Lynn’s Peter Rabbit Tea Party Baby Shower, 01*21*2012

This baby shower was a very special one for me to plan.  It was for a very special momma.  My friend Lynn, also known as the bridal half of Lynn + David, my very first clients!

Lynn’s sister in law Leita called me at the very beginning of January asking for my help planning Lynn’s shower for her baby boy.  Typically parties like these take 2-3 months to plan, but Leita gave me free reign to let my creativity run wild (within our very modest budget!).  My only words to go on were “Peter Rabbit” and “tea party.”  So I threw Lynn a Peter Rabbit Tea Party, of course! 🙂

Lynn and her family are British; they moved to the states when Lynn was quite young, but she still considers England “home.”  So I knew that the “tea” portion of the shower had to be spot on.  I contracted with Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe to provide us with an authentic taste of the UK.  The provided us with delicious scones and tea sandwiches, and the three hosts provided lots of varieties of tea, cream, sugar, honey, and lemon.  I got a beautiful hand-painted Peter Rabbit cake from Sweeter by the Dozen Cakes and carrot-shaped cake pop favors from Calculated Whisk too!

Of course this was a small affair (with total decor and food budget of approximately $450), so we didn’t have a professional photographer or a big spread.  I’m going to have to start taking photography classes for things like this, but in the mean time I don’t want to not share an event just because my photography skills are sub-par.  After all, I’m a designer, not a photographer! 🙂  I just have to share the darling details with you, starting with our “MacGregor’s Garden.”  We had planned to hang Peter’s jacket above the hand-lettered garden sign, but had to move to Plan B when it didn’t work out:

And the buffet, complete with hand-lettered chalk signs (I love these so much – I wish I’d bought more when they were on sale at Michael’s because they were so cute!):

We used real mismatched serving plates, teacups, and silverware from my collection, which made the party feel more elegant and special than using paper cups and plastic silverware:

And of course no baby shower would be complete without sweets…  Specifically this gorgeous hand-painted cake (the fondant apparently didn’t like the rainy weather much, but you can see the detail that Jessica put into it!):

And the adorable cake pop favors!  I had a little too much fun cramming them into my wooden wheelbarrow like they were vegetables going to market:

This was one happy momma (despite my out of focus photography job…  yowch!)…  And back in February, she and David welcomed a healthy baby, Simon, into the world! <3!

Lynn’s Peter Rabbit Baby Shower Details:

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Any Ideas? – What is My Audience?

The part audience plays in the planning process may not be as obvious as the type of party you’re having, or the when and where.  So I’m going to use examples heavily here.

Glam Rockstar Birthday for a Young Girl - from Shannon Baily Photos

Glam GirlRockstar Birthday - from Shannon Baily Photos; cupcakes by O'Cakerie

Say I’m planning a rock star birthday party.  What do you think of for thematic elements?  Posters on the walls?  Guitar Hero on the Wii?  A cover band?  Big hair?  Safety pins?  Now let me suggest that this party is for a 7-year-old girl.  Suddenly there are sparkly pink microphones and glam makeup a la Jem and the Holograms, a fun photo session with dress up clothes, and Disney karaoke on the Wii.  If the party is, instead, for a 30th birthday, I might insist that all attendees wear their best grunge-inspired clothing and play endless Nirvana.  For a 40th birthday, the theme might be based around Spinal Tap.  That is, unless the birthday girl has dreams of being Joan Jett (or Jem!).  What’s appropriate for a 7-year-old girl and her friends may or may not be what’s appropriate for her mother or her older brother and their peers.

Take another example: the tea party.  Now, I could easily plan a tea party for that same 7-year-old girl (of course, if she’s more of a rock star, she might not be too happy with me for planning her such a sedate theme!). There would probably be lots of ruffles, some pretty tea cakes, a princess dress-up box, and plastic tea set favors.  If that little girl grew up and was having her bridal shower with a tea party theme, I’d focus more on soft floral accents, cucumber sandwiches and scones, perhaps some great hats for her guests to wear, and tea bag favors.  If she were celebrating her eightieth birthday with a tea party (as my grandmother did nearly a decade ago), the food and favors might be the same – but the party activities would be distinctly different (can you imagine a room full of eighty-somethings playing a risque game of shower charades?  okay, maybe you can…).

Heavy Metal Birthday Cake - from Hostess With the Mostess

Heavy Metal Birthday Cake - from Hostess With the Mostess

Too much estrogen for you?  How about a party with a casino theme?  For a teenager’s birthday, they might enjoy dressing up, “gambling” for prize tickets, and drinking fancy non-alcoholic beverages (think slushy virgin margaritas and muddled mint and club soda “mojitos”).  For a 21st birthday, though, the drinks are alcoholic and guests are learning real gambling techniques.  For a bachelor party, poker dealers and bartenders are beautiful women and the beers flow freely.  For a 40th birthday, the guests come in their nicest attire (think Monte Carlo) and the martinis are shaken, not stirred.

Know your audience – age, gender, and likes/dislikes – and you’ll be able to tailor your theme to fit them.

Photo credits: Glam Girl Rockstar Birthday, Heavy Metal Birthday