On January 13, April Luca's closest friends and family gathered at a private home in Beverly Hills for the event producer's baby shower. As expected from a veteran producer with high-profile clients like Vanity Fair, Janet Jackson, and Cirque du Soleil, the daytime event had stylish, whimsical details like crystal macarons, CBD-infused cocktails, and enchanted forest-inspired florals.
But there was one unexpected wrinkle: The guest of honor wasn't actually in attendance.
In fact, Luca, the owner of Los Angeles-based Gold Sky Productions, ended up giving birth 12 hours before the event, delivering a healthy baby girl named River three weeks early. "On the Friday before the shower, my water broke and I had to head to the hospital," she explained. "On my way I texted my team to let them know I wouldn’t be in the office that day and to update them. ... All of the shower details were swirling through my head as we drove to Santa Monica in anticipation of our baby girl’s arrival."
Event producers won't be surprised to hear that Luca insisted the event not be canceled. "I still wanted our guests to enjoy all of our hard work and planning," she said, noting that the project had been a collaborative effort with the Gold Sky Productions team so it was able to continue without her. The party was hosted at the home of Renee Young, Gold Sky's client services director (and Luca's best friend) who had been closely involved in the planning. "[Renee] used her creative design eye to lay out the cake table, food, and all of the succulents perfectly on party day," said Luca.
Many of the guests didn't know that she had given birth until she video-chatted into the shower to introduce the baby. "It was a really special and fun moment," she said.
The event had a whimsical, fantasy-inspired feel, with a color palette of whites, peaches, and pinks with birch and gold accents. Cocktails from Cocktail Academy had fun names like "Baby Got Back," and used ice cubes imprinted with the word "girl." Guests could decorate wooden toy blocks for the baby, and potted succulents served as a party favor.
"I thought a lot about what bringing a new life into our family would mean to me and my husband, and I decided I wanted to take a playful approach to celebrating our baby girl’s shower," explained Luca. "I began the process with a color palette, then developed a look and feel with elements having a spirited, lighthearted design, including available floral—the party was held right after the Rose Parade and holiday season and in the middle of awards season, so there was a high demand for flowers at this time."
Working with Beverly Hills-based florist Sweet Pea, the team created centerpieces from wood and winter foliage peppered with pink and cream florals. The flower theme continued to the dessert table, where Donut Princess LA created doughnuts covered in flowers. Another highlight of the dessert table—which Luca noted was her favorite aspect of the event—were multi-colored, geometric cakes from Sweet E's Bake Shop.
Whether producing events for her big-name clients or producing for herself, Luca said that the process doesn't differ too much. "The creative process for me starts in each instance by thinking about what the project means, how best to evoke emotion from the guests, and then finding or sketching imagery that represents the vision," she explained. "I do try to offer a nod to my aesthetic with all of our clients' designs, but within their framework and goals."
"When designing for personal events, I have my husband to consider," she added. "He may be my most particular client!"