As an event + wedding planner, one of my favorite aspects of the work I do in helping people plan wedding is the once in a lifetime ritual and the marking of a major life transition. For many women, the first time they will really gather in community and be celebrated by their circle of friends and family is their wedding, and everything that leads up to it… Bridal Showers, Bachelorette Parties, etc.
The next major chapter for many women involves becoming a mother. For some women, it’s hard to juggle their work world with pregnancy and all that it takes to prepare for a new baby, and they might overlook taking time for themselves to feel beautiful in a maternity shoot. My personal inspiration for this creating this shoot was being in a similar position myself, and knowing so many of my clients are modern or non-traditional women who might not see the reason or need for a maternity shoot. I myself wasn’t sure about it; but then I realized this too could be a once in a lifetime experience, and why not take a little time to celebrate these amazing changes the body/soul goes through?
While there’s tons of modern inspiration for weddings easily available online, it’s harder to find fresh modern takes to Baby Showers that aren’t saturated with pink or blue. We used the Pantone Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, as our anchor color and created a rich colorful palette of blues, reds and yellows to complement the many shades of purple.
The inspiration for this styled shoot was to highlight a beautiful (yet affordable!) well-designed shower for an intimate group of friends that didn’t need to break the bank. Here’s how we put together this inspiration shoot, with tips on how you can create a similar shower/shoot for yourself or a new Mama to Be in your life!
First off, we knew two of the most important aspect for our shot included working with a fantastic photographer and beautiful venue, and Diana Ascarrunz and Prospect House fit the bill! Even if you can’t splurge on much else, having great photos to last a lifetime will be something you can truly always cherish. Photography Pro-tip: Look on instagram to find local photographers whose style speaks to you, or just book Diana directly! you can contact venues that typically host weddings or other large events, and see what their availability is like for off season or a weekday. Venue Pro-tip: Typically for just a few hundred dollars and a booking time of a few hours, you can rent out a beautiful space and have privacy for a gathering of friends for a shower and a maternity shoot. Prospect House in Dripping Springs has tons of great backdrops both indoors and outdoors, and can be an affordable option for those in the Austin area!
To set the right tone for any gathering, no matter how large or small, gorgeous stationary can do just the trick! An invitation suite, menu and place cards for our intimate gathering was created by Lunita Calligraphy. Guests of the Mama to Be were invited to an afternoon of female bonding, not just for the arrival of Baby Luz, but to celebrate the transition of her Mama into motherhood. Stationary Pro-tip: While this is something you might be able to design yourself, finding a great calligrapher or graphic designer to put together a beautiful design for you can be more affordable than you think!
Next, you can’t underestimate the difference a little beauty TLC can make! Especially for folks who don’t typically spend much time on hair and make-up(me!!) having someone do you up to look and feel your best before a shoot is priceless. We worked with local Hair + make-up Artist Shawn Brooks to glam up not only the Mama to Be, but also her Baby Shower guests, so everyone could take home a gorgeous photo of themselves looking as great as they felt! Hair + Make-up Pro-tip: Having a professional do your make-up can be a game changer, and if your or your guests have other important life events coming up and they need a trial for a beauty makeover, this can serve a great resource. While dolling you up, H/Mu artist will also often give you helpful hints for doing your own hair + make-up!
As with any party or celebration, it’s important to think about
what matters most to you.
You might not need a full meal for your gathering; maybe cake + cocktails and/or cotton candy + champagne will do the trick just as well! Fancy Fluff Cotton Candy helped us create the perfect cotton candy champagne drinks + perfect fluffy cotton candy delights. Baked by Amy’s provided us a beautiful, simple two tiered cake that Tatevic, our talented Florist from Fine Feather Florals decorated. To top it off, a fun customized cake topper was created by Killer Queen Designs to match the color scheme. I love that this cake topper can be used again for baby’s first birthday, and just adding a cute number 1 candle! Desserts Pro-tip: Decide what you love the most and splurge on that! Having a cotton candy vendor come out and make custom creations for you might be the perfect splurge for a cotton candy lover, or a custom cake topper that you can re-use for birthdays to come is a special touch that will last for several years!
Flowers make everything better, and Fine Feather Florals created not only the best cake flowers we’ve ever seen, but also a statement floral centerpiece, a Frida- inspired Floral Crown, and a Floral backdrop with single stem beauties. Floral Pro-tip: Talk with a florist about your favorite florals, and what’s in season so keep the costs manageable!
For clothing, we kept that simple and found some affordable maternity shoot dresses on Amazon. To glam up the outfit, we added some of our favorite pieces from Nina Beremato Jewelry. To keep things within your budget, it’s wise to pick and choose what matter most to you. Maybe a killer manicure will make you feel sexy while you otherwise feel like you are carrying around a watermelon in your belly, or maybe for you the splurge is best spent on a fantastic gown or shoes(we just choose to go barefoot!). Jewelry Pro-tip: a few statement pieces can go a long way, and can last forever.
Planning Pro-tip: For a smaller shower like our inspired shoot, you might not need to hire a planner, but if you wanted to scale this idea up to a larger gathering, an event planner can help you to find the best vendors to match your vision and budget, and help you discern what you can reasonable DIY and what you should hire the pros for! As both an event planner and a new Mama to be myself, I’d love to work with you to bring your own Baby Shower/Maternity Shoot vision to life!
Contact info is available for every vendor via their websites below.
VENDOR LIST + WEBSITE INFO
Photographer: Diana Ascarrunz @dianascarrunz // https://www.dianascarrunz.com/
Venue: Prospect House @prospecthouseatx // http://www.prospecthousetx.com/
Hair/Make-up: Shawn Brooks @shawnbrooksbeauty // http://shawnbrooksbeauty.com/
Jewelry: Nina Berenato @ninaberenatojewelry //www.ninaberenato.com
Dessert: Fancy Fluff cotton candy @fancyfluffaustin // http://fancyfluffatx.com/
Paper: Lunita Calligraphy @Lunita.Calligraphy // http://lunitacalligraphy.com/
Cake Topper: Killer Queen Designs @katiecowden // http://www.katiemakesart.com/
Florals: Fine Feather Florals @FineFeatherFlorals // finefeatherflorals.com
Cake: Baked by Amys @BakedbyAmys // http://www.bakedbyamys.com/
Agate Coasters: @pebbleandvine //
Planner: Jen + Burlap & Rose @burlapandrose // burlapandrose.com
Tableware: Mix of vintage glassware + Target party supplies
Cocktails Bar: DIY Drinks featuring some of the best drinks of Texas like Topo Chico + Lone Star!