Mar 07, 2010

Welcome Little Sprout

Welcome Little Sprout

There is simply nothing sweeter than the arrival of a baby and perhaps nothing as sweet as those who want to shower the mother-to-be with well wishes by hosting a baby shower in her honor. Nicole set out to make this an extra special time for her friend and called to tell me that she had a room on hold at the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn. WHO does not love going to the Ritz! I love going there just to be reminded of how beautiful professional service can be - the typical response of any Ritz-Carlton staff member is, "It would be my pleasure!" How charming and wonderful that is to hear...and with sincerity!

When I asked for a little background about this special mother-to-be, Nicole got very excited and told me what a wonderful person she was, what a wonderful mother she was going to be, and how extremely creative she was. This modern day omother was also very int tune with today's environmental issues and needs- this mother-to-be was very GREEN and loved being organic whenever possible. In fact, baby's parents were even building a home that would be on the cutting edge of technology and were using the latest energy saving building systems.

Then those words that are usually associated with realtors echoed in my head...Location, Location, Location! Although I am a fan of the Ritz-Carlton, I wondered...did that location really fit this event, this mother-to-be? Immediately, I suggested we step out of the box and think about something entirely different...why not have this baby shower in an organic space...what about Root and Sprout?

Root and Sprout is an organic children's store in Birmingham, Michigan, that caters to the newest trends in earth friendly items for babies on up! In addition to their new wave of thinking, they also feature and sell beautiful children's antique it is a fascinating spot of new thinking and yet a reminder of days gone by.

There just didn't seem to be a better place to host this baby shower! The owners of Root and Sprout, Susan and Kelly, were just as excited with the prospect of using their store for a baby shower as we were...and so the planning began!

Being a true green space, the perfect colors became obvious to both Nicole and I - chocolate brown and apple green would work well in this space. The planning got underway first with the designing process for the invitation to announce the event. Off to the graphic artist, Jo Ann Stachelski of Cartoleria, for her expertise in getting the right colors, papers and textures for the invite. A simple graphic of a "sprout" was used on the invitation and the same image and paper materials were used on all of the other print material for this event. Using the same papers, colors and images assures a very cohesive and completed look and exemplifies a well planned event.

NOW to the details... once the invite was sent, it was time to turn our attention to the next set of details. I always like to start at the front door. This arrival would be extra special since there were two very large windows to consider. Graciously, the owners of the store, moved up their spring cleaning and got the snowy window setting into storage and set the stage for spring's arrival by using a green (and I am sure, recycled!) paper shred to simulate new grass. It set off their white antique furniture and the bright grass caught the eye of all passing the storefront.

Now that the outside reflected the welcoming of our little sprout, the layout for the inside space had to be considered. This was NOT the typical setting for an event so some clever use of space was in order. We needed to conserve space as much as possible. So, with Mother Nature on our side, we were able to tie seating cards to bare branched trees and set them at both sides of the doorway to welcome our guests. A greeter met the arriving guests and assisted them with finding their seating card tied to the tree - a simple tug at the ribbon and they had their seating card in hand!

Upon entering, the guests' spring jackets were taken and hung behind a curtain that was the shop's storage center - luckily a coat rack fit into the space and the drape hid the coats nicely during the event.

When it came time to plan the menu, it was most important to find the right caterer for this job. Since there was no prep area at this location, we called upon Lakeland Banquet and Catering. They travel to sites with a kitchen on board their catering truck, a very rare perk! The actual preparation of food takes place on site and assures the event will have the freshest cuisine.

Passed hors d'oeuvres included Shrimp Cocktail Shooters, Mini Grilled Cheese Triangles with Tomato Basil Bisque served in espresso cups, and Wild Mushroom Pizza on Puff Pastry. A colorful fruit and cheese presentation was set out for the nibblers.

White square china was our choice for dinnerware. The salad sized plates encouraged guests to fill up more than once with servings that included a display of freshly baked breads, muffins and scones, chafers with Beef Tenderloin Eggs Benedict, Eggplant Roulade with Fresh Basil and Fontinella served on top of a Palomino Sauce, and a chef preparing Belgian Waffles with fresh berries and toppings. YUM!

The centerpieces would compliment the smart square shape that the invitation established at the beginning of the planning. Ralph Bellisario of Bellisario Florist designed various sized square vases packed with cymbidium orchids; they were the perfect punch of green for the chocolate covered tables. Since we were in a small and intimate space, the 48" round tables kept our guests close together. I have always delighted in being seated at a table this size because a real conversation can actually take place! Instead of table numbers, guests were directed to their tables with square cards that used favorite nursery tale titles.

The real fun of using this space was that the surroundings had all the baby props one could possibly hope for at a baby's party! With adorable baby clothing, furnishings and toys, classical music from the Baby Einstein's Baby Mozart CD - all of these details made for an ideal setting! Mother Nature provided us with a beautiful spring day that filled the space with glorious sunshine; it was the perfect setting for any organic or non-organic mother-to-be!

While the mother-to-be opened her gifts (wth the assistance of her darling four year old niece!) the guests enjoyed a little dessert, a freshly baked lemon square with the most delicate crust ever! The lemon square was garnished with fresh berries and a sprig of mint along with an offering of coffe or tea.

Making an event personal is always THE goal and one has to know the passions of the guest of honor to make it so. Nicole, being a good friend, knew exactly how to end this gathering on a sweet note! Anoher good friend of the mother-to-be, Chef David Gilbert of the Forest Grill in Birmingham provided freshly baked French delights, delicious macroons in three flavors! Wrapped in cello and tied up with chocolate ribbon and darling tag designed by Nicole, the favor was the piece de resistance waiting at the door - the perfect sweet ending to the day's event!


Thank you again for your hard work and efforts to make this a beautiful event. Sincerely, Nicole

Posted Under Event Category: Baby Shower