Oct 31, 2009

Welcome Little Pumpkin

Welcome Little Pumpkin

The mother-to-be's trip to Michigan was scheduled when everyone realized it would be the last visit until after her baby was born. So why not add a baby shower to the weekend festivities!

Although Halloween sounded like a "spooky" date to host a baby shower, we went with it and set out to welcome Little Pumpkin! This modern day couple decided to find out the sex of their baby well in advance...so Jo Ann of Cartoleria, The China Closet's in-house graphic artist, was able to manipulate the graphics and add the traditional blue details so all would know that a little baby boy was on the way! The traditional use of orange and black on the invitation set the tone for the celebration on a Halloween afternoon and helped us with the table decor.

With the invitations sent, the next detail to think about was the menu. It is not uncommon to hear people groan when being invited to a shower, because, let's face it, showers can be tedious...so all the more reason for surprises to make the afternoon as fun as possible.

The popular small plates seemed like a place to start the menu. Who doesn't like just a "taste" of this or that? This would be a fun surprise for the guests! We decided to select some favorite foods from our childhood and create small plates! Everyone has memories of being a child and the foods that made them the happiest.

Starting with the favorite foods of childhood, our menu "wish list" included Tomato Soup, Toasted Cheese Sandwiches, Fruit Cups, Mac and Cheese, Burgers and Fries... we trusted our chef could add a little current day pizazz to this menu for a grown up taste!

The look on our guests' faces was priceless...little smiles of surprise began as they read their menus. The traditional chicken salad was not going to haunt this luncheon!

With an interesting menu, it was now time to focus on presentation! The base for this tablescape would be luscious Pumpkin Salsa Taffeta linens from Special Events Rental that had a bit of "fire" in them. The China Closet's florist, Bellisario Florist, used real pumpkins for the vessels of fresh flowers and bittersweet berries. A potpourri of gourds and natural materials spanned the length of the table. With twenty four guests, we opted to set one large royal conference table vs. smaller individual tables.

Now to set with the best choice of dinnerware for this occasion. Again, Special Events Rental to the rescue! Although it has been done many times before, placing the menu under a clear glass charger plate allows guests to read the courses as they are served. The clear gold beaded glass charger was a pretty additional to this setting...now what would set the food off best?

We choose to serve the cup of soup in a cup. With the tomato basil soup, a gourmet toasted cheese sandwich and a colorful array of fresh fruit, Birmingham Country Club's Chef Louai Sharkas, set the perfect first course on black dinnerware. WOW, the colors of the food popped off the plate...when food looks good, it just tastes better!

Game time...this is usually another moment when guests tend to cringe. So the object is always to make these games as fun and as simple as possible. My Italian clients have taught me great lessons in entertaining with their two hundred plus guest lists! I was first introduced to the "Pick Me Up" game a few years ago ...a simple object is placed here and there with a little rhyme tied to it letting guests know to pick it in order to claim a prize! It is great fun to watch these items being discovered...although it is not an Easter Egg Hunt...it slowly begins to resemble one as guests catch on to this treasure hunt of sorts!

This baby shower used pacifiers placed here and there with a silly little rhyme. Sisters, Laura and Sarah went the extra mile to have fun with this game!

Normally, the opening of gifts can be another tedious time for guests so all were invited to a dessert buffet that included Just Baked cupcakes. Guests were encouraged to get up and enjoy some sweets while gifts were being opened. The cupcakes got as many ohhs and ahhs as the darling baby gifts! Cupcakes came from a new bakery, Just Baked - they were incredibly fabulous!!! They began to disappear before our photographer got to take a photo!

Before gifts were opened, there was the arrival of a surprise guest! Mother Goose! She had been sent by Great Grandmother Betty who was not able to attend. Being a fan of reading, this great grandmother sent Mother Goose with a wagon of books for baby's library. Although the grandmother's favorite selection was The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Mother Goose said her favorite was, after all, Mother Goose's Collection of Nursery Rhymes!

When was all said and done, a mother-to-be had a wonderful time and wonderful memories of friends and relatives gathering to welcome her Little Pumpkin!



Posted Under Event Category: Baby Shower