Garden Party Get Up…

We held Bea’s Naming Ceremony in our garden this last Sunday and as one of the reasons we chose a Naming Ceremony instead of a Christening was because we had no personal relationship with any of the local churches, it was important to us to hold it somewhere of significance. Our family home and newly finished garden seemed the perfect place to celebrate and start creating memories. Of course, I wanted to decorate too so I thought I’d share some of the inspiration behind the decor in case you are looking to decorate for any kind of garden party or celebration soon. It was all really simple and easy – mainly because I bought the decor in rather than making (most) of it and I’d recommend that approach for busy mums rather than aspiring towards unrealistic expectations!

I didn’t really have a theme but it is summer and I just wanted everything to look happy, fun and celebratory, so we went with bright colours.


DIY celebration flags // Mexicana fiesta bunting
Confetti Sprinkles Cake // Tags for wishes // Thumbprint tree

Of course, I collected some Pinterest inspiration, then found all the necessary supplies. Our celebrant Janet Lopacki provided us with the tree for a thumbprint guest book but the same one is available to download below. As another memento I cut up coloured paper (from TK Maxx) into tag shapes and left a stack for people to write a message for Bea and we got some lovely ones to keep for her. My intention is to make a scrapbook with the wishes, fingerprint tree and copies of the readings. The flags were a last minute idea to give to the children to wave through the ceremony, also made with the co-ordinating paper. I spotted the decor in John Lewis and made a note of their brand. Theres a much more extensive selection on their own website and I ended up buying it from them via Amazon which was cheaper. I happened to find some in TK Maxx too, although not in the colours I wanted.


(Free printable) DIY fingerprint tree: One Fab Day // Paper decor and fan strings: Talkingtables.co.uk // Ink pad: Hobbycraft // Paper: HeidiSwapp.com (From TK Maxx)

At the end of the ceremony we also arranged a balloon release. I’d do this differently in future, because the message got a bit lost while people removed the strings from the balloons, but the idea was explained by Janet like this:

I know that Beatrice will receive, and give, a lot of love to everyone she meets in life. Today you have been given balloons to release into the sky, the purpose of this in a symbolic sense, is that during the course of Beatrice’s lifetime, the thoughts, hopes and wishes you have for Beatrice today, will be carried through the wind and the weather systems, kept in by that ozone layer, and with each ray of sunshine and drop of rain, that love and those aspirations will steadily come back down to Beatrice.

We have had a few friends take photos that I’m just waiting to come back, but when they do, I’ll share a few here so you can see how it all turned out!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Behind the scenes…

Firstly, let me apologise for going AWOL last week. A little while ago we decided against a traditional Christening for Bea and opted for a humanist naming ceremony. We planned it for our newly finished garden, found a celebrant and invited our closest friends and family. As a consequence, last week was busy!

It was such an amazing day and I’m so glad we did it. I’m going to come back soon and tell you all more about it but here are some pictures of the planning first. I actually enjoyed the build up and the day without feeling really stressed, probably because we did it exactly how we wanted it.

In the meantime, if you didn’t catch Erin’s post yesterday, do go back and have a look at how she wore June.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

#JanuaryJoy: Celebrate your Family

Last Saturday was a big day for my family as we held a Welcome to the World party for Freddie. Not being religious and so not wanting to have a Christening, it’s long been a family tradition (from my side) to gather family and friends together to coo over the new (or not so new in Freddie’s case) baby, catch-up, eat cake and celebrate the fact that our family has grown bigger. As both my husband and I had been overwhelmed by the support we’d received since Freddie was born, we also really wanted to be able to thank everybody who had kept us going through those long sleepless nights, brought us food, helped us learn to parent (although, of course, we’re still growing in that area) and generally just kept us sane over the past almost 9 months. Freddie didn’t have the easiest start to life, and still has some underlying health problems, so this seemed just as important as the cake-eating part.

One of the things I really wanted to do was make a speech. As well as getting very emotional while trying to tell anecdotes about our baby boy, I also read a poem and talked about how much we had appreciated all the help everyone there had given us. I quoted the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”, said that everyone there was Freddie’s village and we hoped they would all continue to play a part in his life. Lastly, I introduced Freddie’s fairy/ungodly parents (as it wasn’t a Christening we couldn’t have ‘official’ Godparents, but this is something else me and my siblings have and my husband and I definitely wanted to continue the tradition), my best friend Lucie and her husband George. Although I completely embarrassed myself by not being able to stop crying at first, I’m really glad I got over my nerves and did it because it was wonderful looking out at all of our family and friends’ smiling faces and realising they all wanted the best for our son as much as we did.

We also had a ‘wishing tree’, where we asked all of our guests to write a piece of advice or wisdom for Freddie on a leaf-shaped piece of paper and hang it on a branch, for me to later stick in his baby book. As with wedding guest books, there were the usual silly comments, such as “Learn a good supply of cheese-based jokes” (a dig at my husband’s penchant for terrible jokes), but there were also some thoughtful and thought provoking messages, like “Time is more valuable than money” and “Plan for tomorrow, but live for today”.

There was an F-shaped cake, mounds of sandwiches and lots of laughter, and it was wonderful seeing friends from different parts of our lives reconnect after not having seen each other since our wedding. I’m so glad we took this opportunity to celebrate our little family and, more importantly, remember that although usually it’s just the three of us, our family is actually much bigger. There’s some January Joy for you.

As an aside, I also want to take this opportunity to thank some other people who couldn’t make it on Saturday, but have nonetheless played a huge role in Freddie’s life by simply keeping me going: my twitter friends. Huge sloppy baby kisses to you all, you know who you are. I don’t think my family would be as happy as we are now if it wasn’t for you. And now I’m getting all emotional again…

Love, Esme.

Find Esme on her blog Esme Wins or @Real_Married

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