Friday, May 28, 2010

Cute Gift Idea: Panty Parfait

Image copyrighted-Weddingbee

Wow...what a cute gift idea for a bridal shower or bachelorette party.  We thought it was the cutest thing ever! Ladies, introducing the ....panty parfait!

Mrs. Cheeseburger from Weddingbee received this original, creative gift from her bridesmaids! What they did was fill up a Waterford crystal vase with tons of different pieces of underwear which were than accompanied by a poem for special occasions.

One poem:
“When the time is right for you and Dan
And don’t be saying maybe
You’ll wear a little pink or blue
In honor of your baby!”
The poem was attached to two pairs of undies-one pink and one blue.  Other special occasions included the wedding night and the first fight. 

This is such a cute way of giving lingerie to a bride instead of just handing the bride underwear in a gift bag from Victoria's Secret.  This is also a cute way to give underthings at a "normal" shower too! And this would be a great group gift from everyone before the bachelorette party-practical and cute at the same time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Can men come to a bachelorette party?

Bachlorette Party Etiquette
Q: The bride has several close male friends and some of the bridesmaids want to invite them to the bachelorette party. Do bachelorette parties have to be all females or can guys come?

A:  Bachelorette parties are typically all females and are used as a last girls night out before the bride becomes a Mrs. but of course parties can be different.  There's no right or wrong for the bachelorette party!

The bride decides who can come to her bachelorette party (or who gets invited at least.)  If the bride wants her closest male friends, her brothers, etc to be there, then she can definitely invite them. It's her party for her day after all!  Ask the bride if she wants her male friends there. 

There's different options for the bachelorette party:
-a girls only night out
-co-ed with the groom and groomsmen
-co-ed with the bride's male friends but not the groom

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Custom Couture Bridesmaid Dresses: Olivia Luca

Ohh, designing the dress of your dreams can be so much fun and cause you to waste more time at owrk than solitaire.  Thanks to Olivia Luca, you (and your dear bride) can create custom couture quality bridesmaid dresses.

The whole design process is simple and fun and, of course, you get to choose from a gazillion options.  The first step is to actually choose your skin tone to see if the fabric and color will be flattering. Then you start designing! Choose the bodice style-there's plenty to choose from including a keyhole halter, empire scoop halter, strappy with angled band (deep, wide "V" neckline in front and straight across back) and  empire bust tie (gathered at front and tied which makes for slight sweetheart neckline).  Next is the skirt length and shape-once again plenty of options to choose from ranging from mermaid princess floor length to empire gathered three-tier knee length to A-line flat front knee length. 

The best part, the part I literally went crazy for, is the fabric selection. We're talking a selection of fabrics that would make any seamstress weep. The eco-friendly options include a hemp & silk charmeuse blend, organic cotton sateen, organic cotton linen, Fair-Trade handwoven silk shantung, and many more Fair-Trade options.  This is easiest the best selection for custom gowns that I've ever seen-if the bride has dreamed of it, then Olivia Luca can make a dress in it whether that dream dress was silk 4-ply crepe Korean woven or silk dupioni.  

The only downside though is the price-while the prices are inline for custom couture gowns, it's still more than most of us can spend on custom bridesmaid dresses.  Prices depend on many factors-the fabric, the size, the options chosen, etc etc but most dresses appear to be $340 and up with most being in the $400 to $500 range. One of my creations-a hemp/silk Charmeuse mermaid princess floor-length with train was priced at $1,011.50!

But it is hard to put a price on beauty...

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Save Money on Wedding Gifts

When wedding season comes along, you might feel as though you are spending your entire paycheck on wedding gifts. After all, it adds up-engagement party gifts, bridal shower gifts, wedding gifts.

Shop using the manufacturer's website.  Skip the department store registry and head straight for the manufacturer's website. For example, the Mikasa Dinnerware Cameo Platinum 40 Piece Set is $640 at Macy's while at the Mikasa website it's only $199.99, a staggering difference of $440.  That's the bachelorette party & bridal shower you saved right there! 

