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.
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.)
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 “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!
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Since I have been pain stakingly researching wine pairings and wine tasting protocol in preparation for the Frenchy French Bridal Shower, I thought this weeks theme could only be A Wine Tasting Party: Pinterest Style.
As always, all these links have been followed up on by moi.
The big day is quickly approaching. Sunday I will either realize my final vision for the Vintage Floral French Bridal Shower or…screw everything up.
Check out my previous blog about the invitation suite I created for the event here. Or just go on and purchase your own here on my Etsy page.
Everything has gone according to plan except for the location. As mentioned previously, we have recently moved. After working my ass off to prep our house for the real estate maket, it sold after the first showing. So the location had to be changed. The only place available was the Bride’s mother’s home. Very nice home but definitely not the open concept party house that was our bright townhouse.
I’m still in love with The Plan. It’s pretty, fun and vintage. Exactly as she asked.
Food – Assortment of Meats, Cheeses, Fruits, Breads, Crackers, Olives and Chocolate
Desert – Creme Brulee Cheesecake (The Bride loves creme brûlée) and creme puffs drizzled with dark chocolate
Drinks – Lavender Infused Iced Water, Iced Tea, Lemonade/Pink Lemonade, A selection of White and Red wines, PLUS a couple bubbly champagnes
Games – He Says/She Says Couple Game, Bridal Gift Bingo, Baby Face Game, Advice for the Couple, PLUS Recipe Cards to be collected for the Bride
Favors – Cookie cutters in shapes that reference the couple
Game Prizes – Assorted olive oils, canvas wine totes, a wire ‘Paris’ key hanger (A total of 6 game prizes for a crowd of about 24)
Decor – Fresh flowers, A butcher paper table runner with wine info and tasting pairs (done by me the day of), ‘Yay!’ banner (done and ready, created by me), Chalkboard sign for the door (done and ready, designed by me), A ridiculously cute recipe card box (done and ready, fashioned by me) and a big white balloon anchored to a chalkboard arrow sign in the yard (chalkboard sign created by me for my own wedding)
So there it is. Wish me luck. I’m a pro at planning but it seems like this particular crowd is a little unpredictable…
I’ll update you next week along with exact amonts of food, booze and decor pics. But for now feast your eyes on these Frenchy French Bridal Shower preview pics:
Sign from Hobby Lobby, chalk art by me (not very good with chalk)
Ingredients to create a custom recipe card box for the Bride to Be:
Gloss ModPodge for Paper, Scissors, 2 sheets of 12×12 Scrapbook paper and an undecorated recipe card box.
It should be noted the Groom to Be loves himself a good stache.
As previously mentioned, I am planning my girlfriend’s bridal shower. The time is quickly approaching. We are now only a few weeks out and the invites have been sent!
Whew. Seriously. These invites were pain stakingly designed and constructed by yours truly. I tweaked and fretted over them until I was sure they were perfect.
Cute, right? I’m pretty proud of the overall set. Now remember, my bride’s theme for her wedding is Vintage French. Instead of going full on Eiffel Tower/Beret/Smelly Cheese FRENCH, I went for a subtle southern Provence feel. Wildflowers. Wafts of lavender perfume. Whispered romantic poems in warm evenings. Sigh.
That’s how I imagined it atleast.
The process ended up being a huge task in and of itself. Again, I was more than willing to do it and due to a newly discovered bought of ADD, I wanted to do it right, damnit.
And so the process went as follows. The end result was totally worth it. And the great thing is you look at the set and think, “Mmm. Fancy.” but not, “Whoa, bitch. Overkill on the smelly frenchy shit.”
1. Select envelopes. Most of the time I design 5×7″ invitations because I believe it’s easier on elderly family members (and me. my eyes are going.) to save them from squinting at little type on little invitations. In this case, I planned on designing address labels and needed the outside of the envelops to be relatively unfussy. SO! White 5×7″ envelopes it was! Easy. And not too bad on the finances.
