Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kitchen Shower, a Non Traditional Bridal Shower

Traditionally, bridal showers were occasions during which a bride-to-be’s female friends and relatives provided her with small gifts that she could use to set up her new household. The basic idea remains intact, but today’s bridal showers span across many different themes. If you’re in charge of planning a bridal shower, you’d probably like it to be special, practical and fun. Most bridal registries are at least half filled with all the modern gadgets and tried and true staples of a fully appointed kitchen. Since the bridal registry is already filled with kitchen items, why not host a kitchen themed bridal shower? Here are some kitchen shower ideas to get you started:

Venue: Depending on the size of your guest list, host your kitchen bridal shower at the mothers, a bridesmaids, or a relatives home, a local restaurant that is the bride's favorite, or something outside the box would be a culinary school that offers private sessions. If the shower is on the smaller side, move extra chairs into the kitchen. After all, at any party guests tend to congregate in the kitchen. Why not make them more comfortable there? If you choose to host the party at a local restaurant, try to find one with an open-themed kitchen where diners can watch chefs and sous-chefs in action.

Invitations: Once you have picked your kitchen shower invitation, (create your own, email me for a custom design invitation or check out Zazzle’s collection Kitchen Shower invites.) consider what information needs to be included with the invitation. For example, a great kitchen shower idea is to ask each guest to write out one of their favorite recipes to help the bride get started in the kitchen! If you plan to host the party at home, consider making the party a potluck. Then, ask each guest to bring the recipe for the dish they bring to the party. A fun way to jazz up your invitation is to frame it on mini cutting boards and hand deliver them.  
Source: Martha Stewart via Angee's Evention on Pinterest
 Decor: Think outside the box when it comes to centerpieces, decor and place settings. Use a collection of kitchen tools displayed in a utensil holder or other large item off the bride's registry. It also becomes a gift for the bride. If you need more than one centerpiece ask bridesmaids to each create a different one within the theme. Much of your bridal shower guest's time is spent in her seat, so don't go overboard with too much decor about the space and instead, pay more attention to each place setting's look and feel. For example, place cards; create place cards that are also a parting gift for your guests. Buy cookie cutters and use them as napkin rings around kitchen towels in the bride’s wedding colors & slip pieces of paper with your guest’s names through the cookie cutters. Use a ‘Towel Cake’ on the gift table or dessert table. 

Source: Robin's Creative Cottage via Angee's Eventions on Pinterest
Guestbook: Rather than purchase a book that the bride will look at a few times, create something that the bride can use or enjoy every day! Buy a plain white chef’s apron and a box of permanent markers. Ask your guests to sign the apron so your bride will have the happy memory of her kitchen bridal shower every time she steps into the kitchen! Or have guests write on plates to be mounted on the couple's wall later. Choose white dishes for the well-wishes, and metallic paint-pen for the written inscriptions. After the event, the bride can arrange the signed plates with patterned ones in a random grouping for a sophisticated feel.
Source: C.R.A.F.T. via Angee's Eventions on Pinterest
Games: One fun kitchen shower game is “Recipe Mix-Up.” To play, take a multi-step recipe and write out each of the steps on separate slips of paper. Guests or teams compete against each other to be the quickest to put the recipe correctly back in order. Another fun game is “The Apron & Kitchen Utensil” game. Get complete rules and how to play directions here!  Another fun idea for entertainment during the bridal shower is to hand out recipe cards and have everyone jot down at least one or two special tips and tricks for a successful marriage. Or, have everyone jot down at least one or two special tips and tricks for the kitchen. Everyone has special little things that they do to keep their kitchens tidy or to produce the best results in the kitchen possible, and an event like this is the perfect opportunity to compile everyone’s best advice. The bride-to-be is sure to refer to these cards again and again as she sets up her own kitchen, and she’ll remember each person who contributed their suggestion. You could dress a manikin with an apron monogrammed with the bride’s married initials and have guest place the cards inside the pockets. The apron will also be a great gift for the bride. 

