Celebrating 8 Years as a Doula - Doula Reunion Party
March marks my 8th year as a doula and I wanted to celebrate with a big doula reunion party. I have attended over 100 births and have helped families with first, second, third and fourth babies. I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people that I probably would have never met had I not been a doula. I have even had the privilege of doula-ing a couple of very good friends.
It was time to celebrate!
Steps to creating my doula reunion party (I setup a Pinterest board to organize my thoughts as I was planning)
1) Find a place to have the party (my crowded house wasn't an option). I decided to rent a county park building that was located at a park with a playground. The playground was a nice place for the kids to go when the party itself wasn't holding their attention. Cost $100 for 4 hours.
2) Decide on a theme - Valentine! This goes perfectly with my love of doula work.
3) Food! This is an important part of the party. I didn't want to cook and didn't want to make my guests bring anything. I decided on Moe's taco bar. I love tacos and they are family friendly food. We offered chicken, steak and black beans along with hard shells and tortillas too. I put a few Valentine boxes on the table filled with chocolates for a little dessert.
4) Invitations - Used evite to make life a lot easier!
4) Decorations - I purchase some discounted red and white fabric at Hancock fabrics for table cloths. When it was time to setup I placed it over the table and then cut it to size. That was the extent of the decor.
5) Name Tags - I thought it would be nice for people to easily connect with each other. This is how I came up with my doula name tag plan. I had stickers that cooresponded to each year of my doula work. The parents and kids put the appropriate sticker(s) on their tags. I heard from one my clients that she loved being able to spot the other kids on the playground with these stickers.
6) Activity - I love crafts and found this paper heart necklace idea on Pinterest. I put together the supplies and then recruit my 9 year old daughter and two 8 year old client big sisters to work the station. They enjoyed having the responsibility of the craft table and it turned out to be fun for all.
7) Fun - For something fun and different I setup a valentine photo booth. It required a bit of work, but I think it was SO worth it. I will be writing a blog post specifically with the details of the photo booth soon. The results are seen in the photo above!
8) Miscellaneous Details - I hired a babysitter to take care of my 2 youngest during the party which was also SO worth it. I could concentrate on guest without worrying about where they were and they could still enjoy the party. I had a very good friend and client help me manage the food. She made sure that things were restocked and just in general helped out. Music was played through my iPad and portable speaker (from my doula bag).
What I would do different next time.
1) Organize a group photo - It would have been so cool to have had all of the doula babies and kids in one photo. Next time I will put a photo time on the invitation to let people know what time the photo will be taken. If they want to participate they will plan to be there at that time.
2) I might add a few more decorations.
It was an awesome party. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I loved seeing so many previous clients. It is amazing to see the babies actually grow up! I highly recommend hosting a reunion party. It was an expensive endeavor, but so worth it!!