EEK!!! Those two things don’t go together huh?! Well, normally, NOPE!! However, we all know how absolutely insane 2020 was. It was and still is terrifying. Many lives lost, many living in fear and anxiety (I’d have to say myself as one of them), many changed plans, and many lonely hearts. There really isn’t any other way to describe it other than SUCKY!!!!!!!
In June of 2020 we had no idea just how long this would go. We also had no idea at that point how to navigate it all. I say that, but 7 months later we still really don’t. My gorgeous sister-in-law, Carli, was pregnant last year and like many future mommas just wanted a normal pregnancy where she could enjoy all the highs of being pregnant, be surrounded by those that love her, and let us share in the excitement for the birth of her sweet girl. Throw in a pandemic and well that sure put a kink in things. We had gone months without even talking about the idea of a shower because none of us knew how to handle it so we did it the best way we knew how at that time.
Originally, her shower was scheduled for May and to be held in my home. That plan was clearly before we knew the hell that COVID would bring. We quickly realized that we had two choices. 1. Postpone the entire thing until a much later date. If we did that it could be more of a Sip & See after the baby was born OR 2. Push it back to summer time and move it outdoors. We knew that there would be a lot of guests that were uncomfortable either way and my sweet sister deserved a party. Now our planning did a complete 180 but we were up for the challenge.
The first challenge was where to have it. Luckily, my soon to be brother-in-law’s sister (phew that’s a mouthful) worked at a local hotel and could get us access to the courtyard for free so that was an answer to our prayers. As beautiful as it was it was a blank space (with blue chairs at that). So, the next thought was how can we girly this place up without having to drag too much there…??? Well…. that question was what would soon end up being the start to our business. What can make a statement? What can jazz up the place and serve a purpose?! A huge paper flower backdrop…. and for this occasion, all in shades of pink, blush, and white!
We decided flowers would be the theme. Blush pinks with lots of greenery. The flower wall would be the center of it all and two 6-foot tables draped in blush tablecloths would flank the wall. One for the food (which the hotel could provide making it even easier on us than having to haul a bunch of food to the venue), and one for the deliciously gorgeous desserts. We were lucky that my sister-in-law’s best friend Mallory is an amazing baker and could provide most of the desserts. The cake was a mint chocolate chip masterpiece from The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers. If you haven’t been to one of their two locations in town you are truly missing out. Next is a tip I use at literally EVERY party or event and it’s the key to any food or dessert table….. white plates and levels! White dishes can make even the most boring food look fancy! Also, how CUTE are those white ruffle paper plates?!?! That’s right… those are paper throw away plates in the cutest form!!!
We found some awesome choices for faux flowers and garland at Hobby Lobby. The lamb’s ear garland and wreaths really were the perfect shade of greenery against the blush tablecloths. They added a sweet delicacy to the centerpieces.
The other tables were adorned with paint dripped glass vases and mason jars…. (another reason faux flowers were the choice) … and flowers, bouquets, and greenery from Hobby Lobby. The way I wanted to paint the mason jars is from the inside vs the outside. Having water from real flowers would have chipped the paint and really just made extra work. Instead we found cheap classy tall vases to line the center high top and added a single faux stem in each in a line down the center.
We found white frames at Hobby Lobby as well for the signs throughout the party. One thing you’ll learn real quick about me is Hobby Lobby and At Home are my go-tos. I can literally design any space with those two places it seems! You’ll notice we had a hand sanitizer station. Those have become a must now anywhere and everywhere!
The gift table showcased handmade flower letters spelling out Eden (who is now born and the most beautiful little niece ever). For the shower, we decided to have guests bring a book instead of a card to help build up the baby’s collection. I highly suggest going this route. Cards now can cost upwards of $5 which seems like a waste! I’ve also known showers where guests were asked to bring diapers in lieu of the card which would be a great option too, but the books were a way the guests could write a special message to baby Eden so they could be read over and over to her. LOVE IT! We snagged a 3-tier metal cart from my house to make the little book station. I think I originally purchased that cart from Target but I’ve seen them at Ikea too. That brings me to another tip: If you think outside the box you can “shop” items around your home and find creative ways to incorporate them into your parties which then saves you money in the long run! You would never know but bowls, some frames, cake stands, acrylic trays, the hand sanitizer pump, the 2 tiered cart (which normally serves as my daughters art cart at home), the enjoy sign, the candles, and more came right from my home! Instant savings!!!
For activities, we had to get creative here because we wanted to do our best keeping everyone as socially distanced as possible. I should stop and add that I was not alone in this planning by any means. Carli’s best friend, Aunt, and Grandma all played a huge role in pulling this all off. We brainstormed and decided on ordering mini clipboards and pink golf pencils from Amazon so that each guest could have their own stuff. We clipped on to that a bingo game for when Carli opened the gifts, a coloring sheet which would later be turned into a first book of ABC’s for Eden (each guest having a part in it), and the game sheet for a baby Price is Right game! Carli’s Aunt Tracie and Grandma Cathy took the lead on this and turned it into a brilliant game that was lots of fun. Winners of the game won a cute little prize bag with a Starbucks card since a “baby was brewing” and all! Party favors for all were personalized seed packets that we found on etsy and that turned out adorable and perfect for our theme.
The guests were able to shower the future parents to be with love and gifts to help get them started on their journey as first-time parents. We made the best of the situation and were able to have a safe and socially distanced shower outdoors. Everyone was able to capture beautiful pictures of the couple opening gifts and posed pictures as families and friends in front of The Rose wall from what is now Paper & Petals Collection.
I’m so happy that COVID didn’t take that away from her. It’s devastating to think of all that COVID has taken from so many but I’m glad we were able to still give a very special momma her special day!
♥ – Casey!
Venue: Sheraton Hotel at Keystone at the Crossing … Thank you Sarah!
Backdrop: Paper & Petals Collection – paperandpetalscollection.com
Food: Catered by the Sheraton Hotel
Cupcakes & Desserts: Mallory Rosenbarger
Cake: The Cake Bake Shop
Flowers, Greenery, & Frames: Hobby Lobby
Hosts: Cathy Cannon, Tracie Pruden, Mallory Rosenbarger, Casey Russo
EDEN Floral Letters: Made by Casey at Paper & Petals Collection
White Ruffle Plates: At Home
Floral Napkins: Oriental Trading
Rose Gold Plastic Silverware: Target