Use rebate programs like Ebates.  With cash back sites like Ebates or Upromise, you get additional discounts at tons of stores. With Ebates, get 11% back at Macy's, 6% back at Pfaltzgraff, 11% back at Ulta, with a ton more stores to choose from!  Best of all, these sites tell you about coupon codes and special offers.

Get in the habit of searching for coupon codes before buying. Websites like Retailmenot, Current Codes, and Coupon Cabin offer promo codes i.e. discounts like Free Shipping over $50 or $10 off any $100 purchase for many retailers, including Target, Kohl's, and many more!

Personalize the registry gifts for extra impact. Okay, so this might not work if everything on the bride's registry is $200 or up, but most couples have lower-priced items on theirs too. Take some lower priced items from the registry and personalize it with extras like gift cards. For example, buy just one set of the wine glasses and have them monogrammed to make them special or give a few bottles of wine along with the set. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Coffee & Tea Tasting Bridal Shower

What a great idea for a brunch shower- a coffee and tea tasting.  The City Cradle did this wonderful shower using the theme "a perfect pair." A perfect pair coffee & cream. A perfect pair tea & sugar.  A perfect pair her & him.

For the tasting, they served a sampling of 2 types of coffee and 5 types of tea, all chilled and ready for sipping. For great iced coffee recipes try this one and try the iced tea recipes found here. (A sample menu: Thai Iced Tea, Peach Iced Tea, Russian Iced Tea, Black Currant Iced Tea, and Iced Lemon and Ginger Mint Tea.)

They also served a brunch selection of muffins &scones which they wrapped in personalized pastry paper for an extra touch. In addition they personalized the muffins with the words muffins & tea on one side and A perfect pair written on the other. To make these she simply cut down parchment paper to an 8×10 size, made the word sheet to match, and sent the whole thing through an inkjet printer. 

As favors, they handed out custom pomegranate-green tea bags as favors to be brewed later that day. Each had a personalized label saying thanks and directions on brewing the tea over ice at home.

To top this shower off, there's FREE printable labels for the iced beverage bottles, the cups, and the tea bags.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Asian Bridal Shower Invites

Looking for Asian bridal shower invitations? Of course you don't have to have an Asian bride on the invite but it's nice to know you have options.

311-Asian Bride Shower Invitation card
311-Asian Bride Shower Invitation by Jill311
Browse Asian Cards
Love this card with the bride wearing a traditional wedding gown. The best part is that it could also be used as a wedding card too!

This bride is so cute! Love it-and it also comes in different "bride" styles including African-American too!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DIY: Bridal Shower Scrapbook

Tina over on Elizabeth Anne Designs has a great example of a bridal shower scrapbook. With the shower invite, guest list, menu, list of games played, and extra pages for memories of the shower and guest's signatures, this post had some great ideas for what a scrapbook should have. Every bride should have one from her bridal shower (and bachelorette party!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Hawaiian Bridal Shower's Tropical Dessert Table

For this luau Hawaiian-themed bridal shower, the food blogger Joelen created a "love is sweet" dessert table with tropical flavors like passionfruit, pineapple, mango, and bananas. We love how the desserts are perfect for both this theme and for summer-nothing too heavy here.

Some of the desserts served included:
Passionfruit Cheesecake Truffles
Pina Colada Cheesecake Truffles
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Covered Pretzels    
Some of the recipes are on the What's Cooking Chicago-the rest should be added later.

Invite Groom's Female Friends to the Bridal Shower?

Q: The groom has several close female friends. Should we invite them to the bridal shower?

A: Traditionally, a "bridal" shower is for the bride and her close female relatives and friends (and often female relatives on the groom's side, too.)  Now in this case, ask the bride if she wants the groom's friends to be there. Does the bride consider them to be friends-does she hang out with them, does she know them well, or does the groom know them from, say, work? If the bride considers these friends to also be her friends, then feel free to invite them. If the bride still thinks of them as "his" friends, then it might be better to not invite them.

