During a teleconference, I suggested we use African safari animals and terms to name stations and areas; the plan was to create an atmosphere that was fun and creative but also uniform and true to the theme. Some stations included Hippo's Mud Bath (chocolate fountain), Grazing Station (food buffet), Safari Sweets (cake and cookies table), Passport Photos (photo booth), and Watering Hole (drinks).
I used the stations to devise a layout and the sisters met to finalize decor solutions for the space. With every event, you should have a list of your must-have items. The items on this list serve as your no-matter-what-may-come these things must be done reminders. That list helps to measure the success of your event (from a planner's perspective). For the rustic shower, we decided our priorities were great food and decor. Within the decor, my priorities were:
- Table linen
- Table centerpieces
- Decor to deflect from the cinder block walls
Basically, I wanted to deflect from venue shortfalls and control the guests' perspective... I needed my decor to say "hey hey! Look over here and NOT at the fluorescent lighting!"
We had the large giraffe standing beside the welcome artwork. Mom had that vintage art in her stash and I made a quick banner from kraft paper and a chalk marker; it was a great way to set the tone for the event.
I love his lashes! I also love the corsage Ryan's mom made for the giraffe.
Behind the entryway, we set-up the guest book area and the photo booth.
The booth had safari hats, animal masks, mustaches and more! The photo booth was awesome!
I added a small banner to Ryan's mom's favorite photo prop, a heart wreath.
While on a trip to the Dollar Tree, Ryan's mom and sis-in-law, Amalia, found some awesome wrapping paper and we decided to make THAT our backdrop for the photo booth.
For the guest book, I used a hole punch and had each guest sign a dot.
We'll talk more about the guest book when I share what I did with the dots. Behind the guest book, resting on a small crate, was the fabulous diaper cake Devona made.
She painted the -t, wrapped burlap around each tier, filled it with college-themed baby items and it was amazing!
It was gorgeous! If you recall the layout, we decided to do two long family-style tables with an open area for the games and the gifts. The layout was designed to draw the eye toward the gift table where the guests of honor sat. It was a great layout but we needed to jazz it up quite a bit. I softened the brick by hanging a coffee filter wreath and garland.
On the gift table, I placed Mom's large crate (to hold gifts), a giraffe print card box and a wire elephant to keep with the theme! Sure, the gift area was nice but, Islanders, do you see those chairs?
Those chairs are from Mom's seaside family room. They are gorgeous and really made the area feel upscale and chic. One of the extra coffee filter poms was placed between the two chairs and gave the feel of an ottoman.
My favorite decor element was the tablescape we created using small wrapped boxes, jars with white flowers and animals!
I found my favorite animals at The Village. This little giraffe is a bud vase and I love it!
Oh, and this adorable elephant was everyone's fave. He's so cute and has so much texture!
The crisp white linen, the kraft paper table runner and the beautiful white flowers from Costco and the local grocery store (thanks, Devona!)... all of the decor elements made for a great atmosphere. The final decor element (we'll talk food and such later) was the handpainted wall decor from auntie-to-be (and Lea's mama) Jay!
Kraft paper and white paint made the perfect wall cover AND this labor of love was a shower highlight; everyone loved it! Can you see it in the background? It covered that wall perfectly!
Tune in tomorrow for a sweets sneak peek!