As a girl who grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, Sara Skinner, an event planner with Chancey Charm, has always loved the water, whether it’s relaxing by it, swimming in it, or riding on it. And that fondness only grew when she became engaged to and wed husband Tony, a fellow water enthusiast, at the beach. So when it came time for this couple to have a shower for the precious baby boy soon to enter their lives, a sailor themed celebration was an absolute given! Held at Country Club of the South, this event overflowed with nautical details. Along with floral arrangements, small ships served as centerpieces on tables bedecked in yellow, blue and white. Colorful flags and netting hung from the walls. And one of my favorite details? The beautiful wooden rowboat used to store gifts! Grab a compass and set sail for this gorgeous maritime celebration with these photos by Kelly Lane Photography!
Can you give us an overview of the event?
When a wedding planner has a baby, and its the first baby to be born to anyone in the company, we tend to go a little overboard! (No pun intended!) So we turned it into a styled shoot and so many of our wonderful vendors and friends pitched in to make it the most amazing baby shower ever. Since we’re members of the Country Club of the South, we decided to have it there in the ballroom.
Was there a specific theme or style?
My husband, Tony, and I are big beach people so after getting engaged and married at the beach, we knew that a nautical theme for our little guy was the way to go. We knew that we were walking a fine line with the nautical theme and that it would be super easy to go from “Yacht Club” to “Margaritaville” so we had to be very careful with all the choices we had to make.
What inspired the theme or style?
My husband and I spend as much time as possible at the beach, in and on the water. It was only natural to want to have a nautical shower for the baby. We want him to to love the water as much as we do. Navy and yellow are perfect nautical colors and throwing in a little chevron here and there for an added pop of fun was the perfect way to keep it light and young.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
For starters we rented a rowboat to use instead of a gift table. We literally got a boatload of presents! It took 4 cars to get everything home. I hung a fishing net behind the boat to have everyone pin their advice and wishes for us and the baby on. We also had all the guests take a picture in the photo booth to put into a scrapbook next to their advice and wishes cards. I also brought in a treasure chest to use as the wishing well. Instead of using table numbers each table was assigned a different nautical letter flag and the placecards were displayed on a giant board with the phrase “Find Your Ship & Crewmates” to keep with the theme. The hostesses and I were also loaned custom made hats and fascinators by Tina Kite Millinery to wear for the event. They were incredible!
Did you DIY any of the details?
My team and I DIY’ed tons of things for the shower! From the invitations to the labels on the wine bottle favors to the navy and yellow chevron runners on the guest tables to the AHOY hanging above the photo booth to many of the props in the photo booth. We made the poster sized seating chart and all the flags on the tables. One of my brides sewed the giant nautical flag banner spelling our last name hung behind the gift boat. My team and I even did the flowers for the event as well when a vendor backed out last minute. That almost gave me a heart attack!
What was the most memorable moment?
My grandmother passed away right before our wedding in late 2011 and she was an expert knitter. I had nothing of hers when she died and always longed for just a little piece of her to save to share with my own children. I opened a gift from my birth mother to discover a tiny sweater my grandmother had knitted for me as a baby that I never knew existed. It was the most special touching moment of the entire day. Several of the guests sitting close enough to hear what it was started crying right along with me!
Tell us about the food and desserts.
We had a brunch buffet with an omelette station and gourmet coffee bar with yummy cake from Cakes by Darcy served after we opened gifts.
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the guests?
The games really helped people to lighten up and get to know one another. Watching grown men race each other to chug beer out of baby bottles and our friends and parents shake ping pong balls out of a tissue box tied to their butts was hysterical!
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
I wish we would’ve had more time for more games and such.
Planning, Design, & Florals: Chancey Charm | Photography: Kelly Lane Photography | Venue: Country Club of the South | Catering & Cakes: Gardenia’s Custom Cakes and Catering | Hats and Fascinators: Tina Kite Millinery | Backdrop: Backdrop Baby | Hair & Makeup: Brushworx Hair & Makeup | Linens: Nuage Designs | Invitations: Invitation Creations | Photobooth Props: Amp’d Atlanta