My little sister, B, got married about three weeks ago. Since I was the matron of honor I was in charge of planning the Bridal Shower back in June. Luckily since she had seven bridesmaids this actually wasn’t too overwhelming or difficult! It came in handy when dividing up all of the duties, but not so much when making decisions. That part was actually pretty painful because no one had much of an opinion about anything. But we eventually got it all figured out…once I sucked it up and just started making decisions myself (which I hate doing!).
The first thing we all agreed on was that we wanted to do a beach theme. Invitations were first. After browsing etsy.com and other websites, and being completely and totally unwilling to pay $40+ for invitations, I finally decided to just design my own. I found a nice sunset picture I took while we were in Hawaii a few years ago and made that the background. I added all the pertinent information and bam, done! I was able to put 2 on a page, emailed my proof to the closest UPS store and picked up my invitations later that day. Less than $20. Much better.
(They did not have the grids on them, FYI. I made the cards in my Silhouette program, and then saved the file as a PDF to send to UPS. For some reason the grid appears in Preview on my Mac, but not when actually printing them out.)
Before I could make the invitations we had to decide on food. For awhile I was floating around the idea of doing a “potluck” type shower. Each guest would bring her favorite entree/appetizer/side dish/dessert, along with a copy of the recipe for the bride to keep. I liked two things about it: one, it would give B a recipe foundation; and two, it meant a lot less work for the bridesmaids the morning of. The one thing holding us back was that when we originally landed on the beach theme we were excited about doing tacos, chips and salsa, etc. We had to decide ASAP, because if we were doing the potluck I’d need to put it on the invitation. After a lot of teeth pulling (seriously, all I wanted was a yes or no vote!!) it was finally decided that we would stick with the original menu.
Since the bachelorette party and bridal shower were rolled into one weekend we didn’t have much time to prepare everything. Instead of doing the traditional “go out and get wasted” thing, we took the bride-to-be up to a nearby lake and spent the weekend at one of the bridesmaids cabin, out on the boat. It was perfect. However, we didn’t get to my parents’ house to start preparations until 9 Sunday morning and the shower was kicking off promptly at 1 pm. Thank goodness Mexican food is quick and easy!
We served hard and soft tortillas, chicken and beef fillings, Mexican rice and the necessary taco toppings: cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, onions, and jalapeños. We also had bowls of mango salsa and tortilla chips at each table for the guests to munch on.I had two ideas for dessert: either make a “wedding dress” cupcake cake (like this) or just decorate your own cupcakes. After a lot more teeth pulling, it was finally decided to go with decorate your own cupcakes.The next thing we decided on were the decorations. This was where having a huge bridal shower came in really handy–dividing up the tasks!
Two of the bridesmaids put together the most amazing sign. They handprinted it!!! And down in the bottom left corner is a chalkboard square so the bride-to-be could change the countdown. They didn’t put any specific information on it so that way she can pass it on to future children if she wants to! What a neat idea. They also made a sign to cover the bottom board so she could use it at the ceremony as well. I didn’t take a picture of it, unfortunately, and of course I can’t remember exactly what it said. But I remember seeing it at the ceremony so I’m sure once she gets her pictures in I can update it. Another bridesmaid was in charge of the “take home gift” for B. She bought two bottles of champagne, painted them and brought markers to the bridal shower for the guests to sign. Then the bride could save the bottles for the wedding night or honeymoon or just a random Thursday…whatever!The next two bridesmaids were put in charge of centerpieces. One took mason jars, put pictures of the bride and groom inside, then filled them with sand and seashells. They looked fantastic! She also took a large piece of twine and used clothespins to hang pictures of the bride and groom throughout their relationship. I don’t have a close-up of it unfortunately, but you can see a bit of it in one of the photos below, going across the garage door. The other one decided to do a two-for: part centerpiece/part prize for the guest who won the bridal shower games. She bought a few buckets and filled them up with beach type things–shovels, sand toys, beach scented lotions and candles, etc. I was in charge of the party favor for the guests.
