When Julie Savage-Parekh learned that she was expecting a baby girl, it didn’t take long for her to come up with both the theme and the color scheme for her baby shower. A self-proclaimed Francophile, Julie wanted the party to have a chic and feminine French-inspired theme with lots of pink, ornate details and gold gilding. The result was a gorgeous space that was girly without being over-the-top, which was achieved using interesting textures like antique wood and velvet-upholstered furniture throughout. From the décor and the food and drink options to the most beautiful cake ever, this party was a dream come true both for Julie and all of her guests. Today, she invites us to take a peek inside the pretty-in-pink party and offers great advice and tips for throwing a baby shower!
Tell us about your shower! What was the inspiration behind it and how did you bring your ideas to life?
It’s no secret I’m a self-proclaimed Francophile. My first shower for my son was a more organic, French country/provincial theme with soft blues, creams and greenery. A few years later, I still can’t get away from France (but let’s be honest, I’m not expecting to any time soon…we got married there and have baby-mooned there with both pregnancies, as well as multiple trips in between), so having a French theme again was a little bit of a no-brainer. This time, however, featured lots of pink, and was more classic Parisian with ornate details and gold gilding. I wanted to make it a little different than just a pink “girly” shower, so we included interesting textures like antique wood and velvet-upholstered furniture. I was really excited about the emerald velvet couch from White Glove Rentals because I felt like it was the perfect unexpected touch for fall!
How did you create the balloon install? It’s so fun.
I provided inspiration photos as well as layout to the balloon company, All About Balloons, and they did a wonderful job!
What are your 5 tips for throwing a baby shower?
- I didn’t want any “shower games” at my first shower, and while I still felt that way this time around, I let my girls do their thing. They limited it to two, which is more than enough—and they weren’t cheesy (no melted chocolate in diapers or wrapping string around my stomach…instead they had to do with baby name suggestions and a celebrity baby-guessing game). The girls actually had fun and there were some good prizes—hello Starbucks gift cards!
- I hate opening presents in front of people, whether it’s my birthday, Christmas or a baby shower. While I originally didn’t want to open presents at this shower, I realized that people were really looking forward to seeing all the cute stuff for a girl (did I mention there is way more cute stuff to look at for a girl versus a boy?). So, I’m glad I conceded on this because it was definitely entertaining and major eye candy! However, if you have more than 30 people in attendance at your shower, I would either not open gifts or open gifts in a corner, but allow the party to go on so whoever wants to pay attention can, but you’re not commanding the attention of the whole room for an hour…which can get boring. You can also save all gifts from immediate family for last (or later) and open those just with them, to save time.
- Strike a balance between a feast and light fare. I didn’t want to serve a heavy meal, nor do I think it’s required for this type of event, but you definitely don’t want people to leave hungry because they’re likely there during a normal meal time. Muffins and coffee may not be enough, but a five-course brunch is overkill. Petite and cute portions of filling foods are always a hit!
- People assume most showers are come and go, and may have to arrive a few minutes late due to prior obligations or leave early. And while most showers are an informal format, with mingling and light bites, I have been to a few that surprised everyone and had a seated lunch or brunch. If you plan to do that, I would definitely include that bit of info in the invite so guests aren’t embarrassed/surprised when they arrive or have to leave early!
- I know you’d like to think more guests equals more things off your registry, but please don’t feel like you have to invite everyone that you’ve ever met. Keep it intimate, with people you have real relationships with, so the guests are interested and engaged. If you barely know someone, chances are they couldn’t care less about the tenth present you open or the baby name game…and the boredom or disinterest will affect the energy of the rest of the guests/party.
You already have a son, what excites you the most about having a baby girl?
All the pink and cute clothes and bows that have me emptying my wallet! I’m a girly girl, and so having a chance to get some pink back in the house is thrilling. I think God knew what he was doing when he gave me a girl second, because it’s allowing me to be a bit more conservative than I may have been the first time. Since I’ve been down this road before, I know they only wear things for a split second and they’re onto the next size, so it definitely helps me think twice before splurging! Also, because my daughter is due in December, we’re likely to be chilling at home the first few months and I’m gravitating toward soft/comfy/cozy items she will actually use, and saving the more “show off” outfits for when she gets a bit bigger. Decorating the nursery has also been a blast, and I think overall, it’s nice just knowing that shopping and manis/pedis are now in my future as potential activities together, just as much as baseball games and camping.
Where are your favorite places to shop for kids gear, clothes, etc?
Zara Baby, H&M Baby, Baby Gap, Etsy, Cat & Jack for Target, Pottery Barn Kids for furniture/gear, and of course, all the Instagram shops I keep dangerously stumbling on! I swear those targeted ads will be the death of me!