Inside Meghan Markle's Favorite Photographer Gray Malin's Adorable Animal-Themed Baby Shower
A GROWING FAMILY
Malin and his husband Jeff Richardson announced in September they're expecting a baby boy and baby girl in December.
“I hope you can understand how unbelievably exciting it is to share the news that we are having twins,” Malin — who counts stars like Reese Witherspoon, Whitney Port and Duchess Meghan Markle as fans of his work — wrote in the post on his website. “I know everyone’s journey is different but from the day I met Jeff 12 years ago to now, this is something we have dreamed of and I truly cannot believe we will soon have a baby boy and baby girl in our lives!”
BE OUR GUEST!
"Since we released our kids book, Be Our Guest!, I have seen so many adorable moms and dads throwing children's parties themed after the book on social media," Malin tells PEOPLE. "Seeing all of these parties inspired me to theme our baby shower after the book and it was so much fun to see my artwork brought to life for our friends and family to enjoy."
PAIR OF PENGUINS
Malin and Richardson's loved ones left notes for "Peanut Butter" and "Jelly" in a copy of the photographer's book while stuffed penguins wore bowties to mimic the couple's baby announcement photo.
"There is no doubt that adorable animals, sweet treats, and lots of balloons make for not just a kids book, but a great party too," says Malin, whose home was decorated with stuffed animals and colorful balloons for the afternoon.
TIME TO EAT
Before guests tucked into an array of dishes by Hautechefs LA — including steak, salmon and plenty of vegetables — the couple's friends and family loaded up on charcuterie, homemade pita chips and a variety of dip.
Malin and Richardson's sitting room was transformed into dessert heaven — a table overflowed with candy, donuts and multiple homemade cakes.
Malin's cousin Abby baked cakes from scratch decorated with sprinkles and animal toppers (complete with mini party hats!).
Various types of candy dotted the dessert table for pops of color.
"It was so fun to reimagine a baby shower into a daddy shower and give it a little bit of an adult feeling with champagne cocktails," says Malin, who popped Veuve Clicquot Rich champagne for his guests.
Two signature champagne cocktails were served at the bash. After dinner, the couple's loved ones hit the karaoke machine and watched the dads-to-be open presents.
The couple's sisters helped plan and execute the shower, and both Malin and Richardson's families flew into town for the bash. (From left to right: Mary Kelso, Debbie Goldstein, Lauren Robinson, Rachelle Richardson, Amy Malin, Peter Malin, Lizzy Malin, Abby Malin)
"The amount of love at the shower made us feel so supported. We were smiling all night from ear to ear," says Malin, who customized two nurseries for their bundles of joy. "The sweetest part of having a shower isn't opening expensive gifts, but having the support and love of your friends and family as you move into the next chapter of life."
FAMILY OF FIVE
"Jeff and I are over the rainbow, literally, to be welcoming our twins," says Malin, who's already dad to 10-year-old pup Stella. "We could have never dreamed of such an adorable shower thrown by our sisters and closest family and friends."