Now this is a story all about how Chaunae Berry’s baby shower got flipped, turned upside down.
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there. I’ll tell you how the shower theme became The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Berry, 28, who lives and grew up in the city’s Logan section, was only 4 when The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air went off the air in 1996, but she loved watching reruns with her dad as a kid.
“My dad is a big Will Smith fan because he’s from Philly,” she said of the rapper and actor, who was born and raised in West Philadelphia (where on the playground he spent most of his days). “Anybody from Philly we try to support — Kobe, Meek Mill, everybody.”
When Berry became pregnant with her second child — a boy — she began calling him “Prince" in the womb, just as she had referred to her daughter as “Princess” when she carried her.
So it seemed only natural to celebrate the impending arrival of her son, who is due March 11, with a Fresh Prince-themed baby shower, she said.
The bonus? She also got to celebrate her favorite decade, the ’90s.
“I’m a ’90s baby and I love ’90s R&B music — I always say ‘We want that ’90s R&B type of love,’ ” Berry said. “If it’s not that ’90s kind of love, we don’t want it.”
Berry confirmed she and her boyfriend of 11 years, Darnell Moore, do indeed have “that ’90s R&B type of love.” The two met at a party in the woods in 2009 while attending East Stroudsburg University.
Four years ago, the couple celebrated the birth of their daughter, Aubree, who now can’t wait for her little brother to arrive.
“That’s all she can talk about,” Berry said. “She can’t wait to change his diaper and feed him a bottle.”
To help bring her idea for a Fresh Prince baby shower to life at the Majestic Ballroom in Olney on Sunday, Berry reached out to Joi Jones of Unique Themez Event Planning.
While Jones has planned baby showers before, the Fresh Prince theme was a first.
“Usually it’s just pink or blue,” she said. “This was really fun to do and it was different.”
Jones secured three 10-by-10-foot brick wall backdrops with neon graffiti that read “Fresh Prince,” gold chain balloons, and a large throne — a nod to the throne Will Smith sat in during the opening credits of Fresh Prince. She even got cookies shaped like onesies that read: “Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool" and created a gold-plated baby bottle and custom bags of chips for guests that read “Prince AIM.”
No, AIM is not a nod to AOL Instant Messenger, which was also popular in the ’90s, but rather, to the initials of Berry and Moore’s unborn son, whose middle name will be Immanuel and whose first name, which is still under consideration, will start with an A.
But the pièce de résistance was the Fresh Prince baby shower cake, created by family friend Portia Perry, which was topped off with a boom box, a gold chain, and a road sign for I-76 West.
Berry — who walked into her party to the Fresh Prince theme song — dressed in a neon yellow shirt, high-top sneakers, and a pair of denim overalls which she got a friend to spray paint with boom boxes and the words “Fresh Prince Mom."
She requested that her more than 100 guests also dress in ’90s attire and almost all of them did — except for one. Her dad, who was born in the ’70s and grew up in the ’80s, insisted on bringing the ’80s to the party.
“He dressed in an Adidas sweat suit and shells,” she said.
Grandpa even worked an ’80s song or two — like DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s 1988 song “A Brand New Funk” — into the ’90s playlist.
Berry had no idea any one else had ever had a Fresh Prince baby shower until she began posting pictures to Instagram with the hashtag #FreshPrinceBabyShower and discovered others had also thought of the theme.
For at least the last two years, from Delaware to Detroit and from Florida to California, expectant moms have been celebrating the impending birth of their babies with showers based around the ’90s show. Rather than being upset she wasn’t the first, Berry was thrilled that others had the same idea — and hoped it would continue.
“We need more ’90s!” she said.
While the shower and its theme couldn’t have been more perfect, Berry said her favorite part about the party was the people who showed up to support her growing family.
“That’s always going to stick with me the most,” she said.