Exotic and sophisticated, Moroccan-themed showers infuse a traditional event with a fun, funky vibe. “The decor is so warm and inviting—the lanterns and the rich colors create a wonderful glow,” says party planner Jo Gartin of L.A.’s Love Luck and Angels, who coordinated Shields’s shower. “The theme lends itself to some great personal touches.”
• Set the mood.
“Candlelight is very Moroccan,” says Gartin, who also recommends creating a playlist with a mix of contemporary tunes and traditional Moroccan music. “We also scattered rose petals.”
• Go vibrant.
“Rich colors like crimson and deep purple work well,” says Gartin. For flowers, choose dark roses or black calla lilies.
• Keep the food simple.
“Couscous is idiot-proof,” notes Gartin. “Serve it hot with roasted pine nuts.” For finger foods, “pita bread with hummus. Little pizzas on pita bread are cute.”
getting the goods
Find them online at http://www.importu.com, $37.99 for six.
Give small pots of the fragrant herb as party favors.
Bronze-plated brass lanterns, $39-$59, http://www.westelm.com
who had it:
Forget the frilly doilies and the been-there, done-that shower games. “People are bored with the girly-girl baby shower. They want something edgier, and a cocktail party is a great way to go,” says L.A. event planner Kara Keaney of the latest trend. “And cocktails always make everything more relaxing.” Of course, don’t forget virgin versions for the mom-to-be! “She should have a fun mocktail so she doesn’t feel left out.”
• If a girl is expected: Serve pink martinis (made with grenadine syrup) and decorate with loads of pink tulips. If it’s a boy: Bust out with blue martinis (add a shot of blue curaçao) and gather bunches of blue hydrangeas.
• For food, “focus on appetizers,” says Keaney. “A variety of finger food is great. Choose food that’s light, because these martinis are sweet.”
mocktails for the mom-to-be
Mix 1 part ginger beer (which is non-alcoholic) with 2 parts cranberry lemonade.
Mix 3 parts grape juice and 3 parts lemonade. Top with a splash of sparkling water. For a tarter treat, sub cranberry lemonade for the grape juice.
who had it:
Melania Trump, Elisabeth Hasselbeck
“It’s a sophisticated way of doing a baby shower, while being fairly inexpensive,” says event planner Joannie Liss. Unless you’re Trump, whose all-white afternoon tea featured lemonade and Champagne served in baby bottles reading “Prince or Princess?” For Hasselbeck’s tea, event planner David Tutera ordered pink “Baby’s Coming” M&M’s (shop.mms.com). “It’s a great way to make the shower into something unique,” he says.
tips for tea
• Keep the menu simple:
finger sandwiches, fruits “and miniature pastries,” says Liss. “A fun touch is to decorate mini eclairs with the baby’s name.”
• Play up the key ingredient:
“Serve an assortment of fancy teas in beautiful china,” says Liss.
• Not the DIY type?
Many hotels offer elegant afternoon teas for less than the cost of a luncheon.
the perfect cup
“Everybody always says, ‘I want Earl Grey or green tea.’ But there are so many flavors—my favorites are strawberry and orange blossom,” says Tutera. Check out psteas.com or mightyleaf.com for a wide range of flavored and decaf loose teas.
bring the boys!
Ladies only? Think again. The latest trend is the coed shower. (Actors Christopher B. Duncan, left, and Boris Kodjoe partied at the shower for Kodjoe’s wife, Nicole Ari Parker, in ’05.) “Including men opens up the party to early evening get-togethers,” says Tutera.