And so it is finished. The Frenchy French Bridal Shower has finally come and gone. I. Am. Exhausted.
Below is the overall, blow by blow of my grocery lists and projects created for the event.
It was one of the more expensive events I’ve hosted in a very long time but like I’ve referenced in past posts, I chose to shoulder the planning and costs myself due to extenuating circumstances. But I will reemphasize that if you are able, do not be a mautyr and think you need to do the same. Ask for help! It makes things so much more enjoyable. Never the less, the event was a huge success and we received rave revues!
Thinking of planning your own Wine themed bridal shower? Take a gander below and be amazed by the details.
45 Invites Sent Out all over the country (check them out here and in #1 above)
20 Women who actually showed
26 favors bought
20 spirited away as they left
6 hours spent at the shower for prep, hosting and clean up
endless hours of planning. endless.
invitations cost me about $50-60 to have printed. this was due to the multiple parts and fancy envelope labels. but they came out great.
6 Bottles of wine (*A dark spicy red blend, *A standard merlot, *A light sweet chambourcin from a local winery, *A dry chardonnay, *A light pinot grigio, *A sweet Apple Wine from a local winery) with 4 more on standby
2 Giant Beverage Dispensers of Lemon Water and Cucumber Water (1/2 a cucumber sliced, 3 lemons sliced)
3 Containers of fresh Strawberries (sliced)
3 red apples (sliced into 1/8’s) with 2 extra for backup
3 pears (sliced into 1/8’s) with 2 extra for backup
1 large bunch of dark seedless grapes (break into smaller bunches but try to keep them in groups. think Cesar and slave girls.)
1 Brick of Bittersweet Chocolate (chopped)
1 Brick of Dark Chocolate (chopped)
2 plates of Blackberry Goat Cheese Bruschetinni (ingredients listed below. recipe here.)
2 long French Baguettes (sliced into 1/2 inch pieces. buy the baguettes. it’s cheaper to buy giant baguettes and slice then buy the pre-sliced. like $3 cheaper a loaf.) 2 more loafs for backup
1 jar of Blackberry Preserves (my husband explained the difference between ‘preserves’ and ‘jam’ are the seeds. seeds are good in this case. go with the preserves.)
1 container of standard Goat Cheese (don’t splurge. no one will notice. just look for the tubes in the cheese department.) with one extra container for backup
1 Container of fresh Blackberries (whole)
**The cheeses listed below were all cut during my prep work the night before and even the day of. The soft cheeses should not be cut until they are just ready to be served. The others should be done earlier to make the line go faster and the plates look cleaner as guests finger everything.**
2 blocks of Dubliner Cheddar (by definition it’s not French but you have to throw some guests a bone and get something not so smelly.)
2 blocks of Gouda (go with a light, not so smelly gouda. again, for those guests intimidated by the smelly.)
2 blocks of a Canadian Cheddar (again a bone thrown to the non-smelly crowd.)
1 block of Gorgonzola (go full on smelly. people who love gorgonzola freakin love the smell.)
2 wedges of French Brie (think super soft, super smelly and super frenchy. go big.)
2 wedges of Triple Cream Cow Cheese (fully smelly but oh so good.)
2 blocks of Drunken Goat Cheese (this was a french goat cheese I found on sale. I tried some and the taste was mild enough I knew it wouldn’t offend too much.)
1 small container of a variety of olives from Whole Food Market
1 small creme brulee cheesecake with a second on standby (I know a guy. I don’t know if you know a guy…but you should start finding cheesecake people to know. otherwise I would never invest in cheesecake for an event. let alone two cheesecakes! the second went home to my family to reward them for putting up with the shower project clutter for weeks on end.)
1 box of frozen (Yes! FROZEN!) creme puffs (80 for 6.99 at Sam’s. amazing. and the vanilla filling went great with the darker wines.)
3 boxes of crackers in a variety of shapes, seasonings etc (don’t overthink it. nobody else will.)
2 variety packs of Italian meats – prosciutto, dry genoa salami, capocollo (I bought these about a week prior at Sam’s for about $9.99 each. totally worth it and they stay fresh for about a month in your fridge.)
the total cost of the food was approximately $300. (I don’t want to talk about it.)
