A Bridal Shower Checklist

Bridal showers are one of my favorite things to plan because I love the small, intimacy of them. Gathering together with the closest ladies in your life is a beautiful experience in itself so everything I do beyond that is just meant to highlight that atmosphere. Bridal showers are full of opportunities to go wild with the details without breaking the bank. Use my five-step checklist for a beautiful and meaningful bridal shower...  

1. Cute Invites

Your invites set the mood for your event as well as your guests. They are the first detail your guests see and it gives them a sneak peek at what the day holds.

vintage floral bridal shower

Choose an invitation that best represents the mood you want to set. Sometimes I get lucky and find what I'm looking for at Target or TJ Max, but most of the time I order (this also  saves me from doing the work of all the handwriting myself). These invites are from Emily Costopoulos Photography Film & Design. For $15 you can order the digital file, and then edit and print the number your want. Or for $45, she will do the edits and then mail 20 printed invites with envelopes to your door. She also offers custom design if you can't find what you are looking for. 

2. Thoughtful Menu and Presentation

I'm a firm believer that good food speaks to the heart and beautiful food just tastes better.

bridal shower buffet

Your menu matters and how you display it sets the mood. I use real china and glassware whenever possible because that's what my Grandmother always did to make something feel special. Even if it was just a back yard picnic, when she let us use the real dishes, my cousins and I always felt like we were hosting the Queen of England. 

floral bridal shower
vintage dessert plates
pink glassware

Here's a sample menu from Etiquette Catering Co. for the perfect summer bridal shower: 

Mini Tea Cucumber Sandwiches
Watermelon & Feta Cubes (the perfect mix of sweet and salty)
Deviled eggs (our famous deviled eggs are classic with an elevated flavor)
Mini Pesto Toast Crostini (with melted Havarti and heirloom tomatoes)
Caprese Bites (tomatoes, mozzarella, greens, and balsamic)
Mac and Cheese Bites
Bacon Wrapped Dates (stuffed with goat cheese)
Baby Greek Salad (served in a sweet sample size)

3. Something To Do

Give your guests something to do, and I don't mean just another Pinterest game. Think outside the box and spend time doing something together creates an atmosphere for lasting memories. How fun would a bouquet bar be!?

bouquet bar sign

Playing with sweet-smelling floral allows your guests to work with their hands and take home a tangible memory from the party. Other ideas I am in love with: making a sugar scrub, reading poetry, playing lawn games, or potting plants.  

bouquet bar
bouquet bar bridal shower
bouquet bar

4. Photo Backdrop

Designate a place for a fun photo. Use a pretty chair or two, hang some greenery. It's simple reminder to document the memories! 

bridal shower

5. Fun Favors

My rule for favors is, I don't send my friends home with anything I wouldn't want to be sent home with. This avoids giving favors just for favors' sake.  These white chocolate marshmallow pops from Fireside S'mores were perfect "something white' favors. 

bridal shower favors from fireside s'mores

Photography: Cadey Reisner Weddings
Design + Rentals: The Vintage Lease

Determine Your Design Style BEFORE Pinterest

“Every great design begins with an even better story,” Lorinda Mamo. My favorite part of the planning process is in the design because it allows me to help my clients examine who they are as individuals and who they are as a couple to create an event that is beautiful, thoughtful and entirely their own. Deciding on the design aesthetic early will help take the stress out of the planning process because the overall look and feel of the event helps determines everything from the venue to the smallest of details. 

So, that said. How do you go about determining your design style? BEFORE you type anything into Pinterest, here are four things you need to consider.  

1. Think about YOU. 

            I don't want to scare you, but to have a wedding that is unique to you, you need to know who "you" is. What do you like? Think about what's in your closet and how you like to decorate your home. What are you favorite pieces? What colors do you gravitate towards; are they neutral or bold and bright? Do you lean more towards casual or are you the type who lives in heels and loves it? The type of clothes you have tell a lot about what you like to do. People who love the outdoors have clothes that reflect the time they spend in it. This might influence you to choose an outdoor venue setting over an indoor one. Thinking about where you like to shop, restaurants and coffee shops that make you sigh in happiness can help too. What is the decor like in these places? What kind of music do they have playing? What is it about them that you love so much? Can you put a name to their design style? Industrial. Chic. European. Vintage. Vintage Modern. Eclectic. Boho. My suggestion is to start by taking your little wedding notebook down to one of these spots, order something off the menu, and write down some of these details. 

2. Think about HIM. 

            So, now you need to think about your guy. What does he like? This is his day too, so you want to make sure he is represented on your big day. Marriage is about the coming together of two separates into one, so it might as well start right on day one. This is a conversation you need to have early. What do they want? Are they comfortable saying their vows in front of the 300 people you want to invite? Do they want to wear a formal tuxedo or would they prefer something else? When you are planning a day this big, with this many details, be prepared to make compromises. And be creative in your solutions. If vows in front of 300 people sounds like walking the plank to your future husband, maybe consider intimate vows or a private ceremony with more people invited to a larger reception. This is your day and there isn't a rulebook. 

