One of the joys of having a summer baby was the ability to be able to throw a spring baby shower. And exactly one year ago today, Mrs Lighty did just that.
Now I know it’s not traditional to plan or host your own shower, but as regular readers will know, if there’s one thing that Mrs Lighty loves, it’s planning a party. The Little Lighty’s baby shower was to be on a smaller scale than a full blown party, of course, but I hoped that I’d be able to inject some small touches of beauty into it to make it a memorable day for both myself and my guests.
My starting point was to design some invites. I know that nowadays most parties are confirmed by Facebook event pages, but Mrs Lighty is quite old fashioned in the sense that I believe that not only does a formal invite set the theme of the day up nicely right from the off, but that guests are more likely to RSVP to a proper paper invite than they are to a Facebook event. I came up with this umbrella design, with hearts raining down, setting up the theme of ‘April Showers’. The invites were just simple A5 cards that I designed on Microsoft Word and printed at home, finished off with my X-cut corner rounder.
In the weeks leading up to my shower, I poured over Pinterest, and gathered a board of images and ideas which represented how I wanted the day to look and feel. I spent hours making paper pom poms, and was a regular customer at our local charity shop, purchasing beautiful yet bargainous China tea sets as they appeared in the display window. I also begged and borrowed cups and saucers, teapots and cake stands from friends and family as I wanted to host a vintage afternoon tea (not at all because of Mrs Lighty’s love of [gluten free] cake!). Mother-in-Law Lighty’s best friend really came up trumps with her loan of some gorgeous cut glass cake stands!
The 25th April 2015 finally dawned, but far from the gorgeous spring day that Mrs Lighty had in mind, which would have allowed for a little bit of a garden party, we were greeted with heart-sinking drizzle. I suppose I should have expected nothing less from an April Showers themed baby shower. Nevertheless, there was a party to throw, so Mr Lighty and I set about decorating our conservatory in an attempt to bring the outside in.
As well as the tissue paper pom poms, I’d also made pink, blue and floral umbrella-and-heart garlands and table confetti to match the theme of the invites, and remembering that the photo bunting I’d made almost exactly four years previously for Mr and Mrs Lighty’s wedding had been made using the same floral paper, I dug this out to be recycled for the day.
Luckily I’d also saved within my collection of keepsakes from our wedding day one of the jam jars made by the super-talented Mandy at The Tinkergirl; we’d used the jam jars for the table flower centrepieces, and as I wanted a Spring feel to fit the April Showers theme, I filled this and a vintage biscuit tin with bright Spring blooms. I also mounted my 13 week and 20 week scan photos onto floral paper and framed them, as I hadn’t shared them on social media so most of my friends wouldn’t’ve seen them.
By way of a guest book, I’d bought a mini version of the game Jenga, and made a little sign to go with it asking my guests to sign a block for Baby Lighty to look back on in the future. I also wanted to give a little something back to my guests, as despite specifically asking them on the invites not to bring gifts, I was worried that some would, and I wanted just a little something to say thank you. To fit in with my Spring theme (and not at all because Mrs Lighty loves her garden!) I decided that my favours should be something which would bring a little natural beauty into the lives of my guests over the springtime, and so I bought packets of seeds and parcelled up a few bulbs per person and then tied them up with brown kraft paper and string, stamping on the front of each parcel ‘April Showers bring June flowers’ referring to Baby Lighty’s impending June arrival. It was a good excuse to use the stamping set that Mr Lighty had bought me the previous Christmas!!
While all of this setting up was going on, Mummy Hatch and Nanny Kersey were busy making the sandwiches for the baby shower tea. I’d bought lots of pretty napkins and doilies, so I wrapped the cutlery in these, and I also filled tiny teacups – which Mr Lighty had declared to be good-for-nothing when I bought them – with jelly beans. Of course there was also plenty of CAKE!
In true Mrs Lighty style, Mr Lighty and I were still dashing around like headless chickens as my guests started to arrive, so Mother-in-Law Lighty and her cake-stand bearing friend jumped to the rescue, making pots of tea and soft drinks, as Baby Lighty’s Godmother-to-be popped the Bucks Fizz, and then we were off! Cake was eaten, tea was drunk and my vintage tea sets were admired. Mrs Lighty’s good friend Mrs Fosty, who’d also been my chief bridesmaid, had kindly volunteered to organise some games for the day, and she did a fabulous job, as always. Among other games, we played baby bingo, pin the dummy on the baby, play dough baby modelling and of course guess the bump size with a piece of string; Mrs Fosty’s 5 year old daughter thought my bump was bigger than she was tall!! Thanks Little Fosty!!
After we’d stuffed our faces and played all manner of baby related games, it was time for some present opening, as despite my specific request on the invites not to bring gifts, I was most definitely ignored, and Baby Lighty was well and truly spoilt! We received some gorgeous and really thoughtful gifts, and just like I had thought for our 30th birthdays, I was left amazed at how well our friends know us.
Among the gifts were some lovely homemade pieces made by our incredibly talented friends, including a framed version of the Lighty Family made out of button people, which now has pride of place in our dining room, and a gorgeous crocheted blanket which Baby Lighty just adores.
I think Mummy Hatchy stole the show on the present front though, gifting Baby Lighty the receiving blanket that Mrs Lighty had been brought home from the hospital in some 31 years previously, and the copy of Mog and the Baby which had been my favourite childhood book. These presents definitely made a very pregnant Mrs Lighty very emotional!!
As the sun had finally come out, there was just time for a photo or two with each of my guests before everyone left. It was such a special day, and Mrs Lighty was so honoured to share it with so many of my wonderful friends and family members. If there was one thing that I learnt from my April shower, it was that Baby Lighty was definitely going to be showered with love!
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