After John’s confirmation mass, we filled our home with guests that love John, and we broke bread over a menu of John’s favorites.
I had hoped to have the party outside in the courtyard under the twinkle lights, but it rained all day. My parents and my bestie worked tirelessly to help pick up tables and chairs, move everything off the porch to the garage, and set up for the event. It turned out even more beautiful than I had hoped.
I rented tables and chairs to seat 28, along with the table cloths.
The candles, a roaring fire, pool lit behind us, and courtyard twinkle lights to the side of us were magic.
I wanted a centerpiece that would be simple, seasonally appropriate and affordable since I had a lot of them to do! Along with John, we settled on navy and white for the colors.
On top of the white linens, I used a cabana striped runner. I then layered on a base of faux eucalyptus. I have used this SO many times since, and my bestie has borrowed them for multiple events as well. The morning of the event, Sister, Mother and I tucked in sprigs of fresh eucalyptus (Trader Joe’s) to give it body, fullness and (for lack of a better word) realness.
The mercury glass votives were just what the rustic greenery needed. I use these often. For most, I fill with an unscented, inexpensive white candle. My trick is to do a couple at each table with a favorite scent – mine is Japanese Quince! This saves money, makes the room smell delightful and isn’t overpowering. The taper candles are from Target. I had these before this particular party, but think they still have them in stores. These are similar. The white porcelain pumpkins were old, from the Target dollar spot.
I really wanted to use real linens and china, even for the casual menu John chose. I had almost enough Blue Willow plates. Since Mother, Sister and I all use them as everyday china, getting my hands on four more was not an issue. I also had almost enough bee glasses – in different styles but I think that added to the charm. I borrowed the extras from Sister and then she let me keep them :-). For linens, I have 12 napkins with my AW monogram. I had Shuler Studio create a monogram for John for this event and his “forever gift” last year. I had a set of 12 white linen napkins monogrammed with his JW initials. Afterwards, I washed them, pressed them, and packed them away for his distant future. (not pictured here) For the remaining four seats, I used a third set of white linen napkins monogrammed just with a W from my stash. I had enough silverware between my everyday and sterling. I made the place cards to match the invitaitons.
It turned out to be a chillier night than expected, but the fire, a couple of space heaters and a big stack of blankets were all that was needed keep everyone warm.
I can’t even recall the menu I had originally planned, since it’s been a year. It was something that I thought would be delicious and elegant. John had other ideas though! He wanted to share his favorite foods with everyone. It turned out wonderfully and made the night even more special.
We set out Mellow Mushroom pretzel bites, served with beer cheese and esperanza dressing, as guests arrived.
The main course was from his favorite local BBQ joint. Pulled pork, pulled chicken and macaroni and cheese. He also requested Caesar salad to go with it.
The drinks were set up out on the porch. He specifically requested raspberry tea and lemonade for the kids. Both were HUGE hits with kids and adults alike! In fact, raspberry tea and lemonade have been a staple at every party we’ve had since. Blue strip straws, monogrammed napkins and custom menus were among my favorite additions.
I had also hoped to have the cake table outside in the courtyard, but it worked just fine here. I set it up with the runner, a canvas with eucalyptus wreath, plates, photos and party favors.
The cake was from a local friend and baker and it.was.delicious! The bottom layer was my personal favorite – almond cake with almond buttercream. The top layer was John’s pick – chocolate cake with cookies and cream filling. Both were delicious.
I created the invitation and had a copy on display.
I also made the prayer cards. Our family bible is full of them from communions, baptisms, funerals and more.
I set out John’s baptism photo, first communion photo and a recent pic of him. Silver bamboo frames
The party favors were bagged gingerbread cookies in the shapes of crosses. The same friend was a doll to make them. She told me they would be delicate using gingerbread, but was willing to use the same cookie cutter I bought for his baptism fifteen years prior. Gingerbread is his favorite cookie of all time and they were delicious. I asked her to pipe a simple green vine on them to go with the eucalyptus. I ordered a large set of the tags and included his last name so that he could use them on gifts for many years to come. Navy Striped Ribbon
The guest list was intentional and incredibly special. He was surrounded by friends and families that have never wavered in their support, guidance and loyalty to him and it still makes me well up with tears to think that my son could be so truly and wholly loved by so many. I did a horrid job at taking photos as the evening progressed. In fact, the only one I got of us with John was him headed out the door after the event for another friend’s birthday.
I have never felt God’s love shine down so greatly upon this child as it did on his confirmation day. May the Lord bless and keep John today, and every day of his life.