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Winter Garden Party at McGovern Centennial Gardens

This isn’t your every-day birthday party, this just so happens to be THE party of the year and I feel bad for anyone who wasn’t invited to this magical winter garden wonderland. No better place or way to celebrate being on this planet for 40 years than in the middle of your lit up city in a gorgeous venue like the McGovern Centennial Gardens in Houston, TX. Especially when you have a designer and planner like Exquisitely Dunn! Kayla with Exquisitely Dunn and the birthday girls’ husband planned a 40th birthday party fit for a queen in the gorgeous Centennial gardens nestled inside of Hermann Park.

As soon as guests walked into the gardens they were greeted with a mini Patron Tequila served by a hand in a vine-drink-wall alongside water fountains pouring with the lit up night skyline in the background. Guests could walk by a glass sculpture by Reverend Butter serving shots as they entered followed with even more glass sculptures with stunning roses + other florals frozen inside. Every detail at this ice themed winter party was immaculate, but you would not expect anything less from the Exquisitely Dunn team! Guests were personally hand invited to the party on par to Cinderella’s ball with stunning acrylic interactive ice carved floral invitations made by the spectacular Oda Creative. I was so mesmerized at the uniqueness of photographing an invitation suite unlike any I had ever seen before. It wasn’t your norm paper invitation, but a magical glitter filled piece of art that paired the decorations of the entire night’s ice theme. If you want to stand out from the rest — Oda Creative is your go-to to get the party started off the bat.

Houston’s VIP entered the magically up-lit room by Flora + Eventi filled with neon blues and pinks, cherry blossoms, chandeliers, and misty-sexy-see-through cherry blossom paneled backdrops. The dance floor illuminated like ice and the long frosted cherry blossom chandelier bar made for the total winter-party package. No space in the room was left untouched by ice + florals. Upon entering with a mini Patron in hand with the birthday girl’s own custom hashtag on the label, there was an acrylic wall studded with assorted salad pipettes, prosciutto, truffle honey, tomato mozzarella with basil consommé’ and more. Guests were also treated like royalty greeted with a different hors d’oeuvre around every twist (and shout). The appetizers continued to be passed around all throughout the night and the alcohol never stopped pouring at the bar and the human-sized ice sculpture shot block…later they even sparked up a fire along the bar for fire-roasted pizza and s’mores. It was VIP treatment full-circle, all. night. long. The party may have been chilly + icy, but it sure was spicy + the night was kept on FIRE with the help of the best entertainment by Empire 6, keeping everyone super pumped with dancing, their high-energy, and singing all night long on stage and in the crowd to the best, most lit, songs.

Surrounded by her best people in her life, the birthday girl blew out her 40th birthday sparklers on the most gorgeous cake I’ve seen in my career, matching the royal theme of ice — Shelby Elizabeth Cakes killed it as always with a cake straight from the ice-gods. If you want to see a true cake artist, check her out. A birthday cake that trumped almost any wedding cake I’ve ever photographed, this cake was decorated with sugar roses and sugar crystals, further surrounding the audience with frozen ice and florals theme.

Have you ever had champagne poured on a beautiful affogato rose stacked in the shape of a pyramid? No? You’re missing out. Every detail had an icy purpose, every corner was impressive, and we were so honored to be a part of such a one-of-a-kind magical night to remember.

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