Cool Baby Shower Activities for Your Guests

July 25th, 2013

Match guests to their baby pics. Image: PamelaVWhite

So you’re hosting a baby shower. The guests have all arrived, the decor is perfect, the food is out…now what?

Baby showers are fun in and of themselves — the food selection and the opening of gifts provide entertaiment for the guest of honor and attendees.

However, some baby showers take a little something extra to get them off the ground. Here are a few great activities to get guests mingling and having fun.


Name That Tune, Baby!


Advice cards make an adorable keepsake for Mom and Dad.

Play music selections that have “baby” or “babe” in the title (“I’ve Got You, Babe” by Sonny and Cher, “Babe” by Stix, “Maybe Baby” by Buddy Holly, “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears) and have guests guess the tune. The person who guesses the most titles correctly wins a prize.

Shh – Don’t Say “Baby”

Keep track of how many times the word “baby” is said during the shower (you might want to enlist a friend’s help for this) and who says it. Each time a guest says “baby,” she gets a diaper pin on her shirt. The guest at the end of the shower with the least baby pins on his or her clothing wins.

Who’s That Baby?

Ask each guest ahead of time to send or e-mail you a picture of herself as an infant. At the party, set up the pictures, along with a sheet of paper in front of each photo. Guests much guess which baby is today’s adult.

Celebrity Baby Match-Up


Match celebrity babies to their famous parents.

Print out pictures of the children of various celebrities. Also print out a sheet of the parents’ names and have it visible. Gather guests around and have them guess who the celeb parents are. The most amount of correct matches wins.

Present Opening Lotto

Set a timer for a random amount of time and face it away from the mom-to-be as she’s opening gifts. When the timer goes off, the guest whose present Mom is opening wins a small gift.

Fun Party Scratch-Offs


Scratch off a game and win a prize! Easy and fun.

Buy game-of-chance scratchoffs. Guests can win small prizes such as a $5 gift certificate to a spa or to a coffee house.

Advice Book for Mom and Dad

Buy or make a pretty book with blank pages, or print or buy advice cards and bind them into a book. As guests arrive, have each sit down with the book and write out a piece of advice for the new parents. This will become a keepsake to treasure forever.

Baby’s Time Capsule

When you send out the party invitations, ask each guest to bring one item that symbolizes the time period Baby will be born in. It could be a CD of current music, a newspaper clipping, a piece of fashion clothing, etc. Gather these items as the guests arrive and put them into a pretty box. After Mom-to-be has opened her gifts, give her the time capsule as a special gift.

These ideas will get guests into the party spirit and open up conversations among guests who don’t know each other very well. They’re the perfect ice-breakers to make the baby shower awesome, so try them…you’ll be surprised how much guests get into a little fun and games!



Hot Ideas For Summer

July 17th, 2013

Image credit: Lapis Beach

Call me crazy, but I LOVE it when the thermometer pushes up into the 90s. Where we live, we get a nice coastal breeze to offset some of the fatigue of a truly hot day, but with the brilliant sunshine and lazy, warm, vacation feel of full-on summer.

Now’s the time for beachy honeymoons (even close to home because the weather is so balmy and beautiful), cute sandals, and tote bags loaded with beach towels and a really great book or two. Come celebrate the season with us with these great gift choices.


Cute Flip Flop Luggage TagspicFlipFlopLuggageTags

Going somewhere, darlings? Keep track of your luggage with these fun, summer-themed luggage tags.

Each measures 4″ X 2.5″, with plenty of room for your identifying details so your luggage will never get lost again. Available in a minimum order of 12, these tags make great gifts or wedding favors. They’re also fun gifts for your bridesmaids if you’re having a destination wedding.


picMuranoGlassCardHoldersMurano Glass Starfish Place Card Holders

Wow! Sophisticated yet whimsical (and oh so very summer), these Murano glass place card holders make great keepsakes. Give them as favors or set them up on your reception tables for an eye-grabbing presentation.

Each is 3″ tall, with a sea-theme swirl throughout. A heart shaped metal holder is attached at the top. On the bottom, a clear base holds them in place securely on your tables.


Summery Save the Date MagnetspicTropicalSavetheDateMagnets

Save the date magnets are great because your guests won’t lose them — and they won’t be surprised when the big day is suddenly upon them! Each is personalized with your info.

These courtesy reminders are beautiful as well as functional. They depict a tropical beach scene overlooking deep blue waters. A powder-blue sky arches overhead. Order minimum: 10 magnets.


picCherryBlossomFansCherry Blossom Fans

Guests keep cool with these pretty fans. Personalization is available if you’d like to turn them into keepsakes.

