Three things: children's books, a gender neutral theme and friend chicken. That is what this mama-to-be wanted and Emily Burgess of Hill Country Bride so delivered. Playing off the theme of Alice in Wonderland, she incorporated whimsical garden details, a beautiful gray and white neutral palette, a cake bar and yes, fried chicken. Sounds like the perfect combo. See all the beauty Lori Blythe captured with even more in the VAULT.
It was such an honor to be asked to style this baby shower for a very good friend of mine, Jennifer and her coming little one. When we started planning this shower we asked the mom to be if she had any specific requests. She mentioned three things: she would love to have baby books with personalized inscriptions instead of cards, she would like it to be gender neutral as they were waiting to find out the gender of the baby, and fried chicken. Yep, fried chicken. That was her pregnancy craving food that she couldn’t get enough of!
With these three requests in mind, we had a lot of freedom to design, but a good starting place to give us direction. Since she mentioned the baby books, we found out that her own favorite children’s book was Alice in Wonderland. As we explored these elements, we came up with a design theme of an Alice inspired tea party, in neutral color tones (gray and white) and an evening of comfort food.
The Color Story
We chose neutrals, because of the unknown gender of the baby. From there we narrowed it down to black, white, and gray, to honor the original printing of Alice illustrations that were in black and white. We also snuck in just a couple of robin egg’s blue details reminiscent of Alice’s blue dress in the first movie version. We asked all of the guests to wear white/gray to include the attendees as a part of the design of the evening, and asked the momma to wear a bright pop of color as the center of attention and affection!
Another friend’s garden backyard was the perfect setting for this event. It even came with a garden door that was like a real life door into wonderland!
We really wanted to use a fun linen on the table, something that felt like Wonderland. When we came across a gray on gray roses, we were sold! It so reminded us of “Paint the roses!...” in the Queen’s garden. It was perfect!
When considering guest favors, we came up with tea cup potted plants. The tea cup after the Mad Hatter’s tea party, of course, and the plants as a symbolic inspiration of new life. Jennifer is also a lover of nature and totally appreciated the incorporation of a gift that keeps giving life!
The Flower Pail did a great job of executing our vision for the florals. She made a whimsical arrangement using white roses (referring to the white roses in the Queen’s garden again!) and untamed greens in white milk glass.
We did a family style meal of comfort food, just as our Momma to be requested! This was a crowd pleaser for sure! We also had a variety of tea party style desserts served on a restored 1950’s vanity (this is when the first theatrical version came out) and incorporated our story through little “eat me” signs!
The Paper Products
Our paper designer brought her own unique touch to our inspiration! She had lovely whimsical mommy and baby rabbit graphic for the menu and used a floral robin’s egg blue envelope liner for the invite. She used a gold metal clip to incorporate the menu with a prayer card for the guests to send prayers with the Mommy to be.
Since literature is so special to Jennifer, we really wanted to make this evident in the story of the evening. We pulled inspiring quotes from the Alice in Wonderland book and posted them about the party. These quotes were the perfect fit for the magical celebration of a little one! We found these lovely white funky chairs and mix-matched chairs, including a big high-backed chair for the guest of honor, just like the original illustrations of the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
From New Mama, Jennifer Phillips... Two years ago my husband and I moved from Dallas back to a small Texas town and I didn't dare dream we would find such a marvelous group of friends to share our life with here. But after less than a year we had fallen in with a great group of people and when the ladies of said group banded together to throw me a baby shower, I knew it would be a dream come true. When I arrived I was completely enchanted. It really was the kind of idyllic soire you see in magazines or read about in a Fitzgerald novel. To celebrate the arrival of our sweet baby, these talented women had created a stunning evening filled with candlelight, laughter, a thousand beautiful details, my favorite foods, and--best of all--friends. Hosted by Katie Turpin, Sarah Dale, Sara Harding, Emily Burgess