Real Baby Shower: Backyard Baby-Q Bash

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thank goodness its Friday! Anyone planning a trip to the pumpkin patch? Going for a Hayride? Well, I'm definitely looking forward to a nice weekend spent outdoors with the kiddies. I love this time of year! Speaking of the outdoors, let's move on to this fabulous Backyard Baby-Q Bash baby shower submitted from Cristina of Le Partie Sugar. Complete with a gourmet burger station, lots of fall foods, hanging mason jar lanterns and globe lights, old vintage furniture and s'mores box kits, this shower has it ALL! Especially starting with these totally adorable invitations...

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From Cristina... My sister is more burgers and hot dogs and less crumpets and tea, so when she shared the news that she was pregnant I immediately knew I would throw her and her husband a couples Backyard Baby-Q Bash. We set the date for October 1st, which was perfect for an outdoor party - nice cool, crisp weather and lots of delicious fall foods coming into season.

Invitations: The invitations set the tone, inspired by retro BBQ signs. I brought subtle "baby" elements in by opening the invite with a "B is for Backyard Baby-Q Bash". The alphabet letters (b is for) were carried through to all the signage at the party.

The Colors, Decor and Games: I based the colors on their nursery: Navy Blue, Natural Browns (Kraft Paper & Burlap) and White. The decor was rustic with lots of old vintage furniture used for serving tables. I made hanging mason jar lanterns that were suspended from the trees and wrapped globe lights around the party area. The dining tables were filled with mason jars that contained simple white flowers and candles.

Since I used vintage pieces and standard rentals, burlap was used everywhere to tie all the different elements together. There were three serving tables: a beverage station, food table and a dessert bar. The beverage station and the dessert bar were old tool tables from my parents garage, and I used jute to tie the burlap onto the dessert table. 

I had an old desk from the early 1900s to house the custom favors and advice cards. Since it was a couples shower, the favors were "S'mores For Two" kits in kraft boxes. Inside I wrapped graham crackers sealed with a navy sticker and tied with jute a bag of dark chocolate and marshmallows. I made heating directions so people could make them in the oven at home, and at the very end of the instructions I let people know they could show "s'more love" for baby phillips by signing up to bring the new parents a meal via MealBaby.com.

I also made mad-lib style New Parent Advice cards, and had rustic twig colored pencils so guests could fill in the blanks - everyone had so much fun with these (even the guys!) and we had a blast reading back the notes after the party. My sister and I would do mad libs all the time on family road trips so it was special memory we shared. My sister didn't want to have any "games", so the advice cards served as nice way for guests to be involved and we also Cornhole set off to the side.

My parents gave my sister a crib, which we set up at the party and guests put their gifts for baby inside the crib. Everyone commented how special it was to see where Baby Phillips would be sleeping soon!

The Menu: 
The idea started with the idea of backyard bbq, and given my sister's love for burgers the Gourmet Burger Station was the main food attraction. I created three gourmet burgers: 
"Father's Office Burger", blue-cheese stuffed burger with Gruyere, caramelized onions, and arugula
"BLTA" bacon-stuffed burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato and avocado
"Turkey Spinach Pesto" burger with spinach pesto, heirloom tomato and Parmesan cheese

I hired a caterer to come and grill the burgers to order. I also had special custom buns made for the "baby burgers", since they were smaller than a regular hamburger but bigger than a slider. Guests were able to taste a few, and some tried all three! The burgers were served in kraft paper boxes with kettle chips.

There was also a food table with lots of fall hors d'oeuvres: Persimmon Salad with Goat Cheese, Pomegranate Seeds and Toasted Hazelnuts, Spaghetti Squash with Jalepeno Cream and Jack Cheese, Macaroni and Cheese, Cheese platter with figs and marcona almonds, and the very popular Pigs-in-a-Blanket. I also made some Butternut Squash Soup Shooters served with Grilled Sourdough topped with Gruyere and Fig, the caterer hand-passed these to the guests. I made special utensil kits, I made fork and knife and printed it onto kraft merchandise bags - the bags were stuff with a napkin and fork/knife.

There was beverage station right when guests walked into the backyard filled with Autumn Sangria, Red and White Wine, Beer, and vintage "Pop Shoppe" bottles filled with soda and stripey straws. I hung an old wire tiered fruit basket from the tree and filled it with custom-wrapped water bottles. I made three different water bottle labels each containing the baby's due date (11/11/11), each bottle had a fun little note about Baby Phillip's arrival: "diaper duty starts 11.11.11, rocking our world starting 11.11.11 and baby makes three 11.11.11".

For the dessert bar I made lots of mini dessert treats including brownie bites, chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie bites and caramel apples. There was also had a coffee station with Kahlua and special rock sugar stirrers placed in a tree stump "pencil holder", which the mama-to-be loved so much I gave it to her for the baby's room.

The Unexpected: 
As with any party there is always a last-minute curve ball and in the Midwest, it was the weather! A cold front came through on Saturday morning and my dad was sweet to get up at 5am to stand in line at the only place in the city that rents patio heaters and secured four for the party. Family friends brought over their tailgating tent and heat blowers so we could set up a warm area for the loving grandparents who made it to the shower! The heat fans also came in handy earlier in the day to dry out the grass.


Event Planning and Styling and Photography: Cristina Prusz, Le Partie Sugar / Caterer: Sarah Kleinknecht, handled the gourmet burger station and last-minute hot foods / Custom "Baby Burger" Buns: Carrie Abbot of Full Plate Catering

8 comments :

fionalynne said...

There's so much I love about this party, mostly the food which is making me peckish just looking at the beautiful photos!
Also love that the envelopes say "kindly deliver to..." such old fashioned perfection!

Jessica Ann said...

can I ask if you remember what size craft bags you used for your utensil kit??

JessikaB. said...

Everything is so well planned and looks awesome!!! I have a question about the s'mores boxes. Approx how big were they? Does 2 1/4" x 2 1/2" x 2" sound about right?

Sarita said...

My cousin's wife has fallen in love with this theme. I too think it is FABULOUS!!! I have been asked to make signs like yours. Can you tell me what font you used? I hope all is well with you and your family. Your blog is too cute!!

Rebekah said...

I'm curious how the gift-opening stage went. An outdoor, all welcome, baby shower is exactly what we're doing, because I want my hubby to be comfortable. And I want to avoid the "women sitting in a circle saying Awww" scenario that's so common. Were gifts opened at the shower, or at a later date?

Cristina said...

Hello, just realized there were a few question about this shower! The Kraft Bags for the utensil kits are 5" x 7". The S'mores Kit boxes were 4" x 4" x 2". The gifts were opened towards the end of the shower very casually, people could grab some dessert and coffee to watch, or stay where there were already seated/standing. It was very casual and worked out well!

Emily said...

Hi where did you find the kraft boxes for burgers? Thanks

Nancy Ortiz said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I loved the invitations. Where or how can i make them?