Welcome to Samantha’s Baby Shower … It’s a Girl!
This is a post I’ve wanted to write for a long time.
When I say a long time … I mean nearly three years.
Before I had a blog.
Better late than never … at long last I’m sharing this very special day.
Three years ago, my oldest niece, Samantha, was pregnant with her third child, and first girl.
Nieces are my specialty so, of course, I offered
to throw a baby shower.
As luck would have it, I’d just read a blog post by Cindy Hattersley …
Thanks, Cindy, I was delighted to take you up on your generous offer!
At the time I was living on Fidalgo Island in Washington state.
My niece … her family and friends … were back home in California.
Since I couldn’t host the shower in my home, I decided to hold it at a fun restaurant venue.
Sounds easy, right?
Turns out, not so much.
I contacted all our favorite restaurants, hotels and meeting spaces.
They were either booked or our group was too large or too small for their space.
Frustrated (read: freaking out), and with the date fast approaching,
I decided to engage an event planner, Lindsay Lauren Events.
Yes, I know … an event planner … for a baby shower.
Who do we think we are … the Kardashians?
Calm down … turns out this was a smart and cost-effective move. It paid for itself because I didn’t need to make trips back and forth during the planning stages. As an event planner extraordinaire, Lindsay has negotiating leverage and this saved quite a bit in the food, floral and rental departments.
If nothing else, it gave me peace of mind.
Lindsay came highly recommended and I made just one trip back to California to meet her,
visit the venue she recommended and select our shower menu.
Lindsay took it from there.
I boarded my plane home with a huge sense of relief.
The shower was back on track and in capable hands.
That’s not to say I went home to eat bon bons and file my nails.
I still had lots of work to do starting with invitations.
But first, a word on our shower theme …
‘Farm Girl Meets Mother Approved’
What the what?
Well, the first part is self-explanatory … it reflects my niece’s style.
The second part, mother approved, is a childhood joke between my sister and me.
Our mom frequently looked askance at our activities.
She’d peer over the top of her glasses and say, ‘I do not approve.’
Over the years, when discussing various goings-on in our lives we’d observe that
‘mother would approve’ … or, more often than not,
‘mother would NOT approve.’
It gives us a good giggle.
Sadly, our mom passed away 22 years ago after a 4-year long battle with ovarian cancer.
She was only 64.
Samantha had just turned 10 and has many treasured memories of time spent
with her beloved Granny.
She and her sister, Sophia, were the light of their Granny’s life.
Since her passing, a third granddaughter, Shelby, joined the fun.
So, the long and short of it is that the shower must be in keeping with Samantha’s casual style
while honoring her Granny’s delicate sensibilities!
This post includes affiliate links for your convenience at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
All sources and vendors are listed at the end of the post.
With all that said, let me tell you about the shower …
The Event Planner –
Lindsay Lauren Events. I can’t say enough good things about Lindsay and her team. If you’re planning a wedding (or any special event) in the Bay Area run don’t walk to get Lindsay onboard. Mother would approve.
The Venue –
Lindsay suggested Sauced BBQ & Spirits … a fun, casual restaurant in the heart of downtown Walnut Creek with a lovely outdoor patio. Perfect!
The patio was set up in two sections.
For the luncheon we set two, long, rectangular tables.
A comfortable conversation area was arranged next to the luncheon tables. Dotted with Adirondack chairs set around low tables, everyone gathered here upon arrival to chat and enjoy a signature cocktail or mocktail prior to lunch.
Mother might have
been shocked and scandalized raised an eyebrow … ‘a BBQ joint?!’… but would ultimately approve.
The Theme –
Farm Girl Meets Mother Approved – explained in great detail above.
The Invitation –
The shower invitation and all other printed materials (place cards, favor cards, game card, welcome sign and big photo prop frame) came from an Etsy shop that no longer exists. The designs were provided electronically and I printed them locally. I shipped it all, along with the other shower accoutrement, to California.
The Event Design –
Borrowing liberally from Cindy’s baby shower template (hey, she offered) I tracked down her cute coral, Kate Spade polka dot napkins. The napkins became the jumping off point for our table settings and overall aesthetic.
We rented tan and white striped table clothes for the long, rectangular tables. We also rented large, scalloped plates and clear goblets for the place settings. The restaurant provided the flatware and small mason jar glasses.
We used the restaurants metal dining chairs and rented a pretty French country-style chair, with comfy pillow, for the mama-to-be.
We folded the coral, polka dot napkins in a simple triangle shape and tied the place cards at the top with twine … and a sprig of faux boxwood tucked in at the top.
Simple and casual, but elegant. Mother would approve.
