I have been called upon to coordinate the Mother-Daughter banquet at our church (being that I am not a mother...and my mother lives far away....) It is going to be the week of Mothers Day and I want to make it a really special event for mothers and daughters!
Has anybody ever been to a great one? What was some of the stuff you did? I figure I better start planning because its already almost MARCH!!!
There will be "mothers and daughters" of all ages....from grown women with their older mothers....to teenagers and children with their moms. I am trying to think of things that would be fun for everyone and a time to kind of "reconnect" with each other.
We've had them at our church and had so much fun. There were also mothers of all ages. The food was catered, and there was a special speaker. One thing that made it so special (and less work for you, the coordinator) was each table had a hostess. Each table had a white tablecloth but the hostess was responsible for decorating her table. They always brought their best china, cloth napkins, flatware, provided a centerpiece, and some type of 'favor' - a votive candle, a small basket of candies, etc. that went with the theme of the table. The variety was wonderful and often so elegant. For most of us who got fine china for a wedding present it was a nice chance to use something that is rarely used.
I like the pp's suggestion. Our church has also done the same thing for our women's breakfast. Perhaps you could sit all of the mothers with smaller children at one table (not with fine china though) and have some type of activity for them to do together. I like the idea of a speaker for the teenager/older/elderly mothers. This sounds like so much fun!
One of my favorite events was a mother - daughter tea. Women were asked to be hostesses and agreed to set a table for afternoon tea for 6-8 women. Hostesses were responsible for bringing the appropriate dishes, tablecloth, napkins, centerpiece, etc. Our church furnished coffee, hot tea, punch for the little ones, and a variety of finger sandwiches and pastries. We held the event in our gym. Part of the fun was to walk around and see all the unique ways that tables were decorated...some women used china, others dug out their "wedding dishes", and others combined several different place settings to create a unique table. The coordinators for the afternoon tea worked to place women at tables so that everyone would feel welcome and included whether they came with someone or alone. It was a perfect event for younger girls too, because they loved the idea that they were at a "tea party."
At the event at our church, the younger daughters had a designated time when they went off into a smaller room to make a present for the moms while the moms/older daughters heard a special speaker. I thought that was a nice way to break it up for young kids
One for the oldest mom and one for the youngest mom would be nice. One each for the mother daughter team who live the farthest apart and traveled the most distance to be there together might also be a good idea. A prize shold go to the mother there who had the most children as well. It could be a flower or a gift certificate, anything really. Just being recognized is fun. I would announce them at different times during the event rather than all at once to spread the joy.
Find some nice poems about motherhood to share. One serious one and one funny maybe. Give everone a copy of the poems as a party favor when they leave. The name of the event and date should be written on the bottom. It could be rolled and tied with a ribbon to look festive.
Maybe it would be fun to have everyone wear hats! If not hats, maybe a theme color. I think it would create a sense of community.
Could ask someone to take photos. Then photos could be purchased.
At my mom's church, they do a theme every year for Mother-Daughter banquet. One year was a tea party, once was a cowboy theme, one was a garden theme and this year they're doing an oldies soda fountain type theme. They decorate and find poems/stories about motherhood and daughters to match the theme and usually there is some sort of entertainment (a singing quartet or group, or a speaker).
The Mother-Daughter banquet I remember having the most fun was at the one where women wore their wedding dresses. We had the oldest to youngest. Everyone had a great time, and we kids put on a play. I do like an afternoon tea with different hostesses [does your church have circles?] Remember no matter what you decide, relax it will be beautiful because of the "sisterhood".
It seems like we were encouraged to wear hats and gloves. Held hands for the dinner blessing. A Mary Kay lady did the satin hands, so a little pampering. Hand lotions as prizes. Then the theme and speakers were "A Mother's Hands" and there were women who gave all sorts of little presentations: an elderly lady quilting told about making her wedding quilt and getting married during the depression, a young mother held and rocked her baby and sang a lullaby, a gardener in cute gardening gloves repotted some plants and gave tips, a mom sang while another mom signed the song(BEAUTIFUL!!!!), one mom told a tear jerker story while she folded laundry, and one told childhood jokes/stories that revolved around hand-me-down clothes. It is my most memorable. Any talent that your ladies have that involve hands would work.
