Our VP of PR and Partnerships, Claire, recently threw what can only be described as the-most-perfect-baby-shower-ever for a close friend. But the Upper East Side-dwelling media maven didn’t do it alone—she called on her go-to event designer, Carlo Geraci. Part chef, part makeup artist, part flower-arranging genius and tabletop expert, there’s really nothing Geraci can’t do. Here’s some of his best tips for throwing the perfect shower—as well as pics of his handiwork from inside Claire’s gorgeous apartment!
Event designer Carlo Geraci with PR Director, Claire.
Step 1: The Food
Planning matters. Even if you’re throwing a casual brunch, start preparing days in advance so you can focus on your guests once they arrive. That means thinking about what must be made day-of, and what you can prepare beforehand. One great dish that can be prepped the night before: a savory strata with layers of cubed sourdough bread, roasted onions, swiss chard, and feta cheese. It’s the perfect way to feed a hungry crowd with little effort.
By their nature, buffet brunches are more relaxed. Load up the table with an inviting array of delectables that run the gamut from sweet to savory. Stack plates at the start of your buffet table, along with cutlery wrapped in cloth napkins tied with anything from raffia to your favorite color ribbon.
- Pro Tip: Keeping the menu primarily vegetarian makes accommodating unexpected veggie guests a snap!
Step 2: The Drinks
Breakfast-appropriate beverages, served in fancy glassware, add elegance to any brunch party. Start with a breakfast juice—I love peach nectar for Bellini’s—in an elegant silver or glass pitcher. Keep an ice bucket nearby to keep your champagne or sparkling water chilled, and set all your champagne flutes out like little soldiers ready for the pour.
- Pro Tip: Encourage your guests to make themselves a drink upon arrival. It helps to break the ice and gets the party started!
Also set out a pot of fresh brewed coffee and tea with milk, sugar, lemon and honey, along with cups and saucers. Place teaspoons in a small vase nearby.
- Pro Tip: To-go cups and lids are always a considerate and unexpected addition to the usual parting favor. These can generally be obtained freely with a warm smile and friendly request at your local deli.
Step 3: The Music
Keep low-key music on, but make sure it’s played at a level appropriate for background ambience that won’t compete with conversation.
- Pro Tip: Pandora is great! It’s music chosen by genre or similar artist. A paid account guarantees that your party won’t be interrupted by commercials. Some fantastic Pandora stations for parties are: Django Reinhardt, French Cafe, Camera Obscura, and Chet Baker.
Step 4: The Decor
Buy fresh flowers. If this soiree is a for a friend, find out his or her favorite bloom, then color and cluster them in vases along the buffet.
- Pro Tip: In a pinch, tulips and roses are usually quite inexpensive at a deli or grocery store. When arranging, just pop a mass of flowers into a colored-glass cube vase, making sure to cut the stems the exact height of the vase so that only the heads peak above. This creates a dramatic centerpiece for any type of party!
Want to hire Carlo for your next event? Check out his site here!