Tuesday, October 2, 2012

{My Parties} Ryan's Glow in the Dark 18th Birthday Party

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I am so excited to share this party with you!
Last year, my client Beth contacted me with the idea of throwing her son a surprise 18th birthday. We threw around several ideas for the theme, but after booking this venue, Minglewood Hall, I proposed a glow theme. Minglewood is a live music venue with a "club" atmosphere and a great lighting set-up. So, I wanted to capitalize on that. 
Since it is so dark in there, I thought the only logical way to go was to have all the centerpieces and candy bar be lit with glow-sticks and necklaces. 
A party for an 18 year old boy is difficult! You don't want the party to be too juvenile, but you don't want it to be too grown-up either! So, I think this theme hit exactly the right balance for the kids. 
 The focal point of the party was the great stage at Minglewood where we had the DJ set up and an awesome neon balloon arch. 
 Minglewood was awesome enough to customize this gobo light with the logo that I designed for the party. It looked amazing on the dancefloor!

 Around the dancefloor, I used these fabulous custom LED-lit ottomans from Mahaffey Party Rentals. Each one was lit from underneath with color-changing LED lights. I added some green and blue fluffy pillows for an extra-plush club feel. 
 I saw this amazing idea for glowstick chandeliers on Social Couture and I knew I needed to them. We hung them from the lighting track above the stage and they looked so great. If you saw my record chandelier at the CPN Girls Night Out last fall, you can see that I used the same plant hangers from Lowe's. I simply turned them upside down to hang the glowsticks off. This is a great way to make chandeliers with pretty much anything!

For the centerpieces, I used two types of glassware and filled each with glowsticks and LED ice cubes. I used fishbowls on the tall bistro tables, and tall cylindrical vases on the large round tables. 
 These amazingly cute glowstick orbs are from GlowSource. The kids LOVED them. Let's just say it took all of 10 minutes before the kids were throwing them around the room. 

 For the candy sweets table, I wanted to keep it really fun and really colorful. The large black rises are actually storage cubes from Target. I used neon duct tape to give them a "glowstick" feel. Each side had a different design. 
For the printables, I had racked my brain to think of something cute when I saw THIS amazing party by Dina at Deliciously Darling Events. When I saw the printable cassette tapes by Piggy Bank Parties, I was in love. So, of course I emailed Do immediately!

 The base of each glassware container had LED lights in them. So, the bottom of the container was lit in different colors all night. It looked so cool!

 Piggy Bank Parties also did candy wrappers for mini Hershey bars. The birthday boy loves Hershey bars, so I had to include those!

 Neon cake pops anyone? My girl Autumn at Autumn Lynn's Chocolate Sins killed it with these! 12 dozen. YES!

 The adorable DJ, also known DJ Rax from Hot 107.1 here in Memphis was so great. My husband and I (my assistant for the day) were laughing with him about the kids having zero idea who Tupac and Biggie were. He played two of their songs just to see and the kids had no reaction whatsoever. We felt old. 

Here is the birthday boy coming in to his party! He was pretty surprised!

And let me just say that if you haven't seen teenagers dancing in a while, you will be really surprised! Ha!

Special thanks to my clients Beth and Greg for letting me help with Ryan's party! And to the photographer, Roger Cotton for the beautiful photos of an impossibly dark room!


Printables: Piggy Bank Parties
Glow Products: Glow Source
Glassware: Save On Crafts
Balloon Arch: Teddy Bear Express

Visit Glowsource.com

These boy party ideas were also featured on Spaceships and Laser Beams.
- See more at: http://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com/blog/2013/03/party-central/boy-party-ideas-add-yours-03-05-23#sthash.G58IjLEU.dpuf


  1. Once again you amaze me with your creativity. It looks awesome.

  2. Ok, so FYI... I've been pinning ideas for a "PG 13 Rave" for over a year now and now I must rip off some of your ideas as well! ;) lol!!! Awesome party and absolutely LOVE your centerpieces! Way cool and hip! Btw, I HAVE a teenager and I've seen how they dance.... I'm not sure how they do it in your parts but down here in L.A., I wonder if they're having a seizure or have spiders crawling up their legs. LMAO!!!

  3. awesome job, brittany! love the centerpieces and of course the dessert table. photos look great, too!!

  4. That is one cool party, Brittany! Your glow centerpieces and chandelier are especially awesome!

  5. You did such a great job! that is a tough age to do a party for.
    btw, I chaperone a high school dance a couple years ago - wow, I totally know what you mean!
    and sad about biggie and tu-pac! We are old!! :)

  6. Wow! Such a cool idea with all of the glow sticks. LOVE it all!

  7. Awesome! Those centerpieces are brilliant--so simple yet striking!

  8. Could you tell me or place a link for the plant hanger from Lowes so I make sure I get the right kind. Thanks. Btw you just helped me plan my daughters sweet 16th such awesome ideas!!!!

    1. Hi Jo, this is the link.
      This is similar, but not exact. All you do is take out the liner stuff! Good luck!

  9. where did you find the banner please

  10. My son is turning 18 in August and I'm researching idea. Great ideas. I am so excited now that I see these pics.

  11. where is this local?

  12. Wow this awesom!! I think I now know what I want my 18th birthday party to be like :D

  13. Someone pretty please tell me the instructions on how to make a glowstick chandelier! ! My son's birthday is in September. Email me at cruisematt8585@gmail.com

    1. Sara, There are not really any instructions. I tied them to a plant hanger with clear craft lacing. That was about it! Ha!

  14. I'm the Editor of Fun Family Crafts and wanted to let you know that we have featured your awesome party! You can see it here:


    If you have other kid-friendly craft tutorials or party ideas, we'd love for you to submit them. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Hello! Love this! I'm wondering though...you used glow sticks in the chandeliers and the centerpieces...did they last through the party? How long do they stay glowing? How far in advance did you activate them before the party?

    1. I broke all the sticks about an hour before the party and they stayed lit through the party.


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