A Rainbow-Themed Baby Shower for One Mom-to-Be and Her Miracle
For Dawn Schillinger, founder of Earthbaby Flowers, it seems the storm has finally passed. "Pep (my fiancé) and I had conceived three times in a year and a half prior to having this healthy pregnancy," she says. "Two were ectopic and one was miscarried. Talk about a whirlwind of emotions!"
Then, a metaphorical rainbow appeared: "When we found out we were pregnant this time, our initial reaction was disbelief mixed with a little bit of hope." The couple went in for the ultrasound, and both cried tears of joy. "I will never forget the moment I heard his heartbeat," she recalls. "It was the best sound on Earth!" For the first few months she admits to feeling cautiously optimistic, having experienced loss before. Now halfway through her pregnancy with a due date in June, she's had a happy change of heart: "He really is our magical little rainbow baby and we cannot wait to meet him."
What helped, Dawn says, was openly sharing her struggles and self-doubt with other women—and receiving their unwavering support in return. "In doing so, I've found great support and was surprised to learn that these situations are more common than one would think!" she says. "As a woman, it's very tough to go through the cycles of pregnancy and loss, especially so close together." To lift spirits and celebrate, a rainbow baby shower seemed like not only a beautiful theme but a beautifully powerful reminder of everything that came before. As luck would have it, Dawn was fortunate to have a tight group of female friends who would be on any party planner's wish list: Royale Ziegler of But First, Party!, Rachel Huntington of Bonjour Fête, and other women-lead creatives like Josephine Los Angeles, the Sorella Collective, and Creative Amme. Together, they pooled their talents to envision a baby shower worthy of Dawn's story.
The Creative Vision
Feeling inspired, Royale of But First, Party! took on the design and planning. She sourced pretty heart plates from Meri Meri, then recalled a lovely tablescape styled by La Tavola for the launch of their velvet fabrics. "And," she adds, "what better way to recreate a rainbow in the sky than to mirror the velvety colors on the table with a balloon installation?"
The Party Planning
Rachel Huntington of Bonjour Fête, who graciously opened the doors of her L.A. partyware boutique for this baby shower, also lent her crafty talent: making balloon garlands. To create this lofty display, she used a mix of balloons (ranging in size from 5 up to 36 inches each) and color-blocked them in 3-foot sections of 9 quads (or 4 balloons tied together). "We often double stuff our balloons to achieve the proper color, so if you want a softer version of a specific color we will put it inside a white balloon," she says. "It makes it hard to tie but is much more customizable."
An Airy Welcome
Upon arrival, guests were wowed by the 16-foot rainbow balloon garland floating over the table—216 balloons altogether! For suspension, Rachel used eye lag bolts, but she has a more home-friendly solution: "If that is not an option, you can always go with command hook—just make sure it is applied on a clean surface. We use alcohol wipes to prepare the wall first." While this was the central element of décor, it complemented the draping of pretty pastel velvet fabrics from La Tavola.
Up, Up, and Away
What's that floating in midair? "The rectangular cake is something Rachel and I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to do!" Royale says excitedly. "We knew we wanted the meringues to make a statement on the table, so we decided to suspend the cake above the table on an acrylic shelf as a modern take on the cake stand." It's not just for show: This cake measured 3 feet by 8 inches with a vanilla mint-green buttercream outside, Tahitian vanilla marbled confetti cake inside, and rainbow meringue kiss accents. It fit perfectly among end-of-the-rainbow cookies, colorfully layered cakes, and scoops of sorbet.
Desserts to Delight
Josephine Los Angeles brought some of her signature sweets: citrus cupcakes with tangy lemon buttercream, passion fruit tartlets topped with Italian meringue, and lavender essence baked doughnuts. And the finishing touch? Meringue kisses numbered beyond imagination: "We layered in over 10 dozen vanilla meringues," Royale says. (That's 120 meringues in total!) "All of which ran down the table, creating a runner of sweets that coordinated with the lines."
These dollops of sweetness—with their whirly-swirly shapes—added whimsy to the table. And they happen to be Josephine's specialty. Her concept: whisk up a batch of classic meringues, then get creative with flavored swirls. These meringue kisses were made special with a long-lasting, light as air outside and soft, mallowy inside.
Charms and Treats
Keep it special and sensitive: It's all part of the etiquette around a rainbow baby shower. "When throwing a shower for a friend, possibly someone who has suffered a loss in her journey to motherhood," Royale advises, "be sure to make the details feel special and connect to the guest of honor as well as the theme. Dawn feels very lucky to have a healthy pregnancy, so we made sure to incorporate 'luck' into the party with the drink stirrers and the shamrock meringues." Like the other sweets, lucky four-leaf clover mergingues were by Josephine Los Angeles; the stirrers were courtesy of Creative Amme.
Enquiring minds want to know: Is it a boy or a girl? These days, the question is no longer simply answered—it's happily exclaimed with popping balloons, surprise packages, and other gender reveal ideas. Pass out these gold calligraphed party napkins and keep the guests guessing on whether "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!"
Taste the Rainbow
A gentle reminder to eat your greens… and reds, and blues, and purples. Up the color (and flavor) quotient of party hors d'oeuvres by pairing healthy fruits and vegetables on the same platter. Sisters Shelby and Savannah DiMarcoof the Sorella Collective gathered a lavish grazing board of hummus dip, berries, citrus slices, spring crudites, and edible flowers.
A second cake ended the day on a sweet note. Much like the showstopper suspended in mid-air, this vanilla mint-green dessert cut into four luscious layers of blue Tahitian vanilla-marbled confetti cake with buttercream, and a rainbow of meringue kisses. The "Lucky Me" cake topper by Creative Amme echoed the sentiments of everyone who earned a slice. A rainbow's end (and the pot of gold that is said to be found when you reach it) became synonymous with the sentiment of the day. "We felt that this nod was perfect for a baby shower," Royale says, "since what better treasure is there than a baby?"
Event planning, Royale Ziegler of But First, Party!
Photography, Stephanie Williams of This Modern Romance
Styling, balloons, and partyware, Rachel Huntington of Bonjour Fête
Sweets, Josephine Los Angeles
Flowers, Earthbaby Flowers
Catering, Sorella Collective
Linens, La Tavola
Acrylic shelf, stirrers, and cake topper, Creative Amme