Inside Gretchen Rossi's 'Over-the-Top' Pink and White Baby Shower for Her Daughter on the Way
Gretchen Rossi and longtime boyfriend Slade Smiley are expecting their first child together — a girl they've named Skylar Gray, due this July
Both appeared happy as could be at the event, smiling in photos shared across social media by their vendors and guests — including Real Housewives of Dallas star D’Andra Simmons, Vanderpump Rules star Scheana Shay and a slew of Bravo alums like Phaedra Parks (Real Housewives of Atlanta), Patti Stanger (The Millionaire Matchmaker) and Rossi’s former RHOC costars Lizzie Rovsek and Peggy Tanous.
Rossi wore a white lace gown by Project Runway designer Michael Costello with an empire-waist bodice, plunging neckline and flowing sleeves. She paired the ensemble with diamond teardrop earrings, flats and a necklace that spelled her daughter’s name. Smiley, 50, kept it classic in a charcoal suit and pink shirt, styled with an open collar.
“I have to say thank you to each and every one of you for being here today,” Rossi said in an emotional speech. “You guys know how long this journey has been for Slade and I. We have been together now for 10 years. We have been trying for a baby for the last four and half years and, oh my gosh, this is such a blessing from the good Lord above.”
She also thanked the “amazing people” at Southern California Reproductive Center, who guided her through her in vitro fertilization journey. “It literally took five men to get me pregnant,” she joked. “They truly have become family there. They helped make our wish of Skylar Gray come true.”
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Their bash was held in Laguna Beach, California, at event space Seven 7 Seven, which was decked to the nines.
Guests posed in front of custom flower walls by Mahi Khoshbin Renan and Orange County-based Glamour Flower Boutique. They were greeted by an extravagant sculpture of Rossi and Smiley holding a baby, with the name “Skylar” underneath it.
“Gretchen’s clearly outdone herself again,” Rovsek said in her Instagram Story. “Wow!”
“This is over-the-top,” remarked Tanous on her Instagram Story. “This is beautiful. Look at all the flowers … and the detail … I feel like I’m at a wedding. Lots of love for this little girl.”
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For food, there was plenty. Guests nibbled on meat, cheeses and fruit on an epic charcuterie spread by Samira Weddings and Events, and enjoyed other appetizers off a 16-foot-long grazing table of tasty bites by Lucky Board LA. A huge ice tower held shrimp, clams, oysters and other seafood.
There was a huge variety of desserts, too — the centerpiece of which was a six-tier wedding-style cake in shades of pale pink and white, with a gold-detailed crown on top.
Cupcakes were topped with intricate designs, like baby carriages and white flowing dresses. Sugar cookies came in a variety of shapes, such as baby onesies (hanging on hangers) and sleeping babies. Towers of chocolate strawberries and macarons from Regal Delights offered other edible treats.
A Sub Zero Ice Cream booth provided custom frozen desserts — including Skylar’s Shower Cake (cake-batter ice cream with cookie dough and rainbow sprinkles), Rossi’s “Rocking” Road (chocolate ice cream with marshmallows and almond slices), Slade’s “Sleepy” Salted Caramel (salted-caramel ice cream with pretzels) and Family Fruity Fusion (raspberry and marshmallow ice cream with mixed berries).
Rossi and Smiley even had a romantic, smoke-filled slow dance to “I Get To Love You” by Ruelle.
RELATED: Gretchen Rossi Says She Was Accused of “Faking” Her Pregnancy by a Body-Shamer on Social MediaIf it felt like a wedding, that’s because it nearly could have been.
As Rossi teased the crowd, there was an ordained pastor at the event, and she and Smiley thought about turning it into a wedding.
“We’re not getting married, I hate to burst your bubble,” she said. “Yes, my dress is white. And we thought about it for a very small second and then I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to have another big party?’ ”
Back in April, Rossi told PEOPLE that she’s looking forward to becoming a parent for the first time.
“It’s just so special when you love your partner so much and see this little life that you both created together and see a part of you and a part of him in this little life,” she raved. “I just think there’s going to be no feeling in the world like that.”
“I think that’s what I’m most excited about, is to see her personality come out and see this little life that [Slade] and I created out of love,” Rossi added.
Does she think she’ll be overprotective? “Of course,” Rossi admitted. “It took me 41 years to have this baby. I’m probably going to be crazy protective.”