Inspiration for organising and styling your baby shower.
As a working mother of 3 children, family is at the heart of everything I do and there can be no greater celebration than the arrival of a beloved baby into the family. My inspiration for this Royal Baby Shower editorial shoot came from the fact that along with millions of others around the world, as winter turned to spring of 2019, I shared the excitement of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Megan Markle, as they counted down the days to meeting their darling baby for the first time.
As a wedding and events planner, I am also constantly inspired by the seasons, and as Spring was approaching, with all its promise of new beginnings, I designed a shoot which wove together the combined joyfulness of a baby shower and the onset of Spring, with the inspiration of a particularly special Royal Baby at its heart.
My concept was full of pastel colours and I specifically chose an elegant and sophisticated location, full of natural light. I also wanted to subtly incorporate daisies (which are symbolic of innocence and purity as well as new beginnings – the perfect floral metaphor for a spring baby shoot) and elegant crowns, to reflect that this shoot was designed in honour of a Royal Baby. You will notice then that daisies and crowns feature both in the floral designs on the table and also on the cake designs but in an understated way.
The venue, Northbrook Park in Surrey, was the perfect backdrop - offering the prestige and history of a great British stately home while also being quietly luxurious and understated – a reflection of Harry and Meghan’s lack of ostentation. I created 3 distinct areas for the baby shower – a bespoke feature decorative installation, a beautifully curated tablescape and a dessert table, complimented by bespoke cocktails and two unique themed floral centrepieces.
I chose to reflect the venue’s delicate vine leaf gold engraving in the stationery and as I wanted a classic look with a modern edge I chose to work with KnockKnock Penny Studio (who is also a working mother juggling her creative work with a young toddler). We used an elegant yet contemporary script font on the stock for both the invitations, the miniature tags and the signage. This gold detailing would then be further picked up in some of the other elements such as miniature balloons and the elegant, contemporary cutlery.
Miniature Champagne bottles and bespoke cocktails, mixed by the experts at Coxtails Events, welcomed guests on arrival, served from a table styled with traditional nursery toys such as beautiful teddy bears hand made in England using iconic Liberty London fabric and vintage style nesting suitcases. Inspired by the incredible 7’ high fireplace, I worked with the Creative Director at Blomster Designs Flowers, Russell New, and the team at Bubblegum Balloons to design a bespoke installation combining beautiful spring buds and blossoms bursting out of the fireplace and merging with the huge asymmetrical balloon arch, with petals and lanterns free-flowing around the base.
My table scape design was classically elegant and understated, featuring a run of beautiful, naturally flowing floral arrangements in clusters of modern ribbed vases, complimented by striking taper candles. I kept the place settings simple with contemporary white china and minimalistic cutlery, allowing the stunning crisp, coloured glassware to really pop. I kept the napkins loose and unstructured, tied simply in silk ribbons with a flower as décor. Each guest also had a cupcake treat at their place setting and a personalised iced biscuit. For the chairs, I chose crisp white leather Chandelle chairs, and worked with the team at Couture Chairs, in collaboration with Great Hire, to create some custom made chairs, featuring a bespoke Royal monogram design and stunning floral backs, perfectly matching the flowers in the table scape and introducing a crown icon into the shoot.
Continuing the theme of new birth, a floral cloche (whose purpose is usually to protect delicate seedlings) housed tiny, soft, cashmere baby booties which Russell then filled with blooms. A stunning white iron crown filled with flowers, atop a floral Perspex tray, continued the Royal theme. Guests were treated to a mouthwatering array of sweet treats including macaroons, cupcakes, iced biscuits and feature cakes, crafted by luxury cake maker and patissier, Lindsay Pemberton, in her unique signature style. Her designs not only included perfect replicas of baby gros but also mirrored the crown monogram from the bespoke chairs in her stunning detailed icing.
Three elements have lodged in my memory as the highlights of the shoot - the cashmere booties inside the protective floral cloches worked so well and I was delighted with the bespoke chairs which complemented the tablescape so perfectly; in addition Lindsay’s incredibly delicate icing on the biscuits really took my breath away. I absolutely loved creating this styled shoot which I hope you’ll agree is both fit for a Royal while remaining attainable and achievable, which I hope will be an inspiration to all parents to be.
As featured on the American lifestyle blog 'Inspired by This' - click here to read: http://www.inspiredbythis.com/grow/royal-baby-shower-inspiration/
With thanks to the following for their creativity and support on this project:
Photographer - Kate Nielen www.katenielen.com
Concept, planning and styling - Couture Events Ltd www.couture-events.com
Shoot consultant - Mari Chase www.mari-chase.com
Floral Design - Blomster Designs Flowers www.blomsterdesignsflowers.co.uk
Candles - Scandinavian Homeware www.blomsterdesigns.co.uk
Luxury cakes and Patisserie - Lindsay Pemberton www.lindsaypemberton.com
Tableware and props - Couture Events Ltd www.couture-events.com
Chair hire and design - a collaboration between www.couturechairs.com and www.greathire.com
Balloons - Bubblegum Balloons www.bubblegumballoons.co.uk
Cocktails - Coxtails Events www.coxtails.com
Table linen - Just 4 Linen www.just4linen.co.uk
Stationery - Knock Knock Penny Studio www.knockknockpennystudio.com
Venue - Northbrook Park www.harbourhotels.co.uk/hotels/northbrook-park
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