So here is what we did:
* I decided to host the party at my own house and asked a couple of friends to help me rather than "throw" me a party.
* I didn't ask for gifts, instead I asked that each guest bring a favorite appetizer or a small bite to eat. This eliminated the major cost of "Venue and Menu." ;)
* Next, I held a "craft night" and asked my helpers to come and help make decorations for the celebration. We made a simple tissue heart garland that we strung all around the house.
Easy to make! Simply punch hearts out of tissue paper with a heart shaped hole punch and sew together on your sewing machine. Make sure to use new tissue stacked in many layers so it is firm enough for the punch to get through. The punch won't go through a single sheet. Then, just put your machine on a straight stitch and thread the hearts through. So easy! As your garland grows, you can wrap it around an empty paper towel roll to keep it from knotting.
As party favors, we adorned candles with a special quote and a note asking the receiver to light their candle when I go into labor. Hopefully all candles will be lit as a unifying support and recognition of my journey through labor. I'll definitely be lighting mine. I'll need all the support I can get! We used a soft, handmade paper to back the little notes. If you fold, dampen and rip the edges you will get a nice, homemade rustic look. Love that! We attached the notes to the candles with embroidery floss and a little feather. The candles all came from the dollar store.
* I have a collection of all different wine glasses I've collected from thrift stores. They are great for parties because every one is different, so everybody knows what glass is theirs! And, it's more environmentally friendly then throwing away dozens of plastic cups. And, they are so cute on my shelf! Great idea, if I do say so myself. ;)
* We set out a "wish box" and asked all guests to write a wish or blessing for baby and me. I will place all wishes in my little ones baby book in the future.
* I splurged a little and hired a henna artist to come and paint my belly with henna, and offered all of my guests to get their hands or ankles done if they wished. This was such a hit! My girlfriends loved the henna tattoos they received. It really made the party special.
Now, I'm kind of a casual, simple girl, and I wanted the celebration to honor that part of me. So my party didn't include rituals, blessings, or even party games. If you want to include those things, by all means! It's your party! Mine was a simple afternoon full of love and wonderful friendship. Absolutely perfect for me. Welcome, welcome baby!!!