Sunday, August 30, 2009

Movie Night

Sometimes, when I start planning parties, I get so excited that there's no way I won't end up disappointed. Did not happen at backyard movie night. It was absolutely more fun that I anticipated. A perfect summer evening, great friends--old & new, lots of kids running around and terrible, terrible food (in the best way possible).

[I'm going to go into a wee bit of detail about the how-tos of movie night, because when we started planning we had a really hard time figuring out how to pull it off. Hopefully people thinking about planning their own backyard movie night will find some of this stuff useful.]

We covered the lawn in quilts and pillows, but designated a couple of chairs for the preggos in the audience because when I was pregnant, if someone had proposed that I sprawl my ass on a picnic blanket I would have killed them with my mind.

I made signs because apparently I don't have enough to do with my time.

I put up the tent and stocked it with art supplies & flashlights. I didn't know how the kids would do with the movie (Princess Bride), so I wanted them to have options. Those people are the lovely Kinkaid family. Steve is my oldest friend in the world. We can go five years without seeing each other, but pick up right where we left off. We last saw them at their wedding. Now they have TWO KIDS! It just blows my mind that we're all becoming grown-ups with kids and mortgages and blood pressure medication. Blows. My. Mind.

Isn't that nice? Toddler drive-by.

Uncle Bobby as wax figure.

My friends are gorgeous. And smart. And funny. Don't you wish they were your friends, too?

All babies hate me, except for this one. That's why he's my favorite.

Here's the food set-up. I hung the pirate flag in homage to the Dread Pirate Roberts.

I got these food containers from a restaurant supply store. I thought they'd be easier to manage than regular plates since we'd be eating on picnic blankets.

The menu was Dodger Dogs (did you know you could buy these to make at home? we normally eat nitrate-free, uncured turkey dogs, but sometimes you just need to eat the grossest, most delicious dog ever, and a Dodger Dog fits the bill), popcorn (cutest bags in the universe from here) with seasoning mixes I made up with Martha's guidance...

...tortilla chips with pickled jalapenos & that disgusting, delicious, crack-like nacho cheese in a can. I kept it warm in a fondue pot because I am klassy. Plus assorted candy in the form of Red Vines, Skittles, fun-sized chocolates...

...and cupcakes. Always cupcakes.

I designed Princess Bride-related cupcake picks. Because I don't know when enough is enough. This one is my favorite.

Although this one is pretty cute.

I feel pretty clever about this one.

This one was a hit with the kids. Because cleverness is wasted on them.

(If you want to throw a Princess Bride-themed movie night your own self, you can download the cupcake pick images here. Just print onto an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of cardstock, cut out & tape onto toothpicks.)

We were planning on renting a projector, but it would've ended up costing us about $175 plus shipping. So we scoured Ebay & found a used school projector for $200. In addition to a projector, you'll need a dvd player (we had an extra one in the garage) and a pair of speakers (again, sometimes it pays to marry someone who refuses to Freecycle old electronic equipment).

The screen was two vinyl shower curtain liners that Josh tacked up on nails. In this pic it's just halfway up so people can still get in & out that door. Once the movie started we corraled people through another entrance to the house.

We were all having too much fun to take any pictures during the eating & movie parts. But here's the warning we got from the cops when they came at 9:30 pm. On a Saturday. You could tell that they were embarrassed by the whole thing.

15 comments:

Brittanie said...

That is a fantastic idea. I absolutely love the 'Hello my name is' toppers. That's brilliant!

Kristin said...

Wow! How fun, what a great hostess you are! Love the tip with a vinyl shower curtain/film screens - great idea. Cutest Princess Bride cupcakes ever!

paperdollsforboys said...

Ok - this is just GENIUS from start to finish. I am going to bite your rhyme shamelessly and work hard to give you credit instead of smile one of my, "Yeah, I'm clever - RIGHT?!!!" smiles when the friends who come to MY outdoor movie night say how fabulous it is. Seriously, best idea EVER. It's the toppers that just tip it right over into bliss. Great job!!!

paperdollsforboys said...

Oh, sorry to blather on - but the link to download the cupcake toppers did not work. Do you mind helping a sister out?

paperdollsforboys said...

Oh, sorry to blather on - but the link to download the cupcake toppers did not work. Do you mind helping a sister out?

molly said...

this is genius! kudos to you.

amy said...

super great idea...my sister's neighbors in MN do something similar right before school starts, complete with the nacho chips with that cheese dip. No creative cupcakes, though! I love the shower curtain tip. I may have to host my own movie night next summer!

{Erica} said...

So i've been wanting to do this for a while now. My question is where did you get the projector and stuff? Did you rent it or borrow it?

{Erica} said...

So i've been wanting to do this for a while now. My question is where did you get the projector and stuff? Did you rent it or borrow it?

MMW said...

LOVE the Hello My Name Is tag. Also LOVE the citation warning at the end. Seriously - do you need a permit to show a movie in your back yard? Or were you just having too much fun (= loud volume?)

Great party.

Kristi said...

Hi I just randomly found your blog, and I can't say enough how freakin hilarious you are and how much I love LOVE this party. Every. thing. about. it. I may have to copy you. Thanks for sharing your ideas!!!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog while doing a Google search for "Outdoor movie party". When I searched, I found a site named Outdoormovieforum.com. On the Google listing for outdoormovieforum.com it had the first sentence from this blog post, "Sometimes, when I start planning parties...". I'm wondering if you are somehow affiliated with outdoormovieforum.com, and if not, why is your blog coming up in their google listing?

CraftyRachel said...

I commented on your Movie Night II post, but thought I'd comment here, too, to say I'm passing on this link to a reader of saraspartyperfect who is planning a similar party. This post is the ultimate in backyard movie night festivities! I so, sooo want to try this. Also, I want a projector for a TV even in the house.

CapeMama said...

Love love love this!!!

CapeMama said...

Fabulous, hope to copy u soon!!