Taylor Ward and Riyad Mahrez certainly know how to throw a party! The model and footballer invited 60 guests to their pastel-themed event in Cheshire, estimated to have clocked up a £10k bill, to celebrate the forthcoming arrival of their baby girl due later this year.
While sharing all the exclusive pictures with OK! VIP, Taylor tells us in our interview that the whole family are excited for their "little summer baby." To read the full article (and see all the super glam snaps!) login or sign-up below.
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Taylor Ward threw the baby shower to rival all baby showers last week, as she celebrated her first pregnancy with footballer Riyad Mahrez.
The 24-year-old hosted the bash at the ritzy Colony venue in Wilmslow, Cheshire, surrounded by their friends and family – and a few celeb pals.
The glamorous event had a VIP list of 60 guests, including her mum and former The Real Housewives Of Cheshire star Dawn and dad Ashley, while reality star Charlotte Dawson popped by with son Noah.
On Riyad’s side, his two daughters Ayla and Inaya from his previous marriage wore matching dresses for the occasion, and a host of his Manchester City teammates were there celebrating with their families.
Speaking exclusively to OK! after the event, Taylor – who recently revealed she’s expecting a baby girl – tells us, “It felt just as extravagant as a wedding!
“It was an amazing day – I’m only just getting the chance now to sit back and reflect on it all. Everything was perfect from the décor to the atmosphere, and we even got the sunshine. It was so lovely to spend the day with all the people we love to celebrate us having a baby girl.”
The model sought help from luxury event company Chic PR, who organised the beautiful decorations which included a giant balloon display, floating candles and floral ceilings, in a super tight schedule of just two weeks.
Guests dined on hot canapés including mini chicken tenders, nacho bowls and mini fish and chips on arrival and sipped on bespoke cocktails named Mahrez Mojitos, Call The Midwife Cosmos and Baby Belinis.
On the tables, personalised hot air balloon placements showed the guests to their seats where they enjoyed a luxe afternoon tea of sandwiches and homemade scones with clotted cream. Pastel was a running theme among the soiree as many of the ladies dressed to suit, and a large table with fluorescent desserts, including a pink three-tiered cake, made the stunning photos pop.
When it came down to entertainment, singer Clare Sophia performed live acoustic music and guests played games such as Mummy & Daddy (similar to Mr & Mrs), which Taylor tells us was “really fun”.
“As the baby shower ran into the evening, guests danced along with the DJ and enjoyed catching up over a glass of champagne,” she adds.
The event provided some much needed downtime for parents-to-be Taylor and Riyad, after a full-on few months of football and work.
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“We’re both living such busy lives at the minute, so we never really get a chance to bring all our family and friends together, especially with Riyad’s family living in France and most of my family living in Dubai,” she says.
“We wanted to keep the celebration quite intimate. Because of our jobs, we have friends and family in the public eye so there were some familiar faces, but everyone is all good friends. We also had Riyad’s family fly over from France, so it was great to spend the weekend with them.”
Taylor and Riyad, 31, started dating in early 2020. After a whirlwind romance, the Premier League star proposed last June during a romantic getaway in Mykonos and the couple were married under Islamic law six months later.
Fruits of their love soon flourished and Taylor announced she was expecting their first child in February.
“Where life begins and love never ends,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a bump and scan picture.
And when it comes to their bundle of joy due to arrive this summer, Taylor tells us the whole family are excited.
She adds, “She will be here before we know it. I’m in the third trimester now, so nearing the end. It’s all starting to feel very real now, we are super excited for our little summer baby.”
Just days before their baby shower, the couple shared their gender news with a sweet social media post. The footage showed them popping open a balloon, which showered pink confetti.
“I think we were both so shocked!” Taylor tells us. “Riyad already has two daughters and they were so excited to find out they have another sister on the way!”
And discovering they’re having a girl wasn’t the only gift she’s had over the last week. The star was showered with presents from her guests, including pal Charlotte who she describes as “the most amazing mum to Noah”.
“We’re looking forward to sitting together one evening and looking through them all, but the main gift was just having everyone we love together,” the mum-to-be says. “It’s a day we certainly won’t forget that was filled with so much love. We have been completely spoiled and she will be a very lucky baby girl.
And one guest in particular who had a wonderful time was Taylor’s mum Dawn. She tells us, “I had the most amazing day, it was well worth coming back from Dubai for. The room was spectacular, it was lovely to see all my family and friends.
“Being a Nanna is so special. Taylor’s going to make an amazing mum, Riyad’s going to make an amazing father – I couldn’t wish for anyone better for a life partner for Taylor. It was very emotional, because regardless of how old she is, she’s still our baby.
“I’m staying with Taylor for a couple of weeks, enjoying every moment and as soon as the baby is on her way I’ll be back home to stay with her again.”
Proud mum Dawn adds, “Taylor looks radiant. She’s a very caring, warm person and I’m very sure she’s going to make an incredible mother.”
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