Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Amethyst-Inspired Christening Celebration

Last weekend, we celebrated my youngest daughter's baptism.  We were blessed to have several out-of-state family members fly in and join the locals for three days of parties honoring our newest addition.  Love (and food!) was in abundance.

In planning the weekend, I decided to weave a single color through all of the events.  After much deliberation, I chose amethyst.  Our family has had a recent love affair with the color purple, and purple seemed autumnal enough for an October baptism, but I wanted a softer, more feminine shade for my baby's special weekend.  A vintage amethyst cocktail ring from my late maternal grandmother provided the final inspiration. My mother gifted me the ring to wear for the christening, a sentimental gesture since the christening date was also my maternal grandparents' 75th wedding anniversary, and the anniversary of my mother's own baptism, a few decades years ago. So, amethyst, it would be.  This invitation from Red Stamp, printed on wonderfully thick paper, set the tone for the celebrations:

(forgive the blurred out contact info...)

After decorating the house with as many hints of purple as I could justify ---

 --- we kicked off the weekend with a dinner at our home on Friday. One of our favorite local restaurants catered, and we enjoyed flavorful oyster tostadas on yucca root chips, mushroom and corn quesadillas, coffee-rubbed ribeye tacos, chicken enchiladas, and of course, margaritas and wine. I used a Marimekko tablecloth I picked up on clearance at Crate & Barrel before Easter to connect the party's amethyst color theme with my blue dining room.

Upon departure for their hotels that night, our out-of-towners received personalized bottles of water and boxes of sweets:

(The custom stickers are from Red Stamp and coordinated with the invitations; the water bottle labels were made with purple duct tape I found at Michael's; the amethyst cylinders (which were filled with homemade cookies) and brown gift boxes are from Container Store.)

After a full day of playtime with the kids on Saturday, we convened for an outdoor dinner at a favorite restaurant and then embarked on a riverboat cruise to see Austin's main attraction: 1.5 million bats.  It may sound creepy, but the bats are actually really beautiful when they fly en masse each night at sunset.  They leave the bridge in four orderly columns, and which then converge:

Sunday morning, we rose early for the baptism at our church.  Our daughter wore an heirloom christening gown, worn by four generations of her family, including her grandmother, me, and her sisters.  She mostly cooperated, and I mostly kept my joyful tears at bay.

Then it was time for brunch, which we hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel, on Lady Bird Lake.

We sat outside on the beautiful green lawn, under ancient live oak trees. The centerpieces, artfully arranged by The Flower Studio, provided purple pops of color on the tables; as a favor, each guest received a wrapped framed baptism portrait of the baby.

The weather was perfect --- sunny, clear, and not too warm.  The kids ran around on the lawn, as the adults stuffed ourselves on sushi and ceviche, mimosas and mussels, pancakes and potstickers, beef tenderloin and bacon.  We toasted and took about a thousand pictures.  In a geographically dispersed family like ours, it is rare to have four generations together at once.  We felt blessed.

That night, we gathered as a group one more time at my home for dinner, catered by another local restaurant.  Afterward, we enjoyed this dessert table, highlighted by a delicious blackbottom cake made by my favorite Polkadots Cupcake Factory, who also makes my girls' birthday cakes; the cake featured an amethyst damask pattern around the sides; I made the rose topper myself:

Also on the table, which was covered with a purple velvet cloth: exquisite Wilbur-chocolate dipped designer oreos with an amethyst damask pattern, made by Sweeties; lavender macarons by La Patisserie; cake balls by Austin Cake Ball; color-coordinated M&Ms from Lammes; purple chocolate butterflies; chocolate bars; and cupcakes:

A few days later, our sugar highs are gone, but our gratitude remains.  We are so appreciative for the opportunity to celebrate with family, so thankful for their love and support.  It was indeed a weekend of blessings.

(Sharing with Celebrations at Home,  Savvy Southern Style and Design Dazzle)


  1. That is a beautiful event! I love the colors you chose! The deep purples are amazing.

  2. The colors and details are great! I'm sure everyone had a great time!