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SLOAN Christmas 2018

The Christmas 2018 edition features exclusive interviews with Tom Daley, Louise Redknapp, Rowan Cheshire and Rosemary Shrager; Colorado Ski Trips to Steamboat Springs & Winter Park; Luxury Hotels of Ireland & Wales; Luxury Cars from Lexus and David Brown Automotive; The Active Affluent; Pampered Pooch; all-new SLOAN! BABY; Christmas Gift Guides; Festive Fragrances; Winter Tipples, Techtastic Treats; SLOAN! Book Club; Ask The Expert featuring a host of leading specialists in their field; fabulous Prize Giveaways; The 62nd BFI London Film Festival and lots more.

As k The Ex p e r t

As k The Ex p e r t Planning The Perfect Baby Shower PETER ROLFE Co-founder of PAVE London Pete Rolfe is a successful London-based businessman who co-founded luxury Events & Marketing company PAVE London with former work colleague Victoria Larder in 2014, who together are a power business couple. The business offers dynamic, creative and bespoke end-to-end event planning and marketing services for leading brands and elite individuals. Find out more at pavelondon.com In the UK, baby showers are a relatively recent concept and they have quickly become clichéd. Therefore, my first rule of planning a baby shower is…ignore the rules: In 2018 we can be invited to baby showers hosted by Mums and Dads, same-sex couples, single parents and for IVF or adopted babies. The point being, the baby shower should be as personal as the parent, or family excitedly on the verge of parenthood. Forget rules, here are some of PAVE London’s recommendations to make your baby shower shine! THE VIBE Some parents will prefer an intimate meal (a brunch or lunch usually means a pregnant host won’t be too tired), for some a larger informal celebration with more guests and light snacks and drinks where the gift-giving and opening is a focus. Planning a three-to-four hour event is usually ample time for the shower in these cases. Some people have a tight social circle that would jump at the opportunity for an overnight stay away with luxury pampering and wouldn’t bat an eyelid at the cost. The key is to be realistic, everyone knows where their social circle sits and as long as quality time with guests is built into the shower, the guests will get as much from the event as the hosts. INVITATIONS An invitation in the post always sets the tone for a significant event. My recommended timeframe for a shower would be six weeks to a month before the baby is due. What’s the theme or vibe of the party? Draw inspiration from the time of year, the parent’s passions or linked to the chosen venue. An affordable option is using baby photos of the parents as the design and sending a printed postcard direct to guests using a site such as touchnote.com. For a more luxury approach have a designer work on a bespoke invitation and use a local printers to add some foil flourishes or a deboss/embossed effect. GUESTLIST Only invite your loved ones who will bring joy to the proceedings rather than guests who feel obliged to attend, to ensure the right atmosphere. VENUE Avoid a clean-up at home and choose an appropriate venue or at least a friend or family member’s abode. Space is the priority here, either hit up your friend with the luxury penthouse or gorgeous garden, or try to book a venue with an exclusive area for you and your guests. For luxury budgets, my recommendation would be somewhere quickly accessible by car or rail (or helicopter) from London that does 5-star properly; consider Luton Hoo Hotel and Spa for an overnight celebration and pamper with bespoke event elements. FORMAT Put yourself in the shoes of your guests and make sure the shower is enjoyable no matter who you are and no matter what stage of baby-making you might be at. Definitely allow time for gifts to be opened but be aware to limit this as it can be boring or awkward for guests to sit through for too long. The priority is making time for fun catch ups and people to mingle. If you are throwing a shower for a friend or family member, think about whether the parents would appreciate a surprise or if this would be stress inducing, depending on personality. MENU Whatever the scale of the shower, and whether 34 SLOAN! www.sloanmagazine.com | E-mail us at editorial@sloanmagazine.com

How To Gu ide home-cooked or catered, food should be a balance of healthy and really naughty and quality over quantity as most showers tend to be relatively short. My advice would be allow your guests to enjoy alcohol even if the mum-to-be cannot, most guests are giving up their precious time and still want to enjoy themselves and ease themselves into a social event. If budget is tight, there’s also nothing wrong with billing the event as an afternoon drinks and snacks affair and asking guests to eat lunch before they arrive, as long as the drinks are flowing and delicious guests won’t mind. GIFTS A gift registry has become an accepted part of wedding proceedings and therefore baby shower etiquette and avoids gift duplication. Department stores and Petit Bateau offer this service, just be sure to select a wide range of different priced items to cater for all budgets. I also love the idea of asking all guests to bring their favourite baby book as a child, as a gift to the shower. Personal messages from guests or an edited video from guests who can’t be there sometimes makes for the ultimate gift to be kept from the shower. CONTENT I have experienced first-hand too many awkward or enforced games at baby showers so my recommendation would be to keep these light and never download an off-of-the-internet ‘baby shower game’ suggestion. Talk with your partner or family about what is relevant to you and your guests, perhaps you are to reveal the gender to guests and can add a fun gambling element, suggest the most awful name combination or have all guests bring a baby photo of themselves and everyone can have a laugh at guests at their cutest. Supplying a stack of disposable nappies and asking guests to write a funny or motivational message on them, to be discovered by the parents when the baby arrives. Providing blank bibs/onesies and fabric paints/pens means comical or cute personal items can be created by guests on the day that the baby will use and wear. A photographer to some is a necessity rather than a luxury, but ultimately great home photography or old-school disposable cameras make for a fun element with budget being focused on gifts and other content. DECORATIONS A colour theme always lends itself to inspiring decor, consider the venue but this is the one excuse to get cute with feather-filled balloons, floral arrangements amongst stacks of nappies and onesies also make cute table centres and bunting always lends itself to a shower. Don’t forget people are moving decorations too, set a simple dress code that’s easy to follow to fill the room with colour and fabulous photo-popping moments. THANK YOU Being thoughtful about people never goes out of style, this applies to planning what guests will enjoy, but extends to a postal thank you note following the event; etiquette dictates you have until the baby is 2 months old to get them out so you have no excuse. For bigger budgets, put together a cute goodie bag ‘thank you’ for adults, I love the idea of a “bag I wish I could have” with alcoholic treats, cheese and other fun items from the pregnant mum-to-be. Soon enough it will seem like the whole world will revolve around the baby, so a well-planned shower can help parents get prepared mentally, have one last fun party before the arrival, as well as physically being gifted with lots of necessary items. Follow us on social media @sloanloves 35