With a pretty Asian flair and bamboo handles, these fans will be a most welcome addition to your warm-weather outdoor wedding. They’re also adorable on your reception tables, doubling as both favors and decor.



Orange Sunflower Cupcake WrapperspicSunflowerCupcakeWrappers

Cupcakes are the “next big thing” for wedding desserts! Brides are choosing collections of them in tiers, and they’re also perfect for wedding showers. These adorable wrappers have petals extending from the sides to make a pretty summer sunflower.

The example shown is just right — white icing with brown specks, like the inside of a fresh summer flower. These are a special-order item, so get your orders in early.


Summer goes by quickly, so make this one memorable. Here’s to a warm and wonderful summertime filled with good times, and memories that will last.







Cake Toppers and Cake “Jewelry”: Wow!

July 7th, 2013

We know how it is. You have big dreams – on a less than royal budget. (Been there.) Yet your wedding deserves the very best you can give it; it is a testament to your and your groom’s love for one another.

Dilemma? Not with these gorgeous cake toppers and cake jewelry! We’ve selected only the highest-quality, most “oooh”-worthy pieces for our catalog (and for you). These pretty pieces start at  just $39.98 (yes, really), and all of the choices show below are less than $120. Enjoy, princess!

picPetiteMedalionsCakeTopperSparkling Petite Medallions: Make Your Whole Cake Sparkle

Gorgeous clusters of 1” diameter Swarovski crystal make your cake special. There’s just something about Swarovski that really catches the light, setting off beautiful glimmers to highlight your pretty cake.

Arrange the crystals at intervals as shown, or have your baker place them randomly on the surface of the cake. You can also have them glued to faux flowers. $79 for a set of 12 medallions. (Also see our larger size medallions here.)

Contemporary Love Birds: Modern Love! picContemporaryLoveBirdsTopper

Like all things contemporary? Then you’ll love the gorgeous lines of these two nesting birds. One bird gently snuggles his partner’s neck in a show of true and forever-love. This topper is 5.5” long, the perfect size to grace the top tier of your cake.

Take them home after the wedding and use them as a table topper to remind you of your special day. Their meticulous quality means you’ll enjoy them for years to come. A steal at only $39.98.

picMonogramsSparkleCakeTopMonograms With Swarovski Flowers: Style and Elegance

Your first initial and his grace the top of your cake beautifully with these Swarovski crystal-glazed letters. Check out the detailing in the crystal flowers – simply gorgeous.

They’re set on a glimmering metal background to catch the light in brilliance during your reception. And they’re big enough for real eye-grabbing impact. Available in any letter of the alphabet on a background of either gold or silver; $69.99 for the set.

Starfish Cake Topper: A Dreamy Beach Wedding picStarfishCakeTop

Dreams of romantic walks on the beach come to life with this simple – and simply elegant – starfish cake topper. It’s a pure, traditional “wedding white” and is graced with a cluster of seashells at its base. This topper stands 6” high for great visibility on the top tier of any cake.

Our Starfish is extremely popular for destination weddings, but it’s also perfect for a “closer to home” venue with a beachy theme.

picFairytaleCastleCakeTopFairytale Dreams Castle: A Regal Touch

Okay, all you princesses out there, this one’s for you! (And aren’t we all princesses on our special day?) This glazed porcelain creation sits atop your cake for a fairytales-come-true effect. Match it with other princess and traditional décor at your reception.

We love the detailing in this piece. (Click the enlargement in the link for a closeup.) And at the foyer are printed the words “And they lived happily ever after,” such a sweet addition. 6” high; $59.99.

Check out all our cake jewelry options here. And may all your wedding dreams come true.




Fall 2013′s Coolest Wedding Color Trends: Spice Things Up!

July 4th, 2013

With fall just three months away — and the fall weddings that come with it — we’ve had a lot of requests lately about choosing colors.

I LOVE color in weddings. All white, black-and-white, etc. have their own impact, but adding onto those traditional hues can really transform your wedding.

But which colors? Well, to find out what’s hot for fall 2013, let’s start at the source. If you haven’t seen color guru Pantone’s palette for Fall 2013, have a gander:

Source: Pantone

Pretty, eh? I was glad to see at least one jewel tone in there (acai) and some dreamy summer cross-overs (emerald, mykonos, deep lichen green).

Wow...amazing what a great hue can do. Gown: Vera Wang Bridal Gown 2013 collection.