We I decided on chalkboard wine glasses. You can find more information about how I made them in my next post, here. I figured that since we were going to serve alcohol (the one and only way to make a bridal shower actually bearable), the wine glasses would go well. I added paper umbrellas I found at Five Below, filled them with Strawberry and Mango Margaritas, tossed some chalk on the table for the guests to decorate them and they were a hit!For tablecloths, silverware and balloons we just stuck with simple: grey and pink, the bride’s wedding colors. I picked up a roll of burlap from Michaels and we spread it out on the tables to make them look more “beachy”. J, my daughter, has an entire bucket of seashells saved throughout the years that I meant to bring with me to spread out on the tables as well, but I forgot them. Oh well. I also found leis at the Dollar Tree–2 pink ones for $1 for each of us and a colorful one for the bride. Score!The final decision to be made were the games. I didn’t want to do the stupid cliche bridal shower games that everyone despises, so I found a few that were slightly different. First we had “Guess B’s Age!”. I used my Silhouette to cut the letters out of card stock, bought a fishnet from the Dollar Tree, found 7 pictures of B at varying ages and used clothespins to hang them. I designed a quick scorecard. Which I could’ve saved a lot of paper and ink on that one if I would’ve done the same thing for it that I had done with the invitations, and shrunk it down so two would fit on one page. Oh well.
We also did the “Bubble Gum Game”. Earlier I called the groom and asked him these 29 questions and wrote down his answers.
- Who was Ty’s best friend growing up?
- When was your first kiss together?
- How many kids do you want to have?
- What is the theme of your wedding?
- One word to describe Bre.
- What is Ty’s favorite holiday?
- Which one of you is better with money?
- Which one of you is better with kids?
- Which one of you is better at cooking?
- Which one of you is better at dancing?
- If Ty could go anywhere in the world, where would he go?
- What is Ty’s dream car?
- What is Ty’s favorite movie?
- What does Ty love about you the most?
- What is Ty’s favorite meal that you make him?
- French Fries, baked or mashed potatoes?
- If Ty had to pick a number between 1-20 what would it be?
- Where was your first date?
- Ty’s favorite football team?
- What’s Ty’s least favorite chore?
- What year did he graduate high school?
- Name one of Ty’s nicknames for you.
- Name one of your nicknames for Ty.
- Name something Ty is afraid of.
- Favorite pizza topping?
- What president is on the $5 bill? Did Ty get this question right?
- Does Ty still have his wisdom teeth?
- Coke or Pepsi?
- McDonalds or Burger King?
The bride had to guess what the groom’s responses were, and for every one she got wrong she had to shove a piece of bubble gum in her mouth. When we first started going through them we were a bit worried that the questions were waaaay too easy, but she ended up with a rather large wad in her mouth by the end. It was pretty funny.You’ll have to excuse the bride’s fat lip. The day before one of the bridesmaids “misstepped” when trying to get into the tube from the boat and elbowed her right in the face. It bled for quite awhile and didn’t exactly look pretty the next day (or the day after that…or that…). This was one of many times that it came in handy that B is the most laid back person on the face of the earth, and she was like that throughout all of the planning and execution of the wedding. I doubt she would’ve been so forgiving had it been the day before the wedding, but she took it all in stride! I don’t think many women can say they would do the same…
Once the bridal shower started we realized that we didn’t have enough games where the guests participated, so we threw one together in under 15 minutes while everyone was eating. We asked the group these questions, one at a time:
- How old were they when they first got together?
- What is Bre’s idea of a romantic date?
- What’s Tyler’s idea of a romantic date?
- Who would win in a boxing match?
- Who can handle their liquor better?
- If they had a booth at the Grange Fair what would it be?
- If they could live anywhere where in the world where would it be?
- Who would Bre say is Ty’s celebrity look alike?
- Who is Ty’s best childhood friend?
- What’s Bre’s favorite outfit?
- What is Bre’s favorite ice cream?
- What is Bre’s favorite position ;)? (This question was requested, and asked by, the groom’s grandmother, which was hilarious. The answer? “Head on the pillow…get your heads out of the gutter!”0
Whichever guest had the most correct answers by the end of the game would take home a bucket. Worked well for a completely impromptu game!
The final game we played was hands down my favorite. I was laughing so hard I was crying. As my gift I bought the bride a suitcase. We filled the suitcase with random items of clothing: gloves; boots; sunglasses; granny panties; beach hat; scarf; and a robe. We blindfolded the bride and she had to put on all of the items in the suitcase. Freaking hilarious.My favorite part was when she made the colossal mistake of putting the winter gloves on first, and then was unable to pick anything up. One of the bridesmaids pulled her out of her misery quickly, unfortunately, and told her to take them off. My second favorite was the granny-panties-as-a-large-bracelet. Brilliant.
All-in-all it was a success!! It was as entertaining as bridal showers can possibly be (man, someone needs to come up with something for the gift opening portion. That part is just painful), especially due to the Suitcase Game. B seemed to have fun, we didn’t have any major catastrophes, it looked fantastic and we were all exhausted afterwards.