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

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

 

INGREDIENTS

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)

DIRECTIONS

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