Hosting Tips

A Wild and Whimsical Baby Shower

By Chanel Dror
"naked" cake with eucalyptus

The ladies behind this Houston baby shower had the right idea. When asked what her number one rule was, co-host Megan Swartz Gellert replied, “If you have fun, interesting people in your life, every gathering will be a good time.” Combine that mentality with great taste, a gorgeous space, and this stylin’ Texas couple, and it’s no surprise this event was a slam dunk. I could go on and on about what I love about this shower (overflowing brunch buffet! jaw dropping interiors! yards upon yards of eucalyptus!), but you’re better off seeing it all for yourself. Click through and enjoy…

*photography by Dana Fernandez Photography

The invites were designed by the fabulous Seattle-based BDR Studios. The front of the card was simple with dark blue text and persimmon for the strokes, then the back of the card had a crown pattern with “Let the Wild Rumpus Start” printed over it. We wanted to keep the front of the card subtle since the back was so bold, and hoped that people could keep it as a fun print to put up long after the baby shower.

Megan (left) tells us about her friendship with the guest of honor:

Michelle and I met in New York City many summers ago.  I was there for a summer internship in publishing and Michelle had just graduated from college, and was interning at two fashion magazines. We became instant best pals and spent the summer exploring the city together. Those three months were the only time we’ve actually lived in the same place, but we have stayed close through the years. Together we’ve helped each other make big life decisions, planned our weddings, and always make sure to visit each other or travel together a few times a year.

We absolutely love this entryway — gorgeous and on theme, but not over-the-top.

I asked Michelle’s mom what Michelle’s favorite book was as a child and she told me it was Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. The story made for the perfect theme for several reasons: first, because Michelle dressed like Max from the book one Halloween in New York one year, and wore an amazing homemade onesie around the city. And second, because I knew the theme would lend itself to a fun, gorgeous and whimsical party.

The crazy talented sisters at Blush & Vine created all of the floral arrangements. They brought in the feel of an enchanted forest with roses, ranunculi, tulips, thistle, heather and rice flower, then incorporated pops of the persimmon color that’s highlighted throughout Sendak’s classic illustrations. We also incorporated various textural elements such as lotus pods, moss and dried mushrooms for a touch of whimsy.

The shower took place at the beautiful River Oaks home of cohost and interior designer, Emily Burke.

Emily’s 1920’s home is moody and neutral, mixing lots of textures with varied marbles, Venetian plaster and stripped blonde wood. Most of her walls are rough painted breadboard, which gives the house a rustic charm.

A lush eucalyptus garland and mix-and-match candlesticks made for simple, elegant mantle decor perfect for just about any type of gathering.

How amazing are these brass bar stools?

Since Michelle’s favorite meal is brunch, we served classic brunch favorites like egg sandwiches on croissants, quiche, spring green salad, yogurt & berry parfaits, and of course donut holes on skewers.

Our classic brunch dishes were complemented by a charcuterie and cheese board, which is always a crowd pleaser (not to mention a pretty way to decorate a table!)

We also served bloody marys, champagne, whiskey (because it’s Texas), and a lovely non-alcoholic blood orange signature drink for our mama-to-be.

Emily’s gorgeous dining space was transformed into a whimsical dessert area where each item was almost too pretty to eat.

Kristina from Buttercup made a beautiful naked cake to go with the rustic, woodland theme. The bottom tier was a lemon cake with lemon curd and fresh blueberry filling, and vanilla buttercream. The second tier was a vanilla bean cake with vanilla cream, fresh raspberry and pistachio filling, and vanilla buttercream.

The sugar cookies were cut to look like adorable little crowns and garnished with edible gold leaf.

We made flower crowns for the ladies and paper gold crowns for the guys, and asked everyone to “crown yourself” upon entry.

When asked what her favorite memory was from the day, Michelle replied:

Our shower was almost a year after our wedding, so it was like a mini reunion!

… I loved having so many people we love all together again, and loved our friends and family seeing each other for the first time since the wedding, telling stories about what a great weekend that was. The shower was a wonderful way to celebrate the amazing year we have had!

Tell us about the beautiful table design:

We felt inspired by the muted, moody illustrations from the book, but wanted to follow the theme without going kitschy. The goal was to create the vibe of an organic, magical forest and also use a pop of metallic from the infamous gold crown.

We used basket weave linen tablecloths in charcoal and had Ghost Chairs with faux sheep pelts draped over to add texture. The farm tables table was topped with a runner of greenery and flowers, and on each place setting we used white plates and gold flatware.

The different varieties of eucalyptus, fern and plum “Chinese fringe” bush added depth and interest, while still allowing guests to see one another across the table.

The shower was co-ed, making it a fun party to celebrate Michelle and Tyler and their new adventure into parenthood.

Congratulations to the new parents, and bravo! to the hosts who planned this gorgeous event!