Hosting Tips

An Epic 40th Birthday Weekend

By Morgan Modica
Epic Birthday Weekend

If there’s anyone we’d expect to throw a killer party, it’s an amazing team of professional event planners. That’s just what the ladies of Georgeous did to celebrate the boss’s 40th at a family farm in the Australian countryside. Georgie Kay is the creative director of the Melbourne-based events and styling company, and her friends vouch that she has been secretly planning this landmark event since her 30th. She and 26 of her best mates spent an unforgettable weekend at her husband’s family farm, complete with teepees, air stream trailers, and plenty of style. Georgie orchestrated a relaxed (and completely epic) birthday weekend that has us dreaming of planning our own 40th birthdays… “Planning has commenced for the 50th!” she states. We can’t wait.


event styling by georgeous • photography by elle dawson scott • catering by fiona wall fine foods • custom chairs by peep designs • furniture & styling props from the georgeous store • bespoke furniture from empire vintage • place settings from place settings – melbourne • Linens from table art • lighting by select av 

What area of Australia do you live in and what do you love about it?

We live in Melbourne, Victoria. Melbourne is an amazing city to live in and be a part of, especially in the creative events field. There are so many creative spaces, the incredible caterers, and many a talented artisan to collaborate with. Our gardens, our multiculturalism, our arts and our sports are all world class.

Where else would you want to be?

Tell us about the gorgeous setting and location for the event:

The weekend festivities were held at my husband’s family farm in Regional Victoria, Australia. It holds a very special place in our hearts. With its rolling countryside and fresh air, it was the absolute perfect backdrop.

What inspired the concept of the celebratory weekend?

I have always loved the idea of a destination party. I didn’t want it to be all over in one night and I wanted it to be an intimate celebration with my nearest and dearest. Images of tee-pees had been popping up on my Instagram feed and I found a company here called, Happy Glamper, that was a brand new company, so I took every tent they had!

What trends are you loving right now in terms of event planning?

My team can soon tell you about my love affair with grey, dusty pink and gold is far from over! Aside from this, I am loving texture and tactile elements on tablescapes – concrete, marble, linen and matte finish… always with seasonal overflowing blooms.

How beautiful is that scene?! Georgie highly recommends these tee-pees from Happy Glamper, which exceeded all of her expectations. 

The blue lanterns are amazing. Where did you find them and how did guests use them?

We sourced the lanterns from Aussie Disposal. They were pre-lit on night 1 to assist guests in finding their way. The catering staff then lit them at dusk the following evening.

How did you accommodate sleeping arrangements?

To accommodate, I had asked my guests what side of the bed they slept on. Their bed was set accordingly with personalised pillowcases, which were then part of the take home goodies. They also had a personalised amenities pack including a toothbrush, shampoo, torch, matches for the lantern, note pad tissues and a pencil with the farm’s name embossed in gold.

Georgie: We met all our guests at the famous Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld and had dinner there on Friday night. We drove in convoy to the farm where I asked guests to get their bags and follow me! At this point, it was dark and the guests did not realise they were camping. Upon collection of their own lanterns, we all walked with torchlight to their bell tents.

The weekend was focused around eating and drinking!

Coffee was delivered to their tents in the morning followed by breakfast in the stables, lunch in the garden, and a formal dinner in yet another location. Between all the eating and drinking, the ladies went for walks on the farm and the boys played golf in the garden.

Stu, my husband, was the music man! When hosting, that is his responsibility. The weekend was a blend of Jazz, 80’s and current Top-40.

What was the most memorable part of the weekend? 

Seeing the looks on my friend’s faces when they realised they each had their own tent was priceless. I had worked so hard keeping this a secret from as many as possible, so their appreciation for all the details I had carefully curated most certainly put a smile on my face. I am smiling as I type this!

That is Stu.

My incredible husband and the father to our Issy (and the twins on the way!) Stu and I met on a blind date 5 years ago and boy have we been busy since… I am one lucky lady!

Not only did Georgie think to have room service in the morning for her guests, but she had a newspaper delivery service as well.

What’s the story on those amazing floral centerpieces?

The flowers were foraged and picked from the farm (lucky I know!) and they were arranged in an eclectic mix of vessels from our Georgeous warehouse. Credit must go to my amazing mother and father-in-law for not just having an incredible garden, but for kindly allowing me free reign of their home for my birthday celebration.

Most of the meals during the weekend were sourced locally and named according to Georgie’s farm-chic theme. 


The “Farmhouse Breakfast” included: 

How did Georgeous come about? 

In 2006, Georgeous was born. It had been a dream for some time, so with the support of my family and friends I took the leap of faith. There is no question there have been some tremendous highs as well as devastating lows on the journey, but equally it has been the most fun I have ever had. The business has grown and evolved so much and now is almost unrecognisable from our launch.

We love the idea of the coffee cards! What can you tell us about those? How did guests use them at the party?’

Seeing as our guests had driven the 3.5 hours to the farm I wanted to ensure they were being truly taken care of. My amazing assistant Kirsten designed the coffee cards (because I cannot draw for the life of me!) and provided guests the opportunity to request Fresh Orange Juice and Coffee of their choice delivered to their tent at a preferred time.

We’d love to hear about those amazing chairs. It looks like each guest received one with their name embroidered? How were the chairs used throughout the weekend? 

The chairs were sourced from Ikea and were screen-printed by our friends at Peep Designs. We asked guests to bring their personalised chair to each dining experience. Guests then took them home and as part of their “thank you” gifts.

At Georgeous, we try to ensure every occasion has an element of surprise and we take guests on a journey. I feel this was achieved for my guests throughout the weekend especially as each dining experience was in a different location with a different tablescape and menu. The incredible Fiona Wall Catering team interpreted my vision beyond my wildest expectations and blew us all away! Without them it quite simply would not have been the weekend it was.

What is the best part of your job?

The people I work with. My team, suppliers and the clients alike. Their passion and opportunities they each provide Georgeous with ensure that no two days are ever alike, and for this I am forever grateful.

What do you love most about entertaining? 

So many elements of entertaining get me incredibly excited! I love setting the perfect table and setting the scene with attention to the smallest details. I love those ten minutes before guests arrive where everything is ready to go (at times there is Champagne to pop!). I love the rewarding aspect of a beautiful occasion and the anticipation of what is destined to be many a memory created.

What’s your go-to advice for event planning?

Creating memorable occasions by carefully considering every moment and touch point along the way from a save-the-date to the smile on the face that welcomes your guests upon arrival. In this particular instance, it was their last impression as they left which was a packed lunch for the car ride home. While yes, this was a celebration about me it was my priority to make it, in fact, more about my guests and their experiences during their time at the farm. It was my opportunity as host to thank them for being such wonderful friends. So, to answer your question, event planning to me is all about creating those moments.

What’s the best part about turning 40?

The excuse to have a celebration and spoil my friends rotten.

What’s the hardest part about turning 40?

As I write this, I am seven-months pregnant with twins so I guess you could say that is the hardest part about turning 40, The realisation that I am about to be a mother of three under three in my 40s!!

Thanks for sharing your amazing weekend with us Georgie!