My Baby in Bloom themed baby shower on Saturday, June 4th 2022.
I've always said in another life, I'd be an event planner. I enjoy planning and hosting events, and all that comes with it from initial ideas to final fruition. I start with a theme, followed by a sketch, then go on to execute all the fine details. I absolutely love it, and it fills my creative tank to the absolute brim with so much joy and happiness, much like photography does. So when it came time for my baby shower, I knew I wanted to plan out all the nitty gritty details from top to bottom.
Sketching out plans for the big day helps me visualize the layout and create checklists for what will be needed.
I landed on a "Baby in Bloom" theme, and wanted it to feel like a garden party where my guests and I could sit and enjoy the views of flowers all around, feel the sunshine, and have a lunch with a lavender-garnished lemonade. Outdoors is my special place, especially having been born and raised in Southern California, where the sun is almost always shining. So it felt fitting for me to celebrate with my loved ones where I felt most at peace, to celebrate our little boy to come.
Another very important aspect I wanted to incorporate was family. Having family members from near and far present at the shower was truly the best gift I received, and the help they put in to making my dream shower come true was incredible. I also wanted to include family heirlooms from those who have passed into our celebration of new life and lineage of the family name. I look forward to the day his father and I can tell him about his Croatian, German, English, and Irish ancestors, and the hardships and triumphs they endured to get our family where it is today. I want my son to know and appreciate his roots, making a garden party theme all the more fitting.
My Great Grandmother's and later my Grandmother's upholstered Louis XV style chair from the early 1940's was rooted and centered, much like they were in all of our lives, under the floral arbor.
My Great Grandmother Madeleine Ursich (1907-1980) posing in her chair. Photographed by my father Tom in 1977.
As a photographer who has photographed many baby showers, I know the importance of a good vignette. It's a place for mama-to-be to pose with her guests in front of a backdrop that perfectly epitomizes the theme of the day. I chose to create a floral arbor for my vignette, which I modeled after the one from our wedding ceremony. My husband built the arbor using PVC pipe ($90), we foraged the greens locally ($0), I rented the chiffon drapes ($8 each), and we bought the flowers at the DTLA Flower Market the morning before the shower ($200). It turned out exactly how I had envisioned with the help of my family, and became the perfect spot to make sure I could snap a quick photo with each guest who came to make my day extra special.
My niece and I under the DIY floral arbor.
"The Earth laughs in flowers" by Ralph Waldo Emerson has always been one of my favorite quotes, and it couldn't of summarized the day better. The shower was filled with colorful and bright spring florals, laughter with friends and family, and so much love; exactly as I wanted it to be.
The centerpieces were composed of bud vases filled with bright spring florals we bought at the DTLA Flower Market.
It's all in the details, and I loved poring over each one of them. I custom designed the menus with a floral border that matched my shower invitations, had signs made from a vendor on Etsy , and plated the lunch courses which was catered by Mendocino Farms on my parents fine china they bought on their honeymoon in Paris. The most special details were the ones from my girlfriends Alyssa and Kira who created a lavender flavored signature cocktail (which was also a fabulous mocktail for me), my Mother-in-Law Kathy who made the most gorgeous three-tiered strawberry cake atop a cake stand from her mothers Waterford collection with a pressed organic flower kit from Loria Stern, homemade grain-free lemon and berry bundtlettes by my father, and shortbread cookies by Coles Cookies as take home gifts brought by my girlfriend Rachel who matched the feel of my shower with a custom design.
After lunch, my girlfriend Emily laid out the rules for the games she created that everyone enjoyed playing. She took a photo of my husband Aaron and I and morphed us into a baby, but also morphed us with famous people, and the guests had to decided which morph was which. She followed it up with a few rounds of Pictionary, which may or may not have gotten A BIT competitive! It was so much fun.
I opened gifts and ended the day in floral fashion with a Bloom Bar for guests to make arrangements as take home gifts. I loved watching everyone create their own vase of flowers, and it gave me the perfect opportunity to display and enjoy my antique blue and white sponge ware collection I've been collecting for years. I had glass vases, flower food, chiffon ribbon, and an assortment of different flowers to choose from to make unique arrangements, and they all looked so beautiful.
I feel so grateful as I reflect back on this shower, and so incredibly thankful for my friends and family that made the day so special. I am one lucky lady, and our boy is already so loved by these wonderful women in my life! Now, the countdown begins until his arrival! Daddy and I (and his big brother Fig) can't wait to meet him!
Photography by Ray Maloles