Overall, Pantone’s 2013 picks for fall seem to lean toward earthy, with a bit of a retro flavor. That makes sense — each of these styles is has been super-hot for approximately the last three years. That doesn’t mean the colors aren’t trendy and fresh; it means brides are continuing to love them. Which is a good thing.

Now, with that said: I’m not calling myself the Queen of Color or anything (though I do tend to have an eye for it), but I would have loved to see a few more intense jewel tones. Subtle and soft is wonderful, but a punch of “clear” color can really make the wedding.

Other than that, I like Pantone’s choices overall. There’s so much you can do with them, and they undeniably say “fall.” Here’s where you can use a splash of color to make your wedding beautiful:

Your Wedding Wear

Instead of the traditional all-white, select ivory or antique for your wedding dress color, then add a colorful sash or bow. A few faux colorful jewels on your headpiece look amazing, too.

The Groom’s Attire

Naturally, the boutonniere is the one place grooms and groomsmen typically show some color. So start there. He might also look into matching his cumberbund or choosing a different but complimentary color to the boutonniere.

Your Bridesmaids

How about turning things around and dressing your bridesmaids white or antique to match your gown, with ribbons of gorgeous color throughout the fabric?  A fascinator for the hair is another cool color option for bridesmaids.

For a beautiful maid of honor gift, choose a real or faux gem necklace in a color that coordinates with your wedding.

Yes, these do taste as beautiful as they look. Brownie pops, mmmm.

Your Wedding Cake

Cakes are seriously dressed up this year. Have the bakery put pretty ganache “leaves” in fall colors around the base; add a few sprinkled on top. Edible candy gems around the base or on the sides is pretty, too.

Another way to add color: ask your bakery to use an all-over ganache in one of the above Pantone colors (or the fall color of your choice). That makes a very dramatic look and will be memorable to your guests.

Or choose a individual desserts in varying fall colors. Cupcakes, brownie pops or tarts covered in red berries are gorgeous and yummy.

Invitations and Wedding Favors

Awesome autumn bouquet boxes in trendy 2013 colors.

If there’s any time of year to go super-splendorous with color, it’s fall! Your wedding invitations will be unique if you choose colors that match your color scheme. One dramatic look that I’ve seen (and love) is a deep jewel-colored background.

Favors are another great way to add pizzazz. Either have the favors themselves match your wedding colors, or wrap them up in a colorful organza bow or in a box.

I can’t wait to see what our brides come up with for their autumn 2013 choices. Have fun with your selections, lovelies!

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.


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.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Bridal Shower

May 31st, 2013

The movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the epitome of what we talk about when we say “Hollywood magic.” Heroine Holly Golightly has no easy life, but she manages to bring a little glamour into what she does have. In fact, she brings it into practically everything she does (be warned, the movie does have a darker side — but if you haven’t seen it, rent it; it is one amazing film).

When we added the Breakfast at Tiffany (Chic Girl) collection to our store, it was just this magic and glamour we had in mind. If you’re like Holly, someone on a limited budget (aren’t we all?) but with big dreams, this bridal shower collection is for you!

Here are a few fabulous picks from the collection. Please note that most of the Chic Girl collection is available featuring an African-American chic girl as well. Enjoy, dahlings!

Classic and Classy Shower Invitation, With a Kick

Full-on glam! The very Holly-esque bride-to-be sits sipping champagne, draped in pearls and gems. But she’s got that fun-loving look in her eye…just like your bride-to-be! This invitation is a gorgeous color combo of classic black, white and smooth powder blue. This invitation retails at $2.25 per invite, with a minimum order of 10.

Marvelous Mints

Mmmmm…these mint favors come in five varieties: white peppermint, gumballs, mint bananas, sour apple or ducks (for a baby shower). As with the whole Chic Girl line, personalization is free with your purchase.

Zebra Print Luncheon Plates

The Zebra Print collection isn’t part of Chic Girl, but it ties in so perfectly that I just had to show it. I love to mix-and-match and these two collections seem like they were made for each other (just like the bride- and groom-to-be).

This luncheon plate is $4.15 for a package of eight; see the entire zebra print collection here.

Bridal Shower Scratchoff Game

Scratch off games are a great way to get the party in full swing! (The example shown here is our African American Chic Girl scratch off.) Guests who scratch off the circle and find a ring win. (Prizes not included, but we suggest a great tie-in gift to your theme like our pink dress manicure set, classy compact mirror or a little trinket in this sassy zebra print shoe favor box.)

