Well here I am.

Writing my first blog post, which, to me, is just so awesome because I have always loved writing and I have always wanted a blog of my own. What’s even more wonderful is now that I am on the event planning track, I get to blog about all the amazing events I help plan and all the wonderful people I meet and help along the way.

I just want to take the time now and say, if you are reading this, I just want to thank you. Because if you’re reading this, that probably means you have liked one of my posts within the last two months, sent me some words of encouragement about accomplishing my goals or are just a cool person who is interested in what I am doing and what I have to offer and that in itself is very special to me.

So with that, lets begin with my first event I planned under my company’s name. An event that was special to me because, not only was it my first at Eleven Events and Planning, but it was also for someone special to me and my family. Let me tell you all the details about Bethany’s shower including the balloons, the brunch and all the girlie goodness. This post is kind of long, so stick with me. As an event planner, I am all about the details and that is what this post is chalk full of. If you really don’t feel like reading the whole thing, at least skim it to find some great ideas for your next shower or party.

 

The backstory

Many of you may or may not know, but I have a love for helping others. I think that is one of the main reasons I have wanted to be an event planner. So when Bethany came to me and asked me if I would plan her baby shower, I was super excited because, not only is Bethany just an amazing woman, but she’s also special to me. You see, Bethany and I have been friends for about 13 years. She and her husband, Jeff, moved to Eudora, KS the same time my family and I did. And oddly enough, we met because Jeff became the new youth pastor in 2004, when my family and I started going to Eudora Baptist Church when I was about 13 years old. Over the course of the years growing up in Eudora and in the youth group, Bethany became one of my mentors. She’d do one-on-one bible study with me, she’d paint my nails, and even when my parents went out of town, she and Jeff would allow me and my older sister to stay over at their house. So when someone that special asks you to plan a shower for them, it is super easy to say yes, and even more easy to have the motivation to try and plan the most amazing baby shower they have ever had.

 

The theme

When Bethany contacted me, she told me that, since this is her third baby (but her first girl), that she wanted nothing too big. Just something simple and lower key. I can’t really say what led me to it, but I immediately thought garden themed brunch shower. I don’t know why, but for some reason, when I think Saturday morning brunch, I think peaceful garden. Plus flowers can be pink and girlie and it was pretty much just a perfect fit. So with that in mind, I did what every planner/designer does and I picked up my phone to Pinterest ideas. Guys, I am telling you, I don’t know what people did before Pinterest. It can help in so many ways. Whether you want ideas on party themes, weddings or what have you, it is a great tool to help you capture your vision. If you don’t know what I am talking about, head over there now and check it out.

 

The decor

The beauty of a garden themed party, is that you don’t really need much decor. Just a bunch of flowers, greenery, teracotta pots, succulents and pretty much anything else you’d find in a garden. For Bethany’s shower, I aired on the side of boho mixed with rustic theme, but tried to keep it simple. For centerpieces, my wonderful step-dad made these wood boxes to place the centerpieces on. I love how each one is a different shape and style, allowing for each centerpiece to be a different height.

I am keeping theses boxes for all the events I have in the future and, per my step dads request, am leaving them out to weather and look more rustic. So cool!

One of my most favorite decorations and one of the most time consuming, was the balloon wall. I got this idea because I wanted to create something picturesque. Bethany’s shower was located in the chapel of our church, so I felt as if there needed to be something she and guests could take pictures under and would be something that helped her shower to stand out. Using pastel balloons, some “Party Tape” and the air in my lungs, I created the balloon wall. I didn’t necessarily want it to go along with the theme, but to tie the garden theme into it, I added little sprigs of artificial greenery in between some of the balloons. Like I said, it was time consuming, but it really stood out and was the perfect place for Bethany to sit under and open gifts.

As far as other decor, I stuck with the garden/girlie theme. I had a wonderful time making this floral “E” for Bethany to hang in Emma’s nursery, and to compliment it, I used a tree branch and this artificial greenery found at Hobby Lobby to create the natural looking arch around it. I was so excited with how this turned out looking above the dessert table.

 

Food and drink

Since Bethany wanted a simple shower, I decided not to use vendors. The flowers were bought at a local store, and most of the food was purchased in a grocery store. I recommend this approach if you are planning on having a shower of about 50 or less. It’s more affordable, faster and just makes sense if you aren’t going to have boatloads of people needing food.

For the food, we did mostly breakfast food. For the main courses, we did sausage biscuits, mini chicken and waffles (as found here, except instead of jelly syrup, we used regular maple syrup) and a yogurt bar that included: vanilla yogurt, granola, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. For dessert, as pictured above, we had donuts and Bethany’s sister Susan, who is a wonderful baker, made yummy cupcakes decorated as pretty roses to stay in-theme.

For drinks, I tried to do something fun. A lot of people may not think you can do fun drink options without booze, but there are truly so many non-alcoholic drink options that are just as great! Besides strawberry mint water and coffee, we offered guests a sparkling juice bar. It’s super easy, really fun and was a huge success at Bethany’s shower. For the juices, we bought 4 different types of juice concentrates: Apple Kiwi Strawberry, Pineapple Mango, Raspberry Lemonade, and Apple Passion Mango. Because they were put in the carafes, we used a liter of sparkling water for each juice. The concentrates called for a little more water, but it worked out great and the juices tasted amazing. We then added frozen fruit, including raspberries, peaches, blueberries and mango to the bar, as well as some mint leaves for guests to add into their drink-of-choice for added yummyness. One of my favorite combos was raspberry lemonade with raspberries and mint. So refreshing!

I spent most of the morning refilling the juice carafes because guests kept returning for more. So if you’re looking for beverages for your next party, shower or even wedding, try a juice bar. People go crazy for it.

 

Crafts

Being a shower for a girl, there was bound to be some kind of craft. One of my favorites things that is becoming more popular at baby showers and little girl parties is a headband making station. The awesome thing is, you can go to Etsy.com and search “Headband making kit” and voila! Which is exactly what I did for Bethany’s shower. The kit came with several different ribbons and stretchy, thin bands, which we then cut into different sizes, newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months and 9-12 months, which allowed guests to pick which size they wanted to make.

For the headband making station, I framed some instructions, separated the cut ribbon into their sizes and set out some hot glue guns and tags and let the ladies get to work. It was such a fun craft and I love the fact that when Bethany goes to put the headbands on Emma, she’ll be able to see who made the headband and it’ll just be another reminder of her shower and the people who love her and Emma.

After the headbands were made, the guests hung them on this ladder wrapped with greenery. Just another picturesque touch that displayed the headbands in a unique way.

 

As you can tell, I had so much fun planning and designing Bethany’s shower to celebrate the arrival of Emma. But what was even more fun was hearing all the laughter and conversation, as well as seeing all the memories that were being made. Seeing Bethany be loved on so much by all who attended her shower was such a blessing.

I want to thank everyone who helped make sure her shower turned out so great including: Susan Davidson, Angela Karten, who planned all the fun games, Dale and Beth Nottingham, my hubby, Tyler, and all who attended the shower to make it the success it was!

If you’d like to contact me to plan your next shower, event or wedding, head over to the “contact” tab and send me your info. I’d love to help make your next event a special one!

Blessings,

Hannah

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