Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Indoor Garden Party

Several months ago I started drawing diagrams and making lists in preparation for Jessie's baby shower.  I wanted it to be big and beautiful and memorable.  And I wanted it to be a garden party.  At first I thought we'd do it at my parents' ranch, but once I realized the difficulty of those logistics, I abandoned the idea.  And then I asked Taylor to build us a patio.  Once he committed, I got serious about my garden party plans.  I collected images from magazines and on Pinterest, and let my imagination fly.  I brought in my friends Stacey and Melanie to help, and I think they kind of thought I was crazy.  Stacey told Jessie after our first little meeting, "It's like we're planning a wedding!"

I couldn't help it.  I was too excited about Jessie being pregnant and showing her how much we are going to miss her (she just moved to Texas.  I've been crying for a week). 

As you know, the morning of the shower, Taylor worked like a hero to complete the landscaping.  And then it rained.  And rained.  On and off all day.  I kept harboring hope that it would clear up by the evening, and we even brought in my brother's propane heaters for the patio.  But with 45 minutes until start time it was nothing but storm clouds and cold, wet.  So we called it.

I give you:
How to host an Indoor Garden Party

The original plan was to have everyone sit at long tables on the patio.  I rented white folding chairs and borrowed tables from Taylor's office.  I had three main ideas for decor.  First, fresh flowers on each table.  Indoor alternative: flowers covering the mantle and every other surface in the living room.

Second, DIY Geronimo balloons.  Have you heard of GeronimoAmazing.  And pricey.  I ordered some giant balloons, had them inflated locally, and did my own snazzing up with pom poms and mylar wrapping paper.  They are larger than life, all out fun! 

My third decor plan was to string an absurd amount of fabric bunting from the overhang of my porch to the fence, so it would wave above us.  My friends and I spent hours cutting old fabric scraps and stitching up the bunting, but with such a small window of time to switch gears, it didn't make it up.  Sad!

I had planned for each place at the table to be set with a boxed dinner, tied up with fabric.  Indoor alternative: one on each seat.  (Taylor had teased me for serving dinner in boxes instead of on plates (too traditional, I told him!).  We were really grateful for the boxes when all the ladies ended up needing to hold their dinner in their laps!) 
We served my favorite spinach salad in a take out container (I'll post the recipe soon!) and a croissant sandwich wrapped in sandwich paper and closed with washi tape.
(Melanie made the amazing sandwiches.  Recipe on that coming soon, too!)
To drink--strawberry lemonade in pint jars with yellow stripey straws.  (Can you picture how beautiful the set tables were going to look?!  Sigh :)
We also had assorted sliced veggies and fresh, local berries that were supposed to go down the tables for everyone to nibble on.  Indoor alternative: jars of veggies and compotes of berries scattered on every surface of the living room!

My sister-in-law, Melissa, brought our family's BTS cake (recipe soon) and Taylor and I made the lemon cake.  (Translation: I made this cake and my favorite lemon cream cheese frosting frosting, showed Taylor this picture, and he built the cake.  And then he looked at me and said, "That's right.  I can build you a patio and a cake.")
Everyone wanted a taste of each cake, and there was just enough.  Perfect.

My brother is a beekeeper, so naturally we sent home everyone with a little jar of honey.  When it comes to favors that are charming and useful (which is a definite requirement for me), this is my absolute favorite!
The radiant mother-to-be:
Some other outtakes and such:
Me and my giant belly
Welcoming them to the indoor garden
Haylie sampling the lemonade
Katie and the other young girls were the most darling servers
Party committee: Melanie, Stacey, and me with Jessie

I love you, Jessie!  We cannot wait to see that little babe!

And that is how you host a garden party...inside.


36 inch balloons, tissue pom poms, and yellow stripey straws--Shop Sweet Lulu
Take Out boxes, salad containers, and sandwich paper--Cash & Carry, a local Restaurant Supply store.  I also like this site for this type of thing.

*photography by Stacey Morris


Robyn said...

wow-that is all i can say. what a lot of effort you put in, but it is all fab!

jeanine said...

Anne! It is beautiful--all of it! But that cake... wow!

Victoria Mische | Your Chair Covers said...

I am absolutely over the moon over the cupcake stand on this garden party. I am totally speechless on the wonderful creation. Fabulous!

Emily Anne said...

Pretty as can be!!
I've been checking your blog for days hoping for these pics...you did not let me down.

Good job!

Danielle said...

Well indoors or out, this looks magical and gorgeous. Straight out of Country Living. Well done!

Joan said...

IN door?! INDOOR?!!? Oh Annie! After all that work!? I am heartbroken about that but not surprised in the least that you pulled off a STUNNING INdoor garden party.
You covered every, EVERY detail--and those balloons!? I am horrified at how expensive they are but they have such pop factor! And you are so good to just buy the balloon and put the rest of it together. I'm sure the price was a lot more palatable that way.
I am loving the box dinners--and the washi tape. I've decided you throw parties just so you have an excuse to use your elaborate collection of washi tape ;)

You are the party planning extraordinaire, Anne! Jessie is one loved/lucky girl.

Marlo said...

Awesome party Anne. I hope someone is busily planning your party...because a girl after 3 boys is a big dea1. And you look fantastic! There cannot be any extra insulation anywhere!

Sally @ Polka Dot Market said...

I love this idea for an indoor garden party! Shared on our Facebook wall this morning. Just lovely! -Sally

jessie lake said...

I am sitting here crying. how was this that many years ago?? why are we not neighbs?? we looked hot (even giantly pregnant).

curtis03 Lewis said...

This garden party is truly ravishing. Trust me, this flower decoration is driving me crazy. I wish I could find such dazzling outdoor San Francisco venues in LA for my sister’s bridal shower. Thanks a lot for sharing these photographs.