We planned ahead for Tikoy’s first birthday and dedication for about a year. Normally, child dedication happens soon after the baby is born, but in the interest of our finances and the time and effort to put together an event, we decided to have it coupled together.
First birthdays are one of the major milestones and is always celebrated. In our opinion though, it’s more of a celebration for the parents for having survived the first year. The child dedication, on the other hand, is the parent’s public declaration and enjoining family and friends to lift up the life of the baby to the Lord. (More about this in our blog later).
So, for Atticus’s first birthday, we set a few non-negotiables:
- Not at home
We’re not very keen of house parties because of the work it entails–the clean up before and after the event, setting up the place, and parking space to provide. As always, we go for convenience.
- Must be within our budget
We’re okay with spending a little for this celebration, but we’re also trying to be wise as to not go overboard. Gideon Hermosa can wait.
- Venue must include food and other amenities
We’ve considered renting a venue and getting a caterer for the birthday but that requires a lot of effort to coordinate with suppliers, and the budget to be raised three times higher.
Tip: Save a lot of money by booking restaurants with function rooms and consumable rent.
- Venue must be in Quezon City area
Our relatives and friends are scattered around Metro Manila (not to mention the others from Mindanao), and Quezon City is the most accessible place where the North and South people can go to.
- Food must agree with different ages
Mark and my mom in law had a fair point–food must be agreeable to both kids and adults. To this I recalled the many kiddie parties I have attended which were laden with fried chicken or pizza. Who doesn’t like indulging in oily fast food? Maybe Abi, who will forever love fried chicken. But it’s great to have options that are healthy and wholesome. (Quick, what’s the number for The Wholesome Table?)
- Freedom in birthday theme
Tikoy’s monthly growth photos has Totoro beside him as size reference. To have it in line with that (or for the daddy’s wish to come true), we need a venue that will let us decorate with a Totoro theme.
- Venue must accommodate 150 pax
We know, 150 guests? That’s a wedding guest list! But both of us have big families and friends. That number, in fact, is a conservative count.
After searching for a year or so (Abi already did her research while she was 6 months pregnant in Iligan), we have considered many family restaurants and fast food chains, and the one that we discovered last was the winner–Kenny Rogers Roasters.
Tip: Inquire ahead and if you can, visit the place and even taste their food so you get a better idea of your event, and save up for the budget.
Here’s a rundown of our restaurant choice:
Kenny Rogers Roasters only requires a PhP 10,000.00 minimum consumable venue fee for two hours. It was within range of our budget, and they only asked for a PhP 5,000.00 down payment.
Tip: Book ahead! This helps in securing your date and protect yourself from price increase.
Food and Venue Set up-Check!
The venue rental was consumable of food, and all of the amenities are provided. They also offer packages and party programs (more on this later). And since Kenny Rogers serves hefty portions of roasted chicken, rice, side dish, and drinks, it was pretty much a done deal.
Venue accessibility and capacity-Check!
We chose Kenny Rogers Roasters in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, which was newly renovated and can accommodate even up to 250 pax. Although only 60 seats can fit comfortable inside the function room, the rest can stay outside. But the dividers were sliding glass doors, so it can be opened up to make the guests outside still feel that they’re part of the party.
Kenny’s is fairly new in the party scene and therefore doesn’t have tie ups with brands yet. So our Totoro request was warmly welcomed.
Since a child dedication is more of a solemn theme, we decided to go without a party program with games. Anyway, most of the guests were adults (kids count was 16) and we only had two hours for the venue. 30 minutes of which is alloted to the ceremony, and the remaining one and a half hour won’t be enough for games and eating.