How to Host a Simple Bridal Shower

Hi friends! I recently had the honor of hosting a bridal shower for my sister-in-law. Knowing that my SIL isn’t a traditional gal, I knew I wanted to keep it sweet and simple with minimal fuss. But of course, I wanted to make sure the day made her feel special! In today’s post, I will be sharing all of the details on how to host an affordable, beautiful, yet simple shower.

It’s All in the The Details

Thoughtful decor will have a huge impact on any event that you host. Keeping with a consistent, well planned theme will be eye catching and more of a reason for your party to be memorable one. After searching through Pinterest for a bit, I decided on a black, white and pink color scheme. My SIL loves bright colors, so I knew the decor needed to have a bit of pop. For the table, I ordered a black table cloth and a black and white stripe runner. To dress the table up a bit more, we ordered a large pink and white center piece from a local florist and added a few photos of the bride-to-be. If I could do it again, I would have added a little table confetti scattered down the table.

I ordered affordable printable decor from Etsy and also used a few things left over from my shower. I chose the ‘He Said, She Said’ game and the ‘Who am I” game which ended up giving us all a few laughs. I placed each game at everyone’s place setting which also dressed up the table. Anytime I order printables from Etsy, I have it printed at Staples. It’s fast and easy. You can also opt to a little extra to have all of your items cut to size, which I highly recommend for a wedding. We also played a 3rd game that did not require stationary; How Well Does the Bride know the Groom? I asked the groom about 15 questions (some made up, some found on Pinterest). For each question the bride answered different than the groom, she had to put a piece of bubble gum in her mouth. Luckily for this bride, she knew her groom and only ended up with one piece of gum.

For favors I opted for mini champagne bottles decorated in sheer pink bags and tags also from Etsy. I re-purposed the tag template by using it for welcome signs and had it printed on 8×10 card stock. The tags can also be printed on full sheet labels and applied directly to the bottle. When choosing a party favor, I suggest going with something that the majority of your guest will use. Same goes for game prizes – we use little bags of Hersey’s kisses. To add an extra touch, I played wedding themed movies on low volume in the background since the shower was hosted at my house.

Food and Drinks

To keep the afternoon as stress-free as possible I kept our food menu simple. Disclaimer – the menu was not exclusively gluten-free.

  • Scrambles Eggs
  • Croissants
  • Muffins
  • Chicken Salad
  • Cheese Board
  • Cesar Salad
  • Wraps (sliced in pin-wheels)
  • Gluten-Free Pastries
  • Cupcakes
  • Brownies
  • Cookies
  • Coffee, Tea and Mimosas (cranberry and orange with fresh strawberries)

Pre-Event Prep

Regardless of the event, planning ahead of time is super important. Once I had my decor, games and menu set, I planned out the afternoon. I planned out the seating, table scape and where I would place my decor throughout the house. Pinterest is a great resource for gathering ideas on how to arrange your decor. I also created a very loose timeline in my head of how the day would flow {welcome chit-chat, mimosas, brunch, games, dessert and a final game}. Then from the event start time, I planned backwards, so I knew what time I would need to start setting up and still allow myself enough time to get ready.

The morning of the shower I started by setting up the table and placing all the decor. This was an important first step that I did not want cut short on time because I knew the decor would really make the day feel special. Next, I laid out all of my platters throughout the kitchen {without food} to ensure everything would fit and flow nicely. I also created a designated area for mimosas, coffee, tea and juices. One of the guests was bringing a cheese platter, so I made sure to leave room for that as well. About 20 minutes before the guests were to arrive, I placed the food on the platters and cut up fresh strawberry slices for the mimosa glasses.

Invites

For this shower, I chose to use Evite over traditional invitations. It is a great way to save on the cost of paper goods and mailing invitations. Most invitations end up in the garbage anyway! Since I only had about 3 weeks to plan this shower, Evite made it possible for me to get the message out quickly. Evite allows you to send your invitations by email or text message to your guests individually. Personally, I love the newer text message option because I feel like guests tend to respond quickly.

