My darling baby sister is getting married! And over the weekend, I was thrilled to be able to throw her a bridal shower to help her get prepared for married life. This is her only bridal shower (she’s having a smallish wedding) so I definitely wanted to go all out and make her feel like the dainty little princess that she is.
I am kinda obsessed with the idea of tea parties, so it all began from there. I decided that it would be a girly affair full of simplicity and charm (just like Nornie!)
I used the invitations (thanks to Invitations By Dawn) as a starting block and jumped in from there. We held the party in our basement (and let me tell ya, getting it ready for this shindig was a story you will want to hear about later! It was a doozy!).
On the tables we went with a blue & white color scheme (Norn is using navy and cream as her wedding colors so it tied in nicely with what is to come). I actually have all these old table clothes in storage so I was able to use them and a bunch of my white decor. You may notice that I used my bird cages – the tea party theme sort of meshed with the bird stuff because 1. I am the weirdo with a lot of bird stuff and 2. I wanted to make a Love Birds sign for my bedroom & thought it would work wonderfully with this shower and 3. it’s a little country feeling and full of charm. 4. I desperately wanted to say “Let’s feather her nest” because, yes, I am that cheesy 🙂
I also mixed in my good china while also using some older cheaper stuff – like the ceramic hearts dishes from Goodwill – for peanut M&M’s (Norn’s favorite candy).
One long table (actually three folding tables) actually worked out really well for the smaller group of ladies that attended. It provided an intimate area that each person could be close to the bride-to-be and gave everyone the opportunity to mingle.
The tea itself was on the table still in the labeled packages – so that people could choose their own and then just pour the hot water from the teapots themselves.
You may notice that the teapots are on small wooden cutting boards – I didn’t have enough trivets so this was my improvisation at work.
We all sat on these homemade benches. Yup – my mom and I decided to make six benches (modified plans thanks to Ana White!) for the wedding and I thought they could be the perfect spot for us ladies too. Charming to sit on? Oh yeah. Improving posture? priceless.
On the ledge beyond the table I wanted to add a little sparkle…
so I simply gathered up a bunch of votives, jars and cups and used them as candle holders.
We actually forgot to light them for the shower itself but later on I did to see what it would look like….um yeah I love it…
As for drink, I decided that some folks might not like hot tea…I mean, we do live in the South and yes, we are still having 90+ degree days down here…so I provided ginger ale (one of Nornie’s fav’s) and Pellegrino as well as the sweet tea and water.
The food was set up in the basement ‘bar/kitchen’ area. Sorry about the weird color balance in the photo…I must have momentarily forgotten how to use my camera in all the excitement 🙂
I simply used a desk and a mirror to create our buffet and threw some old paper parasols to soften up the empty space (they were actually leftovers from my wedding!).
The food was amazing. Yup totally patting myself on the back for this one. We served a fruit salad, cucumber sandwiches (which my mom said was the ‘savory’ part of our tea), simple chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, and a spinach & strawberry salad with almonds, Parmesan and raspberry walnut vinaigrette. YUM.
And do you see that runner under the food? That was actually a table cloth that I had cut up six years ago that JUST SO HAPPENED to match the invites with it’s watercolored flowers. And since the straight edges were not very feminine, I simply cut out the edges of the flowers to make a more organic looking runner.
By far my favorite part of the shower was creating the dessert table. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted a cushy spot for Norn to sit while she opened presents and I wanted the table and display to be the Scarlett Johansen of dessert tables….uber girly.
It all began with the Love Birds sign (I’ll do a full post on this later because it has so many meanings to me)…and I draped across the top a homemade no-sew rag garland. I actually made it out of the fabric I used for my own wedding runner – so I am glad to see that it has a new life!
On either side of the sign, I used these little bird houses ($1 each at Joann’s) – aren’t the heart shaped bird holes adorable? And of course – more white ceramic birds.
Below the display was the dessert table…which was my round modern CB2 tulip table draped with a white sheet and a faint yellow lace tablecloth ($6 at a thrift store).
The birdcage was a gift from my mom a long time ago and I still love it.
We served cupcakes (aren’t they like a shower must now?), nutroll, and oreo pops.
The cupcakes were chocolate devil’s food cake with cream cheese icing. And yes, don’t look at this photo for too long or you will start to gain weight.
I did make one special cupcake that was supposed to look like a little birds nest (hello my name is katie and I can really milk a theme). It was simply topped with coconut and had two little peanut m&m’s for the eggs.
Originally I was going to make all of them this way but I chose not to because I know coconut is one of those love it or hate it kinda goodies. Lori stuck with the nutroll so in the end, I chowed this baby down and it tasted like an Mounds bar…wow.
The pops and nutroll are actually supposed to represent Nornie & Boots (the soon to be husband and wife). The nutroll is a family recipe that I got from my grandmother before she passed away and it is Norn’s favorite thing to eat. And let me tell ya, it is probably mine too so consider all eight pounds of it gone by the time you read this.
The pops are oreos with chocolate filling (Boots fav is chocolate cookies with chocolate chips so I fudged a little on this…catch that pun?!)
And yes, I stuck them in an ikea flower pot. I stuffed the bottom with craft foam and them covered the top with green M&M’s. I feel like it looks like a bouquet of flowers.
During the eating, I read my sister a children’s book called I Bought My Love a Tabby Cat
(it’s a really cute story about a couple who is preparing to get married and at the end, the husband makes his bride fine things to wear every day)…and then read to her a little blessing that I wrote to encourage her to wear attributes of a good wife…like the lipstick of joy & the white gloves of service & the cloak of forgiveness.
We also played a little trivia game to get to know the bride & groom a little better and then we opened presents.
I say we because Norn opened her pretty packages and I got the best gift any hostess can have – sitting down for a moment to enjoy the food!
I also had some note cards available for guests to write their own prayers or blessings for the engaged couple.
Here’s the whole group – I wrangled a shot out of them (I held the food hostage until they all agreed!). And you may notice the little feather corsages…little favors that each guest got to wear as a floofy little reminder of our theme 🙂 Like I said, I can milk a theme drier than the male nipple.
Congratulations Nornie. I love you and hope you enjoyed the shower. I am so excited for you and can’t wait to borrow your new stand mixer 🙂
p.s. And as always – my mom, Little Debbie, was a HUGE help. She should be named a co-host because of all the work she put in. Literally, she spent HOURS laboring in love for this thing. Thanks mommy…love you. I also want to say that my boyfriend is a beast and finished the basement bathroom just in time for the shower. I know, I know, totally off subject…but it was so nice to be able to have a loo for the ladies that didn’t involve mile-long directions.
Stay tuned to find out how we took this basement from jacked to joyous!…and while you wait, why don’t you tell me your favorite part of the shower.