The moment Ray was born, our family in North Carolina referred to her as Sweet Baby Ray. If I remember correctly, a Sweet Baby Ray BBQ party was suggested in her first week of life. They know I plan ahead, hehe!
As a super girl mom, I wasn’t sold yet. I’m always drawn towards girly themes, you know, flamingos, pink, mermaids, etc. So a party surrounding BBQ was foreign territory. But as Ray grew, she really did become Sweet Baby Ray, so I added sunflowers to incorporate a girly touch, and it really started to come together.
Once I’ve chosen a theme, they craziness begins- I’ve been collecting pieces since January, and really lucked out that her party is at the end of summer, so gingham was easy to come by!
Here are some of the details…
Let’s start with her invitation.
I’m usually a firm believer in physical mail- but around here it always makes more since to send invites online or make an event on Facebook. (I’m literally cringing as I write that). So, I designed her invite on the Canva app and just uploaded onto an event through Facebook. I did have 5 printed for her baby book and birthday box.
This was obviously Danny’s Territory. I got the drink pitchers from Target and their tags from Chalk Designs By Me. I thought the lemonade and Iced Tea fit the theme and was great for the kids. We also did a Tito’s John Daly for the mixed cocktail. We had an array of booze, beer, wine and water – and every spirit under the sun! Plus, Capri Suns and popsicles for the littles. We ALWAYS go over board on booze, because it’s Danny’s business, but we never let it go to waste! My favorite addiction was the infused Ole Smoky Moonshines, totally BBQ appropriate- and those cherries we’re a great way to get the party started! *Party Tip- set up the bar first. I didn’t have everything ready when guests started to arrive, but if they can start with a cocktail, who cares!
We had it catered by Texas Pit, a local BBQ place- we provided the Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce, of course! They did classic BBQ staples, chicken and ribs, Mac and cheese and coleslaw. I added potato chips and Hawaiian rolls. *Party Tip- commit to the theme, for napkins I brought my paper towel holder from home, paper plates and solo cups- super easy and toss it before you get home!
The “Gift” Table.
Although I asked people not to bring gifts, I expected some cards and things like that. I also wanted a place to display her monthly photos as well. I borrowed a frame and easel from my girlfriend to hang the photos (I printed these in the Social Print Studio app). I dressed it up with some Pearl & Jane garlands in red and silver and added the cutest “Sweet Baby Ray” chalk board sign from Chalk Designs By Me. I finished the table with a pitcher of fresh sunflowers and a “This Klos is the Boss” sign (a little play on the Sweet Baby Ray label ‘The Sauce is the Boss’.
I also had a book for all of Ray’s guests to sign. I found Dear, Girl on Amazon- and honestly just bought it for the girl with brown hair and the red details. When I actually read the book, I was pleasantly surprised how perfect it is. It’s all about being YOU and growing up- the perfect thing for our friends and family to write it, and keep as a keepsake! It is so special.
I also kept the party favors on this table to grab one on the way in or out!
The party favors-
I had these planned for a while, as Magen’s Bay serves those mini Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauces and I thought that would be adorable. Each paper lunch bag got a sauce, a pack of sunflower seeds and bubbles. I added a custom sicker to the outside that rea “Love Ray”. (Designed in Canva to match her invite, and printed via Sticker Mule). I filled a basket from the house and used a Chalk Designs by Me “Take One” sign Miranda did custom for me.
Her cake and cake toppers-
I obviously had Suga Mama’s Bakery do the dessert table. I’ve been planning this cake in my head since the first Baking With A Buzz. Alexis did a lemon, gingham cake for the guests. YES, you heard that right, the inside is a red and white checker board! I chose lemon because it felt refreshing and summery. The cake topper was custom by Fancy Free Finery– I’m obsessed with the ribbon streamers! I chose to have the banner read RAY so we could use it again or keep it in her room. We put the cake on her Poppies for Grace clear cake stand and filled it with fresh sunflowers, DUH! I wanted to keep the decorations natural and simple.
I kept the smash cake a simple vanilla with a naked buttercream and a “1” cake topper that Denver used in her smash cake by Hooray Everyday.
The rest of the dessert table was out of this world. Most of the platters and gingham paper and plates are from Target (thanks Joanna Gaines). She did vanilla cake pops, and rice crispy treats- which were a HIT! I had gingham cupcake wrappers for the chocolate sunflower cupcakes, burger cookies and my favorite- the Macarons. Raspberry Macarons filled with raspberry buttercream and lemon curd, with tiny piped sunflowers along the edge, which I got to help with! Easier said than done- but I was so thrilled with how it came together, and of course, everything was DELICIOUS.
We did Ray’s cake smash as quickly as we could so A. The cake wouldn’t melt, and B. To keep Ray as clean as possible until that moment! She absolutely loved her cake and Denver stole the show with her multiple cake pops! It was a special treat that our neioghbor, friend and talented musician, Lourdes, brought her guitar and sang Happy Birthday!
Her bubble romper I actually bought for Denver two years ago from Gap. I lucked out that the size was right. So her outfit was easy. I reached out to Fancy Free Finery to do a custom sunflower headband that matched the cake topper, and it turned out PERFECT. A party hat (which I usually do), didn’t seem on theme. Ray’s suit is also from Gap, she needed something to change into after cake and to swim in the ocean.
Her bow is from Wunderkin, I bought it off a BST facebook group, and it happened to be the very first thing I bought for the party #bowobsessed. Denver’s suit is from June & January– I wanted something simple to highlight the bow and shine the light on the birthday girl!
My Suit is Raisins Swimwear, (my FAV). I also wanted something simple, classic and comfortable. I love the high waist and interesting back. I felt classy enough to take a family photo and be in a bikini on a HOT summer beach day.
I had the Sunflower hoop done my girlfriend from college, she owns a small shop, Suzanne Elise Designs on Etsy and I thought it would be a perfect thing to hang above her highchair. We added the silver “ONE” from Modern Birch. I really love it and plan on hanging it on my door next season.
The Table Cloths and plates were dollar store finds. I ordered Fresh Sunflowers from East End Flower shop for additional decor and that’s it!
Best decision I made was hiring a photographer. I only had her come for an hour (she stayed longer, cause she’s the BEST.) I really just wanted some good family photos and her cake smash. I also didn’t want to have my phone the entire time and be worried about missing something. She did such an amazing job, and better yet, she had ALLLL the photos to me the next morning. She was so sweet and got everything I wanted. I will cherish these photos forever. Check her out! She’s my new go to! Photos by Alexandra Marie Photography
In case you haven’t gotten enough, here are a few more of my favorite snaps…
Thank you, everyone, who came to celebrate our baby girl, the day was perfect. We spent tons of time in the ocean, eating lots of watermelon and soaking up the day.