m o m
With Easter behind us, that means Mother's Day will be here before we know it! What better gift could you give her than a thoughtful celebration all about her?? Last year I shared a styled shoot that I did with friends Sarah and Nakia of Fork + Function, as well as, Stacy Able. You can find my write up on that shoot here or here on 100 Layer Cakelet! This year I want to do some scaled back ideas that feel attainable to everyone.
We celebrated my Mom's 70th birthday this year and let me just say that I hope I got her genes because she does not look it! I mention her often and that so much of my passion for creativity and intentional details come from her. She was the type of Mom that hung ribbons from the kitchen table light fixture for our birthday breakfast. To this day she has a "Welcome Home!" sign waiting for me ( and now Mike, too!) every single visit. When we went to camp she would put yellow post-it notes between every outfit with encouraging words or simply just, "I love you, Mom". She has always put thought into everything she does and that has stayed with me my entire life.
I made the invites myself and thought it would be fun to use one of my Mom's college photos. I think they turned out pretty cute! We put fun 70 confetti in the envelope that you'll see more of below.
My sister and I wanted to celebrate her turning 70 years young in a thoughtful way full of friends that love her. My Mom is a social butterfly and literally knows everyone! I wanted to share some of the ways we chose to celebrate her because even though this was for her birthday, these special details can easily translate into a Mother's Day celebration all about your Mom!Not to mention, we had her party in Georgia where my family lives so I planned this from a million miles away and executed it while out of town in a small town with little options. These are simple things that pack a big emotional punch.
This next picture is from my grainy phone, but there is a really helpful tip that my sister does. Go head and do your table layout the day before the party. That way you can be sure you have the right serving pieces and can go ahead and style it the way you want. We used an assortment of silver trays that are family heirlooms. My Mom grew up in Savannah and is about as traditional southern belle as you can get so for her this was perfect. The most helpful part? Put sticky notes on each serving piece that tell you what is going on/in that tray/dish. This makes is much less stressful when you are in the final minutes trying to set food out before guests arrive and also makes it super easy to delegate that task to someone else!
We (my sister, ha) made my Mom's favorite appetizers and put out some fine china - those were my Grandmother's serving plates that my Mom grew up with. I ordered custom 70 confetti off Etsy and had it shipped to my sister's house. For Mother's Day you could get some flower confetti like this, or Mom confetti like this, or even her name or a fun saying like this that plays off of your theme. Never underestimate the power of custom confetti! It is not a mess to clean up like traditional confetti and really adds a fun, personalized element that you can use all over the space. The person you are celebrating can also keep some as a special momento for a scrapbook, etc. Something my former boss Darcy Miller taught me was to have dishes around the table filled with candy. It fills up the space, brings in the color, and let's face it - candy makes people happy.
There are pretty much zero flower options in my hometown as far as buying pretty ones to put together yourself and I did not get my act together in time to get a wholesale order shipped (this was the week of Christmas and two months before my wedding) so I had to work with what I could find. Always check Sam's Club/Costco, grocery stores (Trader Joe's has the best variety if you have one), and local florists. Florists will sell you just greens, too! My Mom loves classic lilies and the alstroemeria gave it a warm glow. My favorite element was, of course, the cotton that I used - y'all know I love texture! Georgia is annually ranked second nationally in cotton acreage with 1.6 million planted, and second in production with an average yield of 791 pounds of cotton per acre. Sometimes called "white gold" or SOWEGA (South West Georgia) snow, cotton is the most widely grown row crop in Georgia. My Mom is also married to a cotton farmer that has spent his whole life working in those fields with his own hands so that was a special touch.
We had a peach bellini bar set up for our Georgia peach in the kitchen and I displayed a timeline of photos from my Mom's life in that area. It is a great conversation piece and a fun way for other guests that might now know everyone to get involved. Another one of my best tips is to use place card holders as photo stands. You probably already own some and if you don't they are super cheap! I used these simple gold ones that I picked up that day at Party City, but there are a million cute ones you can order online. Again, last minute Lindsay over here. I used other ones off Amazon for a dinner party I did at a restaurant for my friend Colleen - see that post here.
Don't forget to put out a guestbook for friends and family to write special messages to your guest of honor. I snagged this super simple one from Hobby Lobby for $2.49 that you can add a photo to the front of and it has regular paper pages so you don't have to worry about a pen smudging. It is nice to have "stations" set up throughout your space because it creates a flow in the room.
Another great way to add a personal touch is napkins. They aren't very expensive when you are just getting them for a smaller gathering and you can do a monogram, name, or funny saying! Even if you don't get personalized ones, put some money into buying some pretty/fun ones because that really says P-A-R-T-Y and you don't have to worry about people ruining your good linen ones ( or washing them!). I got the ones below at a gift shop in my hometown, but For Your Party and Etsy are a great resource for those.
My sister found a girl that makes cakes out of her home (support t small biz!) and she made us this beautiful (and delish!) rosette cake. It doesn't have to be a cake, but some type of fancy dessert can really make a person feel special. You can always do a personalized topper like the one we got off Etsy or even just use some fresh greenery.
If your budget allows for it, get two cakes - one for guests to enjoy and a smaller one for the guest of honor to enjoy over the following week. It will be a bit more fresh since it has not been cut. Break out a favorite cake stand and let that dessert be one of your decor elements!
Not only did we do the photo timeline, but I made sure to have photos throughout the space. This is an old photo of my Mom's family from when she was a little girl. This is a great way to include loved ones that have passed away or can't be present.
Perhaps my favorite element was the favor. I am not always a proponent of favors. I feel like they often just get trashed and are a waste of money, but if you can figure out a really good one then it is a great detail. Byrd's Cookies is a company out of Savannah that started in 1924. As a little girl my Mom would often go and get fresh cookies from their bakery and they remain one of her favorite things today. My Grandmother always brought us a fresh box when she came to visit. They have been a staple throughout my life and definitely my Mom's. Luckily they now ship their cookies and have all different kinds. I send them to my Mom at least once a year. If you are looking for a southern inspired gift then definitely visit their site because they sell all different types of beautiful tins with their treats. I loved sending guests home with a special piece of my Mom's story. I also got that reusable chalkboard ($1.99 people!) and pen at Hobby Lobby and just wrote a short message so that guests would not miss out!
I put a handful of the cookies into cello bags and added a cute little "thank you" label on the front. I got both of those from Party City - cello bags in the baking department and labels in the bridal department. I did a simple ribbon tie around the bag an voila! A pretty sweet favor is born. The party was so special and meant so much to my Mom. I hope some of you incorporate these ideas into your Mother's Day festivities this year!
Also, no celebration is complete without balloons! Party City has so many great options for letters and numbers, but I also love their geometric shapes. Balloons are fun for all ages and make for the best photo opps! I took these photos myself, but if you are really wanting to put some extra thought (and money) into your celebration then think about hiring a photographer for a couple of hours or maybe throwing your teenage cousin that lives on their phone a couple bucks to snap some shots. Having the photos is such a special gift!