This past weekend, my mother and I threw a “welcome to the world” party for the Duchess. Since she’s the second child, we didn’t want to go “full-on” baby shower but we do believe that every child deserves some type of celebration when they are brought into the world. So, Miss Diva Duchess Supreme got her very own party.
Now, obviously this could have been a recipe for financial disaster(who doesn’t love to go all out for a cute little baby?) but after planning this gathering with my Mother, I see now that maybe, when it counts, I’m just like her.
First off, we had to decide on the venue. I wanted to go all out frugal and have it at either our house or my Parents’ house. I’d do the clean up before and after and that would save us on hundreds of dollars. My Mother wholeheartedly disagreed. Her thoughts were, if we want to invite all of our friends and family, then we should have it at a location. Otherwise, one of them just may destroy something and that’s the end of that relationship. Also, she pointed out that just because you are ABLE to do something, like clean up your place for 50 or so of your closest friends to hang out in, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it. I’m glad we listened to her, because two days before the party, everyone in my house got a nasty cold and we were bedridden all of Friday; the day I would have cleaned up the place. So we agreed on a great Chinese buffet that’s halfway between our house and my Parents’ house.
After the venue was set and the deposit was put down, we started on the details. Much to my surprise, my Mom was adamant about keeping the costs low on all of these items as well. She found the invitations at the dollar store, along with the centerpieces and even found a book of baby shower games there that we could copy from. Since my Mom is a cake decorator, we knew that we wouldn’t have to worry about the cake. She had me pick up the tableclothes and since the venue had an extra charge to pipe “muzak” into the banquet room, we nixed that and I made a playlist on my Ipod of great party songs. I have a Ipod dock that I got a few Christmases ago, so I bought that and it was more than loud enough to fill the whole room with music. When it came to putting together the games and prizes, we stayed even more frugal. I got lucky a few days before the party when I saw on a deal site that Office depot offered a coupon for 25 free copies. I printed one off for me and one for my Mom and we used those to copy the games we had typed up. The prizes were found from my gift box and my Mom’s liquor cabinet. She had a great bottle of a specific wine that she actually didn’t like(and never offered to Hubby and I lol) so we used it as one of the prizes. I had a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card that I had been saving, and offered that up to the pot as well. I was able to also put together a “manicure” kit as a prize. Our two big prizes were a movie pack and a spa kit, with all items I had stockpiled as gifts. Those two prizes were used for our “coin raffle.” I’ll share more on that tomorrow.
We also kept it frugal when it came to the favors. I’m not a fan of favors that are not useful, or edible, so I told my Mom that I wanted to make cut-out cookies and pipe the Duchess’s name and birthdate on them. Unfortunately, I got to make the dough but didn’t get to bake the cookies since by Friday morning I was way under the weather. I then came up with the idea of having everyone take a picture with the Duchess on the day of the party, then I could get the pictures printed with one of my free credits on one of those printing sites, like shutterfly or snapfish. To make it a little easier, I grouped families together in the picture so we didn’t have to take pictures of her with each and every person. I’ll send these pictures off with the thank you cards (also found at the dollar store) and everyone will have their own personalized favor.
After the party was over, everyone commented on how much fun they had, even the men that joined us! I even got phone calls Sunday and Monday to let us know that a few people really appreciated being invited. I couldn’t help but think about how things could have gone if my Mom and I still had different mindsets when it comes to spending money. So, maybe I am like my Mom a bit. Or, like DH says, maybe I just got the “good parts.”