My Spring Baby Shower
Wearing this dress (Size XS, length tailored)
So all the girls in our family (our moms, plus all of my sisters-in-law) threw me the baby shower of my dreams. The bébé bash was at Jon’s family’s French restaurant, Roux, and it was at cocktail hour because I just really didn’t want to have a typical Sunday morning affair. Baby showers are still baby showers (not most people’s idea of an ideal party), but it felt much more my speed to have an evening party to celebrate with good food and good cocktails and old school hip hop!
We had a couple of brainstorming sessions as a big group in the months leading up to it to talk about the theme we all envisioned (think: an abundant French farmers’ market in Spring with lots of flowers and fruit and greenery and Swans of course :), but then I really wanted to be surprised by all of the details and how it would all come together. They nailed it.
We served only the prettiest bottles of wine :), my favorite lavender cocktail (the Frenchie) along with a few other floral/herbal varieties, plus a blood orange and ginger punch with edible flowers for those of us unable to indulge. (My entire pregnancy I’ve encouraged everyone around me to drink up—forcing other people to suffer along with me doesn’t improve or lessen my own suffering, so that has never felt like any kind of solution at all.) But the punch was the perfect celebratory juice that could also be spiked with a little vodka or champagne, if desired.
For food we did a big charcuterie and cheese board with berries, fresh figs, and pickled vegetables, mini croissant sandwiches of smoked salmon with dill and tarragon chicken salad, a beet salad with crème fraîche, and a grated carrot salad with grainy mustard and pistachios. And savory gruyere gougères! (basically cheese puffed pastry). The beautiful cake was half vanilla, half blood orange (and adorably garnished with fruit by my SIL Holly!!), and my brother’s girlfriend (and my friend and favorite baker) Nikki overnighted to us from Brooklyn the most perfect Swan and marbled/gilded sugar cookies I’ve ever seen because she couldn’t make it to the shower.
None of us are too keen on traditional baby shower games, but we still wanted to do some fun interactive things. So we used old wives tales to guide us on a gender guessing game in which I answered questions about myself after everyone wrote their predictions on the mirrored walls. People also threw baby name suggestions on little pieces of paper into a big jar which were the most fun (and thought provoking!) to read afterward with all of our friends.
I still can’t get over how perfect everything was! The big bubble-like balloons, wild flowers, and candles were so sweet and whimsical, I was blown away by all of the beautiful calligraphy and painting, and the thoughtful touches of pictures and baby blocks and swan elements (that garland!!) were just too cute. There was even a clothesline of onesies and sweet little baby outfits. Can you stand it?!
My mom also got a ton of baby books from thrift stores and other second-hand shops, and we asked people to choose a book from the shelf and inscribe it for the baby if they wanted to. I’ve so badly wanted to sneak-read all these sweet notes, but I know it will be so special to stumble upon them when reading the books for the first time with the baby. I love this idea so much.
Another thing we’d decided beforehand was that I preferred not to open gifts during the shower in order to spend more time with everyone and let people do their thing. I’ve always been torn on this since it can feel funny to receive a gift and not spend the time opening it and saying thank you for it in the moment. However, I also know it’s one of the more daunting parts of showers for all of the guests, so I thought it’d work out nicely to have a little moment with guests as they arrived with their gifts in hand, and then guests could also peruse the gift table and see everything if they wanted to. It also made thank you note writing (something I love doing anyway) even more meaningful.
At the end, everyone got to take home with them some homemade strawberry or apricot jam as well as a little bottle of celebratory champagne (if that’s not a balanced meal, I’m not sure what is :)