3. Think about who you are TOGETHER. 

             Remember, there is no other love story on the face of the planet like yours. And when it comes to your wedding, your wedding is a NEW thing! Sure you got inspiration from other weddings, and yes, there are definitely design styles you gravitate towards. But its the beauty of putting it all together in a new way that is so special. The design is really a culmination of the two of you melded into one. It represents more than just a color scheme and tabletop decorations. It is a reflection of who you are as people, what you value and what makes your heart sing. 

4. Gather inspiration. 

              Here is a list of a few of my favorite places to gather wedding inspo (and don't forget to bookmark your favorite weddings!) ...


    I'm a sucker for hardcopy because I like to hold something in my hand, turn crisp pages, and smell new print. Plus the pictures are big and I can rip ones out that I like and pin it to my mood boards. My current go to magazines are Dainty Obsessions and Rocky Mountain Bride. Dainty Obsessions is based out of Sioux Falls, SD so you will see real Black Hills weddings, but more than that, what I love about Dainty is that they are always on the hunt for new and different. They seek to inspire. It's overall aesthetic is light, bright, and airy. Rocky Mountain Bride has a bit of a moodier vibe. They tend to feature darker color palette and photography style and will really appeal to the couple in love with epic outdoor adventures as the flavor of the Rockies is in every wedding. RMB follows the trail of the Rockies and as such extends from the Southwest states all the way into Canada. 

      I will admit it. I love Instagram. Sooo many beautiful things happening on there. When it comes to determining your design style, the best way to use this platform is by following your favorite wedding blogs and professionals. Pay attention to the tags and shout outs, they just might lead you to book a vendor or help you find your dream pair of shoes. And I almost forgot hashtags. When you find photos you like, look at the list of hashtags and use those to search for more like images. Last Insta tip...follow local vendors to see what they offer, who they like to work with, and what their personality is. It will also keep you informed of any upcoming events so you don't miss out!! 

     Please note: I do not hate Pinterest. I just think it is not the first step to wedding planning. And if it is the first step, it is the first step to overload and overwhelm. If you have done the groundwork I described above, Pinterest can be a great way to search specific styles, color palettes, and ideas. For example, you've decided you love snacks at weddings so you want to provide your guests with a trail mix bar of your favorite munchies. Typing "trail mix bar" into Pinterest will pull up a load of cute ways to style one. And I'm not saying you shouldn't have a Pinterest board. I am saying that you want to use Pinterest AFTER you have decided on your style, perhaps even your venue, as a way to collect workable ideas all into one spot. Having a Pinterest board is very helpful when it comes to describing what you want to your vendors. Oftentimes, my brides will pin their favorite pieces from my website to their board so that when we have a consultation, I know what pieces they are looking at. If you want to read more about using Pinterest to plan your wedding, read this blog post by Every Last Detail.

I hope this post leaves you feeling ready to conquer the world...or at least nail down your design style! And remember, we are here to help! We offer design consultations, digital styling boards, site visit, layout renderings and so much more. Visit our services page to learn more. Oooh and don't forget, follow me below!!    xoxo Sarah  

Sarah Enos of The Vintage Lease

Was this post helpful!? I'd love to hear from you. Email me at thevintagelease@gmail.com

Christmas Cheer Tablescape

"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear." And while we completely agree with you, Buddy the Elf, we think crafting a beautiful tablescape has to be right up there too. And gingerbread bundt cake, that too right!? Recipe at the bottom... 

Christmas tablescape

We know the holidays can get crazy busy and picking out table decor might be the last thing on your agenda. Or maybe your family, like mine, is so large, paper products are the saving grace that keeps you from having to meet Santa in the middle of the night. But even if one of those rings true, I hope this post helps you save time, energy, and money. And even if you use paper plates and plastic silverware, you can still set a darling little table and spread the Christmas cheer. 

First, you want to think about your space and what you already have in your inventory. I knew the staple of Cadey's dining area was a gorgeous handcrafted table from local co Fitch Finds & Designs. It would have been silly to cover that up with too much linen so I opted for an eye catching buffalo check napkin instead.

Christmas tablescape
Christmas tablescape vintage rental
Christmas tablescape
Christmas buffalo check

Cadey's style is definitely very modern farmhouse so the color palette of black, white, and green was a seamless fit. I love to mix metallics so I chose vintage gold flatware, brass candlesticks, and silver ribbon napkin rings to add a little shine. Mixing metallics is very in right now, which makes it easier to collect things from around your house without having to worry about everything being exactly the same.

Christmas tablescape
Christmas tablescape buffalo check
Christmas tablescape

You can add balance elsewhere by keeping the color palette simple and all the glassware the same. Vintage green goblets and clear cut glass wine goblets blended in with the color scheme, but caught light to add just the right amount of sparkle. I added the amber dessert dishes as an afterthought because the pattern is so lovely and I knew they would look almost gold against the table. 

Christmas tablescape
Christmas tablescape

When designing a tablescape, most people spend the most thought and money on the centerpiece. They either use the same one every year or head to the store and buy a new one, every year. Both are frustrating situations. The first is boring and the second is expensive and exhausting. For this table, I wanted to design a practical, easy, and inexpensive centerpiece. Thus the dessert course became the focal point.