The main reason to have a bridal shower is to get together and share advice about married life. The kitchen is the beating heart of any home, and this type of bridal shower will set the stage for a very happy household. This shower idea would as make a great housewarming party!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Mismatches Bridesmaid Dresses

Non-matching bridesmaid dresses are a very popular choice among brides — encouraging bridesmaids to wear something that generally coordinates. Nowadays, bridesmaids can wear a dress that suits their own unique figure, budget, and personality. It might sound odd, but it can be done and it can look amazing! Honestly, I love the way it looks. Plus, it’s likely something they’ll  wear again (none of that 27 Dresses business).

However, executing this trend can be a little tricky. It is important to remember that there must be an underlying theme that pulls the entire group into a cohesive look.

Here are some ideas and tips:

Different Shades:
The easiest colors to mismatch are neutrals. They tend to look extra chic, and it's easier to avoid color clashes. Keep in mind that the lighter the shade of the dresses, the better the overall group look. For a more eclectic look, you can opt to have bridesmaids wear both short and long dresses.

No Photo credit..via Pinterest
Different Styles:
If you're very particular about color, an easy way to mismatch your bridesmaids is to utilize the same color and/or fabric but with different styles. This way your bridesmaids can choose the shape and neckline that best compliments their body type.
Photo via The Sweetest Occasion
Different Colors:
For weddings with playful colors, switch it up with different colored dresses. Match them to your wedding palette to add a little oomph to your bridal party.

Photo via Allure Bridals
Same Color, Different Dress Styles:
Keeping the same exact color works well for brides who are determined to have a particular color for their bridesmaids. Give your bridesmaids a couple of fabric samples in the color you would like to wear and let them pick their own dresses. You may also want to include a few notes about length, or fabric.
Photo via Aria Dress
Same Dress, Different Accessories:
If you’ve picked a dress that all your bridesmaids are happy with, why not try accessorizing each bridesmaid differently with different colored shoes, earrings, cardigans, rings, necklaces or different bouquets for each.
Photo via The Sweet Ice Tea Soiree
Free Style:
If you're the type of bride with extremely stylish friends, this is the option for you. There are no ground rules because your trendy 'maids would probably break them anyway. Mix and matching different bridesmaids dresses are a great option if you feel like your girls have a great sense of style. Though you are giving them the freedom to choose what to wear on your wedding, you can always provide some guidance about your wedding theme to keep the look together.
Photo via Weddingomania
The most important thing to do is to communicate. Let your bridesmaids know what your ultimate vision looks like (make inspiration boards, send them color palettes and fabrics, etc.) and have fun with it! 

I know it works, here is one of my brides (my daughter) and her 'mismatched bridesmaids'.
My daughter and her bridesmaids

So what do you think? Would you consider having mismatched bridesmaids? What option would you choose?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Beauty of a Neutral Color Scheme!

I love a bright, colorful wedding as much as the next person, but I am 100% a believer in neutral color schemes. I think it goes back to the idea of “less is more” – there’s just something so beautiful about the absence of color. For this bride, adding a touch of blush pink and soft yellow just completed this look of understated elegance.

I love these table settings. They are so gorgeous!!

Images from Style Me Pretty.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Colored Wedding Dresses – Would You Wear One?

Photo via People Magazine
Jessica Biel wowed the wedding world last year when she married Justin Timberlake in a stunning pink Giambattista Valli gown and it seems she has started a trend with that pink wedding dress. Colored wedding dresses are on trend for Fall 2013 weddings. Trends show soft heavenly colors are popular. Creamy taupe, cloudy blues and pink blush pastel wedding gowns were the alternatives to the classic white wedding dress.

Photo via
But is it appropriate to wear a colored wedding dress?  Before I give you my personal answer, here’s a traditional rhyme that talks about the wedding dress colors and their meaning:

Married in White, you have chosen right,

Married in Blue, your love will always be true,

Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,

Married in Brown, you will live in town,

Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,

Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,

Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,

Married in Pink, your spirit will sink,

Married in Grey, you will go far away,

Married in Black, you will wish yourself back.

Silly, don't you think?

Photo via Google Image Search

Queen Victoria has been credited with starting the western tradition of white bridal gowns, although she was not the first royal to be married in white. Since then white has been the accepted color for a wedding.  It’s been said that blue or silver was the typical color for royalty. But she looked so very lovely, pure, and innocent in white that women followed suit.

