Hi, everyone! My name is Gretchen Gatan and I’m a writer and editor based in Metro Manila, Philippines. I’m also a first-time mom to a beautiful baby girl named Cambria. If you’re new here, welcome to Greta’s Junkyard where I like to write about my favorite things—mostly beauty, home, motherhood, and lifestyle. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since my positive birth experience at The Medical City. I always say how much motherhood has challenged me, changed me, and continues to teach me. However, more than anything, I’m extremely grateful for our happy girl, Cambria (or Brie!), who makes our days so much brighter. Because of this, I wanted a colorful birthday theme that would capture her vibrant and bubbly personality. So we went with a tropical birthday theme!
Cambria was born on December 21, 2021, so we decided to celebrate her first birthday eleven days early to avoid the Christmas rush. Read below to know who our event stylist, photographer, and other suppliers were!
A Tropical Birthday Theme for Cambria
Since Cambria was born a few days before Christmas, my husband Cayo and I knew that her birthday would coincide with a lot of reunions, Christmas parties, and get-togethers. So a few months ago, we already booked the venue for her party—which is the Philam Homes Clubhouse, the clubhouse inside our village where the #FraggyHome is also located!
We didn’t hire an event planner or coordinator anymore. We just DIY-ed everything—from the invites to the coordination. It was pretty challenging on the day itself, and we even encountered a couple of mishaps. But our suppliers and guests still made it worthwhile!
Suppliers Who Helped Us Achieve a Tropical Birthday Theme
Before Island Creatives PH reached out to me a few months back if we could collaborate, I was thinking about just DIY-ing the styling of Cambria’s party—particularly the backdrop. I can’t imagine how difficult this would have been for me. I’m so thankful for Joyce Gabilo of Island Creatives PH. Her team went above and beyond—transforming our village clubhouse into a tropical paradise! Every single detail truly captured the tropical birthday theme I envisioned.
If you ever need an event stylist for your event, I highly recommend Island Creatives PH. They’re new in the industry but they will certainly not disappoint. Just check out their Instagram and you’ll see how breathtaking they styled other events.
I first discovered Little Owls when I was looking for a photographer to document Cambria’s baptism. However, at that time, we went with Zai of ZM Photography—the same photographer who did my maternity shoot and Cambria’s Halfy Birthday shoot. She recently gave birth to an adorable baby boy, so I wanted to respect her maternity leave and time with her newborn.
Fortunately, Trish of Little Owls was available and did such an amazing job. She was so good and patient with Cambria. In fact, she was able to capture how truly bungisngis our baby is.
I had several suppliers in mind to create a customized cake but decided to go with The Noodle Bakes, who happens to be my batch mate from Poveda! I love her versatile and playful style, and I knew she’d be able to make a cake that would fit our tropical birthday theme. She even used the same colors from our invites for the cake’s details.
For the photo booth, I initially wanted to go with the same supplier from our wedding. But they were already booked so I researched other suppliers. I discovered Tres Aime Photobooth on Facebook and chose their Magnetic Strip and Bookmark package. They used elements from Cambria’s invitation for the template of the strips. They were so easy to talk to as well.
We didn’t prepare a program anymore since we knew Cambria wouldn’t be able to appreciate or understand it yet. But to keep her kid guests entertained the whole time, we booked tropical-themed inflatables from Inflatables PH. This was definitely a hit!
Our Family’s Outfits
For our family’s outfits, I made sure we matched in bright magenta (before Pantone even announced that Viva Magenta is the 2023 Color of the Year!) to fit Cambria’s tropical birthday theme. I first ordered Cambria’s dress from an international seller on Shopee. Once it arrived, I reached out to Dear Brie on Instagram to ask if they could make a custom, nursing-friendly dress in a design I had in mind. Thankfully, the brand accommodated me! Lastly, I ordered a polo shirt from ZALORA for Cayo.
I hope Cambria’s tropical birthday theme gives you ideas!
If you’re thinking of putting together a tropical birthday theme, I hope Cambria’s first birthday gives you some ideas. There are so many elements to play around and work with—flamingoes, toucans, coconuts, pineapples, and hibiscus flowers to name a few.
To stay updated with all things beauty, home, motherhood, and lifestyle, I hope you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube at @gretchengatan.