Pineapples and Happiness: Andrea Whitelaw’s Funky 50th Birthday

Andrea Whitelaw is an incredible woman and this is why we as Diploma of Event Management students wanted to give her the best 50th birthday we could. This was part of an assessment component for our functions subject.

The theme: Pineapples and Happiness.

The date: Saturday the 17th of November 2018.

The place: The William Angliss Restaurant, with festivities spilling over into the gallery  space and garden.


With only a few months to bring the brief together, we had our work cut out for us. Ultimately, we had to ask “What will make our client most happy?”. This was the end result:


The food


Our food had to:

*Make clients happy and cater for our 16 dietaries guests

As such, we had to  make some suggestions to the chef for fairy bread with dairy-free spread, gluten-free hot-dogs, and that was just for our grazing table! Our canapes covered all kinds of cuisine, from the vegetarian Vietnamese spring-rolls to the gluten-free Italian pizzettes. Of course, it couldn’t be a birthday without cake. Just take a look at this incredible pineapple cake:


Complementing the cake were canape servings of ice-cream and sorbet. These came at the request of our client, who had served ice-cream at her wedding and wanted to recapture that:


The cocktail on arrival

Cotton Candy

Sticking to the brief were a range of customised cocktails complementing the idea of pineapples and happiness. The star of the show was “Happy Five Oh!”, a blend of cotton candy, grape juice, and vodka. Guests could also enjoy an ice-cold “She’s Definitely Troppo” or a sweet “Stuck Between a mocktail and a Hard Place” (a Bahama Mama and a Strawberry Margarita Mocktail respectively). Well done to our operations team for successfully serving these complex cocktail to our guests on arrival, as well as the restaurant’s full range of beverages.

The Experience

Foyer Balloon Decoration

Our styling on the day covered covered five major spaces. Our events team took the tropical theme and ran with it. Palm leaves and pineapple prints dominated the five major spaces of this stylish celebration:

The Art Room

Pineapple Poster

This particular piece took pride of place in the art room, where guests were encouraged to contribute to murals and create pineapple prints. The piece was a custom designed “Family tree” of all attendees, showing where our client had come to know them.

The Dining Room


Dominating the dining room was an impressive range of pineapple prints. This transported guests to a tropical paradise of drinking, dancing, and dining on canapes.

The Garden and balcony


Lit with fairy lights and warmed by spring weather, the balcony allowed guests to drink in the night air. Also in the outdoor area, guests could bask in the glow of neon hearts while dancing to the sounds of an outdoor speaker music. Some handy signage made attendees aware that they weren’t allowed to drink down there.

The Games Room

Bounce Off

With a Bounce Off tournament of 105 attendees to organise, our team hosted multiple rounds of the game across the evening. Congratulations to our grand champion Michael!


The Result

Through lots of planning and meetings for this function, we pulled off a fantastic result for our client. It was a well-deserved night for a wonderful woman!