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How to Throw A Big Fat Bollywood Party!

big 1Parties are fun….

Different experiences are even better…..

If you throw a party, do something different…be creative….and your guest will count the days until your party!

How to Throw a Big Fat Bollywood Party

Corrin and I were excited when we were invited to our friends Shweta and Umesh’s children’s birthday party.  Their daughter Zaara was turning four and their son, Viraj would be turning one.  The theme of the party would be Bollywood.  Guests were encouraged to have their kids wear their “Bollywood inspired best.”

big 2A little background

Our friends are originally from India and have been in the US for several years.  They still value their culture and family traditions.  

What is Bollywood?

Bollywood is the cinema in India.  It can be compared to a smaller version of our Hollywood.  

From Shweta:

The whole idea of having a Bollywood themed birthday party came last year when we got the Indian outfits the kids wore last December. There aren’t many occasions where they get to wear dressy Indian outfits. Culturally the 1st birthday is typically a big occasion and I figured we can plan a big event and the colors and theme can be around the outfits.

My guest list included a good mix between Indians and non Indians. So in order to prepare the non Indian guests for what they had in store, we called the event “Our Big Fat Bollywood Birthday”.

The key elements of the party:

  1. Location – Choose a location that will allow you to have different elements of the Indian culture/Bolllywood characteristics.  We decided to do it at our house. We knew it was a gamble with the weather in July but we tried to be prepared with the tent and fans. Having it at our house allowed us to rent a bouncy house for the kids and for the kids to play on our swingset while the adults socialized.  We had activities going on inside and outside the house.                                                                                                                                                                                                     big 11      2. Decorations – One of my neighbors, Harika, really helped me bring the vision to reality. She handmade most of the decorations. Besides the decorations, we used my Indian sarees and lehengas (Indian long skirts).

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big 8big 13  3. Cake – I went back and forth trying to decide if I would order a cake from Kroger or find a local baker who specializes in cakes.  I am really glad I found  Saloni Salvi from Iced n Frosted on Facebook and she really worked with me. Since I had over a hundred guests, I didn’t want to hassle with cutting the cake. So we ordered cupcakes. The cake and cupcakes turned out so beautiful.  

big 34. Food – We decided to have  Hyderabad House cater our Indian food because we love their food. We ordered pizza for the kids.  I ordered enough for 3-4 slices per kid that had RSVPd yes. But we ran out of pizzas pretty fast (Maybe the adults ate some?)

big 105. Sequence of events –   I wanted the party to have a fun element but be Bollywood themed. My sister and nieces have learned classical Indian dancing so they did a few dances.  This was a great introduction to Bollywood for our non Indian friends and entertainment for our Indian friends. We then had dance lessons for both the kids and the adult which was very well received. Overall, we love dancing. So it just flowed naturally.

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big 176. Photo booth – Zaara has so many Indian outfits and what little girl doesn’t like to dress up? We thought the photo booth would work great. We used an old wardrobe moving box and converted that into a temporary closet. We decorated a picture frame for the pictures.  

big 97. Party favors – My parents brought 80+ auto rickshaws and double decker buses all wrapped up from India. I knew I wanted Indian themed toys. They really fit the bill I thought. (By the way, I traveled to school and college in those everyday!)

big 128. Other miscellaneous things– The Henna tattoo corner, the menu cards in Devanagari (Indian) script, Chalkboard, Pictures frames with the kids’ faces super imposed on Bollywood movie posters  were secondary items that really got executed towards the end.

big 14Overall, my family who traveled all over from India, Chicago, and Detroit, along with some local friends really made this happen. I have ideas but I am not creative or crafty. If it weren’t for them, it wouldn’t have been what it became.

Lessons learned:

Order more pizza!

Put someone in charge of taking pictures of the details (ex: the decorations, cake set up, etc)

Put someone in charge of handing out cupcakes so that you know all of the guests have one.

Talk to friends who have hosted Indian themed parties and find out what foods go fast (and order more of those).

My family and Corrin’s family had a blast at the party.  We loved experiencing first hand lots of traditions in the Indian culture.  The food was delicious, the décor was amazing, and we loved watching the dances and being taught different moves.  We are ready for another one of our friends to have another Indian inspired party!

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big 16My question for you:  Who is ready to throw a Big Fat Bollywood Party?

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