New This Month

Cherry Blossoms Abound: A Charitable Baby Shower at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Spring—and a sense of charity—was in season at this heavenly celebration. Guests entered a glass atrium of delights—games, flowers, and decadent desserts—and at the day's end, all of it was donated to the local community.

Spring Awakening

It began with a simple altruistic notion: Why not shower the mother-to-be with generosity and gifts, and shower the local  community just the same? 

Enter the LLG Events, which strives to include a philanthropic component in any celebrated milestone such as a baby's arrival. "We wanted to showcase how the baby shower's luxury could extend so much light and love to those less fortunate, with hopes of creating a new trend," says Lauren Grech, CEO of LLG Events, "for baby showers to become 'the ultimate first gift to your baby' by giving back in their name."

A Garden of Grandeur

For such a spectacular event, The Palm House within the lush Brooklyn Botanic Garden offered a natural space like no other: elegant interiors while imparting an open-window view to the 52 acres of land all in quiet bloom.

Meet the Mother-to-Be

Enter Lindsay Pistilli, the mother-to-be, for whom giving is something of secondhand nature: She is on the board of Sharing & Caring, a nonprofit that provides guidance and support for people diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer. 

After a few meetings with LLG Events, something clicked. "Being philanthropists, it only solidified my decision in their team more that we shared this common interest," she explains. "I told them I wanted to donate the floral arrangements after the shower and they knew exactly who to contact to make this happen: Repeat Roses."

The Expecting Couple

For parents-to-be Pistilli and Joseph Camerata, the donation recipients were personally important. An overabundance of flowers would be donated to two places of their choice: Ozanam Hall, a nursing home facility in Bayside, Queens, which was "our first choice because Joey's grandmother was staying there" as well as Maimonides Medical Center, the largest hospital in Brooklyn.

Secondly, children's games were thoughtfully incorporated into the shower for later donation to Forestdale Foster Care in Forest Hills, Queens. Thirdly, books: "When Joey and I started to open our baby shower presents, we realized many of the books people had given us were repeats," Pistilli explains. "So we decided to donate the duplicates, and also purchase the same books we received to match the quantity we have to donate to the adoption agency as well."

A Warm Invitation

So a date was set. On Saturday, April 7, the two New York City socialites made arrangements for friends and family to join in their joy. The invitations—depicting soft floral motifs and paired with sky-blue envelopes—were designed by Adrienne Kierans of Ipanema Press.

Merry-Go-Round

The party planners set out to create an adult adventureland with the assistance of Design House Decor complete with oversized toys, games, and installments such as this dreamy carousel befitting the park setting. Guests could find their personalized place card in its shadow.

The Sweetest Swing

In one corner, a wooden bench overgrown with crawling vines and overflowing blooms is romantically transformed into a decorative swing. Here and there, the space is personalized with framed photographs of the expectant couple. "I think our love story and incorporating our childhood pictures changed the feel of the baby shower," Pistilli remarks. "People walked around the venue and got to see Joey and I grow up through the years as depicted in our photographs. We had baby pictures together, toddler pictures, adolescent and pre-teen pictures. We also shared our pregnancy photoshoot with our guests to showcase all the milestones in our lives together."

Spring Spectacle

  • Butterflies Alight
    Butterflies Alight

    Acting as a centerpiece on the tables, single rose stems are placed in glass of varying heights and hues. Faux winged butterflies alight here and there.

  • Blossoms Abound
    Blossoms Abound

    Overhead, the glass atrium was filled with fluffy boughs.

  • Tiny Terrariums
    Tiny Terrariums

    Hanging from the boughs of tabletop trees, these glass vases catch the light.

  • All Aflutter
    All Aflutter

    On the backs of each lucite seat, more butterflies make their mark.

  • Butterflies Alight
    Butterflies Alight

    Acting as a centerpiece on the tables, single rose stems are placed in glass of varying heights and hues. Faux winged butterflies alight here and there.

  • Tiny Terrariums
    Tiny Terrariums

    Hanging from the boughs of tabletop trees, these glass vases catch the light.

  • Blossoms Abound
    Blossoms Abound

    Overhead, the glass atrium was filled with fluffy boughs.

  • All Aflutter
    All Aflutter

    On the backs of each lucite seat, more butterflies make their mark.

