Mermaid Bridal Shower

“When you smile, it’s pure perfection. It shines through everything you do.” – Ariel

Last weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to host a bridal shower for one of my closest friends, Ali. We have been friends ever since we were very young, fighting over Polly Pockets, spending hours learning about our makeup, and helping each other through college. She was one of my bridesmaids and we got to enjoy one of my favorite activities during my big day: Ali doing my hair. Now I am lucky enough to be her maid-of-honor and she is getting married next month! (Our anniversaries are just 5 days apart!)

Ali has a big love for all things mermaid, glitter, and sunshine. Of course, we HAD to throw a Mermaid themed bridal shower. This is going to be a LONG post today, as I will provide ideas for decorations, games, food, etc. Lots of pictures and lots of links!

INVITATIONS

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I got the idea for Ali’s invitations on Etsy. My budget was limited and I am pretty crafty, so I figured I would just make them myself. It cost me about $20 (including supplies, envelopes, and shipping costs). Not bad at all and they were received very well. I combined some different ideas together, but here are the two I really liked:

DECORATIONS

Obviously, lots of purples, aquas, gold, and GLITTER. We used a lot of antique bottles, sparkly gold wine bottles, jewelry, paper good, nets, and more.

decor

  • Net photo wall: We surprised Ali with a bunch of her engagement pictures up on the wall and throughout the home in frames. It was quote adorable.
  • Hanging decor: I bought the cute aqua poms on Amazon and purchased the Chinese lanterns from Michael’s (always used 40% off coupons). I also made the paper garlands after being inspired by a design on Etsy and hoping to save some cash. The original design on Etsy was by LucyBirdy
  • Table decor: I used a shiny, sheer table cloth on the counter with layers underneath to give height to the center. We used a basic table cloth covered by a fish net on the table. We scattered sea shells, homemade confetti (used scraps from paper garland), the bottles previously mentions, and jewelry. I borrowed my sister’s Harry Potter chest and draped pearls and beads out of the opening.

ACTIVITIES:

We had a variety of games/activities: some just for Ali, some active games, some scattered around the house.

n a Activities

  • D ate Jar: We did a traditional date idea jar, except we had the guests put their ideas on sand dollars or sea shells. Ali picked her favorite idea (coin flip date) and they won a set of Gourmet Sea Salts 
  • Message in a Bottle: This activity gave everyone the opportunity to wish Ali and her fiance, James, some luck and give advice. These were written in private, for Ali and James to read together after the party.
  • Ice Breaker – Share a Memory:  Everyone wrote down one of their favorite memories with the bride-to-be and she had to guess who wrote each one. Then, we all selected our favorite memory and that person won a Little Mermaid Cup.
  • Bride Quiz: Everyone had to check their knowledge with this fun quiz about Ali. The quiz had questions related to her favorites, her fiance, and her life. The winner won a mermaid painting from my company, Inspired by Sisters 
  • The Newlywed Game: This was my favorite! The bride flew in from out of town and one of her bridesmaids could not make the trip. I asked her bridesmaid and James to film a series of question and answers. Ali would have to guess Jame’s answer before we played each clip. It was really fun for those who do not know James to experience his personality on film and she loved having the other bridesmaid included. Plus, their answers were hilarious!

FOOD & DRINKS

This is why you attend a bridal shower, right? For the free food 🙂

Food

  • Coffee Bar: Hot and iced coffee with plenty of flavor varieties, creams, etc. The iced coffee was a hit!
  • Sea Water: This was super simple, a combination of lemon-lime soda, orange juice, and blue food coloring. I served this in a punch bowl that looked more like a fish bowl.
  • Shrimp & cocktail sauce: self explanatory…
  • Seaweed Dip: Spinach artichoke dip with toasted baguette slices
  • Veggies and hummus: Cucumber slices (sea cucumbers), carrots (Sebastian crab legs), and bell pepper slices (octopus legs). I served three different flavors of hummus.
  • Green Chile “Sushi”: The bride is a New Mexico girl, so green chile is a must! And these were probably the biggest hit at the party. Here’s the super simple recipe!
  • Crab sandwiches: I filled mini crescents with an imitation crab recipe by Olive the Ingredients. The recipe was for pinwheels, but I just stuffed it into the crescents instead
  • Balsamic Watermelon Salad: This was my fave! Recipe is from Layers of Happiness
  • “Clam” Spritz Cookies: I stacked two on top of each other with frosting and a candy pearl
  • Mermaid inspired sugar cookies: These took FOREVER, but they were adorable and worth it

cookies

Last but not least… FAVORS

I had a fun idea for a “build your own favor” bag. So, that’s what I did! I had a cute frame with instructions for each guest to pick a bag, a bath salt flavor (made by Inspired by Sisters), a mini bottle of gourmet salt, and a bag of those adorable cookies to take home.

favors

FINAL THOUGHTS

I wouldn’t change a thing! I loved every little detail. Perhaps, next time, I will do more prep work weeks prior, rather than not sleeping the entire week before. And I should give myself time to get ready between set up and go time… But I loved it, and more importantly, Ali loved it!

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Feel free to ask any questions about the details, recipes, etc. in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!

Much love,  Taryn    xoxo11825764_10152879548851511_6242717453525241595_n

PS: I didn’t do anything big and crazy for the Bachelorette Party and actually just used Splashthat.com to create a website to act as my liaison for details, invites, etc. Check out our bachelorette party website. I totally recommend doing a site for your next event.

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Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower

I finally get to write a good post because I am not having to hide all my secret projects from my sister-in-law!