Evite has a wide variety of invites to chose from, so it is a great option for showers, engagements, weddings, birthdays, retirements and celebrations of all kinds. Many of the invites are free, but you can pay for premium options as well. My friends, family and I have been fans of Evite for years. It is also the invitation I chose to use for my wedding rehearsal dinner.

I know that many people like to incorporate traditional invitations into the event decor. As you’re reading this, you many be thinking that you lose out on this detail with Evite, but you don’t have to. To get a similar affect for my SIL’s shower, I selected a template that complemented the pink, white and black theme. The template I chose also allowed me to add a photo, so I chose one of her in a pink dress. I printed and framed this photo which allowed me to incorporate her invitation into the decor.

I hope I have provided some help tips! Check back soon for my next blog!

Top 6 Most Used Bridal Shower Gifts

Hi friends! Happy Thursday. Can you all believe May is already coming to an end? Some days it feels like time is moving faster than ever. It has been a short work week, but I am really excited the weekend is just about here. I have a bunch of things to do around the house on Friday. There’s nothing better than knocking things off to-do list in my book. We have really been focusing on sprucing up our yard and patio area. I am planning on getting things started early, so I can end Friday with a mani/pedi in preparation for our besties’ wedding! I have been reflecting on all of excitement I felt during the week of my wedding, so I feel extra excited for them. Fun fact, the bride used my wedding planning check list (click here)!

Today I am sharing some of my most used bridal shower gifts. We have been married for about a year and a half, and I have been using gifts from my bridal shower for almost two. Whether you are looking to create your own bridal registry or spruce up your kitchen with some new purchases, keep reading. Here are my most used bridal shower gifts!

Although it took us weeks to finally open our new Keurig once we did it quickly became our most used gift. Initially, I was unsure if I wanted a Keurig machine of this size for two reasons. I wasn’t sure if we actually needed a large Keurig with a water reservoir {previously had a single serve} and I like to keep our counters on the bare side. I decided to leave it out on the counter for a few weeks to give it what I like to call a, “visual test run.” Once we started using it, we were hooked. Making at least 2 cups of coffee per morning, it definitely gets a lot of use. We also like that this model came with a carafe. This gives us the option to make enough coffee for a small crowd {requires a different pod} without having to break out the percolator.

Making its way to a very close second place is our Nespresso machine. I would say that I am giving it the #2 spot because only my husband uses it everyday {usually more than once a day} where as we both use the Keurig. As you can tell, we love our coffee! When I registered for my shower, I didn’t envision adding an espresso machine, so I went with a basic model. Had I known how much use it would get, I would have definitely consider registering for something a little fancier. Our machine came in a bundle with a milk frother. I thought I would get tons of use out of this, but the truth is, I don’t. It always seems like one more thing I have to clean. My husband only drinks espresso, so the frother really only gets used on the occasional weekend that I make a latte.

Another most used and must have gift {in my opinion} has been this Cutting Board. I use it just about every time I cook. I like that it has rubber grips on the bottom to prevent it from slipping around while I am chopping up ingredients. A few times a month I will clean the cutting board with baking soda and vinegar or lemon to eliminate any odors that may get trapped in there {think garlic and onions!}.

If you follow me on Instagram {and if you don’t, please do!} you know how much I’ve raved about my Le Creuset Dutch oven. I have the 5.5qt round Dutch oven in white. It was a “splurge” item that I added to my registry and was thrilled when my co-workers surprised me with it. I have a whole blog post dedicated to the top 5 reason why you need one! If you’re not looking to spend a few hundred dollars on a pot or aren’t sure if you will use it enough, there are some other options you can consider. For Christmas, I got an awesome deal on a Martha Stewart Dutch oven for my mom. I was able to get her a bigger size than I have and so far she loves it. Sometimes you can also find Le Creuset and similar products by Cusinart at HomeGoods.

