Party Time: A Cool Co-Ed Baby Shower

Lonny Market Editor Catherine Dash throws a baby-centric (but guy-friendly!) soirée.

Photographed by Sean Santiago

If you’ve been to a baby shower recently, then you know the drill: pale pink for girls, powder blue for boys, plus a stuffy, ladies-only lunch of salads and finger sandwiches that leaves much to be desired. So when her college pal Lacey Buccellato revealed that she was expecting, Lonny Market Editor Cat Dash decided to break from tradition and hosted a co-ed fete that her grown-up friends (and Lacey's husband, Phil) could get behind—one that felt less like a shower and more like an urban cocktail party. Click here to view our slideshow of images.

To start, Dash tapped the culinary experts at New York City’s Creative Edge Parties, who have been in the event-planning business for 25 years and helped craft an unexpected menu of small bites and appetizers that offered a cheeky take on the topic at hand. The signature cocktail—a Hendrick’s Gin martini—hinted at noted pregnancy cravings with a diminutive pickle garnish; a milk-and-cookie dessert bar provided an unexpected diversion for the young at heart. And in between, passed trays of chicken-and waffles gave a playful nod to Lacey’s southern heritage.

I didn't want to throw the typical shower. I wanted it to feel spring-like and cheery but not super girly.

–catherine dash

Once the menu was set, the décor came into focus. “I wanted it to feel spring-like and cheery but not super girly,” says Dash. “I didn’t want the men who were invited to feel out of place—I wanted them to feel welcomed.” With that in mind, Dash settled on a sunny-day palette of blues and yellows, balancing feminine elements such as flowers with masculine hits of wood and pattern. She added texture with furniture from West Elm, including a Berber-inspired wool rug and a glass-topped coffee table, then sprinkled colorful geometric shapes throughout the space on coasters, napkins, and trivets, and in the garlands that hung behind the bar.

Party Time: A Cool Co-Ed Baby Shower
Dash created arrangements of tulips, ranunculus, and freesia in bright oranges and yellows with blooms from floral e-tailer Flower Muse. She made the garlands that hung behind the bar using geometric cutouts in coordinating patterns and colors.

A funny thing about those garlands: at the end of the celebration, Lacey peeled them off the wall and brought them home with her. A lasting reminder of the very lovely gift her best friend gave her, they're now hanging behind the crib in Baby Buccellato's nursery, which we can bet will be neither pale pink nor powder blue.

I'm the former Deputy Editor at Lonny.