2. Envelope Liners. I referenced envelope liners in Jilly’s Father’s Day Blog. This is by far the easiest way I have found to add a little flair to the inside of your envelopes without slitting your own wrists. Simply outline the size of your envelope on the scrapbook paper you have selected. Add about half an inch to the height and take off about 1/8 of an inch off the width of your liner. Slide into your envelope and tape the bottom of your liner just inside the envelope out of sight. Lick your envelope flap glue and press into your liner. Trim around the envelope flap. I did 50 of these in no time. *Just a note about liners, I have done this now in bulk with two different kinds of paper, standard thin scrapbooking paper and vellum paper. Surprisingly, I preferred the scrapbook paper. I don’t know why vellum is such a pain in the ass…but it is.*
3. Design or purchase your invitations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been designing an invitation for a bridesmaid who has forgotten all sorts of key information. So don’t forget: The Bride’s information, date, TIME(!!!), address, rsvp information, special directions and registry information. My bride made a comment after the fact that she prefers “Regrets Only” instead of “RSVP to”. Unfortunately for her they were already done and not being changed any more. I loved my invites as they were.
4. Recipe Cards. My bride had never heard of this tradition and so was super excited when I suggested it. This ofcourse added a couple more elements for my invite planning but because she was so excited I decided it was necessary. Design or purchase recipe cards no larger than 4×6″. I designed coordinating cards for my set. If you do not want to design or purchase a set that includes recipe cards, I have seen cute sets at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and even Target. Just look around and you would be amazed where these old school gems are hiding.
5. Recipe Card envelopes. I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell do my recipe cards need envelopes? Well, technically they don’t if your bride is a local girl and has no family anywhere else. My bride though has family all over the world and many of them will not be making it to the shower. Because of this, I purchased 4×6″ envelopes in an accent color and addressed them to myself. This is the absolute easiest way to encourage people to return the recipe card even if they can’t make the shower.
6. Recipe Card envelope belly bands. What…? Yes. Belly bands for envelopes. What has the world come to? I designed these because I figured they were the easiest way to keep the recipe card and envelopes together while including instructions that didn’t add another random piece of paper to the growing pile. To make these I simply designed 9″x1″ rectangles with instructions and decoration arranged in the absolute center. I then printed them on standard letter paper and cut. I wrapped them around my recipe card envelopes and taped the ends with clear tape at the back. No big deal.
7. Return Address Labels. I essentially used the same process of creating the belly bands for creating the return address labels. I placed my return address at the far right of an 8″x.75″ strip. The left of the label I filled with a witty saying and cute lavender bushels. I had them printed on full sheet white labels and cut. These are literally the last items to be applied when constructing your invitation suite. When you are absolutely sure you have everything placed in your envelopes the way you want, place your return address in the upper left hand corner of your envelope. Carefully wrap the rest of the label around the edge of the envelope and over the back flap. These do a great job at sealing your envelope flaps.
8. Address Labels. The hardest part of creating my address labels was getting all the addresses from my bride. The only reason I created them at all is because my handwriting has gone to shit since I was promoted at work. I have no idea why. I simply took one of my favorite frames and placed 8 to a page. I filled each with the guests’ information and printed on clear full page labels. Done.
9. Washi tape. Now because of your crazy awesome envelope liner, you will need a new way to seal your envelope for delivery. The perfect way to utilize the newest trends is to pick out a super cute washi tape from your local scrapbooking/craft store. I found mine for less than $2 at Michael’s. Rip off a bit and tape that flap shut. Don’t worry about creating the perfect cut ends to your tape. The effortless coolness of Washi tape is in the ripped ends.
Yes, I realize that was 9 steps. I also realize that is probably far more effort than you would like to put into an invitation BUT if you’re only job is the invitations then stop bitching and get to work. Slacker.
The set looks great in the end and hopefully with a little Yoda-like guidance from me, you will speed on through.
If you are interested in purchasing this Invitation suite, click here to be directed to my Etsy page. It should be noted, this particular set is different than the one on my site because it was designed custom for my friend.
Yesterday I posted a Pinterest of Interest blog citing a particular link I had stumbled across.
The blog post was a DIY recipe for creating your own scented bubbles. I loved it. It was so sweet and simple that it inspired me to add them to my Summer To Do. I am obsessed with the idea. And ofcourse the best way for me to present my favorite kiddos with these sweet presents, was to create my own packaging!
I decided to create Vintage labels for each fun flavor and add them to the first vintage bottles (suitable for bubbling ofcourse) I could find. I am still searching for those perfect bottles but I have had much better luck with those labels!
And so here they are, Downloadable Vintage Bubble Labels.