The bridal shower finally came around and we had such a blast. Check out this great overview of the planning and details. Everyone was perfect and the bride-to-be was knocked off her feet!

Me and the lovely bride to be!
Me and the lovely bride to be!
Check out this girl!
Check out this girl!

FOOD AND DRINK

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  • Mimosa bar – complete with different juices and fruits for the garnish. The guests were each given a hand-painted champagne glass as their favor
  • Tea bar – the bride to be loves tea! We offered a wide variety of hot and cold teas with beautiful china tea cups to sip on (the caffeine was a great contrast to the champagne)
  • Giant cheese and cracker board
  • Lunch: 3 different tea sandwiches, caprese, macaroni salad, ramon salad, and fruit
  • Desserts: beautiful chocolate truffles and creme brulee served in tea cups (both regular and chai tea flavors)

DECORATIONS

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We really focused on incorporating a champagne theme with pink and gold decor, while also incorporating an antique tea party theme by using aged items and gorgeous antique tea cups. The entire house was filled with pictures of the beautiful bride-to-be and her studly fiance. At the front entrance, we used a paneled room divider to hang string of fake flowers, tiny jars full of fresh baby’s breath, and the couple’s engagement pictures.

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We really loved the idea of incorporating fresh flowers all over the house, a bride favorite. The morning of the shower, one of the bridesmaids stopped by Trader Joe’s and grabbed banquets of wild flowers and baby’s breath. We used wine bottles, jars, and medicine bottles (some of which were spray painted gold or covered in sparkles) as the centerpieces on the table. Some tables had picture frames or tea cups or antique lanterns. And, of course, everything was filled with flowers.

GAMES

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The maid of honor did a great job of coming up with some games. We had some simple games spread out through the house to entertain people while we waited on the guest of honor to arrive. There was a game to guess the number of corks in a jar and a “write a date night” jar, to which Spencer got to pick her favorite date. The best game of the day incorporated the groom! The maid of honor prerecorded a bunch of interview questions with the groom and Spencer had to guess his answers. The best part was the fact that the groom got to “say hi” to the room and give a super emotional message to Spencer in the end that had all the women in the room in tears.

GIFTS

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Man did this bride get spoiled! It was so much fun to see the creativity from all the women in the room. Some of the best gifts included: a towel cake, homemade initials wall decor, custom frames, and a custom hanger for the bride’s dress. I was lucky enough to have kept the bouquet she had caught at my wedding, so I framed it for her along with a photo strip of her catching the flowers and a poem to her. The maid of honor did a fabulous job putting together a “365 days” photo project for the married couple to capture their first year of marriage on disposable cameras (therefore, no retakes available!). We also put together a combined gift from everyone who was invited to the shower: a Project Life book filled with pictures of the bride with her guests, recipe cards, and notes of advice from all those dearest to the bride.

It was such a special day and I am so glad I got to be a part of it. This weekend, we get to host the bachelorette party and I cannot wait to share the planning and pictures for that event!

XOXO Taryn

DIY: “Brunch & Bubbly” Bridal Shower invites

“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”  — Martha Graham

 

Whew! I apologize for the major delay in making a new post. I am very human and have been quite overwhelmed recently! I haven’t posted for a few reasons: I have been very, very busy with teacher training, I have had extra things on my plate, and most importantly, I have been eager to post about the invitations we designed for my sister-in-laws bridal shower. I wanted to post the invitations and how they were made, but wanted to wait until I knew the majority of the people who may wander into my blog had already received their invitation and did not feel left out.

This has been my life
This has been my life

So, here it goes: my first super simple tutorial post on making these adorable “Brunch and Bubbly” invitations. I do get basic ideas from scrolling the internal (mostly, my Pinterest boards), so there may be aspects to the invitations that I took from things you have already seen before. The best part about getting creative is that it is not wrong to use other ideas if you can tweak them into something totally YOUnique!

I blurred out personal information for privacy

I blurred out personal information for privacy

First things first: I cut all my cardboard white paper into a 5×7 size (to fit into the envelope size I picked up). I decorated the borders of the white paper using gold paint and the top of a pencil eraser. I used two different shades of gold, but whatever you think is best!

paint

Next, I wrote “Brunch & Bubbly” on these awesome pre-cut paper pieces I got from the craft store. There are two reasons why I didn’t simply print this item: I wanted the gold to be metallic and I didn’t want to hand cut all the shapes. Up to you on whatever you’d like to do. I used paint pens, but Sharpies work great too and are available in metallics.

Other pieces included on the main invitation are the gold strip of paper and the invitation verbiage I printed onto the pink cardstock. The gold strips of paper are 2×5” and the pink piece is 4×6”. I designed the wording using publisher by making my own paper guide size and making sure to measure the space I needed to leave for the “Brunch and Bubbly” piece. I used glue sticks on some of my invitation and double-sided tape on others. Both worked equally well; however, I would suggest scrapbooking glue pens or scrapbooking sticky tabs if you have them.

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We also included some extras with the invitation, including a basic recipe card, an additional information card, and a tea pouch with the registry information on it. To make the tea pouch, I purchased mini brown paper sacks and taped on a piece of paper with the registry information (which I also painted with metallic watercolors to add sparkle). We placed a tea bag in each sack and hole-punched the sack to tie the invitation all together with simple pink ribbon. I think the extras should be unique to the bride, which is why I added the tea bags (because Spencer LOVES tea).

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Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below and I will be sure to respond to them. Thanks everyone,

Taryn xoxo

This is Wesley while I am working hard on homework...
This is Wesley while I am working hard on homework…