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So you’re throwing a baby shower, but aren’t sure where to start?!

A baby brings new beginnings, a fresh dynamic, and so much joy- we believe that every detail of a baby shower should reflect that. We know that as a host, you want your friend or family member to feel special and celebrated as they await their new addition to the family. We are here to support you in creating your party’s vision with these key 4 questions to ask the expectant parent(s). Our quick guide will help to get you started and hone in on your party’s purpose, theme and goals.

Question 1: If the shower is for a couple, would you like the baby shower to honor both expectant parents?

Couple baby showers are becoming more popular and in the spirit of the more, the merrier, opening up the guest list can add to the fun! Knowing if the parents would like a combined or individual event will help you to choose the appropriate location for the shower, as well as the activities (if any) planned for the festivities.

Speaking of activities… designing your shower to be experiential can add a fresh touch to the occasion and be inclusive to everyone attending. Some ideas that get guests interacting and engaged throughout the shower include:

  • Mini golf

  • A floral arranging class

  • Progressive shower, a take on a progressive dinner! (Ideal if a few of the willing hosts live in the same neighborhood)

Build your own bouquet flower cart

Question 2: Do you want a more traditional baby shower or something unexpected?

Knowing the answer to this will help you gain clarity on the expectations of the expectant parent(s). The traditional route could include a theme that appeals to the baby’s gender, games, gift opening and typically brunch fair. But what if they want something out of the box? Consider ways to reinvent the baby shower by incorporating a specific gift theme, a gender neutral design for a modern take on the occasion, or a full bar and hearty eats.

Once you have a better understanding of the expectations, then it's time to begin brainstorming some theme ideas! The best themes will stem from meaningful places, cultures, personal stories, or time periods that resonate with the expectant parents. Once you have put together a few possible directions, provide the parents with these options and find out their favorites. We recommend maintaining an element of surprise for the guests of honor; to achieve the perfect balance of honoring their wishes and still leaving a few tricks up your sleeve, have them narrow down the options and then the host(s) can choose the final direction from those pre-approved selections.

For traditional a theme we are loving:

  • Baby in bloom with monochromatic florals, balloons made to look like large-scale flowers, build-your-own bouquet flower cart, and a fresh seasonal menu. Check out this bounce house inspiration below from Starr of Texas, who we adore and collaborate with often!

For a gender neutral theme we are swooning over:

Or get groovy with a non traditional theme:

Mamma Mia featuring a Grecian disco with bold blues, pops of white, disco balls, boas, funky sunglasses and rocking ABBA tunes. Book Extragrams- their high-energy performers to delight guests with a surprise musical performance! Now that’s a baby shower we’d go to any weekend.

Daisy balloon bounce house

Question 3: Is there anything you absolutely do not want and what are your must haves?

By asking this question, you are ensuring any elements of the expectant parent(s) day is tailored to their preferences. When planning an event, it's just as helpful to have an understanding of what people do not want as what they do want. Having this dialogue may reveal that there is something they’ve always wanted when they envision their baby shower. How special is it to know that you get the opportunity to bring that to life?!

Some people have a hard time opening gifts in front of others. Some might want a more intimate gathering instead of large. We suggest always keeping in mind that the details of the baby shower should be based around celebrating the expectant parent in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

Question 4: Is there anything your community can do for you now to help you before the baby is born?

It might be helpful to provide some suggestions for this question. For example: start a food train sign-up at the shower! Perhaps there's furniture that needs to be assembled? A baby shower is a great time to get organized; imagine giving the expectant parents the gift of knowing this is already covered once their new bundle arrives.

Another option would be to gift something for the parent-to-be that’s focused on wellness or a little pampering. It’s nice to keep the parent top of mind and a little “me time” is always much appreciated, pre or post baby. We love any of the robe and slipper sets from Parachute- they're always great quality and functional for parents to be.

This final question can help you know what the expectant parents are needing now and possibly also once the baby is born. Bringing a child into this world is magical, but also very hard. Wouldn’t it be great to have a shower to showcase to the expectant parent(s) what an awesome community they have rallying around them to support their journey?