My sister has planned lots of these and served as the "Mother of Ceremonies" (MC) for the program part. Here are some of the random things I remember from some of them.
They had brunches and dinners different years. Therefore you can alter the menu for each. Sometimes they catered it, sometimes folks from church cooked it in their "industrial" kitchen. Sometimes they served baked chicken and rice, other times, lasagna or pasta type dishes. They always had chicken nuggets on hand for little girls there with their mommas. (They too had lots of ages present) The drinks, meals, coffee/dessert was served by the teenage boys and men of the church dressed for the theme of the evening. They also helped to present the program.
If it was an evening dinner, they decorated all of the tables and fellowship hall based on the overall theme. A few I remember are "Front Porch Memories", hawaiian luau, circus theme. The servers also dress accordingly. (men in coconut bikinis over a white t-shirt and grass skirt, black pants and tie, clowns, etc...) If it was a brunch, a "hostess" that signed up in advance was responsible for decorating the table they were assigned to. They decorated the tables with any style they chose, usually based on something they collected. Ideas are wheelbarrow/ gardening, candles, light-up houses, fancy china, birdhouses, jewelry boxes, etc...
For all of these they had a specially decorated place to have pictures made with your mother/family. They would develop the film and have copies for everyone the next week at church. Mine are very special to me. One set up was a garden bench under a vine/floral decorated lattice arch. They also had a "Hawaiian Sunset" background with palm trees and gave the ladies leis and a flower for their hair for the Luau. For the porch theme, they had actually built a "porch" setting on the stage for the program and pictures. It looked so real. It looked like a yellow sided house, complete with a screen door that worked, columns, flowers and rocking chair!
The program varied. They tried to keep it simple and low key since younger kids were there. Sometimes the children's choir would sing a song or two. Other times, they tried to have mother/daughter/sister type specials. They had speakers, but sometimes it was hard for the kids to sit still. Then momma was angry at the little one and that is no good. They went to just a brief scripture or two tied into everything else. Sometimes the men would sing or act. At the luau, the men got up there in their coconuts and did a hula. They got people to go up there and dance with them! They had "silly circus acts" that were no good, but we all cheered anyway. The front porch one was my favorite. They had one of the funnier, older gentlemen in the church dress up like "old granny" reading a letter on the porch from his rocker. He spoke in a "granny voice" and wore an awful dress, complete with saggy boobs! He was reading a letter from his daughter who moved away and was coming to visit because she missed mama. During that time, funny memories were brought up (sometimes acted out on the side stage) and visitors came to see granny. Of course at the end, the daughter showed up. It was a tear jerker!
I went to a Mother / Daughter Banquet at my church a few years ago and it was absolutely beautiful. They served lots of fruits and other dainty snacks. They even had a chocolate fountain with fruit to be dipped in it. They used lots of plastic lace doilies under the food dishes and lots of flowers everywhere.
One of the ladies in our church took several photos of mother - daughters and of the entire group of each family from the great-grandmother on down to the daughter together. Some families actually had 5 generations represented at the dinner that afternoon. We all enjoyed receiving pictures to remember the evening.
We played a game where you blindfold a mother and call up one of her daughters along with four other women. It helps if the people you call up are of similar size to the daughter. Anyway, the mother must tell which woman is her daughter, by feeling her face. No talking or communicating allowed. At first, I thought this was a dorky game and was dreading it. In the end, I had so much fun.
could you ask the mothers and daughters to submit photos of them together over the years? Then, (if you are computer savy) you could make a slide show presentation of them to be shown during the gathering. You could pair it with that song "I hope you dance." There wouldn't be a dry eye in the house! Just an idea, if it is not too far fetched or too difficult to do.
This is what we did one year at our church. We had our younger daughters do a fashion show. We all knew the decades that our mothers grew up and every daughter chose a dress from that time period. We had a speaker that announced the model and the year of the dress/outfit. We all laughed. One of the dresses was the paper dress, yep, showing my age, but we did have paper dresses.
Have a wonderful time celebrating the uniqueness of a mother/daughter's relationship.