One option to resolve this is to consider having a couples shower where male friends of the bride and female friends of the groom could both come and celebrate.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bridal Shower Theme: Sex and the City

Celebrate her big day with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte. This shower is going to be all about stilettos, martinis, and, of course, best friends.


Set the tone for the Sex and the City bridal shower with the invites. The one to the left, a Stiletto Bridal Shower Invitation  sets the right tone.  Carrie and the gals definitely liked their Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks so what better way to have a themed party than by honoring the love of sky-high stilettos.

Or why not go with a sleek invitation of a NYC skyline? Fewer things represent the SATC series than Manhattan so show the city right in the invite. We love this NYC Skyline Invite

What about displaying the bride's (and Carrie's love of martinis) in this girlie invite?  Having a frilly invitation like this is probably the easiest way to let the guests know this won't be a formal tea party.

Some ideas to remember to put into the invites:
  • Give each guest a character to bring a gift as.  For example:
    • Carrie gifts could be luxurious and frivolous
    • Samantha gifts could be racy and sexy
    • Miranda gifts could be practical but fun.
    • Charlotte gifts could be pretty and proper.
  • Tell all of the guests to come in their favorite cocktail attire.
  • Ask guests to bring their favorite cocktail recipe to give to the bride, instead of a recipe.
Go with hip cocktail party cuisine. We like a menu of:
Spring Rolls (or the one on the left Crab & Pork Spring Rolls)
For more appetizers, check out the hip cocktail party guide.

Of course cocktail party fare is not the only way to go- a tapas party is festive and fun. A dessert theme or chocolate party would be perfect too-all are perfect for mingling.

-Make your own cosmo & martini bar. Let's face it-the girls loved their drinks on the show.
-Serve different drinks for each character. The mixologists at Skyy Vodka created new drinks for the characters for the Sex and the City movie.  Here's the recipes courtesy of Skyy.

The Carrie Drink
  • 2 ounces Skyy vodka
  • 1 ounce X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • 3/4 ounce sparkling apple cider
Shake Skyy, X-Rated and cranberry with ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Top with cider and garnish with a thin apple slice.
  • 2 1/2 ounces Skyy vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces Cabo Wabo Anejo tequila
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Shake with ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Rim glass with mixture of salt and small amount of white pepper. No garnish.

We also like the idea of serving mocktails (non-alcoholic drinks) at the shower, especially if the shower is during the day when many guests won't be used to strong alcoholic drinks.  Our faves: virgin bellini, ginger limeade, and tea punch.

The bridal shower cake is one of the highlights of the shower and with this theme you've got great choices. Check out the Sex and the City cupcakes with hot pink stilettos, cosmo glass, hot pink shopping bag and lipsticks as accessories. Of course, at Pink Cake Box you can also get cakes that match the bride's favorite Juicy Couture bag or her favorite heels.

  • Do traditional bridal shower games. Find our favorites here.
  • Hand out Sex and the City quizzes like "Which Character are you?" Print out copies for each guest or read them out loud.  A great variation-let the groom answer the quiz for the bride ahead of time-compare his answers to the bride's.

Tip: Make the favor go further-use the mini martini glasses as placecards or as their glasses for the entire event.

(Affiliate links were used in this article. Thanks!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bachelorette Party Ideas (other than the usual bar night out)

If heading to the local bar for shot after shot of tequila while frat boys and assorted "locals" cheer on, than have no fear-a bachelorette party can be just about anything. Trip to Vegas, a chance to dress up like an 80s star, karaoke...just about anything can pass as a bachelorette party. The key is to spend time with the bride and have fun!

Pick up some skills
Upgrade your cooking skills from Lean Cuisines to something actually home-made.  Head to a local cooking class or culinary institute to find out how to make just about anything-from fine French cuisine to the perfect cake. Or try a combo of hot music and cooking with DJ Chef-he'll show everyone how to cook up classic party recipes while playing popular tunes. 

Turn bushels of flowers into something worth displaying in your living room. Try make your own floral arrangement classes where guests will learn how to turn lilies and daisies into beautiful bouquets and arrangements.