However you decide to host, we know for certain that your thoughtfulness and effort will be so appreciated by the expectant parents. As they say, it takes a village and a shower is a great way for the village to gather and celebrate welcoming new life into this big, beautiful world.

Images Courtesy of Dagnushka, Jerry Hayes Photography, and Starr of Texas

The holidays are here, and with them comes a touch of frenzy about being organized enough to host guests, both planned and unplanned. Creating a meaningful and memorable holiday experience for your loved ones doesn’t have to be stressful — as experts in all things entertaining, we were invited by Good Grit Magazine to share our tips for hosting (plus a few hacks!) in their holiday issue and we had to share them here, too! Consider these tips to keep the spirits festive and your prep stress-free.

1. Get the best of both worlds with traditional décor with a personal twist If you want to add your own distinctive touch to a holiday table arrangement, concentrate on one typical holiday hue and match it with vibrant complementary colors. We would include rich camel tones into the tablescape in place of the traditional Christmas red to add buttery, neutral layers that are akin to cinnamon lattes and gingerbread sweets. Offering familiar and novel experiences to visitors maximizes their comfort and joy.

2. Always be prepared for impromptu gatherings Always have a bottle or two (or three or seven) of cold champagne on hand as well as a set of humorous cocktail napkins so that you can entertain any unexpected guests right off the bat. To dress up simple party snacks, place moreish salty and sweet pantry staples like chocolates, mixed nuts, and potato chips in beautiful bowls. We’re pretty certain there will be a crowd gathered around the sweets and treats.

3. Purchase host gifts early and have a stash you can access throughout the holidays Even better, you can pre-wrap these presents and put them under the tree to save time during the hectic peak party season. We adore this time-saving tip because it will make your décor feel finished with gifts under the tree and make them easy to grab and go when you're rushing out the door in your best party clothing (fashionably late, of course). To distinguish which gift is which, a pro tip is to attach a temporary tag or coding system to the bottom of the bag.

Holiday hosting with Cassie LaMere Events

4. Time-saving menus for place settings This is one of our favorite holiday hacks. A menu can be written by hand or printed out and attached to a holiday card. You can either insert the menu inside the card or cut off the back to make the front and back of the card one solid piece. As you find a use for the extra cards from the previous year and a reason to buy new ones at everyone's favorite after-Christmas sales, you'll also be adding style to your table.

Holiday hosting with Cassie LaMere Events

5. Collaborative playlists to set the tone We love sending out a collaborative playlist to guests in advance with an opportunity to add their favorite tracks to help with party preparation. We start listening to the playlist a week prior to the event, picturing all the fun that will be had at our soirée, to get us excited about the celebrations and hosting duties that lie ahead.

6. All praise party punch We adore the adaptability that a festive punch provides; spice up your recipe to raise the spirits and include a zero-proof version so that everyone can join in on the party. Your punch can eve be pre-made to give your festive table a splash of color.

Holiday hosting with Cassie LaMere Events

7. For the time-crunched Consider incorporating dried flowers into your table settings and décor. The arrangements will last you for the duration of the season, relieving you of the stress of maintaining a routine for changing out your florals. During the holidays, we could all use a little stress relief, and doing this can free up your schedule so you can watch more Hallmark movies.

Holiday hosting with Cassie LaMere Events

8. Use the HiNote app for personable, digital invites When a text message just won't cut it and you need a quick way to invite people, use the HiNOTE app. Its sophisticated, pre-designed templates have a ton of personality and are simple to alter so that you may personalize them with information about your party. (Our go-to items right now are the martini memo and the antique silver tray.) To send through text or DM, just pick one of the adorable designs, provide the necessary information, and press one button. Voilà! Get the party started.

