I had the great privilege of planning a co-ed Hampton’s baby shower this past weekend for a former bride, her husband, and 38 of their closest family and friends. We’ve worked with the family quite a few times before, having planning both hers and her sisters weddings which you can see here and here, as well as a chic birthday party last year on the beach in Westhampton.
With only a month to plan the baby shower and after some deliberating, we settled on the theme of Dr.Seuss “Oh, the places she’ll go”. The object was to keep everyone feeling safe from the pandemic while feeling festive enough to celebrate. Through a combination of methods executed by a great vendor team , we made it happen. Nice to conjur a bit of magic again.
Below, the protocols and decor we put in place which can be used for any celebration.
COMFORT LEVEL SIGNALING is sure to become a new trend. Pictured below, we offered bracelets upon arrival and staggered guests through two entrances. This concept can work just as well by offering colored masks, boutonnieres, ribbons or pins. So many ways to allow guests to signal their comfort preferences! And by placing it at the entrance, guests are immediately put at ease that this party is thoughtful and safe.
PRO TIP #1: Avoid displaying anything in bowls or baskets – no touching! We kept these bracelets spaced out using Lucite bracelet holders that we purchased on Amazon.
PRO TIP #2: Stick with traffic signal colors (red, yellow and green) so guests can easily identify and remember their meaning.
RED – I’m keeping my distance.
YELLOW – Okay with talking but not touching.
GREEN – Okay with hugs!
PRO TIP #3 – Most everyone chose yellow or red, so when making your purchases, buy more of those colors.
SAFE SPACE SEATING, shown below, is another protocol we used to keep guests safe. Each group sheltering together was escorted to their own reserved seating lounge, complete with an area rug to delineate their “safe space”, lounge furniture to kick their feet up and a shade umbrella to stay comfortable. We had enough room in our clients back garden to space each reserved lounge 10 feet apart, which gave guest more than enough comfort and space to walk the pathway between the area rugs and converse with each other safely. The maze-like garden and striped umbrellas were not only functional but also worked with the theme, inspired by the book!
Decor executed by the very talented David Beahm and Team.
PRO TIP: The lounges can be closer together – we had originally only planned on 6 feet. And lounges can also be substituted for tables with chairs when planning more formal celebrations.
CONTACTLESS SERVICE was gracious and thoughtfully executed by Creative Edge Parties using a modern approach to old-school butler serving trays on stands, shown below. Safe for guests. Safe for staff. Win-win. Each reserved seating area had a cocktail table which was set with their own accouterments including water, specialty drink (with cute custom Seuss themed hang tag signs by Ceci New York), personalized drink tumblers, min champagne bottles on ice, hand fans, EO hand sanitizer spray, custom face masks, a megaphone and a copy of Dr. Seuss “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” Custom “Oh Baby” masks by Corbin Style were distributed to guests and front of house staff.
PRO TIP #1: Waitstaff changed their rubber gloves every hour and signaled this to guests by changing the color of their gloves.
PRO TIP #2: Take a moment as you’re escorting guests to their table or lounge to explain the concept of Contactless Service, and be sure your serving staff are also well acquainted with the concept.
COMMUNAL SPACES such as bars or DJ booths where people will be congregating and speaking to staff had Lucite protective shields to keep staff and guests safe. This Taylor Creative bar and DJ booth both had custom fronts designed by Team Beahm to match our theme! And there’s our fabulous DJ Jason Fioto of Generation Events spinning tunes! No dance floor for this event! Not until it’s safe and we can party with reckless abandon! In the meantime, music still makes the party so talk to your entertainment provider about what they recommend to keep everyone energized.
Now that I’ve shared some of the safe protocols we put in place, the ball, as they say, is in your court. If we all act responsibly, we can stay socially connected, safely.
As Dr.Seuss so eloquently put it,
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
#CelebrateSafely and don’t forget to #cherishthejourney