Congratulations, It’s a Shower – And You’re Organizing It

June 18th, 2013

Invite guests one month ahead of the party.

So your sister, cousin or bestie is getting married or is expecting a new bundle of joy. And guess who’s been nominated party organizer — you!

Fun? Not for all of our readers, many of whom have written in to us with one simple cry: “Help!”

Not to worry, my lovelies. We’ve organized the most important tips to help you make the shower lovely — with minimal fuss, intelligent budgeting and as few headaches as possible.

The Attendees List

Have a few fun party games ready.

Your first priority is to get a list of attendees. You won’t know how large a space you have or the personalities of the attendees unless you gather a list.

Whittle your list down if necessary. If you just don’t have the space for every single one of the guest of honor’s co-workers, for example, then you don’t.

Find out what the bride-to-be’s reception colors will be, or what the mom-to-be’s nursery colors are. Matching decor to the color theme will make the party more special to the guest of honor.

Ask for help. Parents and siblings are your obvious first choice here. You will want help with setting up and cleaning up and possibly with finding the venue, cooking, etc.

Location, Decor and Food

Determine the date and find your venue early. Your smartest locale will be at someone’s home, back yard or even at a local park. (Choose a locale that doesn’t require a permit.) These locations are all free and will help alleviate total costs.

Try to match decor with the guest of honor's colors.

Make food arrangements. If the shower will be a potluck, ask a third of your guests to bring an appetizer or covered dish, a third to bring drinks and a third to bring desserts. We don’t suggest catering unless you will be very comfortable with asking guests for a monetary contribution. That can be tricky; know your guests and whether they’d find such an arrangement acceptable.

Buy or make the party decor. Do ask the closest family members for help with this. Split duties and costs evenly.

Four to Six Weeks Before the Party

Send out invitations a month ahead of the party date. You can e-mail or send invitations via the post office. I find the latter to make a great memento for the guest, but it’s your choice. Either way, an RSVP is a must.

Buy simple party favors for the guests.

Arrange ahead of time who will be helping you with the party setup; be clear with them what time they’ll need to be there.

At and After the Party

Divide who will bring what foods.

Give blank thank-you notes to the guest of honor during the party as a gift. She will want to send thank-yous herself; this makes it all easier for her.

Find simple party games to keep things hopping during the shower.

Have a definite end time for the party. You don’t want guests lingering, and you’ll probably be tired after the party is over and will want to have enough energy left over to clean up.

If things get a little hectic during this process, remember that being asked to host a shower is an honor. Really. The guest of honor will always remember that you made her day extra special. Have fun with the process and remember to take lots of pictures to commemorate this very special occasion.

Your Fall 2013 Wedding: Last Touches

June 12th, 2013

Well, the countdown has begun for our autumn 2013 brides and we’re glad to say we’ve seen some gorgeous ideas so far!

Image Credit: Oxana Brik

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. Believe it or not, we do get some fall colors here in Southern California. And if we want the full blaze, that’s just a quick car trip away to the mountains, where the mornings are crisp and the aspens, maples and liquid ambar are on fire with color.

Gorgeous!

If you’re planning a fall wedding, you’re in your last quarter of the year to get your final touches all figured out. You most likely already have your venue and may have a gown selected but what about those “little extras”? We’re here to help! Here are some great final ideas for a beautiful autumn wedding.

Seasonal Foods for Your Reception or Bridal Shower

Delicious caramel corn, as seen on Rachael Ray.

Autumn is bursting with flavor! Warm, “heavier” foods like cakes and pies, flavors such as maple or cinnamon, and fruits/veggies such as apples, nuts and gourds are delicious to serve as appetizers or part of the main course.

Also select an autumn flavor and autumn decor for your wedding cake. How about a moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and sugar maple leaves around the base? Or perhaps a cinnamon spice cake covered in a satiny ganache?

Prettily cut-out spice cookies are yummy, adorable and rustic for an appetizer. They’re also great for your bridal shower.

Decor for Your Venue and Invitations

Choose sumptuous fall colors for your wedding venue and for your tabletop decor. Natural touches such as pine cones, uncracked nuts, leaves, twigs and bunches of autumn flowers are all nice touches.

Check out these gorgeous placecard holders.

These ideas are also perfect for your wedding and bridal shower invitations.

Fall lends itself to heaver, more dramatic colors and fabrics. Tie big rustic bows around the chairs at your wedding venue. Choose deep or gem colors for your tablecloths. You can also go deeper and more dramatic with color as regards your invitations.

The Wonderful Smells of Autumn

Use scent to really create the mood. Choose foods that give off rich, full fragrances (spices like cinnamon are great for this). Set the tabletops with autumn scented flowers, pine cones, open rustic style jars of spices and the like.

For wedding favors, give fall fragranced soaps or sachets. Our brides also love our selection of brownie pops for showers and at the reception.

Your Locale

Haven’t picked the venue yet? We love to choose an outdoor wedding and/or reception venue for autumn, but do make sure you have backup in case of weather. Pretty wedding tents can be rented, sometimes from the venue and sometimes from an outside source. Decorate these with climbing faux vines and leaves.

These touches are so easy to do and can be very economical. Autumn is practically a decoration in and of itself, so take advantage of this beautiful season to create the perfect, and perfectly beautiful, wedding.