9. No table linens? No problem Using a pretty blanket or throw as table linen is one of our favorite party hacks. The texture ups the coziness level of your gathering, creating the ideal mood for the holidays and private dinner parties at home

Holiday hosting with Cassie LaMere Events

10. Repurpose what you already own With a few seasonal touches, organic textures, neutral tones, and ornamental items can quickly change your home to reflect the most delightful season of the year. You don't need to buy a brand-new assortment of furniture and accessories to give your home a fashionable and festive feel. Your vase arrangements will feel more festive with a variety of foliage. With a little rosemary, a cinnamon stick, an orange slice, or a pinecone—all of which are conveniently available at your neighborhood grocery store or in nature—your standard plates or glasses can be made cheery! In addition, a lot of these work well as components in mulled wine, which will give the house a lovely Christmassy smell.

11. Embrace incorporating personal or traditional details into your entertaining Celebrate what makes you who you are, and guests will enjoy embracing that too. You can easily add authentically you-inspired features to your party by customizing the cuisine, décor, and music. Our advice: your visitors will appreciate these unique moments much more since they tell a story of what makes you, you.

Holiday hosting with Cassie LaMere Events

From the corporate and private Christmas parties we’ve produced to the holiday decorations we’ve designed for some very special clients, we consider ourselves well-versed in the art of holiday entertaining. We hope you feel inspired and empowered to create your own memorable gathering. Our team is excited to see what you come up with! Tag us on Instagram so we can share the moment with you. A very happy holiday season to you all!

Images Courtesy of Dagnushka for Good Grit Magazine

Those of us who are entertaining-obsessed have a way of finding each other. It’s often first through striking up a conversation with a new acquaintance you’re seated next to at a mutual friend’s gathering or a charity gala, or an introduction to welcome a new neighbor that turns into a weekly book club. Whether you love to host events or your friend is always the designated party planner of the squad, we know that selecting meaningful gifts for the consummate host can sometimes seem like an impossible endeavor.

A quick Google search for ‘holiday gift guides’ will present you with hundreds of options, but lucky for you, our niche is throwing a fabulous and intentional party — we’re here to provide not only fresh gift ideas but also tips that you can refer to throughout the season for successful, and effortless, holiday hosting.

Not to worry, sweet friends — the Cassie LaMere Events team has you covered. We’ve hand-picked our favorite gifts for the entertainer in this carefully curated holiday gift guide.

Showcase your personality when you can

When you’re the life of the party, you celebrate with details that are fun, quirky, and all the things that make you, you. Like these cocktail napkins, for example, embroidered with cheeky Southern sayings that will undoubtedly bring personality to any gathering. This is also the perfect gift for that Southern Belle Host friend; it’s gifts like these that can be used year-round and will elevate the presentation of cocktails and snacks. Not-so-subtle messages like being asked to leave by 9 on a napkin are sure to set a playful tone and prompt a few giggles, too. Whenever you have the opportunity to inject your personality into an event, act on it.

cocktail napkins with southern sayings embroidery

The holidays are also full of spontaneity and we say: embrace it! This crocheted pillow embroidered with a hilarious and all too familiar message is a superb gift for that one friend who is always up for anything. As a bonus, Furbish Studio’s designs are all as fabulous as they are clever, so there’s something for everyone in this collection.

A party-ready fridge

We always recommend that a well-prepared host have a bottle (or two!) of champagne chilling on hand for impromptu celebrations and the Veuve Clicquot + Smeg collaboration just leveled up your entertaining game in honor of the Maison's 250th Anniversary. Two beloved brands of the entertaining world have delivered us the ultimate kitchen accessory, made for the party-loving person whose fridge is used for keeping the bar stocked and prefers to order the hors d'oeuvres in (there’s no room for groceries here). Just picture a guest opening the door to reveal a sea of orange-labeled French Champagne — a statement that immediately says: “This calls for a toast!” As an entertainer, this is a milestone gift that should never leave your wishlist until it’s received.

smeg x veuve cliquot fridge range

Versatile, packable gifts

Many people will be traveling to be with loved ones this time of year, so why not accommodate them with easy-to-pack place cards in case they need to set a table at their in-laws’ house? Incredible stationery designer Laura Vogel collaborated with Melissa Smrekar to create a stationery set inspired by Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball in 1966 — an iconic event that any party pro (us included) would love to set back the clocks to attend. Having extra place cards on hand this time of the year means you’re always prepared to entertain surprise guests, which is very likely this holiday season! Not only are these great conversation starters (guests will be eager to hear the signature style of each of their table counterparts), but they certainly give that *main character energy*.

