called the dol sahng, had Sera’s name spelled out in flowers and traditional Korean 1st birthday pieces. It was also the perfect backdrop for memorable photos. The birthday girl and mom even had matching traditional yet modernized Korean dresses called hanboks to complete the theme.
Korean BBQ tacos and sliders, kimchee quesadillas, and kimbap (korean-style rolls) were the main entrees. Korean sodas and juices accompanied the meals. Chef Tin, who is a friend of Sophia’s, grilled the food on the spot. Fresh Korean rice crackers were also popped on the spot by a rice-popping vendor. Dessert included a colorful selection of Korean ice pops and treats.
Seraphine’s beautiful Korean dress, or hanbok, inspired the jaw-dropping cake. Sophia sketched the idea for the cake herself and Sweet Gems was able to bring it to fruition. The cake was topped with cute, girly slippers, traditionally worn with the 1st birthday hanbok.
The bubble lady was on hand to amaze the kiddos with a fantastic bubble show. The kids got a kick out of being able to stand inside a bubble! Traditional Korean dancers and musicians from the Korean Classical Music and Dance Company entertained guests as Korean ice cream and desserts were enjoyed.
The Candy Buffet/Party Favors
The kids loved the mouth-watering display of traditional Korean rice cakes as well as popular candies that gleamed from the candy buffet. Kids and guests picked out all of their favorites into cute containers; the perfect favors to a perfect party.
Party Planning Tips from Sophia
Red Tricycle: Do you have any helpful advice for moms planning a birthday party?
Sophia: Avoid DIY! It’s not worth all of the energy spending hours upon hours making crafts, unless you find personal joy in it. If you have the budget, work with a professional.
RT: What inspired you to create a Korean-themed party for Seraphine?
Sophia: Being a second generation Korean-American family, we wanted to highlight traditional elements we grew up with, but with a modern approach. Especially since the 1st birthday is very important in the Korean culture, it was our way of further highlighting its significance.
RT: What is your advice to moms doing DIY favor bags?
Sophia: Fill them with a mix of edibles and activities. Sometimes you might have too many age groups, it’s hard to please all the kid-guests, so personalizing them to each child’s age range is nice too. Also, don’t feel like you have to pack it with too much. Sometimes, one main item, i.e. water bottle or re-useable bag matching the theme, might go further than a mix of things that will quickly end up on the floor or in the trash.
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All photos courtesy of Sophia Kim Park, Petite Productions