New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

Planning, planning and more planning

on September 10, 2012

Planning, planning and more planning. If I thought I was a planner before, man am I ever one now. From planning Aud’s birth to her first birthday and everything in between I think I can call myself an expert. I wonder how I have gotten through it all this last year. I’ve definitely learned a couple things in the mix of it all, so I thought I would share what you might find handy when it comes to planning your babies upcoming events, cause you might not think it but there’s a ton of it ahead.

Yesterday we had her baptism, and it was such a great day! I have been planning it the last 3 months, again with my lists upon lists of things to do, people to contact, food to order, decorations to hang. It got a little stressful (Jon is probably rolling his eyes at “little”) at times. I will start with the first thing I had to get organized in order to go ahead with everything else; guestlist. I have a big family, Jon has a big family, so combined we have a HUGE family. We also have tons of friends we like to include as much as we can. But I knew that I wouldn’t be able to have everyone there. So I made the executive decision to invite close family, aunts/uncles and close friends. I was so worried what people were going to think if I didn’t invite them. But the truth is we had a strict budget, and I couldn’t sway from it. And the bigger the guest list the bigger the budget. So that would be my number one tip, think really hard about who you want to be there.

What event are you planning? A baptism I felt was a more intimate gathering, something a little more personal then a birthday party or a  shower. Make sure you have an RSVP date on your invites and I would suggest having it almost a month before your party. This gives you lot’s of time to really plan ahead and be able to chase down those who havn’t RSVP’d, because trust me you’re going to get the ones that maybe skipped the small print to do so. I’m not going to say it really bothered me people didn’t RSVP, but at one point I was wondering if people just thought it was an option to let me know if they were coming or not. Is it? Does RSVP mean don’t worry about letting me know if you are coming or not, I will just have double of everything in case you do…ok I sense myself going on a rant so I will just say this. If you receive an invitation and it says RSVP it means, please respond. See we are asking nicely, so respond. Ok so guest list, very important and do not feel bad about having to call or ask people if they can make it, some people may have just simply forgot…

Since we live in a small apartment having a big party at our place isn’t ideal. Seating is limited, Aud’s toys take up probably half of the living room, and we just don’t have a ton of space in general, so cramming 40 people in our place just won’t work. Location was key for us, as with all things really. I’m apprehensive about outdoor parties especially in September because the weather can be dodgy. I ended up renting out the church hall (in basement) and it was perfect for the occasion. Nice big room, they supplied tables and chairs, we had full use of the kitchen and I was able to get the keys a couple days before hand so I could go in and set up and decorate. It was really a perfect space. In fact I would use it again for any future event where I have more then 25 people coming. It was not expensive and they don’t only rent out the space for church events like baptisms and weddings. So if you are looking for a space check the unexpected. Ask your local church, library or even museum if they have a space they rent out. They likely will cause they can make some money and the space is being used, and it won’t cost you an entire months pay. You will just have to promise to clean up and throw out the garbage.

I would have to say aside from checking things off a to do list my favorite part of planning is the decorating. A) because I get to shop and buy pretty things and b) because I get to have a vision, coordinate it all and see a finished product all in a matter of hours. I had to pick a theme for her party. I love themes. You’re probably thinking, there already was a theme, her baptism! Yup that was the theme but I got to pick a colour theme, (cue the ‘Ohhh’). So obviously I went with pink and white with a splash of sparkle, who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle. The had picked up a couple decorations here and there when I would see something I liked but majority of the deco’s I bought closer to the date. Listen guys, don’t go buying streamers and balloons and table covers at these big, expensive party stores, go to the dollar store!! I am a huge, and I mean huge advocate of Dollarama especially for party supplies. Trust me, you will save lot’s of dollars going to your dollar store then the local Party City. Not to say I didn’t go to Party City because included in my theme was some baptism insignia of course, which they had tons of. I ended up buying a ‘Little Angel” banner and a couple of other things but didn’t spend a ton.

I would say I am someone who doesn’t abide by the whole, “less is more” thing but in this case I did. There was a moment where my cart was FILLED with pink decorations but I had to scale it back. I wanted it to look tasteful, not like I was throwing a pepto bismal launch party. So when it comes to decorating especially for more intimate events, go with the less is more saying. Now first birthday parties…that’s a whole other story. Which I am sure I will write about when the time comes…

One thing I found myself really struggling with during my planning was food. Have I mentioned I am a people pleaser? I wanted to make sure everyone would leave with full and well bellies but not breaking my budget. Since Jon is italian I guess I felt a little more pressure then usual about the food. Plus, isn’t food the one thing you end up talking about when it comes to a party? I had this whole vision of lasagnas, and pastas, caesar salads, and anti pasta, bread…mouth watering italian food. Then someone asked me if I was planning my wedding. I was planning a lunch, who am I kidding. Not to mention it probably would of cost around $30 a person if I served a hot meal like that and again budget was a big factor.

So finally I came to the conclusion a big spread like that wasn’t happening nor necessary. We decided to go with sandwich trays, salads, dips, and great desserts. I am so happy I did. Since I have some great friends, a couple of them offered to bring something which was a huge help. When they first offered I thought no, no I got it covered but I am so happy I agreed to let them help. So when someone offers help with ANYTHING take it, because I know this party would of been a lot more hectic had I not had some of the help of my friends and family. Keep the food simple, don’t take on more then you can handle. If someone offers to make something, let them! You don’t want to be short on food, so have a variety and make sure you have enough to feed everyone at least once. We set it up buffet style which I think always makes the most sense at these things, just remember everyone is probably going to put a bit of everything on their plate so don’t skimp out on portions.

Well I would say those are the four most important things I had done when it came to planning her baptism. I still have a couple  more parties to plan including her first birthday which I am thoroughly looking forward to! A couple more tips to leave you with, gifts for the guests. How nice is it when you go to a party or event you get to leave with something too!? A keepsake or memorabilia? We had pictures done of baby girl in her dress from our local Superstore (wal-mart does them, blacks photography…) at a great price, and I got some great little dual frames from, you guessed it, dollarama, and then I personalized a little thank you note to go with it as well. People loved it! I will be doing my thank you cards for gifts as well but this was more of a thank you for coming gesture. I can’t stress enough about when people offer to help you, take it!! Don’t get all high and mighty and prideful, but say yes. They are offering it for a reason. Oh and one of my biggest tips, bring flat shoes to change into if your a heel’s and stiletto lady. Trust me, golden advice right there, bring the matching flip flops.

 

 

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2 responses to “Planning, planning and more planning

  1. dad says:

    it turned out exactly how you envision it honey. It was an intimate, familial, happy gathering that more than statisfied everyone present. I loved seeing all the family members and meeting some new ones…you did a great job. I’m proud of you!

  2. alana says:

    Totally agree with dad there! The baptism was perfect! Xoxo

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