The Baby Tilda Barn Dance

Before Baby Tilda died David and I had already been planning her first birthday celebration.

We planned to have a barn dance in our back garden for family, friends and neighbours.

David and I had a barn dance for our engagement party. We also had a barn dance for our wedding.

Having a barn dance for Baby Tilda feels like the right thing to do.

A barn dance is a great way of bringing families together and having fun, young and old, across the generations.

Esther and William are well and truly ready for a barn dance!

I have floated the idea on Twitter and Facebook today and have had so many people asking how they can help.

I have decided to write my dream for the day here and then people can get in touch if they think they might like to come and also if they think they might like to help or get involved in anyway.

So here is my vision for The Baby Tilda Barn Dance.

2nd November 2013.

A Saturday.

The day that our beautiful daughter will have been dead for 9 months.

The exact amount of time I carried her in my womb.

The exact amount of time she was alive.

9 months.

2nd November 2013.

A Saturday.

All Souls Day, when Christian people remember and honour their dead.

I want to remember my daughter

But not in a solemn and sad way

I want to honour her memory

But I want to do it in a way that fits her style

Her cheeky personality

Her sense of mischief and fun

Her beaming smile

Her love of music

Her love of people, friends and family.

There can only be one way

To mark this special Tilda Day.

It has to be done a Tilda way!

The Baby Tilda Barn Dance.

I am imagining hay bales and straw hats

Bunting and barrels

Flowers in jam jars

Gingham ribbon


A kissing booth

Photo booth

Props, dressing up box

Bubbles and fairy lights shining like stars

A live band playing

A caller calling

A hog roast

Afternoon tea delights

Children of all ages

Holding hands

Dancing squares and circles

Families together

Through dance and through song

Smiling and laughing

Getting it wrong

A central location

So people can join us

From north, south

Near and far

A barn or hall

All decked out in gingham

Bunting, bouquets, bubbles, balloons

While feet are resting

I want voices raising

Joining in song to familiar tunes

Clapping and stomping

Rejoicing and romping

Celebrating life

Remembering Tilda taken too soon

I do not want an auction

No raffle, collection

I want to raise money through cheap ticket sales

This is more about raising awareness

And remembering the ones that we love that are gone

All money raised will be for The Lullaby Trust

To help them support broken families like mine

To find a way of stopping SIDS in his tracks

So fewer precious babies have reason to die.

This is my vision

For November the second

A day I’m approaching with fear in my heart

I would love to spend it

With friends from online and otherwise

Getting through the hours

One dance at a time.

2nd November 2013.

A Saturday.

The Baby Tilda Barn Dance.

Come along and do-si-do

In memory of Matilda Mae

My beautiful shining star.

The Baby Tilda Barn Dance will be held on 2nd November 2013. We are looking for a venue around the Reading area so that it is easy for people to travel to. I imagine it starting with lunch for all the family before the dancing begins, a break for afternoon tea and an early evening finish. This is an event for all the family to come along and remember Matilda Mae while raising money and awareness for The Lullaby Trust. It will be a chance to meet up with friends and swing your partner! I do hope you will be able to join us.

If you think that you could help us with any aspect of this event then please do leave a comment on this post or contact me by email,

Thank you x

27 thoughts on “The Baby Tilda Barn Dance

  1. Sounds amazing. And I know I’d be there like a shot. And I’ll help in any way that I can. I’m not too shabby at a bit of venue dressing, so I’m happy to be part of a team doing that. There must be loads of bloggers who are arty in that sort of department. x

  2. Jennie – how wonderful! This sounds like a perfect way to remember Tilda and raise money for such a worthwhile cause. I love the last photo of Tilda and you look absolutely radiant in your wedding picture. With all my best wishes x

  3. Wonderful idea! We have family nearby so if I am still feeling well, we’d love to come. I don’t want to risk offering to help to do anything on the day as i don’t want to let you down last minute if i’m not up to it, however please let me know if there is anything on the planning and preparation side I can help you with x

  4. Sounds magical and beautiful. I would love to make bunting and maybe make some neckerchiefs (if that’s what you call them) in pink and purple with stars for the kids to wear on the day! A fantastic idea and a uplifting, family centred way to celebrate a short life xx

  5. What a great idea, and lots of fun too. It also might be something I could attend if it was in Reading as could get the train even if James was working (as I don’t drive). If there is anything I can help out with, even if it’s just spreading the word do let me know. Might be able to help out with decorations possibly :) xx

  6. Jennie I’m in! I was no good with the raffle because it’s not my area, and I couldn’t get across the country to the walk, but this I really want to help with. I will definitely be there as will The Boy and my husband,

  7. I think my computer screen started vibrating with the energy you gave off. Really love this idea and I know lots of people will be willing to help out however they can, plan BIG xx

  8. Love, love, love the idea!!! What an amazing way to remember Baby Tilda, to raise awareness!

    You know I’m in for helping.

    The date has been playing on my mind ever since you mentioned it, the 9 months mark, but it didn’t trigger that it was All Saints too. For the 2nd of November to be a Saturday too… this barn dance just has to be!

  9. I saw this last night and only commented on Twitter so incase you missed it you know I would LOVE to help in any way I possibly can and I will be there…with Matt, MC and TC. I would love for you to meet them and would dearly love to meet Esther and William too (and David as I never actually spoke to him at Tilda’s funeral). Just let me know how I can help. If you need me to come down to help do anything between now and then just shout and I’ll be there xx

  10. I would love to make some bunting for you if you like? Just let me know what colour gingham or if you want something different and I will get it made. Sounds like an amazing event. Probably too far for us to travel but would love to help if I can. x

  11. Pingback: Blogger bunting for Matilda Mae’s Barn Dance | Mummy Alarm

  12. I am always a bit nervous of travelling in the car with small children as they are so good at making life on the road hell, but Reading is not too far for me, and I play the violin, and have a friend who is an amazing Ceilidh violinist. Perhaps, perhaps…. I could play? And I could see if she is free? We could see if we could get a band together? Maybe you already have a band in mind that is more local, but it’s a thought.

  13. There is a beautiful and very old pub called The Crooked Billet, between reading and Henley. They erect marquees for weddings etc out the back. It’s down a tiny country lane.
    For something bigger could you approach a barn? Nov is kind of low season for weddings. Bury court barn is beautiful but in Surrey. Plenty more though. You never know what people might offer for such a special cause.

  14. Pingback: Baby Tilda Barn Dance: Finding The Perfect Venue | Edspire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>