Gifts that double as décor

We’re all for gifts that can also be used to make your home prettier in preparation to host. This Southern Living x Gordon bookstand is the perfect example of a useful gift that the entertainer will enjoy. We all have a collection of coffee table books that are too beautiful to be shelved, so a unique bookstand made from a combination of marble and acacia wood is a stunning way for them to be showcased. This is another gift that can be enjoyed as the seasons change — you may be in awe of a gorgeous cookbook one month and a design book the next. It’s also a lovely way to display a guest book that invites your favorite people to write in, capturing special notes that can be re-read for years to come.

marble and acacia book stand

Let us not forget that first impressions are everything and there is no greater example for the holiday host than their front door. An elegant wreath, like this berry and eucalyptus wonder from Flowerbx, makes a delightful introduction upon guest arrival. Delivering the gift of a holiday wreath is one of our go-to gift ideas that never goes out of style. We love this versatile gift for its ability to be used as exterior or interior décor. If the recipient's doorstep is already adorned, imagine the joy of hanging a holiday wreath from fine ribbon atop a gilded mirror in one's home. Or one of our tricks-of-the-trade is to use a wreath as a centerpiece on the table, building candles and décor around this verdant focal point for a statement that invites guests to "Gather around."

For the design aficionado

Gorgeous tableware is something a design lover can never get enough of. The culinary and hosting go-to experts at Williams Sonoma have collaborated with the celebrated Morris & Co. to launch a new range of tabletop items that translated the heritage brand’s iconic prints into tableware, giving hosts and guests alike a unique way to enjoy the artist’s quintessential style. Setting the table, whether it’s for the holidays or an everyday meal, with pieces from this collection will set the scene for memorable occasions. Sure to be instant heirlooms, we recommend taking a page from Morris’ book and having fun with pattern play, mixing the various prints and colorways from the collection into your own personal poetic presentation.

As much as we cherish traditions, we also live for a non-traditional color story moment around the holidays and the dynamic female duo behind Fenwick Fields has delivered us the perfect package just in time for dressing the table this season. Their clever use of blush pink and evergreen feels current and timeless all at once- a point of view that will resonate with the seasoned host and one that we strive for with all of our tabletop designs. The pop of tangerine is a thoughtful nod to Old-World traditions and if you ask us, the darling details beckons for an afternoon spent around the table crafting Pomander Balls with friends and family to put the finishing touch on your elegant (and original) décor. Gifting a set of dinner napkins is always a thoughtful gesture and will likely ensure an invitation to return. A new tabletop accessory is the perfect excuse for a gathering!

But what should I wear?

Whether you’re the host or guest, everyone wants to be the best dressed. Nicola Bathie’s latest collection for Antonio Melani is full of party-perfect staples that will make you stand out. These fanciful feathered shoes are, without a doubt, a foolproof way of welcoming guests or entering a dinner party in the utmost style. As forever-enthusiasts of all things toile, we love this tea-length dress for its idyllic ability to be a go-to for any occasion, such as holiday family photos and tablescaping, and its versatility allows the frock to be dressed up or down with different accessories to suit your social schedule. The velvet tie is absolute perfection and immediately makes you look more pulled together, even if it doesn’t feel that way with the frenzy that comes with this time of year.

Nicola Bathie feathered shoes in creme

toile tea-length dress by Nicola Bathie

Our hope is that your festive season is spent relishing in revelry, whether it be at the party you’ve created or attended with friends and loved ones, which is why we wanted to make gifting and entertaining as seamless as possible this year with this holiday gift guide. Life is too short for these special occasions to be anything other than fabulous and luxurious. If you’re looking to plan an intimate holiday event with your nearest and dearest, we’re here for you as a host’s secret weapon.

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