Little Black Dress Advice Cards

Breakfast at Tiffany’s made the “little black dress” famous (and an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe). So here’s another perfect addition to Classy Girl:

Like scratch off and other shower games, advice cards get guests immediately in the mood for your shower. These cards will become a keepsake for the bride-to-be. We’ve seen “advice” run the gamut from tried-and-true to outright hilarious. Tell guests to use their imagination and come up with something great, then collect the cards and put them into a keepsake scrapbook. Give this to the bride and groom on their wedding day.

Stay glamorous, my lovelies!

It’s That Time of Year Again! Tips for a Great Grad Party

May 20th, 2013

Photo credit: Nottingham Trent University

Looking back on how this year has gone thus far (very well, in fact; we’re loving life over here), I was a bit jolted to realize we’re coming up on June.

But yup, it’s here again: June, with its June brides, a lot of June babies this year…and graduation for proud scholars!

If you haven’t started planning your favorite graduate’s party yet, don’t despair. Here are five great tips for putting together a beautiful and memorable grad party.

Graduation Party Tip #1: Black is Always In

Although not all grads wear black, it’s still the traditional color for graduation festivities. It’s also very chic, which your grad will love. After all, you may feel she isn’t all grown up yet…but she does!

Use black for your party invitations, paper products and decor. Touches of gold, silver or another accent color will add personality to your party.

Let everyone know how proud you are. Click for more info.

Graduation Party Tip #2: Invite Old Friends

Graduation is a nostalgic time. If you can, locate a friend or two from the grad’s childhood. This is the most

amazing gift you can give to both of them. We did this for my niece (she had moved away and still spoke occasionally to her kindergarten “best buddy”) and it was absolutely wonderful. They’re still in touch today.

Bringing old friends back together reminded them — and us — that no matter how many things happen in our lives, we will still always be “us,” and we will always have our childhoods to look back on with fondness.

Graduation Party Tip #3: Make it Unique

Fun grad cupcake wrappers.

Our friend had a breakfast bar for her son’s high school graduation. They set up plates of bacon and eggs, croissants, mini muffins, breakfast burritos and carafes of coffee and tea on a table in the back yard. Guests picked what they wanted and had a wonderful breakfast/brunch together.

Not every party has to take place on a specific day of the week or a certain time of day. Think up something unique and fun for your grad’s get-together.

Graduation Party Tip #4: You DON’T Have to Spend a Lot

If you’re tight on resources, consider alternatives like having the party in your back yard or a local park. Invite parents and have the party be a pot luck. You can suggest a food theme for this to make choices easier for guests.

Give inexpensive favors that are personalized. Personalization can often be accomplished very inexpensively (or for free) with favor purchases. Look for specials.

Graduation Party Tip #5: Have Your Graduation Party Earlier v. Later

Here's to her success.

Once graduation time hits, all the grads will be busy. They’ll either be having their own parties, juggling others’ parties, or getting set for the next school year (especially if that’s college)…or all three.

Our suggestion? Have your graduate’s party before graduation. Try for one to two weeks before the big day. That way there will be less decisions on which party to go to and which to decline (which is always a disappointment). And excitement for the coming graduation will be running high, so it’s the perfect time to have a party.

We’d like to take this opportunity to say congratulations to ALL 2013 grads…from preschool commencement to those who are receiving college diplomas. Your hard work has paid off — may the future be bright for you!

A Gorgeous Garden/Tea Party Bridal Shower

May 6th, 2013

Permit me a little walk through memory lane here.

My grandmother loved flowers. She had gardens all around her property, each one tastefully done. There were always cut and carefully arranged flowers in vases throughout her house. And one thing she really loved was a sweet, simple and beautiful garden party.

I get nostalgic seeing all the retro bridal showers today — especially those that involve all things floral. I think the look is so sweet, and it’s so very, well, bride-like.

Flowers have always been (and, in my opinion, will always be) a huge part of most wedding related festivities. After all, flowers are all about beginnings, growth, the innocence of fresh love and the beauty that’s in this world — and between the two of you.

Cute wedding tea favors. Click for info.

Where Should You Hold Your Garden Bridal Shower?

If you have a back yard, or if a friend or family member does, obviously, that’s your first choice. However, don’t feel limited to a large yard — or even to the outdoors. If you live in an area where weather may be a concern, or if you’re in an urban or small space, you can still add floral touches to your bridal shower.

If the weather is expected to be nice, don’t discount outdoor locales like the local park. Just be sure to call your city first to find out whether the park requires notice and reservation of picnic tables, gazebos, etc.

Yum - vine-covered brownie pops! (Mongramed, too!)

