This past weekend we celebrated our second son Brody’s dedication. Opting for a less traditional theme to stay in line with our more intimate ceremony (performed by my sister-in-law), we went with up and away. With baby blue and white as our main color scheme, hints of bright red, home made hot air balloons adorning the mantel, and cloud cookies added an elegant touch of childhood.
This party became quite the team effort! Hosted at my grandparents home and catered by family, every detail was personal. The theme inspiration started with the dessert table. While I have worked with fondant before (see my Sesame Street themed 1st birthday for Luca), with less than a week post-vacation to party plan I decided to bake a few cupcakes with Luca and delegate cake and cookie duty to a professional! Turned out to be a smart (and cost effective!) choice. Cut Above Cakes in Bridgeport, CT did an amazing job bringing my ideas to life while baking up treats that all our guests gobbled up 🙂 Here’s some inspiration and tips for a successful up and away party!
Fresh flowers balanced with hand made paper hot air balloons create the perfect mix of elegance and childhood. While we used paper white dinner napkins, rolling silverware with color coordinated ribbon made them feel more expensive.
Brunch is one of my favorite types of parties because there is so much you can serve for food. Here’s my perfect brunch table:
1 roast (ham, roast beef, turkey, etc.)
Pasta dish (or two if you do it Italian style like our family!)
1-2 Salads (fruit, greens, or dressed mixed grilled vegetables, etc.)
Mixed breads with jams, jellies, butter (muffins, Italian loaf, croissants, sweet breads, etc.)
Drinks can vary from mimosa’s (make the kid friendly version with club soda 🙂 ), bloody mary’s, juices, punch, sparkling water, wine, beer, you name it! A mid-day celebration allows you to decide whether you’ll be serving alcohol while leaving you guilt-free while you sip a mimosa 😉
I’ll admit, my family thought my color scheme might quickly turn to a fourth of July feel but by sticking with baby blues and only a few pops of red, it stayed childhood chic. Jars filled with assorted baby blue and white candies (chocolates, gum balls, lollipops, whatever I could find! All ordered off of Oriental Trading-best party source ever!) and decorated with assorted toole and ribbon filled the blank space surrounding our cake. Napkins imprinted with Brody’s name, the date, and crosses brought just enough of a personalized touch.
Here are a few memories of Brody (in the christening gown his brother, mom, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and so on and so on were dedicated in), his hambone big brother Luca, and our guests (tip: if you can take the eye rolling, try to get a picture of the whole crowd, it’s an irreplaceable memory you won’t regret!).
While our plans included a beach ceremony, outdoor seating, and paper lantern hot air balloons, the rain was steady, temperatures cold, and UPS was late so we worked with what we had! Party planning tip #1: Aways have a plan B and make it one that won’t disappoint if you have execute it.
I loved this theme for the fact that it combined two seemingly opposing approaches: childhood and elegance. With pops of bold color surrounded by soft blues and whites it still felt like a celebration for a baby boy. Pre-plan oven timing (most casseroles can be prepared ahead of time) and even create a time table with temperatures to help keep you organized. Combine a few expensive items (such as fresh flowers and rented glass champagne/wine glasses) with your steals (like my home made hot air balloons, which were free!) and your guests will never know what decor was made from what was lying around the house.
Happy party planning!
Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian