I’ve been in denial but I can’t avoid reality anymore – my sweet baby Amelia is no longer a newborn but an active, curious, infant. *Sob* Now that she’s 9 ½ month old, she insists on pulling herself up on everything and is already attempting to walk, much to this mama’s dismay. Diaper changes are nearly impossible because of her constantly squirming mass and I stopped trying to put pants on her weeks ago. Who needs pants anyway?
And as the Korean tradition goes, I have the duty of planning her first birthday party celebration. First birthdays are a huge milestone for any culture, but for the Korean culture especially, first birthdays often blow up to epic proportions and have a mind of their own. It’s a very special birthday in the Korean culture called the Doljanchi (돌잔치) or simply, Dol. And being the awesome mother I am, I haven’t planned anything yet. Perhaps this is because I might have gone a bit over the top with Isaiah’s Dol. Needless to say, I won’t be doing all that again. Amelia’s will be much smaller and without as much fanfare – but goshdarnit, she will have cake! (If not just to smash.)
The most affordable scenario would be to host a Dol at our house; however, our house is neither big enough or nice enough to host a super large party and honestly, I don’t want to clean all that much. So I am going the route of finding an outside venue to host Amelia’s Dol. Since I am going through the Dol planning process myself, I thought it would be helpful to list some popular Dol venues in the Atlanta area for all you future Dol planners (who like me, do not want to go through the work of hosting at home). And if not for a Dol, these venues make for great private parties/events, whatever your occasion may be.
- Spring Hall (where we had Isaiah’s Dol)
- KTN Ballroom
- Nori Nori (semi-private)
- Myun Ga Won
- Seo Ra Bol
- Ippolito’s Bocce Room
- Maggiano’s (Buckhead or Perimeter)
I’ve been to a Dol on a farm and restaurants like Fleming’s and even heard of one being held at the Mandarin Hotel. This just proves that your Dol can be as unique or varied as you want it to be! The above list is simply a starting point and have successfully hosted many Dols. Being in the south, there are tons of country clubs, churches, community centers, and club houses that rent out their facilities for private events. And we can’t forget all the Atlanta restaurants with private dining options. (I found this list to be particularly useful.)
For additional Dol planning resources, might I recommend the following:
- Jingogae to cater Korean food.
- Cat + Mouse for custom graphic design work (see samples below).
- For a one-stop shop, a lot of my friends have recently used the services of Laplace in Atlanta for all their decorating. Check out her work here.
- UPDATE: 4/8/15 LaPlace in Atlanta has changed their business to PartyAngel (Mi Ju Kim), phone number 678.736.1919
- Another one-stop shop dol decorator is a business called “Poongsun Nara” (Balloon World), phone number 404-409-5217
- Shinhwa Photography for studio pictures.
- Pixel 99 Photography or Craig Obrist Photography to capture the event.