Desserts Divine

Roll in the sweets and treats! Everything on this dessert cart, courtesy of Evolution Event Rentals, evoked the couple's childhood favorites, including pastels in every edible form imaginable.

Patina, the exclusive caterer for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, served a menu based on their favorite foods while growing up and some of their current brunch favorites: homemade buttermilk biscuits, yogurt parfaits, and bruléed french toast with maple and whipped cream. As for the canapes, they served chicken and waffles, shrimp on a skewer, tomato soup and sandwiches.

  • Delectable Delicacies
    Delectable Delicacies

    French macarons, funfetti cupcakes, and other small sweets were placed in vintage teacups for added whimsy.

  • Delights in Flight
    Delights in Flight

    Butterflies—in sugared form—bedeck these frosted cupcakes and cookies.

  • Take the Cake
    Take the Cake

    Instead of one cake, the couple opted for three cakes on each table. "Each cake was a different flavor that Joey and I loved," Pistilli remarks with, "funfetti being our favorite!"

  • Crunchy Creations
    Crunchy Creations

    These floral-inspired rice crispy treats evoke a fond memory for Pistilli: "we would always have fun making rice krispy treats together at Joey's house."

  • Miniature Must-Haves
    Miniature Must-Haves

    Small-size doughnuts and flower-topped cupcakes offer a cheerful sight.

  • A Sweet Toast
    A Sweet Toast

    Cheers! In a perfect blend of adult and childhood taste, rock candy cocktails were served in elegant tinted glassware.

  • Delectable Delicacies
    Delectable Delicacies

    French macarons, funfetti cupcakes, and other small sweets were placed in vintage teacups for added whimsy.

  • Crunchy Creations
    Crunchy Creations

    These floral-inspired rice crispy treats evoke a fond memory for Pistilli: "we would always have fun making rice krispy treats together at Joey's house."

  • Delights in Flight
    Delights in Flight

    Butterflies—in sugared form—bedeck these frosted cupcakes and cookies.

  • Miniature Must-Haves
    Miniature Must-Haves

    Small-size doughnuts and flower-topped cupcakes offer a cheerful sight.

  • Take the Cake
    Take the Cake

    Instead of one cake, the couple opted for three cakes on each table. "Each cake was a different flavor that Joey and I loved," Pistilli remarks with, "funfetti being our favorite!"

  • A Sweet Toast
    A Sweet Toast

    Cheers! In a perfect blend of adult and childhood taste, rock candy cocktails were served in elegant tinted glassware.

Clouds of Sweetness

This mobile cart, courtesy of Le Puf, allowed guests to create a new sugary memory with organic cotton candy in an array of melt-in-your-mouth flavors. 

  • Roll In
    Roll In
  • Whip Up
    Whip Up
  • Hand Out
    Hand Out

Games Galore

Classics like Jenga, Uno, butterfly card decks, and Candyland were left for open play on each table—fun for family members of all ages. A standout moment? This larger-than-life chess board. Pistilli recalls, "It was so rewarding watching the kids play with each of the games!"

Whimsical Wonders

Guests—of all ages—were encouraged to indulge in play. To the left, they could make their guesses about the soon-to-arrive baby. And to the right, who doesn't love a giant teddy bear?

At the shower's end, Repeat Roses used the event flowers to deliver 16 arrangements to Ozanam Hall as well as four larger arrangements to Maimonides Medical Center.

"

"It's important to realize how fortunate we are to have these celebrations, but also remember that we can also brighten someone else's day just by sending them a simple floral arrangement or a new game."—Lindsay Pistilli

 

"

Credits

Event concept, design, and coordination: LLG Events | @llgevents

Photographer: Jessa Schifilliti of Love and Light Photography | @jessalovelight

Venue: Brooklyn Botanic Garden | @brooklynbotanic

Entertainment: The Starlight Orchestra | @thestarlightorchestra

Stationery: Adrienne Kierans of Ipanema Press | @ipanemapress

Rentals: Borrowed Blu | @borrowedblu

Event production: Evolution Event Rentals | @evolutioneventrentals

Floral donation: Repeat Roses | @repeatroses

Linens: LaSar Linens | @lasarlinens

Decals: Shout | @gotoshout

Catering: Patina Events | @patinaeventsbbg

Desserts: Hey Cookie | @hey!cookie

Cotton candy: Le Puf | @le_puf

Floral & production design: Design House Decor | @designhousedecor