Wednesday, July 11, 2012

French Country Chic Bridal Shower

This post is about a bridal shower that my sister and I hosted for a sweet young
woman, Katie.  I refer to it as "French Country Chic".... that's the only way I
I can figure out how to describe it - but if you have a better idea, let me know!

Katie is very laid back and never struck me as a girly-girl who loves pinks and hearts, etc.
So I wanted to throw a shower that represented Katie's personality. The shower was in May,
so I also wanted something fresh, not too spring-y, but not too summer-y.
I think we hit the nail on the head with this one! You'll have to excuse the pictures -
for some reason they are blurry even though they look great on my camera.
Like I've said before.... I am NO photographer =)

My sister told me about her idea for a centerpiece that involved making paper flowers.
I was a little skeptical at first, but after she showed me a picture of some she already
made, I was sold on the idea!  We used doublesided scrapbook paper from Hobby
Lobby (for a good tuturial on how to make these, click here). After Rebekah made
the flowers, I formed them into bouquets.

We wanted to put the paper flower bouquets in wine bottles. One problem - we
don't drink wine! A friend of my mother's heard us talking about the idea, and
said that her brother makes stained glass art using old wine bottles from a local
restaurant. She was sure that she could get us some - and she did!! It worked out
perfectly =) We kept the wine bottles with their original color, but they can always
be spray painted to match any theme.  Didn't they turn out so perfect?!?

I wanted to do something unique for a table runner. I came across the idea of
using a variety of paper doiles. I thought doiles would complement the wine bottle
bouquets nicely, but I didn't like the stark white color of the doiles for this shower.
So I decided to tea stain them.  It was a pretty long process, because
I tea stained a TON of doiles, but the effect was worth it. I chose to use different
kinds of tea (regular tea, green tea, lemon tea, earl-gray tea) and stained them for
different amounts of time so there would be a variation of colors on the doiles. 
If you aren't familiar with tea staining, click here for a good tutorial.

Since there was going to be so many doilies on the table, I decided I didn't
need to have anything as far as placemats go. I just set clear plastic plates
at each table setting.  We used tan fabric that we already had, and cut it
into squares for napkins. Then we used random pieces of fabric that
coordinated with the colors of the wine bottle bouquets (all the fabric was
given to us from a lady at church - thanks Debi!). We made rosettes out
of the fabric, and hot glued them to a black hair twistie to make custom
napkin rings.  For a tutorial on making fabric rosettes, click here.

Also on the tables were each person's favor - a set of coasters, hand made
by my sister. The colors of the coasters also complemented our color
scheme, and there were many different colors to the sets so that each person
could pick one that matched their home the best.  We wrapped the coaster
sets, and added a little tag so everyone would know exactly what it was.
I thought they turned out so cute! Here's a tutorial for those as well.

We used black chair covers (from my wedding), but decided we wanted
something cute on the backs of them. We already had spools of ivory lace,
originally thinking it would be used as the table runner, before we came up with
the doily idea. So my sister made little bows, and put a fabric rosette in the middle.
She hot glued a safety pin to the back of each bow. I thought they were just the
right touch on each chair!

I wanted to incorporate the doiles in another way to help tie in the decor
of the shower. So I decided to make a couple pennants to hang. I used
10" doiles for the pennants.  But I decided that black letters on tea stained
doiles didn't make the pennants stand out as much as I wanted them to. So I cut
circles (using a cricut) out of different colors of scrapbook paper that coordinated
 with paper flowers and glued them to the doiles. I made the letters using the cricut
as well. We hung them using fishing line. And I'm not gonna lie, it was a huge
pain to string them so that they laid evenly... it was a lot more time consuming
that I thought it would be. But, they ended up looking so cute:

On either side of the pennants, we hung lanterns that were covered
in doiles. I didn't love them as much as I thought I was going to, but
they were still adorable and really played off the doiles in the rest of
the room. And again... another tutorial here, just in case!

