Woodstock-themed 40th Anniversary Party

Way back in early December, Andy and I, along with Andy’s brother and his fiancee, threw Andy’s parents a 40th wedding anniversary party. I volunteered to be in charge of the design (of course!), so after a lot of brainstorming I had the idea for a Woodstock theme. Andy’s parents love music and actually recently travelled to the area in upstate New York where Woodstock was held in 1969, so it seemed like a really appropriate theme for them — and a really fun party for us to plan.

Traditionally the 40th anniversary gift is a ruby, but since Andy’s parents refused our offer of giving them our dog Ruby (ha), we wanted to come up with other ways to incorporate a little bit of red into the party. Luckily, one of my main sources of inspiration for the entire theme was the original Woodstock poster, which just so happened to be red. Here was my inspiration moodboard:

I used that original poster as a jumping off point to design the invitations and other signage. It was really fun to make the invitations because I had to re-create the original font by hand (digitally) in order to change “3 days of peace & music” to “40 years of peace, love & music.” We also printed a poster-sized version of the invite for guests to sign as a guestbook.

The VIP passes were also a huge hit with the guests. We used the same Woodstock logo and then just kept the rest of the design similar to a concert backstage pass with a hippie-inspired font. We had the VIP passes printed at Jakprints, and they included the lanyards. This was not a surprise party, but we purposefully kept some details, like the VIP passes, secret from Andy’s parents so they would have a few surprises when they arrived.

We chose Punch Bowl Social as the venue, and it was SO MUCH FUN. Located in the Flats East Bank in downtown Cleveland, Punch Bowl is a restaurant with arcade games, bowling alley, karaoke, pool… every fun thing you can imagine. We rented out the 2nd floor for about 60 guests and had our own bar, shuffleboard court, private karaoke room, foozeball, a fireplace surrounded by comfy chairs, and more. It was basically perfect for this party — casual, fun, something for all ages, and everyone had a ton of fun. Plus the staff was awesome and I can’t say enough nice things about them.

One of the things we really wanted to do was make a wooden signpost similar to some that we saw in pictures of Woodstock (pictured in my moodboard above). Andy built exactly what I had in my head, and I painted it with bright colors and listed a few of the party activities. We put the sign at the top of the stairs so it was the first thing guests saw when they arrived.

For dinner, Punch Bowl catered with a yummy, yummy taco bar, and for dessert we served mini donuts from Peace Love & Little Donuts. They put peace signs on some of the donuts!

Andy’s parents were the guests of honor, of course, but Joey always ends up in the spotlight! (That’s what happens when you’re the only grandchild.) She was sure to wear her most boho outfit — those bell sleeves kill me. (She was sooo tired by this point but was a trooper.)

The whole family…

It was a really fun party and so much fun to plan. Happy Anniversary, Jim and Julie!!

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