Doljanchi Party Planning

My son's doljanchi is still several months away but as with any party that you plan the earlier you begin -- the better it is.  Some doljanchi's are almost like planning a second wedding reception in decor and expense.  While I want to make my son's first birthday special I don't want to spend thousands of dollars on it either.  That's one of the many advantages to early planning.  You can use coupons, get items on sale and if you're a crafty person there are a lot of DIY projects.  In the end, you can have the look you're going for much less money.

Most dol parties have the same things in common:
1.  Dol Table
This table will have dol towers (cylinders with beans or candy glued on in a pattern), fruit carved in the Chinese astrological sign of the baby, rice cakes, birthday cake (a real cake or sometimes just a marshmallow fondant covered styrofoam "cake"), fruit displays, flowers, balloons, stuffed animals etc. laid on top of a tablecloth.  Here is an example:

Korean1stBirthday has some free dol tower templates after you create an account.  Click HERE for a tutorial on how to make your own dol go im.  Don't have the desire to glue your own dol towers?  There may be places where you can rent dol towers in your area or you can purchase them online.  Etsy has a few sellers who will create custom dol towers for you. YKJ76 is one such seller on Etsy.

2.  Dol-bok
A dol-bok is a traditional Korean outfit (known as a hanbok for adults) for a baby as seen below.
3. Decorations
It depends on how elaborate and traditional you want to make it.  The decor usually begins with the dol table.  In a more traditional dol you'll typically see a Korean folding screen in the background with the dol items on the center table as seen below:

The more modern way of decorating the dol table includes banners, balloons, flowers, candles, tissue paper pompoms, fruit displayed in elegant glassware and coordinating tablecloths as seen below:

From there you can plan the entire decor to make sure that everything coordinates well.  Let it be something that inspires you.  For some it can begin with certain color combinations like pink and green or you can have an actual theme like Noah's Ark, Safari, Princess or based on your favorite book (I've seen pictures of one based off of Where the Wild Things Are and The Giving Tree at Korean1stBirthday).

Here are some other decor ideas to consider:
  • Photo table: Show the progression of how your little one has grown month-by-month!
  • Dessert table decor (see #4 for more info!)
  • Sign-In and/or gift table
  • Doljabi Sign
  • Doljabi Tickets (for your guests to guess what your baby will choose)
  • Birthday wreaths (if you're having one at home!)
  • Garlands (tissue paper pompoms, flowers, fabric buntings etc.)

4. Food
Typically dol parties are held at reception halls, restaurants and, of course, at home. At larger facilities you may be able to choose from array of buffet items (you can never go wrong with Kalbi, bulgogi and kimchi right?).  What is popular is to have a dessert table separate from the dol table.  Here are some examples:

5.  Invitations & Thank You Cards

6.  Doljabi Event
The Doljabi event is the highlight of a doljanchi.  As you can see from the picture below several items will be placed in front of the baby which is believed to foretell the future.  String for long life, an abacus for math, golf ball for athleticism etc.  You can choose a variety of items.  I've seen some doljabi using a gavel (symbolizing lawyer), stethoscope (doctor), children's bible (Godly wisdom), mini-piano (musician) etc. 

 Image Credit: Koko Living

One online resource for doljabi sets is Little Seouls Party.  They have modern doljabi sets as well as more traditional sets as seen below:

7.  Entertainment
You can hire balloon artists, face painters or rent bouncy houses to provide entertainment.  Or you can set up a craft table for the kiddies.

8. Party Favors
The traditional favors are rice cakes.  Here are some boxes for the favors:

Towel favors are quite popular on the West Coast.  You might be thinking how odd that is but they actually look quite adorable.  They make them look like desserts! 

If you have a dessert table that can double as favors.  Have boxes or favor bags available for your guests to take some goodies home.

9.  Extras 
  • Slide shows
  • Photographer


Popular Posts