A Bustling Birthday

bustling birthday icon

A Victorian Quinceañera

This is my first blog post in a handful of months because I was extraordinarily busy with two events, one personal and one professional. This post is about the personal event and is another example of using design to enhance everyday life. (For my first post on this subject please see “A Trip to the Moulin Rouge“) The event I’m writing about today is my daugther’s recent Quinceañera. For those of you who don’t know what a Quinceañera is, it is a traditional Spanish celebration of a young lady turning fifteen. We had been planning our daughter’s Quinceañera since her birth but had I known that she would grow up to be such a creative herself, I would have waited for her input before beginning the planning process. *smile* In her creative wisdom, she chose to have a Victorian theme for her big day and when she made that announcement, my design mind kicked into high gear.

The Venue

My first big decision was where to hold the event. Considering the theme that my daughter chose. That was no easy task! There is a plethora of beautiful venues to choose from in B.C. but finding one that would fit her theme made it a bit more challenging. In the end we decided on the Burnaby Village Museum. It really was the perfect place because once the guests started arriving in full costume, it felt as if I was transported back in time. The heritage buildings and grounds were the perfect backdrop for our celebration. The highlight for most was the beautiful carousel. I will always cherish the memory of my costumed guests laughing like kids perched upon their lovely painted ponies. I have to give a huge shout out to the staff there. They made our special day perfect. They were professional and courteous from the first phone call, right down to seeing my guests safely off the property at the end of the evening. I don’t want to forget the caterers either. City Catering (City of Burnaby) was fabulous. My guests loved the food and again, their customer service was amazing.

Victorian Photo Collage

The Costumes

Although for most events my main design duties are usually the social stationery and the overall decorations, for this event I was able to dust off my sewing skills. It was many a long day of sewing for me and a handful of family members to make it all happen but the end result was worth all of the hard work. There was lace, satin and ribbon as far as the eye could see. We did purchase a couple of accent pieces but overall we made most of the women’s costumes, including some of the hats! (For information on the vendors that we purchased items from, please see my list at the end of this blog entry). My favourite things to make were the bustles. I was like a kid in a candy store looking through endless rolls of gorgeous fabrics. My play on words in the title for this blog was intentional. With coordinating the event and sewing approximately 20 bustle costumes, I can’t remember ever being so busy, but the resulting day is something that I will treasure always.

Below is a vendor list from my day as well as some graphic design links for Victorian themed tidbits:


Burnaby Village Museum – I can’t say enough great things about this fantastic venue, including the amazing staff. Highly recommended. A special thank you to Cyndy Patenaude, Facilities/Rental Coordinator and Maria Peradenic, Event Coordinator.

CITY Catering (City of Burnaby) – Great food and fantastic service. A special thank you to Josie Santiago and Helen McConaghy for working with me to create a wonderful menu that was within my budget.

Watts Costume Rentals – Fantastic people! Almost all of the men’s costumes were rented from here as well as a few of the female guests’. All of my guests had nothing but praise for the staff there.

Ms. Purdy Hats – Beautiful hats and the owner is truly a gem. She actually made a couple of hats on very short notice and you’ll always find a special little surprise in your package when it arrives.

Hallowville Manor – Owner Tanya Nahal goes out of her way to find the perfect costume pieces. She is so patient and helpful while you try on piece after piece. She had recently sold out of her Victorian boots but after finding out that she and my daughter had the same foot size, she actually lent us her own personal pair. Fantastic lady!

Graphic Design Tidbits

Vector Tuts – 250+ Free Victorian Vectors

Call Me Victorian – Free Victorian Calendar Wallpapers

Design Shack – 30 Vintage Victorian Design Resources

Letterhead Fonts – Beautiful Victorian Fonts (not free)

Web Design Ledger (WDL) – 30 Most Incredible Textures for Vintage Style Design

Other Event Design & Stationery Posts

August 19, 2013

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