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Hoppy Memories: A Baby Shower Inspired by "Peter Rabbit"

Hop on over to this celebration based on the stories by Beatrix Potter — the celebrated children's author who brought Peter Rabbit to the world — with a farm fresh menu, spring greenery, and charming decorations that everybunny is bound to adore.

Benjamin Bunny, Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and the English countryside in spring — these darling illustrations evoke the beloved world of Beatrix Potter and, specifically, the tale of "Peter Rabbit." In the classic children's book, a mischievous young Peter learns valuable lessons throughout his adventures, making many friends along the way.

A Cordial Invitation

Hence, the inspiration for a baby shower in honor of one special mother-to-be. "I had come across this darling Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit illustration and really wanted to include him on the invitation," says event designer and planner Royale Ziegler of But First, Party! "Something about his little horn and flag felt so appropriate for a baby shower invitation, as if he were saying, 'Attention, baby on the way!'" Calligraphy was courtesy of Proper Letter for the invitation suite and place cards, plus a teeny-tiny carrot watercolor detail on the RSVP cards.

The Storybook Setting

Rolling Greens Beverly was the perfect place to host a springtime fete, filled with fresh flowers and lush plants just like Mr. McGregor's garden. Royale Ziegler of But First, Party! and Rachel Huntington of Bonjour Fete co-hosting the event were hopping up and down with excitement when they were offered this sunlit courtyard space for the shower. The ivy-laced white brick facade and potted topiaries felt very English countryside and provided the perfect backdrop for a picturesque tablescape. Decorations, partyware, paper goods — all kinds of domestic accoutrements would bear Potter's quaint drawings.

Celebrating the Mama-to-be

Ziegler and Huntington were happy to host the shower in celebration of mama-to-be (and fellow event designer) Jenny Leu of Forest and J. After marrying her husband Adam on the sandy beaches of Cabo three years ago, Leu was inspired to create her own destination wedding blog. 

"We are both blessed to be having our first, a baby boy, after struggles with infertility," she says. "We have relished in the journey over the last eight months, through trials and triumph. Our Little Leu is will be inspiring us daily very soon!"

A Handmade Gift

As for the shower gift, the hostesses found the perfect thing: a book-turned-baby-mobile courtesy of Southern Pearl Designs for the nursery. Bound together by the hardcover book's spine, the pages cascaded chandelier-style while charming illustrations were left to flutter in the breeze. Suspended over the table, it extended the storybook theme beautifully.

Crafted Carrots

How to catch a rabbit, you ask? In Beatrix Potter's world, these oversized decorations would certainly do the job. The papier-mâché creations come in an array of springtime colors — for the baby shower, they chose a peachy pink to pair with gilded tops, and bundled them in a woven luggy basket.

A Beautiful Bounty

Rolling Greens created fresh farm-befitting bundles of pincushion proteas, white kale, artichokes, yellow iris, snap dragons, Queen Anne's lace, wax flower, and ranunculus. "I wanted the florals to feel like they had just been plucked from the garden and brought straight to the table by way of bicycle basket," Ziegler says. They also used baskets from The Little Market to create a gorgeous — and ginormous — arrangement of fresh produce and flowers. Potted bulbs made for a farm-fit finishing touch.

And, in Royale's words: "It's not every day that you can decorate using carrots and artichokes."

A Seat at the Table

The concept for this shower was inspired by newly released Peter Rabbit partyware. "We layered the tossware with classic elements like this striped blue tablecloth and candy-striped woven napkins, which a portion of the proceeds from go to support artisans at Woven Promises in Ethiopia and Kara Weaves in India respectively," Ziegler remarks. The remaining tabletop elements like the glassware, chargers, and flatware were all found at Rolling Greens.

A Fresh Feast from the Garden

Mr. McGregor himself would be hankering for the fare at this table, all of which was gathered at a leisurely trip to the farmers market. "The market is starting to burst with scenes of spring, so that alone helped us guide what we should bring to the table," say creative-minded sisters Shelby and Savannah DiMarco of Sorella Collective. "We gathered tons of vegetables to make our crowd favorite crudité." Plus, they made sure to leave some veggies in their natural state to double as décor for the center of the table.

  • A selection of vegetables at a Peter Rabbit-themed baby shower.

    Freshly picked, this hors d'oeuvre centerpiece recalled a vibrant vegetable patch — arranged with carrots, cauliflower, radishes, and snap peas in layers, varying the colors.

  • baby shower food

    For smaller bites, these miniature quiches were prepared with farm fresh eggs and rapini, green onions, and tiny baby tomatoes then topped with a few sprigs of thyme.

  • A vegetable dish at a Peter Rabbit-themed baby shower.

    On this plate: "We couldn't resist the vibrant heirloom tomatoes, so we made a savory yet sweet tomato tart sprinkled with fresh Parmesan."

  • baby shower food

    Ziegler's tip for baby shower desserts? "Always have variety. Some guests do not prefer a whole slice of cake and simply want a little bite of something sweet, hence why we also had her make chocolate-dipped 'carrot' strawberries and Peter Rabbit macarons — both of which qualify as brunch foods if you ask us!"

  • A selection of vegetables at a Peter Rabbit-themed baby shower.

    Freshly picked, this hors d'oeuvre centerpiece recalled a vibrant vegetable patch — arranged with carrots, cauliflower, radishes, and snap peas in layers, varying the colors.

  • A vegetable dish at a Peter Rabbit-themed baby shower.

    On this plate: "We couldn't resist the vibrant heirloom tomatoes, so we made a savory yet sweet tomato tart sprinkled with fresh Parmesan."

  • baby shower food

    For smaller bites, these miniature quiches were prepared with farm fresh eggs and rapini, green onions, and tiny baby tomatoes then topped with a few sprigs of thyme.

  • baby shower food

    Ziegler's tip for baby shower desserts? "Always have variety. Some guests do not prefer a whole slice of cake and simply want a little bite of something sweet, hence why we also had her make chocolate-dipped 'carrot' strawberries and Peter Rabbit macarons — both of which qualify as brunch foods if you ask us!"

Sweet Sandwiches

For the kids, a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were dusted with powdered sugar. Each one was topped with a Beatrix Potter character as clip-art. "It was important to keep the menu kid-friendly as well," Ziegler says. "since some of the guests brought their little bunnies!"

A Slice of Sweetness

Sweetlee Made baked a cake that Beatrix Potter herself would write home about. The triple-tiered showstopper featured handcrafted gumpaste Petter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck figures, and blooming sugarflower accents.

Parting Gifts

For this baby shower, there were two different favors: one for the mamas and one for little guests. "For the mamas, we came across these Peter Rabbit Cookie Kits, which are not only on-theme but are something that can be used every Easter after!" Ziegler says. "For the kiddos, we gifted Olli Ella picnic basketsmini carrot ornaments, and Peter Rabbit board books. We also tied the place card tags to miniature Peter Rabbit books, which doubled as a great shower activity: story time!"

Credits

Design and planning: Royale Ziegler of But First, Party! | @butfirstparty

Photography: Billye Donya | @billyedonyaphotography 

Styling: Rachel Huntington of Oui Party

Partyware: Bonjour Fete | @bonjourfete

Venue and florals: Rolling Greens | @rollinggreens

Sweets: Sweetlee Made | @sweetleemade

Food: Sorella Collective | @sorellacollective

Stationery and calligraphy: Proper Letter | @properletter

Addtional décor: The Little Market | @thelittlemarket

Paper mobile: Southern Pearl Designs

Styling assistant: Emily Bowser | @emilyedithbowser

Mama-to-be: Jenny Leu of Forrest and J | @forrestandj