 I think wearing a colored dress is the perfect opportunity to really let your personality show. Just because colors have their own meaning, doesn’t mean that you have to follow it.  That color doesn’t have to apply to you.  You create the meaning of that particular color to you and no one else.  What people think doesn’t matter.  As long as you can accept that, you can have whatever wedding dress color that you please. 

Me personally if I were to do it over again, PINK it would be! My only suggestion, go for something not so PROM-ish. 
Be sure to check out my Wedding Dress board on Pinterest for some absolutely stunning AND some questionable colored gowns. 
I am curious...what do you think about a colored wedding dress?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Birthday Party Celebrating the Decades

Photo via
What better cause for celebration than a girlfriend’s birthday? Many of you have written that you are hosting a birthday party for a special friend, and you’re seeking ideas that help you honor the unique and cherished person that she is. Well, go ahead and plan that party, because I am here to help you commemorate the occasion–whether she’s turning 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70 and beyond. If you need ideas and inspiration, this girlfriend decade party will help you create a “friendulous” birthday filled with fabulous memories.

Setting and setup:

Sometimes the simplest location can create an atmosphere for the best party. If you live in a warm area, plan to have the party outdoors on a deck or patio. Decorate with tabletop candles, strings of mini lanterns or lights, and pretty tablecloths. Tie a few balloons around the area for a little festivity. Do make sure lighting is adequate: if not, you may want to move the party indoors. It is always more charming to actually see the person you are talking to (and the food you are eating). Stick to the basics–a clean area and great lighting–and a wonderful party will follow. Your friends won’t remember if your tablecloth was from Bloomingdales or T.J Maxx, but the memory of having a good time is what will stay in their hearts and minds.

Cute decorating ideas: 
Here are a few ideas for unique tabletop decorations.

  • Try a photo sculpture of your girlfriend (from You can easily try this knock-off version from home if you are pinching pennies. Take a favorite photo to the photo copier/printer store, one such as OfficeMax or FedEx Office. A photo that shows the entire length of the person from head to feet works best. Ask them to enlarge the photo on a color copier to the size you are looking for. Cut out the photo so that just the person is showing, no background images. Glue person to cardboard and trim. Add a small triangular piece of cardboard to the back with glue to create a stand. Voila! You have the perfect decoration, the guest of honor.
  • For a really big statement, you can purchase life size cut-outs. These are a little expensive, but make for great photo ops. Snap a polaroid picture of each guest with the real birthday girl and the fake birthday girl at the same time. Leave the polaroids on a small decorative tray as a conversation starter. You may also want to snap the same pose with your digital camera, and give the pictures to the guest of honor after the party. She can use them to enclose in thank-you cards, or as remembrances of her birthday bash.
  • If you are looking for a more nostalgic touch, try having some decade-relevant toys on hand to spark memories and lots of conversation. Some relatively inexpensive, popular toys by decade are: 1930s-comic books and jacks, 1940s-dominos and marbles, 1950s-silly putty and hula hoops, 1960s-slinkys and yoyos, and 1970s-Uno and Rubiks cube. You get the idea! Your guests will undeniably want to play with these treasures, leading to lots of laughs.


Nowadays it’s pretty simple to find a cute, girly birthday invitation at your local party store. Evite is a great backup source if life gets in the way of your good intentions. If you are looking to be a little more creative, try helium balloons as invitations. Use your friend’s favorite color for the balloons, or, if she’s having a 50th birthday try gold to signify her golden years. Silver for a 60th birthday to signify the silver years.Balloons are a great way to set the tone for such a festive occasion. You can do this one of two ways: Using a permanent marker, write on one side, “Let’s celebrate Julia’s 40th!” On the other side, write details like, “Join us Sat., Aug. 4th, 7p.m., 229 Plum St., r.s.v.p. 615-123-4567.”  If you are having a surprise party, don’t forget to include that in the invitation. Or, instead of writing on the balloon itself, simply attach an invitation to the string of the balloon.Tie each balloon with a long string or ribbon and deliver in person to the invitees. Or, deliver in large, girly hatboxes from the local craft store and let them float up when the box is opened. If the invitee is not home, don’t forget to secure the balloon well by tying it around a door handle or chair. Just make sure there are no sharp objects around it!

