Thursday, August 20, 2009

A "Good Advice" Bridal Shower

Better Homes & Garden had an unique bridal shower idea-a "good advice" bridal shower. While giving advice to the bride for a happy marriage is a common idea, this gives this common theme a new take. In the shower invites, tuck a blank card inside and tell each guest to write down a bit of wisdom to go with her gift. Tell the bride to read aloud the advice card before the bride opens the present. At the end gather the advice cards from each guest and place them in an album along with photos from the bridal shower to create a keepsake the bride will always cherish.

Another take: have the guests (or the bride) guess what the gift is before the bride opens it. Sometimes the advice given (say "never go to bed angry") can make for interesting gifts.

Giving the bride the practical gift paired with the sentimental advice can be tricky. Here a few creative ideas BH&G gives us to get you started:

Advice: Celebrate every day.
Gift: Champagne flutes or a beautiful cake plate.

Advice: Take turns cooking for each other.
Gift: Favorite cookbook and kitchen tools.

Advice: Experience new things.
Gift: Travel accessories.

Some others:

Advice: A happy wife equals a happy life.

Gift: Spa gift certificate, bath & body products

Advice: "Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine - age 5

Gift: Cooking and baking pans

Advice: Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
Gift: Comedy DVD

Of course BH&G takes the theme to an extreme. Besides the gifts, they suggest naming and serving food with the same theme. Think a clever quote to a toothpick topper on the cupcakes, Sage (Advice) Biscuits,and "Confucius Says" Noodle Salad recipe. And for favors: fortune cookies of course!

DIY: French Wedding Favor or Dessert

(Image via ParisianEvents)
Having a French, Parisian, or Marie Antoinette bridal shower? Then consider serving these delightful treats-French meringue hearts. The recipe can be found at Parisian Events.These would be great for dessert, as part of a candy buffet, or to serve as favors and quite frankly just look absolutely amazing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Giveaways-Link Love

Other related contests on the web:

The 818 is giving away a $75 gift certificate to Fabulous Stationery. We love their selection of notes and cards.

Bridal Shower Activity: Decorating Wine Glasses

Looking for something to do at the bridal shower other than our fabulous shower games-why not decorate wine glasses? This would be a great activity to do at a stock the bar shower but would also be fun for most bridal showers and bachelorette parties.

Wine and Designs offers kits that include Wine Glasses, Permanent Glass Paints, Brushes, Stencil ideas, and Instructions for completing your masterpieces.

Look at Create for Less for unique rub on transfers to put on the glasses. Rub-ons are the easiest for a party as they don't make a mess and even the unskilled can use them. Also buy extra glass paint, brushes, and stencils.

Try etching monograms or other designs. Michaels has a great project where they show you how to easily etch glasses. It's fairly simple: position vinyl letter sticker and tape on the glass. (The glass will not etch where the vinyl is positioned.) Paint the etching cream onto the glass in a smooth layer. Allow it to set for as long as the manufacturer recommends. Rinse the etching cream off the glass with warm water in a stainless steel sink or bowl.

Each guest can take home their wine glass or give them all to the bride so the bride now has an excellent collection for her bar.

(Thanks to Elizabeth Anne Designs for the inspiration for this post.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

DIY Doily Bridal Shower Invitation

Wow-take a look at this bridal shower invite. We never would have thought of using a doily in this manner (to make a bridal gown) yet the whole DIY project is both easy to do and looks great.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bridal Party FAQ: Does a pregnant bridesmaid have to step down?

Q: I just found out that I'm pregnant and at the time of the wedding I'll be 7 months pregnant. What should I do? Should I step down or continue to be a bridesmaid?

A: Congrats on being pregnant! Just because you're pregnant does not mean that you cannot be a bridesmaid. Some considerations:

-Will you be able to travel to the wedding? Depending on where the wedding is, you might be unable to fly or might feel uncomfortable taking a 12 hour drive when you're eight months pregnant. You might want to ask your doctor about future travel arrangements.