We brought in a little bench for Katie to sit on to open her gifts. Then I
added a couple of sage green pillows that my grandmother and I made, oh,
about 8 years ago! I don't use them at my house, but they sure worked for the
shower! Rebekah made the tan pillows that went behind the green ones from
the same fabric as the napkins. It was such a cute little area to open presents =)

And what would a shower be without some kind of wreath?!? I made small
wreaths to hang on the lattice. I used straw wreaths, wrapped in the same
fabric as the tan pillows and napkins. Then I made fabric rosettes using the
same fabric as the napkin rings. I finished each rosette off with a pearl in the
middle. I think they are sweet =)

One of my favorites parts of this shower was the display area we created.
I had an old window from the house my mom grew up in. I made an
H (Katie's married last name is Hernandez) out of cardboard and
reindeer moss. I didn't want to permanently attach it to the window, so I
used a pull tab that you usually hang on walls when you don't want to put a
nail in - I can't think of the name, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about!
I brought a couple frames from my house to display as well - in one went Katie
and Tony's engagement picture, and the other had a saying "Each for the other,
both for the Lord." It was advice given to my mom before she got married, and
I think it's good advice for any couple! Just a few candles to the mix and the display
area is done =) 

Below the display area is where we put the door prizes and gifts for the kids.
The door prizes, which I thought were wrapped so cute, were for the first person
to RSVP, and the winners of the game. The prizes were a scarf and matching
earrings - and this time, we remembered to get pictures of a couple of the
prizes AFTER they were opened too! For each of the kids who came to the shower,
we gave them a fabric necklace that Rebekah made. We figured they wouldn't
really want a set of coasters, so the necklaces were their favors.

Another way that we incorporated doiles into this shower was by using them on the
invitations.  My sister already had these tan cardboard-looking cards. She added
a half circle doily to the front, and printed on the inside of the doily. She left a space
for a green ribbon to go across the front. I thought they looked so cute! I know the
words are hard to read, but here is what the invite said:
They've made the plans
& ordered the cake,
& they're anxious for
the vows they'll make!

Help pass the time &
shorten the wait
a shower is planned
& here's the date!
Then all the info for the shower was listed on the inside of the
card, on coordinating scrapbook paper.

The food for the shower was SO delicious! And the best thing was that so
many people volunteered to help make things! A lady who helped
host the shower made lemony chicken casserole - the name is deceiving
because you really can't taste the lemon. I made twice baked potato
casserole and grape salad, a friend of ours made green beans, my mom
made deviled eggs, and the same lady who gave us a ton of fabric made
rolls.  A good family friend made Coffee Punch, which is one of the tastiest
punches I've ever had! And the bride's mother completely out-did herself
by making terracotta cupcakes! Just wait til you scroll down and see the picture -
you will DIE when you see how cute they are! And they were just as yummy as
they were pretty. It was definitely some good eatin' at this shower!! Maybe
sometime I will post a few of these recipes - they were all amazing =)

The game for this shower was a version of the Newlywed Game. I chose
four couples of whom the wife already RSVP to come. Prior to the shower, I
asked the husbands questions and took pictures of them holding a sign
with their answer on it. Rebekah put a powerpoint slideshow together
with the question and then each of the men's answers. We had the four
ladies come up and answer all the same questions that we asked their
men. Examples of a couple of the questions are:

On a road trip, what are you most likely to disagree on?
a. stopping for directions
b. where to stop to eat
c. what to listen to

Describe your first kiss:
a. Starburst
b. Good n' Plenty
c. Milk Dud

Anyways, the game was hilarious and everyone seemed to love it! We
actually had a tie for the winner, so each of them got a door prize. As a
"thank you" to the husbands who participated, we bought the candy that
 was the guy's answer for "describe your first kiss." They were such good
sports about helping me out that they deserved a little something!

Now here's some pictures of the room overall - I always like to see
the whole thing from an aerial view =)

And here's me, Rebekah, and the bride, Katie =)

This was one of my favorite showers yet! Have a wonderful
day! God bless =)