Man, am I excited! I mentioned in my last post that I'm planning to be a lot more intentional with this blog and start to make it a regular habit. Part of my struggle has been that I wasn't sure what to blog about. With the way life has been for me lately, I've had to put a halt to some of my creative habits so I didn't think I had much to blog about. Sometimes all it takes is some focus. I found a bunch of stuff to share that I haven't gotten around to for the past year. So I've just planned out the next 18 posts! I'm excited about making blogging more of a priority and giving you guys some more ideas.
As most of you know, my sister was married last July. Actually, most of my blog posts this year have been about the wedding gift I put together for Kim & Larry, the CHEAP Dates for a Year basket. Head over and check out some of those ideas if you haven't yet. I also shared some games with you that I used for her Bachelorette Party, but I guess in all the chaos, I forgot to tell you about the shower that my mom and I threw for her last June. I can't believe I completely skipped over it, because we put A LOT of work into it, and were both proud of the outcome.
Mom and I wanted to throw a shower for Kim to kind of pull together a bunch of little groups of people and have one big gathering. It was a way to get a lot of the people together that love her and share in celebrating. So, we needed something that would sound fun to a variety of people, something that wouldn't be too expensive, and something that would easily fit in most everyone's schedules. So, we decided on a Bridal Tea Party. It's traditional, fun, super girly, and cost-conscious enough to feed a large number of people on a weekend afternoon, which most people have available.
Another reason is tied into a few of our family traditions. I'll get to those in a second. Like I mentioned, Mom and I put a lot of planning and detail in this shower, so there is no way that I could do a post that includes it all. At least not one that most of you would read all the way through. So, I'm breaking it down. Today, I'll go over the general plan and share some of the decorations and special touches we included. Later, I'll share four more posts; one for food, one for games and activities for our guests, one for the favors, and one with some tips for all you Maid of Honors out there. Don't miss them!
We wanted this shower to be feminine but not too frilly. Classic but not "grandma". Traditional but personalized. My parents' gorgeous home was the perfect setting because Mom's decorating style is right in line with what we wanted. The flow of the floor plan and the neutral, classic decor left a lot of ease in the plans for decorating, so we didn't really have to do much.
The first thing we wanted to do was make sure that we had plenty of seating for when Kim opened gifts (we were expecting between 15-30 guests), places for people to sit and chat while sipping on tea and snacking, and different mingling centers. It's important when you plan a party to provide opportunities for conversation that are natural and comfortable, even for people who don't know each other. At something as personal as a bridal shower, all guests have something in common so this is pretty simple.
We wanted to include some flowers, but nothing too formal. Mom had a great wildflower garden to pick from and I have a stunning hydrangea bush at my apartment, so that's all we used. Use what you have growing in your yard! It fits right in with your home and most importantly, it's free!
We saw this idea on the ever-helpful Pinterest! So easy and different. We just used some wine glasses mom had, put a cluster of wildflowers underneath, and topped with a tea light. It was the perfect way to spruce up our plate and silverware table. Mom and I used plastic white tablecloths, but got a couple yards of fabric to match the feel of the shower that we overlaid on top of the white plastic. This dressed it up a little and pulled it together.
I didn't arrange the hydrangeas that well, just stuck them in a vase on the table. But I had so much fun making the wildflower jars that hung in the window!
It was really easy but got a great response at the party. I saw the idea original here. I had several baby food jars that were sent to my classroom and never used. My mom had a ton of old ribbon that she got from my grandma which I cut to fit around each jar. It was as simple as hot gluing them down with a couple dots of hot glue. Then I used some twine to tie around the lips of the jars and left a long enough tail to hang them over the curtain rod. I think it's a more dramatic and whimsical to hang them at varying heights. After they were hung, I used a pitcher of water to fill each jar about halfway, then added a good mixture of wildflowers to each jar. I wish I had a better picture of them. We liked them so much, mom kept them up for weeks!
I know that's a silly title, but I don't know what else to call them. One of my favorite things that we included in our decorations for this shower were personal items from Kim's past and/or heritage. I typed up short descriptions for each of them and got frames at the dollar store to display them. These explain more about why having a tea party was so perfect and fitting for Kim's Bridal Shower. These also provided the mingling spots I mentioned above. Once guests spotted a few of these, they talked with others about them and started searching for each one.
When Kim first asked me to be her Maid of Honor, we spent one night in the pouring rain sitting in my car in the Arby's parking lot near a bridal store where we had stopped to look at bridesmaid dresses. I'll probably always remember that. During that conversation, I was asking her all kinds of questions about what kind of showers she wanted, things she wanted incorporated during this special time, etc. One thing she mentioned was that she would love to have a party similar to one she had when she was younger. For her birthday one year, mom threw her a tea party and a lady came with all kinds of dress up clothes. So it was a dress up/tea party. It was perfect, and definitely something I knew she had to relive as a grown-up before tying the knot! To tie the conversation and the idea together on the day of the shower, mom pulled out a bunch of old photos of not only the party but other times we dressed up to display.
Phew! I was still planning on adding more to this post, but realizing I can split the last bit into a whole post on its own. I don't want to make this too long! Stick around...I'll tell you more about this special shower soon!