A Spring “Un-Bridal” Shower in the City–Haven’s Kitchen, New York, NY

Spring has FINALLY sprung in NYC–I’m so excited to shed the bulky coats and see color, sunshine, and flowers! All of this reminds me of a gorgeous and colorful spring event I photographed-it’s still one of my favorite events I’ve been able to capture. Here is some vibrant color for your visual pleasure on this sunny Monday!

Katherine was not your typical bride–as she noted “I had trouble embracing what has become the norm for many brides today–I’d never been on Pinterest, I skipped having a bridal party, and I was initially hesitant to have a bridal shower for fear of having to open gifts in front of everyone while slowly donning the ribbons from said gifts.” Thus, Katherine’s hostess, a longtime family friend, and her planner, Nancy Harris, set out to create a gorgeous and fun “un-bridal” shower–no cheesy games, no veils, no trivia–yet something chic and feminine. Since Katherine did not want a typical shower, Haven’s Kitchen was the perfect venue choice for something different and fun. Located in a gorgeous carriage house in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, it is not only an event space but also a café and cooking school.

When it came time to choose a color palette, her event planner knew to think pink! Katherine’s fiancé made it clear that he wanted “no pink flowers!” at their summer wedding, so she embraced pink for her shower. They created a magical spring garden palette in all shades of pink, resulting in a look that was feminine and modern. The room burst with vibrant spring color!

The celebration began downstairs in the cooking school kitchen. As guests arrived, they helped themselves to a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, wine, and smoothie bar, and then rolled up their sleeves to create some delicious food. Grouping the guests into different cooking teams as they mixed and chopped was a great way to introduce new faces and learn about their connection to the bride. Kait Turshen of Bubble Girl Bakes led the group through the creation of a beet salad and chocolate raspberry doughnuts that would be served as part of the shower lunch. The bride is vegan and requested that a few lunch items be fully vegan. Kait is renowned for her delectable creations that are gluten free, allergy friendly, and vegan.

Following the cooking session, guests ascended the stairs to the stunning loft-like space, where they were greeted with a creatively hung wall of photos and a slideshow, all featuring images from throughout Katherine’s life. Set against white brick walls and huge arch windows, the centerpiece of the room was a long wooden table bursting with luscious blooms by Renny & Reed, and hot pink hand lettered menus and place cards created by Rachel Reding of Rae Child. A white runner and pink ombre linen napkins held in Indian style bracelets enhanced the place setting. Suspended from the ceiling were stunning clear globes filled with peonies, while tall vases overflowing with five foot high cherry blossoms surrounded the room. When the bride saw the room for the first time, she thought “it was incredibly beautiful! The décor was stunning. It was fun and girly, but not stuffy or staid. The flowers were amazing, especially the hanging globes. The upstairs wall with pictures was the most special piece since it captured all the relationships with everyone invited and spanned my whole life.” Guests sat and enjoyed a casual lunch of fig berry beet-mint arugula salad, quinoa and squash, fruit salad, roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes, grilled asparagus, and of course, chocolate raspberry doughnuts that they created from scratch. The lunch included a surprise visit by the groom himself!

As for opening gifts in front of everyone? The non-traditional solution was also a request from the bride, who noted “when I thought about it, the thing I wanted most was books, in spite of or perhaps in keeping with straying from the norm for many brides today, and asked if we could do a kindle/e-book gift.” So shower attendees gifted Katherine e-books, along with a kindle cover…in pink! Following lunch and toasts, each guest departed with a “First Comes Love” hand-lettered bag and a pink-ribboned mason jar to tote home flowers. Katherine loved that “almost all of the guests have since mentioned that it was the most fun and un-bridal shower they’ve attended!

Vendors: Photography: Sarah Greig Photography, Event Planning And Design: Nancy Harris Events, Floral Design: Renny & Reed, Venue and Catering: Haven’s Kitchen, Kait Turshen: Bubble Girl Bakes, Custom Calligraphy on Menus/Place Cards: Rachel Reding of RaeChild