What can I tell you about my evening cocktail party bridal shower? It was fabulous. Gorgeous. It was everything I dreamed it would be. BUT LET’S BE REAL IT WAS A SHIT TON OF WORK. This is definitely another situation in which I wish I could have hired a planner. YES LADIES you can hire a planner for your shower! I had the vision from the beginning. I designed the mood board, had all of the vendors in my back pockets (obvs) and knew what had to be done. The only problem was that I insisted on doing it all myself.
My mother and mother-in-law were wonderful. Maria, my mother handled the gifts, finding the caterer and working the menu. She pulled together so much on the day-of that I would not have even thought of! And Diane, my mother-in-law, totally scored when she found all of the cacti and aloe plants for a STEAL. We even had a fun summer day transplanting them all together in her back yard. She was such a saint caring for those babies for months before!
Jen and Jessica, my two maid’s were also rock stars, of course. Jen lives in Florida and Jessica up here, so we worked together to plan things as much as possible. Everyone really pulled together the week of and the day of, including my father and Michael! The whole evening went off without a hitch and it was truly a beautiful evening.
The Design and Decor
A friend of mine works at Artisan Kitchens and Bath, plus, I went to another fundraiser there in the Culinary Loft upstairs so I had seen the space before. I knew the Culinary Loft would provide the perfect vibes for my evening cocktail party bridal shower. What I loved the most was the open space and the whole vibe of it. The staff were incredibly accommodating and allowed us to do pretty much anything we hoped for. We could bring our own bar and drinks, desserts and choice of caterer. Sam was attentive, helpful and excited for our event!
Knowing that our wedding was going to be in Mexico, I wanted to tie that into the design and decor. I was going for a glam, evening sort of fiesta. Here was the mood board I created!
The Local Dream Team
My vendors, though! They really worked with me to pull together the entire look. From the start, Alyson at Rust Belt Love made the cutest custom invitations that really set the tone for the evening cocktail style bridal shower I wanted. All I told her was that I wanted it to feel like the aftermath of an epic party with pinatas and disco balls. I used the invite design as a template to create signage throughout the event for food, games, drinks and what not. Melissa at Fit N Fresh Catering was AH-MAY-ZING. Seriously. Michael didn’t even have a chance to try the tasting I brought home because I ate it all up! And the guests were talking about the organic, healthy but stupid delicious meal all night.
Bethany at B In A Bonnet was then able to pull in some of the inspiration to the signage! Erin at Fern Croft Floral was given free reign to create some gorgeous floral pieces for the space, including the most amazing center piece that dominated the center of the entire space! I particularly loved the florals because I felt that they brought another layer of elegance to the decor. Quaint Rentals brought over some furniture for our gifting area, which also served for a fabulous photo spot!
Other than that – the rest was all DIY’ed and brought in by us! The banners, table coverings, favors, desserts – all thanks to my amazing family and friends!
Games and Favors
Michael’s cousin’s bridal shower was right before mine, so it was cool to see how we both went for an evening cocktail party bridal shower style event as opposed to an afternoon brunch thing! Inspired by Megan’s mom Dawn, we had each of the guests select a number when they arrived. This number was how we selected the winners of the prizes! The numbers were attached to cards which the favors were put into. For favors, we donated to the American Heart Association to honor Michael’s late father, Mike.
We pulled the numbers as we opened gifts! Guests got to choose from the gifts in baskets. They also got to take home the cacti and aloe plants! In lieu of games (because some of them are just so old school), we had a few activities for our guests. We printed mad libs and guest-the-dress templates. That was fitting, because, of course, I make dresses! Of course it’s not a fiesta without a pinata!
My mother also created this awesome scrap booking station. I know what you’re thinking, scrap booking?! BUT – it’s one of my favorite things from the shower. All of the guests got to decorate their own page in our “Family Advice Book.” They are so loving and funny and memorable. I’ll treasure it forever. Plus – it gave the guests something else to do to occupy themselves!
Lastly, and probably the most exciting element of the shower for our guests – was the photo booth!! Boothtastic by Ayres brought an incredible photo booth that my guests LOVED. I highly recommend some sort of photo situation, whether it’s a pro set up or a DIY selfie booth. Another fun element you can include in your events is Memory Fox digital guest books!
To end with some #realtalk, I stressed myself out to the max with this event. I took on a lot and handled almost all of the planning. I know that it may have hurt my mother, Diane and my friends – but all of the stress imposed on me by my position in this industry got to me. Lots of “wow, I can’t wait to see your dress,” and “ooh, your wedding is going to be insane,” started popping up.
My friends had to take my phone away from me because I started ‘gramming the details of the shower. They promptly replaced it with a Paloma and sent me on my way. So I’d like to share this with anyone out there struggling to give up control over the wedding details. It’s your day, yes, but other people are there for you and want to help. All you need to do is communicate with them your exact hopes and dreams and try your best to let go. It always works out in the end!
And hiring a professional photographer for your shower is not a bad idea. 😉 The photos of my family and friends are pretty bangin’, aren’t they?! Thanks, Ayres Photography!
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