Every event planner dreams of working without constraints. For Kendall Goddard, director of events and design at A Moment in Time Wedding & Event Production, the impending birth of her son, Dakota James, offered just such a chance. She and her husband, Dave, planned a festive backyard baby shower for 100 guests in September.
"We decided it would be a family event, and we immediately thought backyard soiree," Goddard says. "We ended up titling our event, ‘Backyard Baby-Q,’ and the ideas just started flowing."
The vision, Goddard says, was a texture-rich event that was upscale yet rustic, and would transition from day to evening.
The Goddards didn’t want "your generalized baby-blue explosion" of a baby shower, she says. Instead, they wanted to play off the backyard’s beautiful landscaping and give the event a subtly masculine color scheme, both in honor of their baby’s gender and because the shower guests were male and female.
"The overall feel was simple, DIY, [but] with a lot of behind-the-scenes planning," Goddard says.
End-to-end rectangle tables under a white tent featured burlap runners overlaid with a champagne rosette. The linens, gold resin Chiavari chairs and colorful lanterns extended the event’s color scheme throughout the yard.
"We were combining the glam with the rustic," says Jessica Goodfallow of Luxe Event Linen, which provided the linens and chairs. "You would never guess it’s a baby shower."
The long tables "allowed them to combine guests rather than keep them separate," Goodfallow says. "They provided a sense of unity and family."
The Goddards turned to Quest Productions to layer chandelier lighting with uplighting of the tent to transition the party to nighttime and to complement the backyard’s pond lighting and other landscaping.
Atop the tables were mini lanterns and vases of wild flowers and plants, including white and purple kale, hanging amaranths, fiddlehead ferns, deep purple button dahlias, mini green hydrangeas, dark purple leucadendron and green lip cymbidium orchids. Guests could sign a leaf for Dakota and hang it on a tree.
"When working with our floral clients at A Moment In Time, there are just certain elements that get used in the wedding world that we end up working with most of the time," Goddard says. "This was our chance to use the flowers we drool over at the wholesaler, and we ran with it.
"It was the best day and really set the stage for the wonderful little man that we welcomed one month later," she adds.