That realization came while I was in Connecticut at a wedding. I was chilling on the bed in my room at the fun Heritage Hotel (ahh... lounging at the pool and enjoying the spa - that was the life for two days!) while E snoozed and the hubby hung out with old college buddies. I did a quick search, and stumbled on a cute invitation at Tiny Prints. The pink on the invitation, while stereotypical, set the color scheme for the aforementioned garden reception - pink and yellow.
A few weeks later, I mailed out about 30 invitations and set up a Facebook event - you know, standard protocol for partying in the digital age. (A side note here - This really was an event etiquette conundrum for me. I really wasn't sure who to invite to something intimate like a christening. I decided to only invite friends that showed a significant interest in E's life thus far - people who came to her shower, or who dropped in to visit in the weeks following her birth. Some people who normally make the invitation cut got left out in that calculation, but I figured giving the nature of the event that they wouldn't care.) I expected only family members and a very few close friends to RSVP. As the replies started to roll in, though, I was surprised to get a guest list of about 45 people! Uh, I guess this party just got a little bit bigger than cake.
The next few weeks included figuring out the decorations (I went an all-paper route: paper chains and paper flowers and paper lanterns), planning the food, renting tables and chairs, cleaning up the yard, making favors, securing speakers so we could have music, cleaning my house, peeling stickers off of newly-purchased plates, stalking Target waiting for more tablecloths to arrive... oh yeah, and ordering a cake.
10 days out, the weather forecast said 0% chance of rain.
8 days out - 30%
5 days out - 50%
3 days out - 70%
I may not have my days and percentages right there, but I do know that it went from 0 to 70% pretty darn quick. Ugh. This is supposed to be an elegant GARDEN RECEPTION. I spent hours making PAPER DECORATIONS. Sigh.
And here's the good moral of this post - sometimes when planning a party, you gotta be flexible. I decided on Friday to nix the garden reception idea and just have something inside. I have two rooms in my house for entertaining - a large living room and a large dining room. All the furniture got moved and we were able to fit two 70" round tables there with enough room to walk around to get to food, and we stuck one 70" round on the porch (It was kinda too big and had to hang off the porch railing, but it worked in a pinch). The paper chains that were supposed to drape from trees got taped to the living room ceiling. The paper lanterns got clustered on the dining room chandelier. And as it turned out... the weather was nice enough to play cornhole in the yard. Turns out it was a beautiful day, weather-wise, until about 6pm, but it was a beautiful day, event-wise, all day long. Many blessings to baby E!