My Baby Shower Luau & Lei DIY!

June 26, 2014

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36.5 weeks pregnant at my shower!

My sister, Fiona, is the ‘Suzie home-maker’ of my three sisters and I – and she always manages to be the first to volunteer to coordinate any party or gathering and plan from top to bottom. I, on the other hand, am more of a ‘design’/aesthetics type of planner. I really like to focus on the visual aspects of a space/party. When she volunteered to plan my baby shower, I must admit, it was very hard to not try to coordinate linens, flowers, cake design, tablescapes, invites, etc.! She actually had to tell me to ‘stop it’. I even started a Pinterest board to try to convince her how it should be done. Because it’s customary for the mommy-to-be to not help plan the shower and to be surprised, I reluctantly talked myself into taking a backseat. It sorta went like “Just enjoy the surprise, self” – “But I want to help, and it will be fabulous”. :D haha.. Honestly, I was happy to not have to help once I got to the time of the shower, because of how exhausted I was from a ton of weddings the past month on top of my swollen legs/ankles! I volunteered our house, as we had completely overhauled our backyard in a massive mainly-DIY undertaking. So, any excuse to have a gathering at our house was totally awesome! We prayed for sunshine and good weather, and it ended up being PERFECT!


Some iPhone pics from the shower… (don’t judge, I’m no photographer ;-)The shower was to be an evening, co-ed cocktail party luau. I know it’s not tradition, but honestly, I was a tomboy growing up and for most of the 12 years Robby and I have been together, so many of our friends are guys. Robby’s entire family lives in South Carolina, and half of mine is in England. So, for us, a mixed party of any and all friends was the perfect fit to celebrate the upcoming arrival of little baby Bane! I think planning a shower is like a wedding, you just have to do what’s right for the situation!2014-06-21_0008My sister was super sneaky and contacted a calligrapher I have worked with quite a few times on styled shoots, Meant To Be Calligraphy. As soon as I walked in the room and saw the cards, I knew whose gorgeous lettering they were!! The idea was that we wouldn’t open all the gifts at the party, and that the gifts would be on display in the nursery for everyone to see. Guests would place their name tag on their gift showing who it was from. I just loved being able to show everyone the nursery! I feel like that’s a part that is always missing from a shower — seeing the baby’s new digs! Of course, not necessary, but I think it’s so fun to see the nursery all decorated and cute!2014-06-21_0009I realized after the party that Bane is a Hawaiian name, and we had a luau for his shower — I guess it was meant to be! :D

On the left, my brother-in-law, Dustin, tending bar under the pergola I normally use for styled shoots and rentals! … yes, it was very hard to not completely deck that thing out in florals!… but, I had to not ‘work’ at my shower :/2014-06-21_0005The girls all wore cymbidium orchids in their hair — my momma on the right!

Thank you so much to everyone that came to the shower to celebrate baby Bane! He surely will be very loved when he’s here! :)

To create your very own fresh flower lei, it’s super simple to make….

DIY Fresh Floral Lei Tutorial


– 30-40 large carnations (mini carnations and orchids work great too!)

– 1 2.5″+ sewing needle (just needs to be about 50% longer than the bloom so it doesn’t get stuck!) I bought a package of different lengths just in case

– 1 yard waxed cord (JoAnn, Michaels, any craft store! check the jewelry aisle)

2014-06-21_00011. Thread the needle, and break the stem off the carnation (they break easily, or you can cut it!)2014-06-21_00022. Fluff the carnation open/carnations can easily be forced open once they are a little older — newer ones can be tight!2014-06-21_00033. Push the needle through the bottom center of the carnation and pull through the top, this creates the end of your lei – so make sure you pull the cord through to the length the lei will be2014-06-21_00044. Continue adding carnations, tucking the next one into the center of the previous one, until you reach the desired length — simply knot the ends together making sure the carnations are all tightly tucked into each other

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