"Home" themed Bridal Shower for Ashley
My sweet cousin Ashley is getting married in just a few weeks over Labor Day Weekend. I'm serving as her matron of honor (for the first time ever). Her wedding has given me the chance to wear a lot of different hats, most recently as the host of her bridal shower!
The wedding's overall story is all about home: how Ashley and her fiancee Justin are home to each other, how their hometown has been so a part of their relationship, as their friends and family also represent home and being there for one another.
So with this in mind, for Ashley's Bridal Shower, I planned a few details that would resonate with that feeling, work tonally with the wedding, and above all - celebrate Ashley. Here are a few of the special details we had for Ashley's day.
As we all know, there can be so much printed paper for a wedding like the save the dates, invitations, rehearsal dinner invites, etc. You can get overwhelmed with all the mailing, stuffing, and addressing of it all.
To do something a little different, for Ashley, I designed this digital invitation. I was able to send it for free, track responses, and send messages all though Paperless Post.
TIP- Where to send pretty and free digital invitations: If you've never heard of Paperless Post, I highly recommend it for situations like this where you want a beautiful invitation but don't necessarily want to spend on postage, assembly, etc.
Welcoming the Bride & her guests
When guests arrived, they were treated to one of two custom favors: a wine glass I personalized with their name in custom cut cursive vinyl. This is one of my favorite type of favors - one that has a practical application! Guests were able to find their name and fill their glass with punch as soon as they arrived.
TIP - How Personalized Glasses Can Make Your Party More Awesome: Customizing drink glasses, no matter how you do it can have a lot of benefits for your guests and you as the host. Not only were guests able to easily keep track of which cup was theirs, it was also an easy way for everyone to know each other's names without having the awkwardness of wearing a name tag or trying to remember everyone!
Two things Ashley loves are Instagram photos (especially of her with friends and family) and the world of teeth! (She just started Dental Assisting school this week).
I hired my dear friend Randi Smith with Sugar Euphoria to create a cake covered in edible Instagram photos. I made sure to include a few great ones from the wedding planning process, like the day we picked out the bridesmaids dresses. It originally didn't have all of these flowers on it! I'm relieved to share that I became a DIY cake decorator when part of the cake got accidentally smushed!
TIP - How to Save a Smushed Cake: Mess up your cake or frosting? I fixed the above cake with one bouquet of flowers from the grocery store. Cut each stem close to the bloom, then use a small paring knife to knock little stem-sized holes in the cake. Place cut stems in there and alternate colors - you'll have covered up the mess-up with gorgeousness in no time.
For another treat to pair with the cake, I created these custom cupcake toppers that say "for your sweet tooth." They were also an easy DIY.
TIP - How to Personalize a Dessert on a Budget & Time Crunch: Need to personalize a celebration on a budget? These mini-cupcakes were a great steal at BJ's Wholesale for $5. You can create toppers featuring something special using ordinary white cardstock printed on with your home printer (that's what these are!). Just print double what you need, so you have them double-sided, and assemble with scotch tape and kitchen toothpicks.
A Love Story Tablescape
I haven't shared them online yet, but Ashley and Justin's save the dates were wooden bookmarks. I built from this idea and created a tablescape around the idea of the books, using some of the colors (like blue) from the wedding.
TIP - How to DIY Custom Giant Books: The big prop books you see here were a DIY from Michael's. I bought those big fake books with the crazy designs on them, then just taped and spray painted them to the color I wanted. I use them all the time for Greatest Story Weddings events and shows.
Some of my favorite touches here included a custom bouquet by the very talented Ashlee Little and Simply Elegant Floral Designs and this chalkboard sign I hand-lettered for Ashley and Justin. I researched all the big dates in their relationship and made this keepsake sign for shower.
I'm not big on any kind of shower games, but I love when a party reflects the person and invites us into his/her favorite things.
For Ashley's shower, I planned two activities: a surprise guestbook reading and a "decorate your own ring dish" station.
For the guestbook, I knew Ashley loves quotes about love. I asked all the guests in the guestbook to share their favorite advice, including how they'd describe both "love" and Ashley herself in just one word. What they didn't know? I then asked them to read a guestbook entry aloud as Ashley opened her gifts!
The activity of hearing words of wisdom and some funny entries that made us all smile kept us all in the moment as Ashley opened presents for her and Justin. Here's my grandmother, Marilyn, reading one of the entries.
For the ring dish station, I knew Ashley loves to craft and create. I needed an activity that wasn't too messy, expensive, or complicated. I settled on decorate a ring dish station and will be sharing how to host your own on the blog soon. This is a great thing to do for any wedding related event and was super fun for everyone that felt like getting crafty!
In the end, the shower was a wonderful afternoon for one wonderful bride-to-be!
Many thanks to our friends who helped make this such a special event.
Venue: The Bride's Aunt's home | Invitations, Signage, Favors + Overall Event Design: Greatest Story Weddings | Photography (Marilyn and the last 3 photographs): Morgan Sheetz for Monarch Memories | Floral Centerpiece: Ashlee Little for Simply Elegant Floral Design | Cake: Randi Smith for Sugar Euphoria | Additional Photography: Annie Franceschi