I'm sure that you all have seen the “For, Like, Ever” poster by now, but have you seen it as a bridal shower theme? I had not and because I knew that Lauren likes that poster, and had a wooden sign made with the phrase for her wedding ceremony, I thought it would be a great bridal shower theme for her. I had an idea of what colors I wanted for the party but knew I needed to enlist some help for the graphic design. I reached out to my dbff (digital bff) Jenny of Hank and Hunt and she created the invitation for me. I LOVED it! I popped these bad boys in the mail and then got to planning! By the way, this is a very photo heavy post! Plan accordingly.
This special friend deserved the best bridal shower ever (this is her being silly she is not actually about to pound two beers). I know most of you have never been to a party thrown by Lauren. This girl can throw a nice little party. She pays attention to the details, hand crafts most if not all of the decor, makes the food and hosts her guests with ease. There was no way I was going to buy ready-to-go bridal shower decor for her. It had to be extra special. Her friend, Christy, helped me to plan the shower (although couldn't be there the day of :( ) and was the perfect ally. It has been years since I got to do something wedding related so it was super fun for me.
I used a banner stand to cover the big TV on the wall and to have a fun backdrop behind her where she would be opening her gifts. We made garlands to coordinate with the great sort of ikat-y paisley fabric I found. Aside from the traditional garlands I wanted to have a few inspiration strings (tip one for Jen Gotch and Bri Emery for the idea) of wedding related items. And see that rad black and white striped straw garland? I totally learned that from Jenny of Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line.
I like my parties to coordinate so I usually scan whatever fabric I want as the focus and incorporate it in to the paper goods. It is a good way to add color and detail to various areas of the party without having to use precious, expensive yardage. And you can't go wrong with these .99 cent Ikea frames. Can I get an Amen? It didn't hurt that Lauren has the perfect little styled vignettes around her house. It made decorating for the party a breeze.
I really like to personalize the party for the guest of honor and decided to have my father-in-law create this sketch of Lauren and her beau for the inspiration string. How amazing is that?! He is very talented and was able to recreate this from a photo I gave him.
We put out photos of the happy couple, including some of the awesome engagement photos shot by Eddie Kim of Up Imagery. And while I love the oversized mylar letter balloons, I think I love these 14″ versions better!!!!
Lauren is known for her DIY drink stations so I decided to put one together for her. We had to do an Elderflower drink. Duh, it's too delicious not too (FYI Thatcher's Organic Elderflower liqueur is considerably cheaper than St. Germain…Just saying). And I've been interested in the flavored Bitters that have been popping up so I decided we should try a more old-fashioned champagne cocktail too.
If you haven't seen yesterday's post, which is how to make these Ciao Bella Sorbet Champagne Cocktails, go look. I'll wait.
And also for the non drinkers we made this Blackberry Elderflower Spritzer with the Ikea Elderflower Concentrate. Yum!
After the guests got their welcome cocktail put together, we pointed them toward the food. I had my dad make these saw horses for me (yes, they are GOLD, thanks for asking) and laid out a really easy spread on top.
I can't wait to share the recipe for that pink and gold goat cheese appetizer with you tomorrow. For me, that was the star. Delicious, pretty and served a lot of people. I love when food is a triple threat.
And while we wanted to serve lunch we didn't want to do a stuffy sit down. Instead I made this super easy chicken pesto pasta salad and served it in a jar. No table needed and could be eaten standing up or wherever you wanted.
Here is the recipe, make a pound of pasta, let it cool, and put it in a big bowl. Add a container of Buitoni pesto sauce (or more, to taste), some shredded, cooled rotisserie chicken, a few handfuls of arugula, some cherry tomatoes, some pine nuts and some extra shredded parmesan cheese. Yup. Delicious.
the most delicious peach flavored candied popcorn that Kristin, of Meringue Bake Shop made for me. You read that right. If you are local, you all need to hire Meringue Bake Shop and let her dazzle you with all that she can do. She is SO much more than just cupcakes and Push Cakes.
Instead of trying to make donuts, we knew that they had to be gotten from Krispy Kreme. Kristin added some edible gold sparkles to them and we placed more flowers around the platter. Don't these donuts look so much more dignified than usual?
Oh hey, we had a cake too. Kristin made this tomboy style cake to try something a little different and added a little metallic gold edible paint to the top of the raspberries. I love how this looks. I think it might be my new favorite style. And mini cakes are just SO. DANG. CUTE!
Since after all that food everyone was ready to take a break and play a game. Bridal shower games can sometimes blow so we did a classy standard – how well do you know each other. There are always laughs.
For the guest book, I wanted each person to draw Lauren a heart and if they chose, write her a message. I will be scanning these and some awesome Instax pics I took and put together a digital book of the shower for her. I think it will be really cute and I will share it with you before I give it to her.
As it had been just minutes since people had last eaten, Kristin and I brought out our super secret weapon…individual funnel cakes! How awesome are those!?! We decided to do this during the present opening so that people had something to do whist watching the bride to be open her presents. Kristin fried them in the kitchen and then we passed them around, still warm, to the delighted guests.
Kristin made the dreamiest dessert sauces to pour over the top, a chocolate ganache, a strawberry coulis and a vanilla bean creme anglaise. TO. DIE. FOR! Yup. I ate about 5 individual funnel cakes. You know how I do.
Since cocktails were a big part of this party, I decided to send the guests home with a little cocktail themed favor as well. These passion fruit flavored suckers are meant to be dissolved in champagne! YUM!!
This party was SO much fun to plan and throw, but as you know, it takes a village. I certainly couldn't have done it by myself. I have to thank Lauren's mom for allowing me to plan it for her. So glad I could celebrate her daughter and my friend. Big thanks to Christy for planning it with me and letting me be all party Type A with her. She did an amazing job with sewing all the paper garlands. I wish you could have been there for it though I'm sure you enjoyed your vacation. :) HUGE thank you to Emily and Amanda for helping me to set up the morning of the party. I absolutely never would have had everything finished by the time guests started arriving had it not been for them. I always forget that it goes so much faster if there are 4 hands setting something up and with an extra person to help with kitchen stuff it all got done! If you haven't seen their blogs yet, you have to go check them out! Great gals! And of course a super big thank you to Kristin who not only did all the desserts, but helped me with the food and drinks too. Lucky to count her as a friend and am so grateful that she is always willing to try something new out with me and even stood over the frying funnel cakes in 90 degree heat for me. That did not go unnoticed.
Ridiculously big THANK YOU to Dez and Tam. They are the reason that I have such great photos to share with you guys. Although I think my parties look pretty good, my photography doesn't do them justice. I am beyond grateful for their friendship, their talent and their generosity and am so glad to have them in my life. For real.
Invitations by Hank and Hunt
Cocktail Lollipops by Sweetniks
Photography by Dez and Tam
Desserts by Meringue Bake Shop