-The actual ceremony can be concern too. Will you be standing for an hour long ceremony or can you ask the bride to provide a chair for you?

-Does the dress concern you? Many bridesmaid styles are available in maternity sizes so it should not be too difficult to find a dress that fits you.

-Does the bride want you to continue to be in the bridal party? Most brides will but some brides feel uncomfortable having a heavily pregnant bridesmaid in photos or at the wedding. If you think the bride cares about silly matters like this, then give the bride a chance to have you back down.

Bridal Shower Brunch: Drink Bars

(Image via YumSugar)
Just because you're having a bridal shower brunch doesn't mean that the drinks have to take a backseat-instead organize the drinks into a drink bar where guests can choose from a wide range of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eco-friendly DIY Favors

Bellenza has a great article about eco-friendly DIY favors. Some of the ideas:
  • turning old light bulbs into Christmas ornaments
  • using wine corks to make coasters
  • filling reusable boxes with candies and other trinkets
Every idea seems easy to do and would undoubtedly be loved your bridal shower guests.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Maid of Honor: Her Duties in Detail

Curious as to what the Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor does at a wedding?

  • The Maid of Honor (MOH) typically plans (and pays for) the entire bridal shower with the help from the other bridesmaids.
  • The MOH should attend all other bridal showers given for the bride.

Bachelorette Party
The MOH, along with the bridesmaids, plans for and pays for the bride at the bachelorette party.

Other Pre-Wedding Parties
  • The MOH attends the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The MOH may give her toast at the rehearsal dinner instead of the wedding if the bride desires.
  • The MOH should attend any and all engagement parties.

Other Pre-Wedding Duties
  • Go wedding gown shopping and give input as to the style, if it looks okay, what type of bustle the bride should have, etc.
  • Assist the bride with picking out the bridesmaid dresses, if she lets you.
  • Buy a MOH dress along with the rest of the bridesmaids and the rest of the ensemble-shoes, jewelry, handbag, etc.
  • Assist the bride in putting together favors for the wedding, programs, decorations, etc.
  • Help the bride in addressing wedding invitations if you have good penmanship.
  • Stay on top of the other bridesmaids-make sure they buy their bridesmaid gown, help out, etc.
Day of Duties
  • Help the bride get dressed and ready. This is probably one of the biggest duties of a MOH. Help her put on her dress, do her makeup, and give her drinks and food.
  • Help out the ushers by seating guests.
  • Hand out programs at the ceremony or bubbles, confetti, rice, or other props afterwards.
  • Walk down the aisle in the procession, typically before the flower girl, and stand at the altar/stage along with the other attendants.
  • Stand in the receiving line, if requested by the bride.
  • Run last-minute errands if needed. On the day of the wedding, help with confirming catering and flower delivery times, meet and greet the ceremony officiant, satisfying last minute cravings, and seeing to it that everything is going smoothly.
  • Be a second host at the reception; see that the guestbook is signed and that guests are dancing.
  • Help the bride when she has to use the bathroom-typically bridal gowns are difficult to maneuver in small spaces.
  • Give a toast at the reception.
The checklist is a starting off point. Many brides are different. Some will ask you to go to food tastings and help them register-others don't want a bridal shower, bachelorette party, and just want you to show up at the wedding.

Bachelorette Party Planning Checklist

Excited but nervous about planning the bachelorette party? Have no fear-our checklist will keep you on track and help the party go smoothly.

3+ Months Before

  • Decide what type of bachelorette party the bride wants. Completely X-rated? A weekend at the Bellagio in Vegas? A day at the Spa at Four Seasons? A lingerie shower in the bridesmaid's living room?
  • Set the date-usually bachelorette parties are held on a weekend one to two weeks before the wedding. Keep in mind though that destination bachelorette parties are often held earlier (to ease the financial pain for most guests) and likewise if lots of the guests are from out-of-town then the party might have to be the day before the wedding.
  • Create the guest list. Bridal party gets invited as do other close friends of the bride. Don't invite those who aren't invited to the wedding.

