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Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Bridal Shower : Pretty In Pink

 Will you please slow down?  
July has been a hectic and exciting month.  
After months of planning and anticipation, Ashley's Bridal Shower was finally here.  

The shower was hosted by * yours truly * at my parents house with the help of Ashley's bridesmaid and my mother Lucy.  Courtney, Lucy and I made the food while my aunt Cindy made all of the delicious desserts.   Ashley did not want a themed party and she can tend to be an out-of-the-box Bride.  Instead, I decided to go for a an elegant and feminine bridal shower with traces of a tea party.  I chose to use soft pinks, beige, white and grey in the color scheme.  I had tea sandwiches, spiked iced tea, and roses in tea cups, to give the shower a tea party feel without being an over done high tea bridal shower. 

I spent weeks on all of the little DIY details to make this  backyard shower look and feel like a catered event. 

For the tables, I used clean white linens, home made floral arrangements, tea lights decorated with ribbon, confetti hearts, and adorable signs.  I took the vow from "The Vow" and put each vow in its own frame with a chevron pink ribbon. 

"I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness, 
and to have the patience that love demands.

I vow to speak when words are needed, and to share the silence when they are not. 

I vow to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.

I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms, now and forever.

I vow to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love. "

 Ashley and I both discussed how much we loved that part of the movie, so I was really excited to sneak them into the bridal shower.
They added a bit of romance and certainly filled the room with "aww"s!

 Flower arrangements varied from roses to hydrangeas and were displayed in various vases and tea cups (no mason jars for this bride!)

Instead of trying to get my hands on 40+ porcelain plates and silverware- I set out to find cute paperware that looked neat enough for a bridal shower.  I found these amazing pink edged paper plates at Ikea and paired them with adorable spotted cocktail napkins.  I found plasticware that actually looked like silverware that I wrapped in pink ribbon for another splash of pink.  

 I hung lanterns and home made pink tissue paper pomandeers (directions here!) under the canopies and umbrellas.


I continued my shopping spree at Michaels and bought supplies to make my "Love Is Sweet" banner.  My original plan was to hang the banner from the dessert table but I really liked how it looked on the brick fireplace behind the table. 

I used thick card stock/scrap book paper in soft pink , grey, and beige, and used pink grey and white yarn that I braided to hang the banner.  I used sponge letters and black paint to spell out the words and I was really happy with the way the banner turned out.

To direct Ashley's guest to the back deck, I made this sign and tied it up with pretty ribbon on the fence to the pool gate.  Pink paint with a gold outline on some thick poster board did the trick.

I framed her bridal shower invitation and dressed it up with tea lights and flowers for a nice little accent to the day.  I framed her formal wedding invitation and put that on the cocktail table.  I also framed two 8x10 pictures of Ashley and Jon to display on the tables to add another personal touch to the shower.  

Gifts were stacked by the pool in pretty assortments of pink white and grey gifts.  

Of course all the ribbons were kept for the silly rehearsal dinner bouquet.  

As everyone entered, they were sent to the drink table.  I used gold sparkly glitter paper to make a "Bubbly" banner to add a little bit of glitz to the champagne and drink table.  I had bottles of champagne, Iced Tea spiked with rum, and Vodka pink lemonade.  The vodka pinks were a hit and were gone quick! I also played cocktail waitress and made sure everyone had a full glass of champagne at all times. 

We had an assortment of food and there was truly, something for everyone....
vegetarians and picky eaters alike.

  Caprese skewers, chicken salad lettuce cups, cajun shrimp cocktail, assorted tea sandwiches (olive, cucumber and cream cheese, and egg salad to name a few), as well as two different quiches, an arugula salad, and pasta salad.  We wanted a light summer menu with elegant tea sandwiches- Ashley's favorite!

Dessert was beautiful, dainty, all home made, and of course pink.  We had pink chocolate truffles, macaroons, coconut candies, 50+ assorted cupcakes, and strawberry candies.  The cupcakes had a pink frosting, flower details, and little signs that I had made (pinterest)!  Little pink cards had a pink bow and the phrase "I Do" on one side, "Me Too!" on the other.

Courtney and I made mini cheesecakes with a vanilla wafer crust and raspberry by Ashley's girl Martha Stewart.  Keep in mind, our sisters got all of the baking skills,  leaving Courtney and I googling how to use a kitchen aid mixer....  we made them the night before and forced friends to sample our cheesecakes before we put our name on them and sent them onto the desert table.  

A dollop of crushed raspberry with a toothpick through the middle makes this lovely heart design (which looked fantastic prior to entering the oven)
You can find the recipe here!  

We did not use the water bath (we didn't really understand how....and ended up using two different recipes....) so the tops of our cheesecakes cracked, leaving a distorted (broken looking) heart.  Oops...  Raspberry puree, flowers, and fresh raspberries turned this into a dainty little dessert instead of a complete failure!

To show off some of our pretty desserts, I turned a $10 side table

Into a feminine beige dessert tier. 
 The table, sand paper, spray paint gold paint and some doilies for a grand total of $20.   

The shower was moving along perfectly, perfectly except for the hot and sweaty, and very uncomfortable guests.  The heat became unbearable and the 81 and overcast forecast turned into 90's hot, sunny, and humid.  We moved the party inside after lunch to open gifts and shower the bride with love and gifts.    Ashley wore a strapless light pink Lilly Pulitzer dress with white lace detail (and some killer heels).  Of course she had her chihuahua Lola with her, adorned in a pink ribbon.  Ashley received many wonderful gifts, and hey.... we even got her to smile with some teeth. 

Instead of a trinket or silly favor that no one would use, I asked my grandmother to make her famous Portuguese biscuits that Ashley loves so much.  She made hundreds of biscuits and wrapped them up in baggies with a pink ribbon.

I printed the recipe on card stock and tied them to each bag as a favor for all of the guests.  Everyone loved the favors and I was excited to incorporate another family touch into Ashley's Shower.  

All of her bridesmaids were there to help out with her big day (Special thanks to Courtney for helping me plan this day) and make it an amazing and memorable shower.  

Not to toot my own horn 
but I think this shower was one of the cutest bridal showers I have ever seen.  
It was personal, feminine, and classically Ashley.  
 I was so happy when she told me she had an amazing day and the food and decor exceeded her expectations. 
 Congratulations Ashley!  

Can't wait until your big day <3 

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