Party planner Teresa Dawson (Credit, Over The Top Events & Parties)

Teresa Dawson
Over The Top Events & Parties
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 905-0984

As a mother of three small children, Teresa Dawson knows a lot about conventional baby showers and parties. After yet another pricey and chaotic kid’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s, she decided to try out some of her own ideas to design unique, fun and memorable celebrations. After creating wildly successful soirees for friends’ weddings, bridal and baby showers and birthdays, Over the Top Events & Parties was born. Dawson majored in fashion design at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and she brings an inspiring artistic flair and style to everything she does. Dawson’s clients often come with a basic “seed” of an idea or theme, and then she grows it into something unique and magical.

Make it personal. “Many moms-to-be want to be swept off their feet,” says Dawson, so brainstorm with a few friends about what her “ultimate dream shower” would be. “It shouldn’t be just a baby shower,” she adds, “It should be Susan’s baby shower.” Dawson always includes at least one photograph of the soon-to-be mother at the shower and creates the whole party based on what she loves. If someone important to her is gone, Dawson suggests including a photo or other memorabilia so the person can be there for her in spirit.

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Get inspired and go green

Party supplies can be a bad combination of over-priced, generic and wasteful. Instead, Dawson often uses recycled objects when doing event planning to make celebrations kinder to both the planet and the client’s wallet. With creativity and some effort, even items like bed sheets and empty soups cans can become surprisingly elegant and fun décor. “The whole idea,” she says, “is to create an amazing experience for everyone there.”

Keep track of the details.

Dawson admits that she is obsessive about details, a very helpful trait for her both personally and professionally. She advises staying on top of your budget, time and resources when planning the baby shower. The more organized the planning is, the more relaxed and enjoyable the event will be for everyone. Dawson keeps everything coordinated by using a large chalkboard to list tasks, deadlines and other details of each event she is working on. “Ideas can come on the fly,” she says, so jot them down as soon as you think of them.

Be creative with gifts.

Conventional gifts like diapers, bibs and onesies are always useful, but Dawson also suggests creating or buying gifts that will be unique and memorable. As with everything else at the shower, keep the personal style, needs and preferences of the soon-to-be mom in mind when it comes to gifts. When her own sister was pregnant, Dawson made some very special things as shower gifts. For example, she put baby pictures of her sister and sister’s husband in a three-panel picture frame, leaving the third spot open for the new baby. “They’ll keep that forever,” Dawson says, and it will be fun for the child to look at later on as well.

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Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
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