Christmas tablescape

Normally it just sits over on the counter at the end of the food line. But as a centerpiece, it steals the show.

Gingerbread bundt cake

If you put your tablescape up early in the season, and your dessert isn't made yet, use the cake stand to display pinecones, old books, Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses---there are lots of options. Or you could just go with the candlesticks until showtime, that would be lovely too.

Christmas tablescape

And just FYI, foraging your greens is a real thing now (save those tree trimmings!), but greenery can also be found at the grocery store or floral shop. These greens were a whopping $4 and came with a few evergreen variations, including juniper berries. Side note, fresh floral smells ahhhmazing. 

Christmas tablescape

Rent this look: $64 (candlesticks, gold and white plates, gold flatware, napkin rings, green goblets, cut glass goblets, amber dessert dishes, cut glass and silver cake stand). 

Special thanks to my friend Cadey of Cadey Reisner Weddings for opening up her home, popping the champagne, and taking all these gorgeous pictures. Not to mention all the laughs we had trying to get Rizzo to pose in front of the fireplace or put his paws on the table!

wine gift
Christmas tablescape
Christmas tablescape
Christmas dog

P.S. Here's a gingerbread bundt cake recipe. And make sure you grease and flour that bundt pan thoroughly

Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread bundt cake



cream together
1⁄2 cup shortening
1⁄3 cup sugar
2⁄3 cup molasses
2 large eggs

mix in a separate bowl
1 3⁄4 cups flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
2⁄3 cup sour milk (add 3 1/2 teaspoons vinegar to whole milk)


1.    Preheat oven to 350°.
2.    Grease and flour an 8" square pan (or use Pam).
3.    The ingredients listed under "cream together" should be added one ingredient at a time, creaming in between each addition.
4.    When you have finished adding/creaming all the liquid ingredients, keep beating the liquid mixture, folding in the dry mixture, alternating with the 2/3 cup sour milk.
5.    Once everything is mixed in, pour the batter into the prepared pan.
6.    Bake at 350°. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle.
7.    When it comes out clean, it's done.

recipe from Genius Kitchen

Gingerbread bundt cake

3 Tips To Nail a Styled Engagement Session

One of my new favorite things is a styled engagement session. I like to think of them as a sneak peak, mini version of your big day. Ultimately, the concept is the same, just on a smaller scale. 

When planning a wedding, you are trying to create an experience that encompasses your new life together; who you are as a couple and who you have been. It is both a reflection of each of you and a celebration of who you now are together. You invite your closest friends and family members to share in that experience. The point of a styled engagement session is to start that experience with your initial introduction of the merging of two lives into forever togetherness. Here are 3 tips I used when working with  JC + Shelby to style their e-session with Cadey Reisner Weddings

engagement photos

1. Tell the love story. 

When I first spoke with Shelby, I asked her to tell me about how they had met, what they liked to do together, what she loved most about JC, etc. I needed learn who they were as a couple in order to plan their session. From their first meeting at Pactola where JC showed up in a Hawaiian shirt and peace sign sunglasses, it was clear they were going to spend a lot of time laughing together. Shelby described them as a couple who loves to be together doing things they love--hiking, golfing, traveling, wake surfing, skiing, eating Armadillo's strawberry butter icecream, watching Netflix, and hanging out with friends and family--just to name a few. From this, I was inspired to incorporate a few of their favorites into the session: the great outdoors, an easy and relaxed couch scene, and Armadillo's ice cream :)    

2. Use the color palette. 

Shelby shared her wedding inspiration board with me and it was filled with all things berry toned and dark, teal green. I immediately thought of Cheryl and some new velvet green pillows I had just purchased. She also mentioned that she would be using these photos for save the date cards. Thus, using this color palette would make a well curated and seamless transition between engagement announcements and wedding invites. 

3. Incorporate the vision. 

This e-session needed to highlight JC + Shelby's couple personality while foreshadowing their big day. Shelby's inspiration board had a well defined vision that is best defined as romantic boho. Pairing classic romantic style and colors with boho vibes, this style is both eclectic and refined. The red velvet couch and antiqued brass accents pair perfectly with the boho elements of a rustic crate, an entirely greenery bouquet, and Shelby's lace maxi.   

I had no idea what she was going to come up with which made it such a lovely surprise when I saw it for the first time. I don’t think I could have envisioned a more beautiful, romantic boho look. Looking back at our engagement pictures I couldn’t be more obsessed with how they turned out...The Vintage Lease definitely delivers Pinterest worthy styling services and I am so happy to have chosen Sarah to be a part of my engagement pictures.
— Shelby
3 Tips to Style Your Engagement Session
boho lux engagement session
styled engagement session
ice cream engagement
3 Tips to Nail Your Styled Engagement Session
ice cream engagement photos
ice cream engagement session
3 Tips to Nail your Styled Engagement Session
engagement photos
engagement bouquet
save the date
3 Tips to Nail your Styled Engagement Session

Are you ready to book your styled engagement session!? Drop us a line today.