2 white balloons to alert visitors (I had planned on one giant white balloon but ofcourse they didn’t have any come the big day. also, I was advised by the balloon people that on hot days, balloons will explode. so put them out about 15 minutes prior to the party.)
1 free standing chalkboard sign for the entryway (see it here and in #4 above)
1 decopage recipe card box for the Bride to Be’s new recipe collection (see it here as well.)
1 “Yay!” banner created by yours truly (the whole banner cost about$15 to create but is something I can reuse for other events. a full tutorial to follow shortly.)
1 bouquet of flowers (arranged and selected by me. It’s so much cheaper to do flowers yourself! pick out 2 groups of pretty filler flowers on the cheap and add in a couple colorful buds with big impact. think hydrangea or lillies.)
1 roll of kraft paper ($2.99 for a huge roll. atfirst the plan was to make individual signs for each cheese, wine, fruit etc. eventually I realized that was way too labor intensive. I spread the kraft roll over the table and doodled around each bottle of wine a brief description of its flavor profile. I then put arrows and squiglies to foods and tasters that would compliment each of the wines. this was so much easier then signs and gave the “fancy cheese tasting” a bit of casual flair.)
a slew of small and large white serving platters (I hate mixing up colors for serving trays. stay all one color or do a variety of glass serving wear when doing different foods. consistency ties the whole place together.)
a Mr. & Mrs. banner for the cake (found this on sale at Michaels last year. perfect for these kinds of occasions.)
small, clear plastic cups
small, clear plastic plates
clear plastic silverware
tiny appetizer forks (a gift from my mother which I still am amazed with and feel like a giant when using)
a variety of pretty napkins (people look at napkins. people do not give a crap about fancy plates or silverware. people love napkins. I stash napkins away as I find them onsale at fancy kitchen stores. hoarder? …maybe.)
a blue, wooden crate with handles to hold the favors (this was actually purchased for my new office but was pulling double duty.)
all in all about $100 on decor and party supplies.
the favors were cookie cutters in shapes related to the couple (guitars, hearts, dog bones etc. i printed and cut individual “Thank You for Coming” tags and tied them to the cutters with thin lavender colored ribbon. see #2 in the collage above.)
the game prizes were a mix of wine tote bags with sassy sayings like “drinks well with others,” seasoned olive oils and frenchy notecard sets
all together I spent…$16 on game prizes and $20 on favors for the entire crowd
Honeymoon Babies – I requested the Bride and Groom send me head shots of themselves. I then edited and cropped the photos to fit on a 4×6 card (but specifically I needed the faces the same size and the ears lined up). I then evenly cut the 4×6 photos into 4 strips (horizontally). I bullied guests into taking the strips of the couples’ faces and creating a composite of what they believed their future child would look like. Some of the faces were hilarious. I had them sign the back and the Bride chose her favorites. The two favorites won prizes!
He Said/She Said – I created a list of 20 questions and sent them to both the Bride and the Groom. I requested that they not share their answers before sending them back to me. I then chose thirteen of the questions that had the funnies and cutest answers. I created a game sheet with mustaches on the left for the Groom and bows on the right for the Bride. The guests had to go through the list of questions and answers and guess who answered what. The trick was to make the answers say “He/She” or “Eric/Suzan”. Whoever had the most answers correct won another prize! (see #5 in the collage above)
Bridal Bingo – 5×7 bingo cards designed by me (purchase here). Each guest filled in the empty squares with what they believed the bride had been gifted. As the gifts were opened the guests marked off their boxes until they could yell “Bingo!” I had three prizes for this game so as to keep people involved and excited. Some were so competitive they kept playing long after the prizes were gone. (see #5 in the collage above)
printing the games cost about $10. easy.
The party was a huge success. The Bride and her family had a great time. The friends drank, laughed and ate some great food.
I received a huge amount of compliments on the overall event and people were still buzzing about the Blackberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetini the next day (check out the super easy recipe here). The Bride’s Facebook page was filled with comments about the shower and how much everyone enjoyed eachother (and the food).
Overall, I’m not sure there is much I would have changed. Everyone had a great time but more importantly, the Bride was happy.
And that’s all you really want from any shower.
SPOILER ALERT: I have recently promised to host another shower at the end of next month so expect many new adventures to follow. The event brainstorming has already begun but will not be including (too much) wine due to the shower being in honor of one of my favorite Mommies-to-Be!