Photo via Mollie Cochrane (Family member)
Food & Drink:

Since your party is all about your girlfriend, serve only her favorite appetizers, desserts and drinks. Consider adding popular foods from the specific decade in which she was born. Here is a food timeline that has popular menus and food ideas from the 1910s to the 1980s. A fun, reminiscent touch would be to have a candy buffet full of candy from the decade of her birth or childhood–this is sure to spark some memories. Here is a list of popular candies from the 1950s to 1980s.

Don't forget the cake! Make sure it represents the guest of honor. Weather by the decade or something special to her! (i.e. if born in the 80's try a Rubik's Cube Cake.)  Candles can create a waxy mess on the beautiful cake and a lot of smoke after they’ve been blown out. Try one of these fun singing birthday candles! If you’re in a pinch for time or don't have a budget for a custom cake, ask a guest to bake a favorite cake or brownie to bring to the party.

A non-fat alternative to the birthday cake is a beautifully arranged flower cake. For a whimsical touch, try the birthday hat bouquet. This is a great idea if the birthday girl wants to blow out the candles without the extra calories. Not only will it make a gorgeous centerpiece but it will be a nice gift for the birthday girl to take home.

A short toast to the guest of honor is definitely a must. Make your toast simple and from the heart. If you’re at a loss for words, you might try something like this:

“Let’s raise our glasses today

to celebrate

in a very special way

one of the very best things

that happened in 19__,

[your friends name].”

Connecting Activities:

Decade Trivia – You can easily make up trivia questions or a list of decade -relevant fun facts. Use or wikipedia to gather your facts. It’s fun to see which guest can get the most trivia questions correct. Just talking about the trivia and fun facts can lead your guests into sentimental discussions of the way things used to be.

About Her Trivia -  Give the guest of honor a list of personal interview questions to complete, and hide the answers from the other guests. Ask the party guests to answer the questions on their own sheets of paper. Then, have the birthday girl read her answers. The person with the most correct answers wins the game. It’s fun for your guests to learn things about their girlfriend that they never knew. Interview questions might include: What color are her eyes?, What was her first job?, What is the most unlikely job she’s held?, Where is the favorite place she’s lived or traveled?, What was the first car she drove?, What was the first job she held?, When did she first kiss a boy? What color was her prom dress?, What is her favorite snack food?, What is her favorite color?, She was voted “most” what in high school?, What is one thing she hopes to accomplish in the future?, What famous person would she most like to meet?, or What did she want to be when she grew up?

She Takes the Cake Stand – Ask your guests to write some words of wisdom on a glass cake stand. Make it interesting by asking for words of advice that the birthday girl has given to them, or by asking them to share their wishes for the future for her. Using different-colored, permanent, non-toxic glass markers from the local craft store (here is an example), you can give your girlfriend a unique serving piece by which to remember her special day from years to come.

Rockin' Guest Book- Find an album from the decade and have guest sign the cover with birthday wishes for the guest of honor

Gifts and Favors:

Want a meaningful birthday gift that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Prior to the party, ask each guest to choose a song that reminds them about the birthday girl, or a song that they’d like to dedicate to her, or just a fun song they can share together. Burn a CD containing the selected songs. If the guest list is small, add a song for every decade of her life on the disc. You can play this at the party, give to each of your guests as a party favor, and give this to your girlfriend as a way to invoke memories of a fun-filled day with those who mean the most to her. Another gift idea is this wooden keepsake box from filled with sound of special friends to touch the heart. If you are in search of a group gift idea, look no further. This beautiful box can be filled with the voices of everyone’s heartfelt greetings, memories and tributes. She will savor the memories each time she listens to this one-of-a-kind gift.

Gathering with your friends to celebrate an important birthday is a great way to make a special girlfriend feel supported and cared for. Even if it’s last-minute, with no elaborate planning involved, it will help her feel appreciated. 

This party idea will work for both your male friends and girlfriends alike! So “cheers” to your very special birthday party!