Monday, March 25, 2013

Pictures: Navy Deployment Going Away Party

Before my husband's deployment, I decided to throw him a big party. I didn't throw any parties for our last deployment, so this time I wanted to give him a big send-off. I rented out the American Legion and had them cater (the Legion gave me a WAY discounted rate even though we aren't members, so it's worth looking into if you are planning a military event). It was a fabulous evening. We had at least 100 guests, as well as a DJ (a Vet who is friends with my MIL volunteered), and several friends and family come from out of town!

 I found mason jars, glass stones, and votive candles at the dollar store!
 We served hot wings, mac & cheese, beans, and corn muffins.
 Our lovely cakes were provided by a family friend who is good friends with a baker.

 The color theme was blue & gold (for Navy). With the log cabin atmosphere, I decorated with homey/country touches, lots of mason jars and votive candles and paper lanterns. The star above is the balloon anchor for our balloon bouquets. Also streamers, ribbons and balloons from Party City
 The cakes were amazing!! We were so happy! I didn't see them until they arrived at the party.
I made Sparkling Strawberry Punch with a recipe I found on Pinterest (recipe at the end). It was a big hit!

 Paper lanterns from Party City. $4 for a package of 3
 It was a very nice Legion, log cabin with a second story in the hall!
 My husband and I. He knew the party was happening, but wasn't allowed to the hall until it was time for the party, so he didn't see it decorated or any of the food, cakes, etc! He was so surprised!
 Our good friend from out of state came in to surprise my husband. This is when my husband walked in and saw him
 We wrapped the pool tables in table runners for the food, then later in the evening took them off for pool. This is how the Legion usually does their catering.
 The wings were "naked" with all the sauces on the side so guests could have more options.
 Our hall at the Legion had a second story with more tables, which was amazing because we filled up the first floor!

 At the side, I set up this special table. I had blank stationary set out and a white memory box from Hobby Lobby. Guests wrote cards for my husband and put them in the box. I will include the cards in mail and care packages that I send throughout the deployment so he is always getting mail from loved ones. Guests liked this a lot! I also had crayons and paper for the kids to draw pictures, make cards for my husband, or make cards for the troops. I also had a notebook sitting out for guests to write their email address so I can get them my husband's mailing address during deployment.
 I placed signs with instructions for guests at each "station" on the table. The signs are printed on scrap book paper and displayed in frames from the dollar store. Each sign was only $1.15 and I can reuse the frames!
 Table runners from GFS, large packs of votive candles from Hobby Lobby. It was cold and snowy out, so I wanted the tables to be comfortable and inviting.

The party came together very nicely! We had access to the Legion's bar as well, and pool tables later in the evening. Guests began arriving at 7pm and were there until close at 3am! I was so happy with the turn out. I also had amazing help! Friends and family helped put things together and help decorate. I'm telling you, let people help if they want to! I actually did very little decorating. I was stressing out and just let those who were there to help take over while I made sure all the details were coming together.

The best part was, I was able to just relax and enjoy the party. I tried not to stress about anything once the party was in full swing, and just visited with guests and had fun! That was not as easy as it sounds. My husband was surprised and happy and people showed up to support him, and that was all that really mattered to me.

Sparkling Strawberry Punch Recipe
I tripled the recipe and it wasn't enough for 100 people, it was a huge hit! I didn't add the Kool Aid, but that's because I lost it right before the party. It turned out fine :) I also searched everywhere for non-alcoholic frozen strawberry daiquiri mix and couldn't find the kind that you are supposed to freeze, just the kind you add crushed ice to. I used that and it also worked great. At the end of the night, the pitchers were had nothing but a bunch of strawberries left (the punch was so good, people were scooping out just the strawberries!), so I had the caterers add the rest of their lemonade to the strawberries. Also, I couldn't find strawberry water, so I used strawberry kiwi flavored.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing! I've been trying to find ideas for my husband's upcoming going away party and haven't been able to find as much as expected. This was great! :)

  2. Thank you!! Where did you get the "We Will Miss You" banner?

    1. Nevermind--I found it! :)

  3. This was great! We're family of a beautiful 20 yr old granddaughter who's entering the Navy August 6th,2014. She' s excited and we pray God goes before her and behind her for a successful tour!!

  4. My son will be leaving in February. He has joined the Navy. Great ideas. I love them! What were the instructions that you put in the picture frames that were placed on the table with the stationery?