2 Months Before

  • Start seeing if there's any conflicts with the party date. Easiest way-send e-mails or make phone calls. During wedding season, weekend dates book up so expect that many guests will say they have another wedding and other parties to go to.
  • Start putting together a list of possible party games-keep it a surprise for the bride.
  • Make reservations, order tickets, and start putting together all of the lodging and party transportation details.

1 Month Before

  • Send invitations. Emailing and calling are acceptable too. Make sure your invitation lets guests know how much they will be paying for the party.
  • Put together an itinerary of the night's festivities. Example, manicures at 5, followed by dinner at Buddakan, then drinks at Swanky Bubbles.
  • Figure out transportation. Drinking and driving are a no-no. Decide who will be the designated driver or arrange for a limo or taxicabs to transport the group around.

1 Week Before

  • Confirm all arrangements-all RSVPS, transportation, entertainment.
  • Pick up the accessories like the veil or tiara or the other props your group wants.
  • Finalize the list of the games and activities throughout the night.

1 Day Before

  • Remind guests of the meeting places and times.
  • Get ready to have fun.
Keep in mind-this checklist is a starting off point.
  • If you're planning on a weekend (or week) in Napa Valley or Cancun, then allot for more planning time to allow everyone to save up money, take vacation time from work, etc.
  • In certain cities, allow extra time for reservations. Even two months ahead of the date might not be enough time to get a table for 12 on a Saturday night.
  • Same with transportation arrangements. Limos and party buses fill up quickly during prom and wedding season.
  • Before planning, it's a good idea to get an idea of how much people are willing to spend. Many potential guests might only be assuming that the night will be just dinner-or only have the funds to pay for a nice dinner. Before doing all the planning, ask the guests what they expect or take your cue from your group's last bachelorette parties.
  • Get money ahead of time. Trying to get cash that night is hectic plus some guests won't have all of the money.

DIY: Bridal Shower Banner

Martha Stewart has a great FREE DIY template to make hanging banners. Designed for "Just Married" signs, the template works well for banners for bridal showers. The template has the old-fashioned look of being typed by vintage typewriter keys. Hang ones at the shower that say "Congrats Michelle" or "Sarah's Bridal Shower." To hang weave a 1/4-inch ribbon throughout. You can also use the template for Alphabet Showers-sprinkle the letters throughout.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

FREE: Bridal Shower Bingo

Snazzle Craft has a great printable available for FREE: Bridal Shower Bingo Cards. Bridal Shower Bingo is probably the most common bridal shower game because it's easy, fun, and gets guests involved in the gift-opening.

How to Play:
Every guest writes in what gifts they think the bride will receive. They can be specific or fairly general Ex. Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffee Maker or coffee-maker Then when the bride is opening her gifts, the guests cross off the ones that she received to make Bingo. Everytime a guest gets Bingo, they get a prize.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bachelorette Party-French Lingerie Brunch

What an exciting bachelorette party. We love the idea of lingerie showers and lingerie bachelorette parties. Here's the happy bride proudly standing by all the goodies she got at the shower. Displaying them like this is a great idea-it works for lingerie showers and baby showers too!
Invites-It definitely sets the tone for the entire event. I'm sure the guests were super excited about it after seeing these.
Favors- little hankies by Design Design-they were packages of 10 pretty tissues that say "I See London, I See France, I Travel the World in Frilly Underpants!" How cute. (The host found them at Hobby Lobby stores.)
The Food-It looks delicious and had a French theme. The menu:
  • Mimosas, of course!
  • Croissants, danishes, and muffins from the local Memphis bakery: La Baguette
  • Mini Quiches
  • Fruit and a simple fruit dip
  • Petit Fours
  • Orange Pecan French Toast Casserole

Decorations-A bust decorated with lingerie. Cute decoration or a nice way to display the frilly gifts.

