It’s a baby shower, folks. Except I’m officially renaming this one to “Send Off to Parenting Party” because that’s more what we decided to do. It’s not that anything is wrong with the more traditional baby showers, truly, but sometimes I think traditions don’t make much sense for everyone in every situation. First off, Leigh (the dad — yes, they both have strangely asexual names) is having a baby, too; he loves a good party; and he deserves a good party before life all changes. Also, Corbett has a lot of close male friends so it’s just kinda weird to make it solely a girl thing and leave all the boys out. Then thirdly, why do they always have to be during the day when people aren’t really ready to get rowdy? So we — myself, and Corbett’s three closest ladies in her life — decided to throw a joint baby shower — er , PARTY, at 5pm, which is an appropriate hour to get your crunk on. And we did.
But of course, it had to be a surprise. Not the date or time, but everything else. Leigh and Corbs are very generous and throw awesome parties, sometimes including custom scavenger hunts, magicians, or yachts. And I promise you, being at what you think is a normal party and then having a magician randomly pull a bird out of his pocket next to you is VERY exciting, indeed. So we wanted to go all out and spare no expense for them.
The theme was “MidCentury Texan Outback,” naturally. It’s trending. They both love mid-century, she is from Texas, and he is from Australia, so that is kinda the best we could come up with. Basically it just means a casual desert vibe with delicious beer and BBQ.
I enlisted help from Yeah! Rentals because even though I’m a stylist you can’t take a backyard that looks like this at 8am …
… and turn it into everything you see below without help from an awesome rental company like YEAH!. They provided the furniture, rugs, pillows (except a few of mine), and poufs. Pretty much the whole party. You go to their warehouse, pick out what you want (they’ll help you make decisions based on how many people you have, how big the party area is, etc.), and then they deliver, set up, and remove all in the same day. (And yes, they remove as late as you want — ish. We had them come at 11pm and it was fine). Also, anybody who reads this and books a party before August 1st can get 15 percent off the rental with them, as long as you say “Emily loves Yeah!” in your email.
For flowers, I vacillated between these Proteus and other desert flowers or doing just succulents. Ultimately I liked the height and color variation of the Proteus, but the succulents would have been less wasteful, so they would have been just as good of an option and not that much more expensive. That awesome fringe situation up there is from Geronimo, which was supposed to be on the balloons that we got from them, BUT, we loved them in the more blank places of the party.
When it comes to the patterns and colors, we decided to not try to art direct it too much and just mix all of these together, with the main color palette being desert colors, with hits of hot pink and teal (duh). Somehow throwing it all together looks way better and more fun than going through and perfectly picking out all the colors that matched, etc. Stylistically, they all look good together because the they all fell within our mid-century Texan outback theme.
Oh, and I added Billy Balls because I wanted more texture and something really graphic to contrast against the Proteus. Plus, I love saying and buying “Billy Balls.”
I enlisted help from my friends at Geronimo Balloons, which are those famous huge and round balloons floating around at parties. They were a massive hit, cut to six hours into the party, and yes, “lollipop kids” may have been sung with the help of some helium, that oh-so-precious resource. That beautiful ‘smores cake is a genius creation by Tara at HeirloomLA and was insanely delicious (and while it looks not that big, it served all 75 people). It has all the elements of ‘smores inside it — chocolate, salty graham cracker and marshmallow. VERY Good. I kept meaning to buy or make a cake topper but the day totally got away from us.
We stole the name game idea from Bash, Please (only the hippest party planners in town) when they did it for Margaux and Max’s beautiful shower. Basically you guess (or pick) what name you think they should name their baby. Their last name is Whannell so I chose “1L” (get it “One L” Whannell) and I won. I mean, they aren’t going to name her that, but I still kinda “won” if you know what I mean. I apparently think I’m terribly clever at times. Although Orlando also won by choosing “Orlanda,” which never ceases to make us laugh.
I mean, look at that cake. HeirloomLA, you killed it. I want it in my cake hole now.
The party was big, at 75 people, so we obviously had to get a group shot. It was a total success and such a blast. Obviously I didn’t do this alone or even close to it. Corbett’s cousin (who-is-basically-her-sister), Hillary hosted it (Secrets from a Stylist, season one episode one, anyone?), and her best friends Anne and Meredith helped an intense amount as well. We didn’t get any proper shots of the delicious BBQ food because it was served inside after dark where the light was bad and wasn’t styled all pretty (but was delicious). Instead, we focused on shooting more of the party and decor. A big trivia game was played, music spun all night, and a week later this happened:
Baby Sabine was born. Everybody is extremely healthy and totally perfect.
Happy Birthday, Sabine. Your aunts really love you very much already. Now to start planning your first birthday party … I’m thinking “Vintage Victorian Trojan” …
Thanks so much to Monica Wang who shot those lovely party photos; Yeah! Rentals for the awesome furniture and accessories; Geronimo balloons for the insane balloons; HeirloomLA for that cake; and Tessa Neaustadt for the birth photo. And yes, ALL of those people just mentioned are for hire and I strongly recommend hiring them. :)