When I found out we were expecting our little Paloma Rose, it was truly a dream come true. Our journey to our precious little girl was fraught with unexpected heartache and pain, as I miscarried both my first and my second pregnancies. For all the bitterness and sorrow of those dark times, the news of our baby girl’s coming felt like a literal rainbow after the storm and a ray of sunshine piercing the skies of darkness. In light of our journey, Paloma’s shower took on special meaning for me. I wanted to infuse it with her spirit of beauty, light and joy. I wanted to make it a space where friends and loved ones could gather to celebrate her impending arrival into the world and into our family. The idea of a wild garden immediately popped into my mind, and I knew right away that it was perfect because it felt like her!
From that point forward, my vision for the shower unfolded in a way that was uncannily effortless and natural… I envisioned a bountiful, free-flowing English garden, brimming with burgeoning blooms, with one long table where guests could relax and enjoy each others’ company along with food and drink. For the color palette, blush nude pinks, with accents of muted dusty rose and creamy ivory made sense to me. Considering the essence of the gathering, I felt that there should be an overall sense of relaxed, effortless, whimsical romance anchored by classical elements. When I stepped back and surveyed my vision, the scene was one of serenity and quiet radiance – exactly befitting a little girl named Paloma Rose!
I worked with Jackie, from Huntsville Paper Co., to craft the invitations for the shower, and she was an absolute dream to work with. She took my seemingly endless feedback and translated my creative vision into the most beautiful reality in the form of paper and ink. The paper we used was a lovely creamy ivory, a perfect backdrop for the romantic script of the invitations, which was printed in a muted, dusty rose hue. I chose a gorgeous blush nude pink as the background color for the envelope liners, and Jackie created a delicate rose print in a soft white to satisfy my request for an elegant and understated botanical line drawing. For the finishing touch, I added some whimsical vintage stamps I found on Etsy as the postage on the envelopes.
My sweet friend Keiko was incredibly kind and offered to host the shower in her backyard, which had all the dreamy, wild garden vibes that I could have asked for, and my friend Lindsi offered to organize the games as well as the gifts (which included a very generous group gift)! The rest of the gathering was like a crash course in event planning for me. Although I know it is traditional for close friends to plan and organize all of a baby shower, I took the reins for my own because the project was so close to my heart and because my vision was so specific.
I worked with the folks at Smith Party Rentals to pin down the rentals: tables, linens, dinnerware, glassware and flatware. For the food and drink, I planned the menu and even made a few of the dishes myself! We had a variety of delicious sandwiches from local caterer Garelick & Herbs, along with tomato and feta crostini and a pasta salad and broccoli salad of my own making. I put together a cheeseboard with crackers and a heaping platter of fresh fruit for good measure, and for dessert, I whipped up my beloved red velvet cupcakes, which my friend Marylynne decorated with pearly nonpareils, sparkles and glittering decorative toothpicks that we got from Michael’s. For drinks, we picked up bottles of Acqua Panna and my favorite bubbly pink lemonade from Lorina before heading over to Keiko’s to start setting things up!
Although I loved every detail of the shower, the florals really put me over the moon! After spending hours scouring Pinterest, I decided that an abundant garland of flowering greenery bursting with beautiful blooms and spilling bountifully across the center of the table was the perfect centerpiece to embody the wild garden theme of the shower. After a lot of thought and research, I decided to DIY it which made me a little nervous but also excited me! I wrote out a list of materials that I would need, and a few days before the shower, I headed out bright and early for my first trip to the New York City Flower Market.
It was such a wonderful experience! I picked up an entire small tree’s worth of flowering branches, which just barely fit into my car, along with a bunch of cream colored Chrysanthemums, which are a special symbol of rejuvenation and long life in my culture (I am half Japanese). I also chose two different colors of dahlias to accent the big blooms of the Chrysanthemums, since they are so beautiful and are one of my favorite types of flowers! Lastly I selected a bunch of soft, blush pink Astilbe to add to the garlands on the food and beverage tables and to use as simple decorations for everyone’s plates.
With my car loaded full of floral bounty, I headed home and got started on my first attempt at making a long floral runner centerpiece! It turned out to be a breeze, luckily for me, and on the day of the shower, my amazing friends all pitched in to help Keiko, Lindsi and me set everything up. Special credit goes to Marylynne, who did lots of heavy lifting the entire day-of, as well as to Catrina, Caila and Danielle! Many hands make quick work, and in barely twenty minutes, we had the whole thing up and ready to go.
Stephanie Sunderland worked her magic behind the lens after helping with the set-up and last minute styling of various details, and then we all rewarded ourselves with as much cheese, crostini, sandwiches, cupcakes and sparkling lemonade as our bodies would allow! Having so many amazing women pitch in to help made Paloma’s baby shower even more special to me once we were finished and the celebration commenced. Being supported by them in that way was the best shower gift anyone could have given me…without any words, they reminded me that it takes a village to raise up a child, and I sure am incredibly blessed to have one of my very own to have AJ’s and my back as we begin this journey of a lifetime with our little Paloma Rose.
xx Georgia Grace
P.S. I shot the below photo after my shower when I was 40 weeks pregnant…it seemed appropriate to include because it was in a field of wildflowers that I found on the side of the road!