“If you go down the woods today you’re in for a big surprise…” Ari’s ‘Into the Woods’ (Woodland) themed baby shower was almost three years ago now so it’s been a challenge to piece this blog post together, because Mum brain! Woodlands is such a great theme that can be used for so many different occasions! How amazing are baby showers?!? Friends and family coming together to celebrate love, friendship and a new life! So here’s some inspiration for Mamas and Mamas to be…
I am a real girly girl, so even though I knew I was baking a baby boy I wanted to keep the theme gender neutral to reflect both of us. Woodland can be taken in so many different directions but I wanted to keep it earthy, pretty and light, for a formal sit-down lunch at my Mother’s house. We hired tables and chairs from a local party hire company who dropped off and picked up making the set up a lot easier.
“If you go down the woods today you’re in for a big surprise…” The invitations for this baby shower were probably the most detailed that I have put together. I had a lovely friend help me design and print them. The actual invite was printed and cut then rolled into a scroll and tied with a piece of blue ribbon. We then placed it into a clear package which was stuffed with fake moss purchased on Ebay. The clear package was then pulled together with twine and tagged up with a pretty golden leaf. Most of the packaging and decorative details were purchased from Kmart. In the write up we included details of the party, my baby shower registry and a note asking people to bring a new/used book instead of a card. The book idea was fantastic and we now have a whole library selection of beautiful reads. My guests wrote well wishes to the Ari in the front of their book which I now read to him at night.
Being that I was having a formal sit-down lunch, we set up long tables on my Mother’s veranda, she has a stunning view so it was the perfect spot. I used cheap calico material to create table cloths which I still use now. The centrepieces where DIY, made from cut tree stumps and long twigs. I set the twigs into the stumps to create a small tree then hot glue gunned fake flowers to them. The bases of the tree like centrepieces were then decorated with fake moss, feathers, more fake florals and pine cones that I had collected. I purchased real flowers the day before the party and scattered the tables with them and placed arrangements in vases. Fresh fruit also made for cheap but in theme decorations. Being that the party was a few weeks after Easter I was also to pick up a lot of woodlands style animal ornaments in the sales. All the plates, napkins and cutlery were deposable to make clean up simple.
Floral Crown Station
We set up the most divine station where guests could make their own floral crown to wear on the day and take home. I purchased inexpensive blooms from a local florist and places them in pretty buckets, (if you arrange this in advance they can often get cheap ones from their wholesale markets.) All the wire, cutters, ribbon etc were bought online. One of my friends is an expert floral crown maker and could help give the girls guidance on the best way to make theirs look beautiful. The biggest cost of the station was in the flowers but it was so worth it, making for a fun activity and gorgeous photos.
I love giving my guests something to take home as a thank you and this time I found the perfect green candles at Kmart for only $1! The little ones weren’t forgotten either and each one went home with a personally selected gift (just from Kmart!)
The Food & Drinks
My family loves food and we decided on a sit-down buffet style lunch. There were so many options but some of my personal favourites were the chicken and leek pies (pre- vegetarian life,) pumpkin frittata, the huge selection of salads and of course the sweets!
No party is complete without cake! The Cupcake Teahouse made the sweetest Woodland inspired creation with sweet little animals and toadstools. I opted for a chocolate mud cake which was gluten free so that it would suit all dietary requirements needed.
A mimosa drinks station was set up to keep everyone refreshed. Guests could make their own champagne cocktail with bubbles, juices and fresh fruits.
Call me cheesy but I love baby shower games, they really help to make a party feel like a baby shower! We did all the regulars like guess how big the bump is using a piece of string and we got into teams to make a diaper out of toilet paper. My favourite was when we split into teams of two where one person was blind folded and had to feed the other baby food!
Now this seems to be a controversial subject and less and less people are opening their gifts at the actual shower. In my opinion do it! Opening pressies only adds to the happy baby shower vibes. Plus everyone wants to see you open their gift and gush over teeny tiny baby clothes.
TOP TIPS FOR BABY SHOWER PLANNING
- Hold the shower at someone’s house if possible it’s so much cosier and practical for young children attending.
- Nominate a friend or family member to keep track of the RSVPs.
- Ask for a book instead of a card they are much more useful.
- If you are doing the catering yourself give family members a platter to fill.
- Set up decorations the day prior if possible and say yes to help.
- Delegate tasks in advance instead of leaving it to the day, including someone in charge of taking photos (even on their Iphone,) someone to organise the games and assist with gift unwrapping.
- Before you go buying any decorations check your house for items that will suit your theme.
- Don’t work too hard Mama.
- Ask a friend to make a music play list for the day. Mine featured a mish mash of songs with the word ‘baby’ in them.
- Choose a theme that suits DIY projects to save money.
- Keep a budget and stick to it.
- Make your own table cloths that can be used for years to come.
- This could possibly the last party that will be thrown for you in a while so put your feet up and enjoy yourself!
Photography – Nicola Holland Photography
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