I thought on how to plan the perfect bridal shower would be super fun, since we just had an amazing one! Party planning is one of my favorite things. I put it right up there at the top of my list, next to interior design. Both of these could absolutely consume my thoughts, if I allowed it. When a celebration is around the corner, thoughts of party favors, food themes, and decoration plans overwhelm my mind. And then there’s Pinterest. Heaven help us all, how did we throw parties before Pinterest? And who is that mystical person out there who is actually thinking this stuff up on their own?? Whoever it is, I’m so grateful that they are sharing. I may love to throw together a party, but rarely can I take credit and say I thought of it myself.
Every once in a while though, there’s that one party that is oh-so-important, and you are able to really put your thoughts and plans into reality. That’s what happened when my little sister got married. I spent every. waking. minute. obsessing over the most minute details. Because she’s not just any random friend getting married. She’s my baby sister. She’s that girl you love so much, that you’ll nearly kill yourself as you strive to create the perfect, once in a lifetime send off into married life. Obviously nothing is perfect… But I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this day to be. And it very nearly hit the mark.
It all started with succulents. Her favorites. For my money, you can’t beat the personal touches. That’s what transforms “the party” into “YOUR party.” If you remember, in my Guest Room Design post, I also made sure add personal touches for my parents, who stay in the room most often. Adding a nice photo, or a quote you know they love will absolutely bring your room or party to life.
This post is pretty loaded with pictures… but what would a party planning post be without them? So here goes…
We lined my entry hallway with balloons, in sets of three that were weighted down with those cute little bridal weights from Party City. It felt so festive and fun to see them right when you walked in the door.
I was walking through my favorite baking store “Make it Sweet” and trying to get ideas for what kind of cute bridal type sweets I could serve for desserts… when right there on the shelf, like a beacon of hope, sat the answer to my prayers. A cupcake tin. Not just any cupcake tin… a mini wedding cake cupcake tin. Oh my goodness, are you serious? Instantly, I knew this was our “activity” for the shower. Everyone would decorate their own mini wedding cake and we would have a contest. I immediately got to work buying all the decorative supplies that we would need. I also knew that succulents were Taylor’s favorite, so I decided on little silver buckets from Ikea, and I potted them with rocks and moss with a succulent for the table centerpieces. They were perfectly simple and beautiful. Not too tall or overly decorative… just that touch of green on the lace overlays we chose for the table cloths. I need to point out really quickly – I did not throw this bridal shower on my own. Couldn’t have done it without the help of my sister (different sister) and mom. Check this out:
I had all of these mini cakes baked, and frosting ready to go when people arrived. Decorating materials were on the tables, so all they had to do was pick chocolate or vanilla – and get crackin’. I did not decorate a cake myself, because I was hosting. And as you know, if you’ve hosted before, it’s not a small task. But I felt like this activity went over really well. Creativity just poured out of these sweet ladies!!
As you can also see in this picture, I sat down before the party, and wrapped every single frame in my living room in this really cute and subtle bridal themed wrapping paper. Up against my grey walls, I think it added the perfect touch of decor.
I loved doing the mini cake decorating because it wasn’t something that required everyone to sit and listen to me. It was something they could just work on absently while they visited with friends – which is what people really want to do anyway. :o)
After the cakes were done, everybody voted on the best and I wrapped up each cake for them to take home as little party favors. I had precut cardboard squares, cellophane and lace doilies ready to go for each cake when it was done being decorated. I did this while Lindsey played the over-done, but still fun when it’s your sister – “How Well Do You Know Your Spouse” game. She did not do well. :)
AND THE WINNER IS…
These turned out even better than I ever could have imagined. All the guests really did a great job decorating, and they looked so cute! And then once I packaged them up, it was even better!! When I say that personal touches make a party come alive, this is what I mean: I wanted to tie a little tag onto the cakes for the guests to take home, so I wrote a little diddy to put on it. And it goes like this:
Taylor & David
Sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
First comes love, Now you’re at our shower
And next, (yes I counted) we marry in 1,155 hours!
I printed them on clear labels and then stuck them to recycled paper and they turned out really cute. These little personal touches are the things that set your party out from the rest. Don’t underestimate the power of the smallest detail!
MEANWHILE… In the living room:
Taylor got a lot of questions wrong – and chewed a lot of gum. :o)
Okay, let’s jump to the food and drinks, shall we? We did tortilla roll-ups with cream cheese, turkey and spinach, fruit cups, and heart shaped brownies. I chose a pineapple-lemonade for beverages, which added a lot of really fun color to the room.
Some more random shots of the gift table, guests and other such fun stuff… These mini soaps are party favors from Etsy that say, “From my shower to yours.” I fell in love with these instantly and kept some for my guest bathroom at home. :o) See how I’m multi-tasking here?
Some of the fun things we did for this shower, were to let the bride go home with all the decorative stuff we bought. She took home the beverage jugs (which I really wanted to keep for myself), and the decorative touches like frames, and little quote plaques from Hobby Lobby. But my favorite thing was the personalized chalkboard, decorated by my dad.
We also showed a video that we had made with a slideshow of the proposal. It turned out so cute, thanks to her BFF Shelbs. Parties don’t have to be super scheduled… in fact, I find that if I try to plan actual things to do – they don’t get done because people like to just sit and visit. So I say – just try to have a little something going on that people can either participate in, or not. In this case, decorating the mini cakes was perfect.
Also, try not to stress. I did not do this well with Taylor’s shower. I didn’t realize I was stressed, but after the party was over – I literally sat down on the floor and cried. The flood gates opened and all the stress of me wanting to make sure it was perfect, released. Don’t do that to yourself. Parties aren’t about being perfect. They are about creating an atmosphere that people want to be a part of. And in this case – about making the bride feel special.
And remember… the personal touch is what makes your party come alive. THIS GIRL – was totally worth it.