Garden/Tea Party Foods

Garden party foods don’t need to be expensive. That’s one of the great things about a garden party. Try:

  • finger sandwiches — any kind the bride and guests like
  • tea, iced for summer or hot for cooler days
  • cut fresh fruit arranged prettily on a tray with a few cut flowers for decoration on the plate
  • cookies, mini brownies, mini cupcakes
  • cool salads: potato;  pasta with sun dried tomatoes; three-bean; romaine lettuce with pecans or walnuts, plum tomatoes and a sprinkling of feta or another cheese; or any chilled salad that’s your favorite
  • sorbet – mmm!
  • fresh fruit punch

Your Table Setting, Decor and Shower Favors

Sweet, floral tea party dessert plates.

Use cut or silk flowers in a vase for your table centerpiece. A subtly floral-decorated tablecloth is also nice, but any pastel or soft color tablecloth will do for a garden party.

If you’re using a tent, gazebo or other covering, lace it with faux flowers and ribbons.

For favors, why not give small potted plants or a pretty packet of seeds? Another option: cute floral-shaped soaps and other toiletries.

Candles are always a favor “favor-ite:” you can even go to your local dollar store, pick up empty candle holders in frosted glass and hot glue small faux flowers to them. Make sure these don’t go near or over the lip of the candle holder because if you do, they’ll be too close to the candle flame.

What Types of Flowers?

Any kind you’d like! And don’t limit the decor and gifts to just flowers. Ferns, natural twig arrangements gathered in pretty bows and set around the table arrangement, and fruit are all pretty additions.

Lilies are traditional to weddings, as are baby’s breath. You may want to include some of each of these to add a very bridal feel to your garden wedding shower.

Have pics of your own garden bridal shower? Send them in! We may just feature you in a future post on

Bridal Showers, Revisited: Is Sophistication Back?

April 29th, 2013

Okay, my fine brides- and grooms-to-be. Are you ready for the latest in bridal showers?

We think this party napkin has (wait for it) a nice ring to it. N'est-c'e pas? Click for info.

Sophistication’s back!

Doin’ my little happy dance over here.

Look, it’s not that I don’t love the fun we’ve been having with playful themes. I do (and we’ve been having fun for sure — Hello Kitty retro, anyone?). And the earthy retro-chic movement in bridal is wonderful too. In fact, one of the best things about being a bride today is that we have so many choices that we can really let our inner selves shine.

But I admit to a longtime (read: from childhood — very very early childhood) love of all-things-sophisticate.

I don’t think I’m alone. I believe we all have that inner diva who secretly longs to make jaws drop when we walk down the aisle. Now, according to the top wedding sites, we’re being given carte blanche to pull out all the sophisticated stops. (Not that they could have stopped us secret divas anyway! NOBODY can stop a true diva at heart.)

Wow! Damask makes a huge impact. Shown: recipe box party invitation set.

So, ladies…let’s make that bridal shower one to remember.

Invitation Basics

As always, your invitation sets the tone for the party. Printed or actual

(glued) pearls are nice, and a glamorous font will add to the theme. Don’t worry too much about wording here — you can still be casual about that as it’s a party invitation. The imagery will speak for itself.

Stay understated with coloring, for example a creamy ivory background, or a smooth pastel (pink, green or grey work wonderfully here).

Delicious Decor

Lean toward pretty flowers, filigree — understated but elegant. Banners and the like aren’t necessary for this type of shower. You’ll announce the festivities with lovely plates (disposable is fine — just make sure the print is pretty), a garden party type table setup and perhaps big satin bows on guests’ chairs (so lovely).

...and the guests lived happily every after. Fairytale shoe candle.

Favors With Savoir Faire

Thank your guests in style with this theme. But don’t go crazy on costs — it’s the uniqueness of a sophisticated favor that’s the idea here.

You don’t have to lose all the magic when you go sophisticated; in fact, charm is key. We love the pretty Cinderella slipper candle shown at left.

Other ideas: mini luminaries; ceramic miniature tea caddies; $5 gift certificates to your favorite local spa; bubble bath in cute plastic “champagne” bottles.

Does Your Shower Have to Be Pricey?

Bottom line: sophistication means understatement coupled with your own personal flair. It doesn’t mean spending a lot. Have you seen My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding? Not that we’re not enchanted by that show (we are) but it’s a case in point. Those girls are spending a lot of cash. But understated and sophisticated? Not so much.

Careful selection of your shower items means you can have what you want without breaking the bank. Using delicious colors goes a long way toward delivering a sophisticated attitude to your shower. So do tiny touches like faux pearls, which normally aren’t too pricey at all. Pattern is another factor and won’t usually affect price.

Have a blast, ma cherie!