Did you know that a group of jellyfish is called a ‘smack?’ This useful piece of trivia now lives in my brain thanks to the impending birth of a little family member. You see, my sister-in-law is a very pregnant lady. This is exciting for several reasons, the most important being that I get to be an aunt again, but also because I recently had the opportunity to help plan and execute her baby shower. My sister and brother-in-law are enthusiastic scuba divers, were married in the Florida Keys, and are using oceanic elements in their nursery decorating. When taken together, these factoids practically demand an ‘under the sea’ shower theme, so we dove right in (pun intended).
Unsurprisingly, flowers ended up being the trickiest part of my to-do list. Flowers are pretty. Foresty. Earthy. A beachy bouquet seems easy, but I wanted flowers that could reflect the ocean depths and all the unearthly critters that call the sea-bed home. It wasn’t long before I realized I was out of my league and that it was time to recruit a professional….. my mother. In reality, her chosen profession is attorney, not florist, but she happens to be an amazing entertainer and flower arranger. She took pity on my lack of skills and offered her help along with the services of her favorite florist in Boston.
My mom consulted with her florist, threw around words like ‘organic,’ ‘green,’ and ‘reef,’ and left the rest up to a combination of trust and fate. On the Thursday before my SIL’s Saturday shower she arrived at my place, flowers in hand, for some mother-daughter bonding. Here’s what we were working with:
- yellow protea
- white wax flowers
- white gerber daisies
- white snapdragons
- green trachelium
- yellow solidago
- nautical rope vases from Homegoods
Oh my gosh the protea. I was in love at first sight… these guys are the South African land version of a coral reef. Next to the seaweed look of the trachelium I could finally envision ‘under the sea’ in the language of flowers.
After a lot of ‘does this look right?’ and ‘what’s missing in this section?’ my mom and I assembled one large and two small arrangements. These capable hands proved to be the heart and soul of this project:
Miraculously all three arrangements survived inter-state car travel with no water spillage or petal sheddage. And as good quality flowers should, they retained their fresh appearance for the 1pm Saturday show time.
Our ‘under the sea theme’ began with flowers, but extended to a smack of paper lantern jellyfish, lots of shells and deceptively inedible sand dollars (apologies to those who didn’t get this message in time), fisherman’s netting, enough seafood to feed a small village, and a bottle full of birthday messages to the baby-to-be for years to come.
And cake. What’s a party without the cake?
Best wishes to M and S, can’t wait to build sandcastles with the little guy!