However…he does have One True Love….Our beagle (mix), Illiebelle!And so, an Illie-theme was quickly established!
What ended up being a single, oversized balloon let guests know they were in the right place (alright, so we started with two balloons…..)
Similar to a pair of wreaths on the front doors of my in-laws, two Illie silhouettes (also created by Liz) were the first to welcome friends and family.
The birthday boy posed with momma and daddy in front of the dessert buffet.
The party was called for 1:30pm, so while guests weren’t expecting a full meal, I prepared a food buffet fit for adults and kiddos alike.
For the elders, I had a bruschetta bar with four different flavors – marinated skirt steak, arugula, caramelized onions and gorgonzola – BBQ pulled chicken – tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella – seasonal honeycrisp apple, ricotta, crispy prosciutto, parmigiano reggiano and honey drizzle. I also made a farro salad and a fall salad.
Bowls of cheerios, yogurt bites and Plum Pouches kept the kiddos satisfied until desserts.
Stickers made on zazzle featured Illiebelle’s silhouette (also created by Liz!) and adorned paper cups for the bevvies.
The kids weren’t the only ones that had fun…champagne cocktails and beer were on hand for the older kids.
Carter’s Corner featured toys galore!
The dessert spread was positioned in front of a collage of paper fans and featured treats from Sweet Mandy B’s, green and blue candies, legendary peanut butter squares made by my mother in law, and of course a cake made for one happy little boy.
Of course Carter needed a wardrobe change before his Smash The Cake experience! I had his bloomers, suspenders, bow-tie and hat made on etsy.
Little Man demolished what was nearly 1/3rd of the Sweet Mandy B’s cake! (His sweet tooth comes from MOMMA!)
Guests took doggie-bag favors home with them…Puppy Chow made by my mother in law and cookies decorated with Illie’s silhouette.
And coordinating stationary let our generous friends and family know how much Carter appreciated their thoughtfulness.
I have always LOVED hosting parties – and to be able to throw one for my SON (ah!) was a pretty amazing experience!
Although my sweet little prince is over eight months old, yesterday’s lovely Chicago weather reminded me of the day that Renny, Katie and Jesse hosted my baby shower last year.
The day was nearly as special as my wedding day – knowing how Joel and I had deeply longed for a child. Renny, Katie and Jesse put on the most beautiful and spectacular shower a gal could ever dream of!
SO much love and appreciation to my dear, dear friends!
While time with my baby son is always the priority, I am giddy thinking about the flexibility I [should?] now have to truly enjoy the summer with family and friends…to actually hunt for inspiration again, to relish in the warmer temps with alfresco meals, countless walks and open windows…and hopefully spending a bit more regular time sharing ideas and inspiration with ya’ll.
Carter Jackson’s first root root root for the home team [they lost…obviously].
Every now and again, Chicago Spring showed it’s face.
Very Serious Smiles.
Cocktail locale for one of my weddings and the surprise of a lifetime from my bride to her groom….a bucket-list item checked off his list….a ride in a sidecar [complete with riding goggles and scarf].
Said best friend has her beautiful baby girl……..and names her Vivian Harper.
Carter is already planning their first date.
A quick visit to celebrate a friends son’s 1st birthday.
And finally, more recent Snuggles.
Guests were transported to the 5th floor ballroom by a massive open-air freight elevator, the perfect clue that Taryn and Kori’s wedding would be anything but cookie-cutter!
The touching Jewish ceremony was witnessed by the couples closest friends and family.
During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a gallery wall of vintage photographs of the couples relatives on their wedding days.
Waiters passed a signature cocktail, the Izze Clementine Mojito – a nod to the couples’ current home in Colorado.
Postcards, doubling as escort cards, were strung from timber beams and secured with small clothes pins. Later, guests scribed playful and heartfelt notes to the bride and groom – the postcards were then collected to be mailed to the couple over months following the wedding.
After cocktails, guests were welcomed to an evening of dinner and dancing by the sounds of Ken Arlen Orchestra. Square and rectangular tables were dressed in deep teal linens, topped by custom grey and white runners. Some of the tables were highlighted by soaring foliage arrangements on vintage birdbaths.
The tables also featured petite collections of milk glass, subtly metallic vases and trophy urns filled with garden roses, billy balls (the brides’ favorite!), parrot tulips and orchids.
A touching surprise – the young brother of the groom hopped up on stage and played the sax alongside Ken Arlen.
Guests enjoyed a huge table layered with heaps of sweet treats – all homemade by friends and family.
The night ended as the photographer snuck the bride and groom to the roof to snap some photos with the weekend’s unique ‘supermoon’ in the backdrop.
Kori and Taryn had so much fun celebrating their new beginning throughout the evening – an evening that so perfectly suited them. Oh, how I miss them so….
[image credits] all wedding photos by Jai Girard Photography