A fun game they played-When the bride opens up each lingerie gift, all of the party attendees have to give the item a name. They then wrote tags with the names down and attached to each outfit with ribbon. On the bride's honeymoon, the groom gets to pick out her outfit each night based on the name alone. Some are cute, silly, sexy, and everybody gets a good laugh!

The idea of a brunch for a bachelorette party is also a great one. It's a nice alternative if you're looking for something to do thats not alcohol-filled and it can be a great way to start off a day of partying.

The rest of the bachelorette party can be found at Keeping up with the Jones's. Thanks so much Kendall for allowing us to feature it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flower Girl: Ella Rae Wahlberg's Affordable Dress

(Image via Alfred Angelo)
Actor Mark Wahlberg's adorable daughter walked down the aisle in a surprisingly affordable flower girl outfit. Turns out Ella wore a satin and tulle flower girl dress by Alfred Angelo with a lavender sash to match the rest of the wedding decor. The sash is actually available in 55 colors and the dress comes in white and ivory. Best of all its reasonably priced since its from Alfred Angelo. Check out the pictures of Ella Rae Wahlberg here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

DIY: Bridal Shower Photo Invitation

Take a look at this DIY contest finalist over at The Bride's Cafe. An adorable photo of the bride holding an umbrella with the groom next to her holding a sign that states "please join us for a bridal shower honoring" with a finger pointed at the bride. The photo is too cute and Hillary then turned around and put the photo, along with details, on a postcard using Snapfish. The end result-an original bridal shower invite that came out to be $30 for 35 of them.

Bridal Shower Theme: Baseball Shower

(Image via Learn how to make the cake here!)

We were so inspired by our Real Bridal Shower of the week that we decided to do a post on how to throw a baseball themed shower. Not only is this a great idea for a hard-core baseball fan but its also a great theme for co-ed showers.


Take a look at Elizabeth's vow renewal. With details like vintage Braves caps as decor, a Smoltz jersey for her guest book, a baseball diamond seating chart, and dessert being ice cream sundaes served out of mini Braves helmets, this party was for a baseball fan. To top it off, the party was at the 755 Club at Turner Field and featured a tour of the stadium.


A DIY project. A contributor to Elizabeth Anne Designs made rehearsal dinner invitations that looked like baseball tickets. We loved them plus they would set the tone for the entire shower.

-Keep it basebally. Think hot dogs, soft pretzels with mustard and cheese, nachos & cheese, and movie-style popcorn.
-Try the baseball shaped cookies available for every MLB team at Cooperstown Cookie Company.
-Buy your team's M&M's at M&M's. You can get your team's logo and colors.

-Take a look at this incredible cake created by using baseball bats cut to become pillars between the tiers with fondant designed to look like baseballs.
-Top off the culinary masterpiece with a custom baseball cake topper with the bride with baseball bat & groom pitching from Etsy seller EnchantedYou54449. For a slightly cheaper cake topper try JW Cake Tops where you can a bride and groom holding sports pennants of your team.


-Make custom baseball cards with pictures of the happy couple and their "stats." Try My Trading Cards.
-Try beer mugs filled with peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
-Create custom baseballs with the couple's name at Mini Sports Balls.

-Have guests sign a base plate, a jersey, a mitt, or a bat.


Last but not least is where to have this incredible shower. The MLB stadiums all have areas where weddings and other special events can take place. For example at Citizens Bank Park, you can rent out The Diamond Club, Hall of Fame Club, Left Field Plaza, Harry the K's, Ashburn Alley, Bull's BBQ, and Phillies Clubhouse with a variety of menu options and add-ons available like behind the scene tours and appearances by Phanatic.

You can also try minor league stadiums and colleges for rooms and facilities in their parks. Or host the shower at a local park by a baseball diamond.

Hopefully this gives you a great starting-off point for a fantastic shower. Feel free to add your tips below.

