We worked very closely with the bride to put together inspiration photos for the shower. She, like me, is very hands on and I was happy to work with all her ideas and requests so we were certain she would be in love with the shower. Here is the inspiration board we came up with, as well as photos from the shower. Do you think we successfully pulled off the look we were going for?
Paper Lanterns: We purchased the paper lanterns from Save-on-Crafts.com, which offered the best price given the quantity we wanted ($1.10 per lantern). The pom-poms in the Inspiration Board are from Martha Stewart's line and pretty darn cute if you ask me. You can purchase those here: Martha Stewart Pom Poms, Purple, 2 Sizes
Bud Vases: I collected bud vases that I had leftover from my own wedding adventures and bought a few more from antique stores in the area. Target always has a selection of small glass vases and here is an option on Amazon: Two's Company Asian Array Bud Vases in Gift Box, Includes Assorted 5 Shapes, Hand Blown Glass, Set of 5. I love that they are all different shapes/sizes- Adorable!
Lavender Sachet Favors: We purchased the embroidered lavender sachets from FavorsandFlowers.com for just $.95 per sachet and filled them with lavender seeds ourselves. It was considerable cheaper that way and only took about half an hour to fill and tie them all up. I made the favor tags with my handy-dandy Cricut (which deserves it's own post). I would strongly suggest getting a Cricut if you have any interest in party planning or crafting! It will save you so much time & money and help you make more polished, professional looking projects! I only have the small Personal Cricut Machine but it's served me well on the projects I've attempted thus far: Cricut 29-0001 Personal Electronic Cutting Machine
Photo Board & Banner: I also used the Cricut to make the banner above the photo board, which, by the way, was the simplest project but, in my opinion, made the decor. To make the banner all I did was cut out the individual letters w/ the Cricut & run some ribbon through the pre-cut slots at the top of the ovals. Then I taped lengths of ribbon to the wall coming down from the banner and taped photographs to the ribbon. That's it! Some paper, ribbon and a couple bucks for photo prints.
Tissue Paper Pom-Pom Napkin Rings: Yumsugar.com offers a great tutorial on how to make the tissue paper flower napkin rings. This was quite time consuming, but I loved how they turned out. I worked on the flowers pretty much every night for about 2 weeks, but just an hour here and there while watching TV. Definitely use floral wire stems to tie the napkins together. Ribbon might be too difficult to work with and the wire was easy to wrap around and twist into place. I purchased them in packs at Walmart for a couple bucks. I made almost twice as many as we needed for the cutlery rolls but then we were able to scatter them around for extra decorations. I would suggest pre-rolling plastic ware in napkins for pretty much any party- such a time saver and with even just a cute ribbon tying them together they will add some color and decoration to your tabletop. You can get tissue paper anywhere but if you don't need a specific color this is a great deal: The Gift Wrap Company Multi-Color Gift Tissue Paper, 20 Sheets per Package, 20-Inches x 26-Inches (Pack of 6)
Lavender Rice Hot/Cold Eye Pillows: I got a sewing machine for Christmas last year and the very first project I attempted was a rice eye pillow. I've made a few since then and seem to have it down now so I sewed a few to give out as prizes for the games we played. I made the tags on them with my Cricut and attached them with purple ribbon. The tutorial I used to sew the eye pillow came from the wonderful Amy Butler and is available for free download here.
Cupcake Stands: I baked 96 cupcakes for the shower. Yes, I am well aware I'm crazy... especially since I had never decorated a cupcake before that day. I was under the impression that my mom knew how to decorate cakes/cupcakes but as it turned out she didn't. So, we learned pretty quickly. My favorite resource for baking is BettyCrocker.com. My mass production baking secret is to always start with a boxed mix and then add something extra to make it special. Betty Crocker has a ton of recipes for cakes, cupcakes and cookies that all start with a box and require just an extra ingredient or two and a little bit more time to make something a lot more impressive.
I also handmade all the cupcake stands. And by handmade I mean I glued a plate to a candlestick holder. Yep, it was that simple. There is an endless supply of antique stores (and junk stores) in Central PA so I was able to purchase all the items to make these for just $1-$3 per stand. That is a significant savings over $20-$40 per cake stand at retail stores. I just picked a plate and then found something that looked like a good base for it, usually a candlestick holder, wine glass or glass dish. A few of them were made of milk glass pieces. For a great tutorial, check out MyUglyKitty at Weddings & Cookies. If you aren't feeling adventurous enough yet to DIY your own here are a few of my favorites on Amazon:
That pretty much sums up my projects for the Pretty Purple Bridal Shower. Hope you enjoyed the purple eye candy!
Here are links to some of the materials/projects mentioned above: