April means wedding season, so for those of you that have the great honor and responsibility of throwing a pre-nuptial bash, here’s a little inspiration.
I had the privilege of standing in my cousin’s wedding as her Matron of Honor last fall, and hosted her hometown bridal shower in June.
Every memorable occasion and milestone celebration should begin with a lovely paper invitation. That’s my opinion and I am standing by it, even if it means I have to create yours, too. I chose to print at home, for the sake of time (they need not be fussy!), and used a light cardstock I had on hand from Staples.
The design was simple, true to the black and white theme. I heat-embossed a gold glitter border for a fancy touch, rounded corners for good luck and – voila! Clean, pretty, and special, with room to either glam up or down on the day of the party. I sent these out about six weeks ahead of time – all bridesmaids were aware of the date well in advance in case they wanted to travel.
I chose to cook, and dreamt up a small bites style brunch menu that was delicious and girly. The priority was to be able to make a lot of things the day before and make it special enough for a bridal shower. At the time I started planning, we were inviting about 25 people, so servings were important to consider.
Food: Baked French Toast Sticks with syrup or berry compote; Mini Frittatas two ways: tomato and basil, bacon and cheese; Scone and Muffin bar with Lemon Curd and Berry Butter; Chocolate Covered Strawberries; Creme Brûlée Cupcakes; Mini Lemon Pound Cakes; Antipasti Platter; Berry and Mascarpone Cups; Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates in Balsamic Glaze; Bruschetta; Roasted Zucchini and Onions.
*The bamboo cutting boards used for the meat, cheese and fruit display doubled as my gifts to the bride – one in the shape of Ohio (where the groom is from) and a surfboard that says Hawaii (Where the bride is from).
Having a simple theme like black-and-white streamlines decor, so it’s important to add creative twists when possible. While I began with a glam idea of a cocktail-style brunch, I added a few handwritten signs (not all are seen here) and mason jars as well. Rustic Chic? Eh, whatever you want to call it, it worked! I think :) For flowers I chose white hydrangeas and baby’s breath – classic and pretty. Rather than write on-and-on about every element, I’ll show you here… let me know if you want details, I’ll share!
Games & Activities
We played a few games. OK like four. The goal was to have everyone mingle, moving around, participating in multiple activities, and eating. Lots of eating. To keep things fun, light-hearted, celebratory, yet still showery. My mind exploded with one million different ideas, and I even cut one game during the party, but the great thing is this isn’t the last shower in the world. It was Bria’s and I think it flowed the way it should have.
Prizes: I picked up lots of girly things like pretty nail files and clippers, nail polish, mirror/brush duos, facial masks and scrubbers, and lip butters. In hindsight I could have done away with the knick-knacks and gone for the coffee gift cards, but that’s one thing I’ll tuck away as learned. I had tons of ideas for prizes too, which can be a little challenge if you don’t know the guests, so I stuck with general things that are always good to have :)
I made sugar scrubs! I’ll do a separate post about this because it’s a great idea to have for any gift-giving occasion and should be shared/pinned/done by every lady.
For those wondering, this party lasted about three hours. We zipped through games and gifts more quickly than I would have thought, but that was the nature of the games we played. The bride got a variety of presents from personal items to registry picks to an awesome set of hair products that will ensure she has strong, healthy hair for her wedding!
Lastly, my husband is the man. Not only was he more than happy to leave the house on a Saturday morning for a few hours (thanks to the World Cup!), but he helped a TON with set up and decorating. Want to throw a fabulous party with not-so-much of the stress? Get yourself a supportive, willing husband who appreciates your obsession with pretty celebrations. Love him.