Organised by: Jess
Location: Mackay, QLD
Theme: Tropical, relaxed afternoon with friends and family.
Photography: Tasvinda Photography
Photography: Tasvinda Photography
Invitation: I used all of my favourite elements when designing this low key invitation. I used Adobe Illustrator to piece together a reflection of the style of baby shower I imagined, as well as a similar theme to the nursery I am putting together for bub. The invitation was shared electronically with friends and family to save on printing costs.
I made my own cake for the occasion. I chose to do a dual-layered double-chocolate naked brownie with cocoa buttercream icing and mixed berry layers, a blueberry scatter finish and a bit of greenery picked from our backyard. It was delicious and everyone enjoyed a slice. I am not a fan of sponge, so brownie mixture is a great alternative that I use regularly for cakes around our house.
Party food: The foods we enjoyed on the day were made by myself and my beautiful Mum and Mother-in-Law. We had a selection of dips and salsa, antipasto, crackers, veggie sticks and turkish breads for dipping, fresh fruit, baked blueberry and feta pastries, pizza pinwheels, chocolate cookies (my pregnancy craving), a vegan lemon shortbread and mini vegan carrot cakes (my Mum is vegan and has a bevy of super delicious recipes up her sleeve!). I had no theme for food choices other than delicious, what I was craving most of the time being pregnant, and colourful.
Decorations were kept to a minimum. The baby shower was held in the backyard of our home which already incorporated all of the tropical elements I love. We set up a few bamboo burners with citronella in them to keep mosquitoes at bay and give the party an island vibe. Our wooden outdoor tables gave me the beautiful rustic/raw look I was after, and a combination of white and glazed crockery and serving dishes were used. We set the food table with more greenery from our garden, including palm fronds, large tropical leaves and the same cuttings as the cake. I knew we would be playing host to a couple of babies and small children at the shower, so Bali mats of my Mum's were laid in the centre of the chair ring for them.
Mama to be wears: Comfortable was the name of the game for me at the shower. I purchased this dress for $9 at a department store about a year earlier and seven months into my pregnancy it still fit. It matched the tropical theme of the shower, was nice and cool to wear, and let my belly show itself off. I also chose a baby's breath head wreath from Lovisa to wear because it made me feel a little extra special on the day.
Activities: I am not one for an abundance of cliche baby games, but we did have a bit of fun catching each other out saying the word "baby", and playing Baby Scategories. Mum and I chose small ceramic oil burners and melts as prizes.
"Don't Say Baby": Each person is given two elastic bands at the beginning of the shower, and if they are caught saying the word "baby" they have to hand one of their bands to the catcher - most bands at the end of the day wins.
Baby Scategories: Each person writes a baby-related word next to each letter of the alphabet starting with that letter, the unique answers get a point - some people get very creative!
I wanted a unique way to capture the love I was receiving from my friends and family surrounding baby, so we created a Bead Blessing. A tray of beads was pulled from my craft stash and I cut equal lengths of fishing line for each guest. I pre-tied each line with a shell at the bottom before the event, and thread on a cut of brown paper with the words, "For baby, I wish:". At the start of the shower, my Mum invited the guests to head over to the bead table at some point during the day, thread a line with beads, and write on the tag. Towards the end of the event, just before we cut the cake, each guest presented me with their beautiful Bead Blessing for baby while reading out what they had written. I have now created a beaded hanging for the nursery using the Bead Blessings that bub and I received on the day, which is a special reminder of the amazing people in mine and baby's life that can be on display at all times.
Tips: Accept help when it is offered! Mums, Mothers-in-Law and best friends are amazing when it comes to knowing you and what you like, and I can't thank my three ladies enough for the pre-event planning, food prep, set up and hosting that each provided; without whom baby and I wouldn't have been blessed with the shower of our dreams. I also recommend not packing your shower with activities. A few ice-breaking games are great for groups of guests that don't already know each other, but ultimately everyone loves a chance to sit around chatting and eating good food with good people.
And lastly, go with the flow. Our warm, humid weather prompted us inside to the air-conditioning towards the end of the day, and, while we lost the tropical outdoors setting, it was nice to have somewhere that everyone could gather out of the heat.
Something special: My beautiful partner Joel was an unplanned but very welcome addition to the day. Initially intended to be a ladies-only shower, Joel was going to help setup the furniture and then take off for an afternoon of fishing as the guests arrived (fishing being more his thing than baby showers!). However, his input was SO much more. The week before the event, he had been cleaning, mowing, gardening and preparing the house to be the perfect event setting - all on his own agenda. While I was distracted on the day with food prep inside, he was cutting greenery, decorating tables, and setting up drink stations. As my girlfriends arrived for the baby shower, Joel was on foot taking plates of food out to the tables, re-filling drink dispensers, entertaining kids and readily available in the background for any last minute things we had forgotten to do. Without him the day would not have run as smoothly as it did, and I was able to completely relax and enjoy the company of my friends and family (which you'll know is hard to do if you've ever hosted an event at your home). My hat tips off to him and his hard work for me and our baby: how lucky we are to have such a special Dad in our lives. And we were able to share the cake cutting together which made things even more wonderful at the end of the day.
Gorgeous! Thank you so much Jess for sharing your special day with us; I can't wait to hear all about your new bub.
Images: Tasvinda Photography