In the age of Pinterest, the pressure to put on a beautiful bridal shower for that special gal can be intense. I mean, it sure is easy to feel pretty darn inferior when scrolling through the rows and rows of gorgeous, pristine, and expensive showers, am I right?
For me personally, the fact that the shower I was hosting was for my one-and-only sibling, Molly-Jo, was additional pressure. She and I have a special, close relationship, so this event had to be perfect. Add to it the fact that I’m certainly not rolling in the dough and her shower suddenly felt totally insurmountable.
So how do I get over that feeling of wanting to measure up? It’s simple, my friends: I embraced my strengths! When I focused on the things I am good at, like sewing and document design, I was able to make a pretty epic – if I do say so myself – shabby chic bridal shower for my little sister. And the best thing of all? She felt like a princess. Or more like a hipster goddess. Either way, mission accomplished.
Part 1: The Prep
I took inspiration for the invitation from a seed packet and this Etsy artist (who can make you your own if you aren’t design-inclined). I then had them printed on 4″ x 6″ postcards at Vistaprint. I chose this option over regular folded cards as they are cheaper to print and mail.
Due to the sheer number of shower games available on the internet, I struggled with choosing which ones to play. Ultimately, though, I decided on: What’s on Your Phone?, Why the Hell Do We Do That?, and How Well Do You Know the Groom? I then customized each game to match Molly’s invitation. You are welcome to borrow the games for your own shower (just click on each image), but keep in mind that I bought the answers to Why the Hell Do We Do That? for $2 on Etsy, so you’ll need to do the same. And don’t forget to chat with the groom prior to the shower to get the answers to How Well Do You Know the Groom?
I killed three birds with one stone and incorporated the place cards, utensils, and party favors into one with these adorable lip balm key chains. I followed this super-easy tutorial and used some fabric I already had on hand. I then purchased the split rings here and the lip balm here, although if you don’t care if the lip balm is vegan, Dollar Tree has options for much less.
I also decided to make the game prizes. Out of fabric I already had laying around, I sewed travel tissue holders, tote bags, and infinity scarves. Each item took me less than 30 minutes and they were fun to create. I didn’t even buy packages of travel Kleenex for the tissue holders; I just folded ten pieces of tissue taken from a large box and voila!
I’ve always loved the “Something Blue” poem, so I managed to find a tiny hair pin on Etsy – as my sister is a bit of a minimalist – that incorporated all 4 traditions. I then created a little insert to include in the box. You can print your own, in a more generic form, here.
As an additional gift for Molly, I sewed this custom monogrammed zippered bag using supplies I had on hand and my mother and I filled it with “emergency items” she may need on her wedding day. Included in the bag were: deodorant, antacids, eye drops, toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, manicure kit, pain meds, cough drops, q-tips, bandages, lint roller, snacks, gum, mints, comb, floss, sewing kit, hairspray, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tissues. Not shown, but included, wet wipes, chalk (for dress smudges), stain pen, razor, and Monistat Anti-Chafing Relief.
I’ve always loved the look of bunting banners, so I made two different ones for this shabby chic bridal shower. I created a template, which you can download here, and bought a large lot of floral fat-quarters (18″ x 22″ fabric pieces) on eBay. If your fat-quarters are correctly sized, you should be able to get 9 bunting flags from each, after which you will need to sew them onto a long piece of ribbon. I wound my banners onto a piece of cardboard so they stayed wrinkle-free until the shower.
I made this cross-stitched fabric-covered hanger to carry the beautiful satin robe I had custom-made for Molly. I spent less than $30 on the robe, which includes embroidery on the front and the back AND shipping. Talk about a fabulous deal.
Part 2: The Big Day
Instead of trying to find a home large enough to host 25 brunching guests, I rented out a community room for around $60 an hour. I chose Lake Hiawatha Recreation Center in Minneapolis specifically for this view. Isn’t it gorgeous?
I wanted to have plenty of floral arrangements for the 20′ table, but cut flowers are expensive. Instead, I received about 12 live plants from my aunt’s garden, which I replanted in decorative pots from IKEA. I then bought one large bouquet of cut flowers and strategically placed them within the pots. The best thing about these flowers? My sister got to plant these perennials in her new garden afterwards.
I borrowed 6 or 7 vintage tablecloths from my grandma and layered them all together on the large table. I used disposable tableware so I didn’t have to worry about doing dishes. The handmade bunting and place markers looked adorable, if I do say so myself. Not to mention, the flower ice cubes I made to keep the champagne chilled were a big hit.
I saved big by bartering and hiring friends to help me at the shower. Specifically, I traded some furniture with my friend Chelsea of Suzie V. Homemaker in exchange for her supplying all the food. We had all of my sister’s favorites, including donuts, waffles, cinnamon rolls, and pierogi lasagna. It was delicious and vegan. In addition, in exchange for some baby clothes, my friend Amy of Mehndi Moments provided henna at a discounted price. It added a really special touch.
I also hired my friend, Dallas, to provide photography for the shower. Because she is an amateur, I paid just $75. But, as you can see, she did an *amazing* job. Both my sister and I were so pleased with the results. I am thrilled that she also happened to snap a pic of my father in his apron. He was my “assistant.”
In closing, I hope you find some inspiration in my baby sister’s bridal shower. More importantly, I hope you are able to realize your own strengths. Once you do, run with them, and you have to potential to make a memorable, lovely shower for that special lady.