Real Bridal Shower: Mer's Baseball Bridal Shower

Ah, we are so excited to have our FIRST Real Bridal Shower. And what a cool theme it is. For this huge Red Sox fan, her twin sister (also her maid of honor) decided to throw her a baseball themed bridal shower. And judging by the photos, it looks like it was a great time. We think the baseball cakes above are a nice touch.

The happy couple showing off their MLB tumblers. Is this a rival marriage-meaning she's a Red Sox fan and he's a Yankees fan?
Even the drinks kept up the baseball theme. Love the cooler!
Possibly the highlight of the party-the cupcakes! These look too cute to eat. I can't believe the detail given to them-look at the red socks.

Thanks so much Mer for sharing your photos and your shower. It looked like so much fun.

We are loving this theme, even though we are Phillies fans. World Series 2008! Look for another post on how to do a baseball themed bridal shower for your bride.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bridal Shower Theme: Mexican Bridal Shower

Tina from Carrots N Cake went to her sister's Mexican themed bridal shower over the weekend and from the photos it looks like it was a blast. Take a look.

Want to do it yourself? Here's a few of the things we loved:
  • the beverage bar featuring sangria, margaritas, beer, lemonade, iced coffee, and water.
  • the decor-pinatas, sombreros-think fiesta meets backyard chic.
  • the favors-a “frosty” margarita glass with a nip of tequila, a lime, a couple of candies, and customized margarita mix.
  • the food was Mexican inspired-think make your own taco bar, taco salad.
  • Super creative idea-Each of the bride's college friends and her bridesmaids decorated a wine bottle for the couple to drink together at a significant event during their married life. For instance, the first Christmas they spend together, their first anniversary, and when they buy their first home. What a great idea!
It looks like a great time. I'm sure the bride loved it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monogram Your Food

If you're anything like us, you love monograms-and monograms are natural decorations for bridal showers. Well just when we began to think that there was nowhere else to put a monogram (besides the top of a cake) we stumbled across Rachael Ray. Lo and behold, this maven has come up with some creative ways to add the monogram to dinner.

Her ideas include:
  • brushing corn syrup onto a pear in the shape of a letter and pressing granulated sugar on top
  • placing a letter stencil on a brownie square and dust with confectioners' sugar
  • drawing the initial with chocolate syrup on the plate
  • cutting toasted bread with a letter cookie cutter.
Best of all, each of these ideas seems super easy to do. You don't have to be Julia Childs to do each of them.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bridal Shower Game: She Says, He Says

Michelle from Made Sweet has a great take on a bridal shower game. The game-guessing if the quotes on the page were said by the bride or groom. Sure to start lots of stories and provide plenty of laughs, the game is a great way to get the guests talking. Although we do have to admit that one of the best things about Michelle's game was the too cute way she designed the game sheets-just look at the silhouette faces for the answers. And Michelle even made cute pencils to go along with it. Take a look.

Wearing your bridesmaid dress again...

Ah, the legendary bridesmaid dress. Now, it seems as though every bride loves to tell us-"oh don't worry. You can definitely wear it again. The $400 will completely seem worth it after the 3rd wedding." And as nice as the dress is, how many times are we going to wear that chiffon full-length dress in Jade. Chances are-zero!

And of course this problem is not limited to bridesmaids-the brides often have a difficult time deciding what to do with their once beloved gown. Sherry from Young House Love decided to forgo popular advice and came up with a solution-dying her wedding gown black. You can read all about her adventure here.

After reading her story, dying a bridesmaid gown could be a good idea. Our advice:
  • Don't try it on a gown that you really want to wear again. If the dress gets ruined, chances are there's no way of salvaging it.
  • Read up on dying at All about hand dyeing and Rit Dye.
  • All the online advice says not to try to dye a polyester dress.
Consider a professional dying service like DyePro Services.The prices start from $45 to dye an unlined dress while lined dresses start at $75. Others include Spectrum.

Our warning-we are not legally liable for any damage that results to our dress. Attempt and DO at your own risk.

We just might try it. After all, we weren't going to wear this dress ever again anyway.