From Kate Landers... Here's a personal event–the baby gender reveal party my husband and I hosted for our first little one arriving this fall! I find gender reveal parties to be an excellent creative outlet for all those mamas-to-be who want to design and plan an event to celebrate their very special upcoming arrival. Whether you choose to keep it intimate with just immediate family or large with everyone you know, it is a wonderful time to share your joy with others.
We had a most memorable celebration, revealing to our families that we will be welcoming a little BOY into our lives! Despite a no-show photographer and our pup Henry eating the custom cake less than 2 hours before the party started, we managed to take what came our way and made the best of it–and looking back, I couldn’t imagine it any more perfect. Here are some hints for planning your own baby gender-reveal party:
• Selecting A Theme & Color Scheme A wonderful source of inspiration for your baby gender reveal party is your favorite children’s book. Being in Boston and having a passion for classic storybooks, we selected a “Make Way For Ducklings” based on the beloved book by Robert McClosky. The book made an appearance on the party table with a custom printed bookplate inside and encouragement for the guests to sign a note to build Baby Landers’ library. The color-scheme was kept gender neutral, based on duckling colors of soft yellow, white and hints of brown. Fresh flowers such as pussy willows, peonies, summer stock and hydrangea add a nice touch to bring acolor-scheme to life.
• Incorporate Your Theme With Custom Printed Details From darling mini ice cream carton labels to a custom bookplate, invitations to a charming rosette banner, designer Loralee Lewis custom created spectacular duckling-themed treasures. She even sent a larger print of the artwork for us to frame and put in the nursery (a great idea to remember this special celebration). Each item provides style and a function, sure to wow your guests.
• Decorate Your Space, Ceiling To Floor You can create a festive environment and transform your space by using your vertical and horizontal hot spots. We hung fabric bunting from the ceiling (we had over 90 feet of custom yellow & white bunting that really “wow”ed everyone). We also used those popular tissue poms (we used wide double-faced satin ribbon instead of clear line for a fresh take) in colors called french vanilla and banana custard. We also made sure table linens went down to the floor, using a custom white gathered tablecloth, so guests felt surrounded by decorations.
• Use Classic White As Your Base I can’t stress enough the value of investing in classic white fabric table linens and tableware. I took a charming white floor length gathered tablecloth topped it with a darling custom-made thick gathered white fabric table topper (6″ drop trimmed in white pom poms). I customized the table to the event with a simple ruffle-trimmed soft yellow table runner. Cake was served on white plates from Pottery Barn, and home made ice cream served in classic white cartons (with lids to take home) we dressed up with custom labels on the carton and lid.
• Keep It Simple & Sweet We held the event for 90 minutes, perfect for an afternoon gathering with small children. The menu was simple and entirely sweet: home made old fashioned vanilla ice cream, a classic cake with a custom fondant duckling cake topper, mini banana parfaits, and darling duckling cookies as well as divine buttercream-filled shortbread and sugar cookie eggs. No candy jars here, as we didn’t want to overdo it with the kids. Guests took home berry baskets of the cookies, so they doubled as a dessert and party favor. Beverages (served in baby bottles with striped straws) were old fashioned lemonade, iced tea, bottled water and milk.
• Involve Your Guests We included an insert with the invitation asking guests to wear pink or blue representing their best guess of whether we were having a boy or a girl (making for wonderful photos). We also had a chart for everyone to take their best “quack” at it to write down their guesss–perfect to add to the baby book later! Children enjoyed games of “Duck, Duck, Goose!” as well as an egg hunt in the backyard.
A couple “lessons learned”: Don’t hire a new photographer last minute–be prepared with a back up plan. Having to take my own event photos served to be quite a challenge and did not capture the event as I had envisioned. For the baby shower, we already have a spectacular photographer (and a back up!) who has been lined up for months.
Also: mistakes happen, even to those of us who do this for a career–allow for them. Our pup Henry ate the cake, so my husband quickly went to the store, got a box of cake mix and can of frosting (gasp!) and created a quick fix. These little “oops” moments add character to the event and will become part of the treasured story for later.
Party Design: Kate Landers Events / Custom Invitations and Signs: Loralee Lewis / Tissue Poms: Anne Musing Designs / Table Cloth: Sweet Tea & Linen / Table Topper: A to Z Celebrations / Ice Cream Cartons, Berry Baskets: garnish / Fondant Cake Topper: Edible Details / Duckling Cookies: Bees Knees Creative / Egg-shaped Cookies: Scrumptious Swirls