SHOWERED WITH LOVE
It was a day filled with friends, good food, drink, music and plenty of love as we celebrated our beloved and gorgeous friend Sara with a bridal shower in honor of her upcoming nuptials.
The shower was thrown by the Matron of Honor and my co-worker Susan, Sara's friend and business partner Jill, another longtime friend, Stacey and myself.
Mostly, my contribution was hosting the shower at our home. I just have to take a sec to throw a special shout out to my husband Richard, who spent every weekend the past two months working to get the house ready…staying up until 2:30 in the morning painting various rooms and planting plants long into the night after I went to bed. I think I owe him about a dozen racing weekends with the guys. Small price to pay!
Susan spearheaded the planning and I thought her ideas were so clever that I wanted to share them with you.
"It's all about making the bridal shower as personal as possible," Susan says. "Our bride is a girly girl and fashionable…so we went with a vintage feel for the theme and colors."
To go along with that girly theme, Susan displayed a tray of all sorts of glam headpieces, tiaras, barrettes and hair clips for guests to wear to get into the festive spirit!
Instead of generic plates, Susan found a company that rents vintage china and glassware.Mixed china in shades of pink and blue made every guest feel "unique and special" and Susan suggests an affordable option – hitting up your local flea market for mixed china and glasses. "There are some great finds for 50 cents to a dollar each…and you can keep it for your next dinner party! Mason jars…a huge trend in glassware right now…can be purchased online or at your local hardware store for a buck a piece!"
A rustic feel was created by using burlap runners on the table, which Jill purchased at a local art store for a few bucks. Instead of large floral arrangements, Stacey's idea was to do bunches of bud vases with individual fuchsia and pink flowers…picking up the color of the plates. Gorgeous! "The bud vases we used were vintage crystal, but you can easily find the same look at the 99 cent store or Ikea for less," Susan suggests. Leafy green vines ran down the middle of the table and I love Jill's idea to tie a sprig of dried lavender in each of the napkins.
Continuing the rustic vintage theme, a family style Italian lunch, including homemade salads, pastas and fresh sea bass, was cooked on location by Susan's good friend of 20 years, Lenette Harmer and her company, Lenni's Kitchen. "Food just tastes better when you know the person making it!" Susan says. Instead of printing out the menu, buy chalkboards and chalk at an art store to display the menu.
Another personal touch was asking the bride's friends to bring dessert in their prettiest vessel. There was banana pudding, peach pie, lemon bars, cookies, red velvet cupcakes and pastel colored macaroons! So yummy! There were also chocolate brownies, which are the groom's favorite dessert, to include him in the day!
I love this idea of Susan's…she used old beat up luggage and two rustic drawers from home to display the desserts on different levels. (pictured) Little accents from around the house and flowers added the final touch.
THE PERSONAL TOUCHES:
"The key to throwing a successful bridal shower and keeping your guests from being bored is to make the guests feel just as special as the bride," Susan says. Each guest was asked to provide their favorite love quote, which was added to their guest table name card. "It made the guests feel like part of the party, and was also a great conversation starter at lunch." (My tablemates and I all compared our quotes…mine was from Dr. Seuss!)
Susan also purchased gold frames at the 99 cent store to display kid photos of the bride and groom. "It's always fun and entertaining to see pictures of your friends growing up!" she says.
A local guitarist was hired to sing and play acoustically. "It's easy to find local artists to play for an affordable rate. In the living room, we played "Breakfast at Tiffany's" without sound…it made for a great visual as people walked by…pick the bride's favorite romantic film to go with your theme!" Susan recommends.
FOR THE GUESTS:
Stacey asked the bride for a list of her favorite things and created goody bags based on Sara's personal picks like ballet flats and Sara's favorite lip gloss and nail polish, among other items.
FOR THE BRIDE-TO-BE:
The final gift to the bride, was collecting one picture from all of the guest to put together in a photo album. Susan added the love quotes to each person's page. She used Shutterfly, but you can easily scrapbook it! "Again, it made the guest feel like part of the shower," she says, "and it also gave the bride a lovely reminder of her fabulous moments with her best friends leading up the day."
-- Ryan Patterson
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