Do your own version of Dancing with the Stars. Many brides and grooms take dance lessons before the big day but that's no reason why the bridesmaids can't take them too. Rent out a dance studio and get private lessons in your dance of choice-salsa, samba, hip-hop.  Now at the wedding you won't be embarrassed on the dance floor.

Drink like there's no tomorrow. Wine-tastings are great-you can finally find out the difference between Merlot or Shiraz.  If wine is not your forte, try beer, sake, tequila, or vodka tastings.

An excuse for a mini-vacay
Head to Vegas. Let's be honest-when we think of either bachelor or bachelorette parties we think of Sin City. Spend a few days gambling and drinking and doing your own recreation of The Hangover.

Pretend you're back at summer camp. Head to places like Club Getaway where for a weekend you and the gals can choose from a whole camp style menu-rock climbing, trapeze, archery, arts & crafts, and a whole lot more.

Be entertained
Play Whodunit. Head to your local murder mystery theater for some rousing entertainment and pretend you're Monk or anyone from CIS. Some theaters also have weekend performances where the mystery goes on for a few days. You can also have your own mystery dinner with a down-loadable package like ones found here.

Karaoke. 'Nuff said-it's a traditional bachelorette classic for good reason. Find out just how bad the bride is at both Journey and Lady Gaga impersonations.

Laugh for hours. Comedy clubs are great girls nights out and even better for bachelorette parties. Don't worry about seeing a headliner-local comics can be just as good.

Dress ridiculous. Make your silk fuschia gowns look much better by comparison when you have an Ugly Dress Party.  Have everyone dress in either wedding gowns or old bridesmaid dresses.

The girlie girl
Be pampered. Head to a spa for some well-deserved massages, manis, and pedis. Or have the spa come to you with mobile spas that will do manicures, hair styles, or spray tans at your house. 

Make like your six again. Ah, slumber parties were so much fun when you were six-watching your favorite flicks, staying up late, eating tons of candy. Recreate it for us big girls with a girls night in.

Adventurous (in that way)
Become a pin-up model, if only for a night. Channel your inner Bettie Page or Dita Von Teese with boudoir photography. You'll get hair and makeup done and go home with a complete retro look and photos as a memento all while channeling your inner lingerie model, sailor, or nurse. Google group boudoir photography (if you're in Philly check out our post on Celeste Giuliano.)  

Give the bride new skills. "Classes" by instructors through Moxie in the City will show you and the rest of the gals new techniques in pleasuring men.  (Hmm, the bride can pick up some pointers!) 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bachelorette Party Ideas: The Ugly Dress Party

Love this idea that a recent bride had-get all of your friends to wear the tackiest, ugliest wedding gowns you can find for a "Let's re-imagine these ugly dresses party!"The ladies then tried-on, shredded, sewed, hot-glued and drew on the dresses-anything to make them somewhat wearable again.  Sort of like Project Runway in the bride's living room.  Then of course the bachelorette festivities continued and the ladies made their way to a few bars in downtown Austin all wearing their outfits. 

If you want to recreate this, it's fairly easy:
  • Get a bunch of wedding dresses. Try ebay (search for 80's or 70's wedding gowns) or local Goodwill or thrift stores.
  • Have plenty of craft supplies so the girls can re-imagine their dresses. Think scissors, sewing machines,  hot glue guns, iron-on crystals, etc-be creative!

Another version of this idea is the 27 Dresses (or wear your old or ugly bridesmaid dress) party. Tell all of the guests to wear an old bridesmaid dress. You can order a bunch of old bridesmaid dresses from ebay (try searching for 80's prom dresses too.) Tip-you might want to provide old prom gowns or suggest old prom dresses for guests who haven't been in any weddings or who are planning on wearing dresses from weddings they've been in where the bride is also going to be a guest.

Afterwards, you could stay in for the night or head out on the town dressed as brides or bridesmaids.

Be sure to take plenty of photos. The ones from Katie's 27 Dresses Bachelorette Party look like Katie could be a movie star.