Secrets, surprises and superb food – an unforgettable 70th birthday party

It was a year in the making – a private 70th birthday celebration carefully created to impress and amaze every guest.

Event planning, especially for private parties, is always about open communication … except when there are surprises to plan and secrets to hold close.

Our client loves to host a lively party with an element of surprise, casually inviting family and friends for after-work drinks on a Friday in October. On the evening, it looks effortless and seamless. Behind the scenes a cast of many has been planning for a year, making certain every detail is perfect.

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As guests entered the Truffleduck team welcomed them with Moët, cocktails and an inspired variety of local wines and beers. 

We then invited them into the magnificent clear-span marquee installed by Harry the Hirer. Here, we greeted all-comers with a stunning seafood feast including crayfish, prawns, pipis, mussels, scallops and salmon. 

Harry the Hirer custom-built the marquee to fit over the existing stone deck area, fire pit and plants. A tailor-made lid over the fire pit allowed scatter cushions for casual seating. 

Amanda and her team from local florist Smellies created a striking green floral chandelier with low-hanging globes, plus a unique garden wall behind the luxe marble bar provided by Memphis Hire. To the side, fresh oranges and lemons, and bottles of bubbly chilled out in multi-tiered urns.

Bar-height tables and white wire stools created a garden-party-goes-chic wow factor in brilliant contrast with the rustic timber barn.

Rutherford Entertainment and a DJ filled the air with background music. And, with a huge stage set to overlook the manicured lawns, the question on everyone’s lips was: Who will be this year’s surprise guest artist? Maybe Jimmy Barnes, or even Sting (he’s in town)? Or perhaps BABBA again?

The anticipation was palpable. As guests settled in to await the big reveal, the Truffleduck team continued to serve drinks from the marble bar where Moët and cocktails flowed all night. We roved among guests offering platters brimming with delicious fingerfood, followed by a generous selection of tantalising mini meals easily consumed while standing, conversing and guessing about the entertainment.

In the background, our birthday girl’s granddaughter was channelling Master Chef, creating a stunning surprise celebration cake topped with toffee chards and chocolates.

It wasn’t the only surprise going here. During the party’s lead-up, more than 40 family and friends had covertly planned a flash mob performance to Uptown Funk. The timing had to be perfect: smoothly rearranging furniture to make space, DJ and sound technicians setting up the music, and getting our birthday girl centre stage to enjoy the performance. She loved it!

By now we’d been hiding the ‘big act’ in the wings for a couple of hours and the time had come.

When Daryl Braithwaite entered from the rear of the marquee, the guests were thrilled. He performed an exciting mix of Sherbet classics and new material before asking our birthday girl to join him on the stage for an inspired rendition of Horses – a perfect, meaningful song for our girl’s race horse owning and loving family.

An all-in Happy Birthday sing-song filled the marquee, leaving enough room for the gorgeous birthday cake adorned with glittering sparklers. The flash mob agreed to an encore performance and the DJ entered centre stage playing his saxophone. What a feast for the eyes and the ears! Harry the Hirer’s sound and lighting team had created fabulous lighting, shooting out from ceiling to walls. The dance floor filled and didn’t empty until the wee hours of the morning.

Photographer Donna Squire captured every detail of the event from Truffleduck’s creative food preparation in the stables to the relaxed, informal party atmosphere – guests laughing in groups, Daryl on stage and, of course, the flash mob in action. Through the images, our party girl will relive the moments and the magic of her special night for years to come.

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Inspired? Ask us about how we can partner with you to create a brilliant private party or event in Geelong or beyond.


Catering and Event Management by Truffleduck

Marquee and Stools - Harry the Hirer  

Staging and Lighting – Harry the Hirer

Marble bar and High bars - Memphis Hire

Green wall and Florals – Smellies

Daryl Braithwaite – Allegro Music 

DJ – Rutherford Entertainment 

Location – Private Property