I really enjoy cooking {if you haven’t figured that out already}, so the Calphalon pots and pans set I received gets a lot of use. Overall, I am pretty happy with this set with the exception of one pan that always burns. I love being able to transfer pans from the stove top to the oven. Regardless of the number of cookware items you request on your registry, be sure to include a high quality oven safe pan. This comes in handy when searing steaks, pork chops, one pot chicken dinners or want to broil shrimp.

It took me forever to pick out a flatware set, but I am so happy with the set I finally chose. Flatware was actually one of my most needed kitchen items prior to my shower. I knew I wanted something of very good quality that would last for years and years. Also, the style needed to be something simple and timeless. I love that this set is big! It has 12 settings including steak knives plus 3 extra serving utensils.

Would you like me to share my least used bridal shower gifts? Let me know in the comments!

Wedding Welcome Bags with North Fork Potato Chips

Hi friends! The summer and wedding season are quickly approaching, and I could not be more excited. Today, I am thrilled to share a local company that I incorporated into my own wedding day. This is a great way not only to support local businesses, but it is also a fun way to add some unique touches to your wedding.

As you may know, I got married a little over a year ago. Sometimes I still have to remind myself that my wedding day has come and gone. I am the type of person that enjoys anticipating a big event like a holiday or vacation. Although I hit a few bumps in the road during wedding planning {or as my husband says, “the fews weeks I lost my mind,”} I really did enjoy everything about our wedding season. That being said, I know wedding planning can be overwhelming, so I thought this would be a great time to share some planning ideas with you all.

In this post I am giving you a better look inside my wedding welcome bags. These bags were placed in the hotel rooms for our guests the night of our wedding. There are so many reasons I love living on Long Island, so I really wanted to incorporate something special into these bags. A few months prior to my wedding I was in Southhampton with my parents looking at wedding bands. We stopped for lunch where I opted for a side of chips — North Fork Potato Chips. This was the first time I had heard of these chips, but instantly fell in love with them because they had such a good crunch! Then it hit me; these chips were the perfect addition to my wedding welcome bags. I knew these would be a lot more special than a regular old bag of Lay’s.

With all of the crazy details that go into a wedding, we opted to keep our welcome bags pretty simple. Sticking with our theme, I purchased craft paper gift bags, white tissue paper and a tag from Etsy which we simply tied with twine. Along with the North Fork Chips, we added a couple bottles of water, a few gluten-free [salty & sweet] snacks and Advil packets. For more details on my wedding planning, click here.

If you check their website, you’ll learn that North Fork Potato Chips is a family owned and run business on the North Fork of Long Island. Starting their business in the 1970s, the Sidor family has grown their company to offer seven flavors of chips, and all except BBQ are gluten-free. I opted for a mix of the original and sweet potato flavor in my wedding welcome bags. If you’re not incorporating wedding welcome bags into your day, North Fork Potato Chips would make a great favor, to-go gift {often left at the door as your guests leave} or after party snack.

When I placed my order for North Fork Chips, I remember speaking with Cheryl Sidor. At the point I spoke with her, I was losing wedding planning steam — so much so that I actually called their office about 10x in a row thinking my call wasn’t going through. Turns out, it was actually call waiting, and I was repeatedly “beeping into” Cheryl’s conference call. Hello bridal brain fog! Not only was Cheryl very sweet, but she made the process so simple. To ensure optimal freshness, she also made sure that the chips shipped at the right time.

As a kid, my parents often took me out to the North Fork, and I generally referred to it as the land of “farm, farm, vineyard, farm.” These day my day-job requires me to be in the city which makes me appreciate the farm lands and beaches of Long Island so much more. My husband and I love spending time on the ‘NoFo’ for the wine, craft beer and pure relaxation. Some of our favorite places include the Bating Hallow Farm Vineyard, Briermere Farms and the Shinn Estate Vineyard. We’re happy to add North Fork Chips to that round-up.

LI brides, be sure to check out North Fork Potato Chips to add a special element of LI to your wedding day. Also, ask for information on the bridal specials and let Cheryl know I sent you her way.

Thank you to Cheryl for sending me chips to recreate my bags for this post!

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and today’s post was not compensated.