The Signage –
Signs dotting the dessert, favor and gift tables were made by another local business, Pop Tarts and Peonies. Beautifully hand-written on butcher paper and tacked to blocks of painted white wood, they we’re so clever and Samantha loved them!
The Flowers –
Fringe Flower Company created the glorious florals.
Coral and orange peonies, dahlias, viburnum, ranunculus, and roses – with beautiful greenery – arranged in rectangular wooden boxes ran down the center of each table.
Similar arrangements adored the dessert, gift and favor tables as well as the patio bar.
And a flower crown for Samantha. Isn’t she glowing?!!!
The Signature Cocktail –
Upon arrival guests were offered a cucumber watermelon cocktail or mocktail served in mini mason jars.
As a Southern girl who loved her sweet tea but eschewed spirits, mother would turn a blind eye.
The Luncheon –
We kicked off the luncheon with a salad course consisting of individually plated nachos.
Yes, nachos. So fun!
The lunch menu, served buffet style, included BBQ brisket and pulled pork, mac n cheese, slaw, Brussels sprouts and cornbread.
In addition to our signature cocktail, we offered lemonade, iced tea, white and rose wines.
Mother would approve … I think.
The Sweets –
Itty Bitty Bake Shoppe, a local favorite, made all the desserts and set up a beautiful dessert table. Everyone oooh’d and ahhh’d!
- Vanilla Mini-Cakes
- Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
- Frosted Chocolate Brownies
The Game –
I’m not a fan of shower games. Neither was my mother.
That said, we enjoyed a conversation-starter activity called ‘Find the Guest’
All very dignified and proper and mother would begrudgingly approve.
The Favors –
Each guest went home a bag of pretty – and yummy – sugar cookies from Itty Bitty Bake Shoppe and a split of Chandon bubbles.
The night before the shower, my sister and I sat on my hotel room floor tying coral and white striped straws to the bottles of bubbles along with a tag inviting guests ‘To Pop When She Pops’ … and a sprig of faux boxwood.
Mother could have done without the card.
The Photography –
Early on I decided to hire a photographer and Lindsay introduced me to Monica Vargas. The shower took place in June, a busy wedding weekend, but Monica was able to fit us in. The shower started at 11:30am and we booked her for an hour and a half to capture the setting and guest arrivals. She departed shortly after we sat down for lunch to get onto her next engagement.
She captured everything beautifully and exceeded our wildest expectations.
The Helpers –
My youngest niece, Shelby, and her friend, Belle, acted as co-hosts and facilitators during the shower. They arrived early to help set up and then they stationed themselves by the door to greet guests and show them to the patio. They MC’d the ice breaker activity, recorded gifts and made sure everyone got a photo op with the guest of honor.
The girls were an enormous help, and I couldn’t have pulled it off without them.
It feels like just yesterday I was hosting Shelby’s baby shower. My goodness.
Last but not least, a big shout out to my good friend, Shelley, who took the coral napkins home with her, washed and ironed them and returned them to Samantha in a box tied with a ribbon. Wow.
Mother enthusiastically approves and would have adopted Shelley as her third, and favorite, daughter.
Speaking of the napkins, they have since made their way to Snowberry where they’re tucked away waiting for other big occasions in my grand-nieces life.
The Guests –
Thirty-two lovely ladies attended the shower.
When the shower ended, I headed to the airport, with a quick stop at the cemetery
to leave flowers from the shower on my mother’s grave.
Samantha returned home with a grateful heart and a car full of lovely gifts to welcome her baby girl into her family.
Here are a few
thousand more pictures from the shower.
The sun was out, it wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t too cold … it was simply perfect
A day to always remember and never forget.
And, as with most things in life, it took a village.
I’m so appreciative of the talented group of woman and Bay Area businesses
who collaborated to create a beautiful and memorable afternoon.
Sources & Vendors –
Venue & Catering: Sauced BBQ & Spirits
Desserts & Favors: Itty Bitty Bake Shoppe
Graphics: @eighteen61designs (it appears this shop has closed or changed its focus)
Signage: Pop Tarts and Peonies
Florist: Fringe Flower Company
Rentals: Pleasanton Rentals
Photographer: Monica Vargas Photography
Be sure to take a look at Cindy Hattersley’s well timed blog post that inspired it all …
Cindy hosted her shower at her gorgeous home
and she shares many of the delicious recipes she prepared.
So, there you have it … a baby shower to remember.
PIN THE POST TO SAVE FOR LATER –
My sweet little grand-niece, Maesyn Louise, arrived on July 16, 2018.
Soon she’ll be three!
Here’s a recent snap of Maesyn with her big brothers, Wyatt and Beau.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!
Photo credit: Monica Vargas Photography