A Galentine’s Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash

When Leslie Knope first introduced the world to Galentine’s Day, it seemed like such an obviously wonderful idea that it’s kind of hard to believe it was dreamed up by a network comedy. I mean, we should have been celebrating this all along, right? (See also: Treat Yo Self.) And a Galentine’s Day party is the perfect way to ask your favorite ladies to stand by your side on your big day. We love the bold pink and gold color palette of this shoot, which also incorporates one of our favorite tricks for a statement wall: flowers + tape = fabulous. The Love Potion cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to a host of sweet treats, including delicate painted macarons, and each guest was greeted with a personalized “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” box. A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild PhotographyA Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild PhotographyA Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild PhotographyA Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild PhotographyA Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild PhotographyA Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild PhotographyA Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild PhotographyA Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography A Galentine's Will You Be My Bridesmaid Bash | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Jessica Fairchild Photography

Photography: Jessica Fairchild | Event Planning: Fairy Godmother: A Wedding & Event Company | Venue: 20th Street Cottage | Baked Goods: De Coeur Bake Shop | Paper Flowers: Lolita’s Blooms | Stationery: Matinae Design Studio | Bridesmaid jewelry gift: 2 Tiny Hearts | Balloons: Paradise Balloon Designs | Hair: Revive Salon | Makeup: Savvy Skin | Rentals: Walker Lewis Rents

50 Simple and Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas

50 Simple and Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas from Ultimate Bridesmaid

So you’re planning a bridal shower or bachelorette party and need some ideas for simple yet stylish party decor? You know, something that’s going to look awesome but doesn’t require power tools and an MFA. Maybe you’re wondering how to arrange flowers in a creative way. Or you need a simple photo booth idea you can put together in a snap. Looking for inexpensive and easy but gorgeous party decorations? We’ve got ideas—50 of em, to be exact.

50 Simple and Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas from Ultimate Bridesmaid

1. Love It Table Display: Some glittery paper, a bit of baker’s twine, metallic wrapping paper, a few fairy lights and ta-da! A gorgeous table display that she’ll absolutely love.

2. Hey Girl Law Sign: You had me at “hey.” This simple DIY yard sign will make a huge impact at an outdoor bridal shower (plus, there’s a bonus matching printable placemat!).

3. Confetti-Dipped Balloons: Balloons are probably the simplest and most inexpensive decor you can find—and there are plenty of ways to make them extra-special. Try adding metallic gold confetti (once you start dipping things in glitter, you probably won’t be able to stop).

4. Simple Conversation Balloons: It could not be easier to jazz up regular old balloons. Suddenly they look thoughtful and totally pop (well, not literally).

5. Kissed Balloons: I’m kind of obsessed with these balloons. Like, how could you not be? Carry the kiss theme through your party with a Dress Code: Red Lip theme.

6. Confetti-Filled Balloons: Add a pop of color to a simple clear balloon by filling it with confetti. Simple yet stunning, this DIY will be done in a snap.

7. Confetti Sticks: When in doubt, add more confetti. These cute confetti sticks make an adorable display on your table and a great favor as well.

8. Glitter Champagne Bottles: You’ve seen it, you’ve loved it, now do it yourself.

9 Photo Booth DIYs for your bridal shower + 41 More Simple and Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas from Ultimate Bridesmaid

9. Lace Curtain & Bedsheet Photo Booth: You’d never guess that this background is a combination of lace curtains, bedsheets and tablecloths. Sometimes the simplest things are the most beautiful.

10. Flower statement wall: Any flowers + colored washi tape of your choice = amazing statement wall.

11. Popsicle Photo Booth Backdrop: This DIY photo booth backdrop just screams summer.

12. Balloon Photo Booth: Balloon truth: The more you have, the better.

13. Fringed Photo Booth: Need a bold background for a photo booth (that won’t take forever to assemble)? Look no further than this simple fringed backdrop project.

14. Tropical Photo Booth Props: We love these printable photo booth props for a summer bridal shower or destination bachelorette weekend at the beach.

15. Honeycomb Heart: Have honeycomb diamonds, can create honeycomb heart. Perfect for a photo booth backdrop or a statement wall to draw the eye.

16. Kaleidoscope of Colors Paper Garland: Sometimes the right combination of simplicity and excess is the key—like in this simple yet stunning paper garland. It’s not perfect and regimented—it’s wild and fun!

17. Streamer Background: Feel overwhelmed by DIYs? Can you hang lots and lots of streamers? You can do this then.

6 Perfect Pinatas for your Bachelorette Party + 44 More Simple and Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas from Ultimate Bridesmaid

18-23. Piñata-palooza: There’s something pretty spectacular about a piñata. Fill yours with candy, mini liquor bottles, light-up rings, temporary tattoos, confetti—whatever. Here are a few of our favorites: DiamondGilded Piñata MakeoverPineapple, Lipstick, Watermelon and Taco.

7 Gorgeous Floral Styling Ideas for your Bridal Shower + 43 More Simple and Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas from Ultimate Bridesmaid

24. Hanging Flower Chandelier: You don’t have to be a florist to made a strong statement with flowers. Choose full, long-stemmed blooms to create this stunning floral chandelier.

25. Flower Cans: We love finding innovative objects to use as vases. Tomato cans give a vintage vibe to these bright gerber daisies.

26. Gold Painted Vases: Add instant specialness to a vase by dipping it in liquid gold leaf.

27. Pineapple Vase: Hosting a luau? This easy trick will bring the island vibe to your shower in no time.

28. Popcorn Flowers: Who knew that popcorn containers filled with hydrangeas or ranunculus could look so much like the real thing! These arrangements were the perfect detail for a carnival-themed shower.

29. Tea Pot Planter: The perfect decor for your tea party shower. A pure white pot has a more modern look, or go for a vintage vibe with patterned mismatched china.

30. Scrapbook Paper Vases: Collect plain glass bottles and decorate with scrapbook paper and a bit of twine. This DIY is so fast, but the result is contemporary and oh so cute.

50 Simple and Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas from Ultimate Bridesmaid

31. Bunting Banner: A great way to incorporate her wedding colors at a low cost. This simple DIY project uses fabric scraps, double-sided tape and a little fishing wire for major impact.

32. Rug and Pillow Seating: Mix things up by nixing the chairs. Mix and match an assortment of rugs and pillows for a relaxed outdoor dining experience.

33. Messages for the Bride: These clever bridesmaids covered a message board in wrapping paper to match the shower’s color scheme, then taped up envelopes for the months and days leading up to the wedding. Guests left both silly and serious messages of encouragement and love for the bride to read as her big day approaches.

34. Gold Confetti Table Linens: Fab alert! This killer gold table runner is actually made from metallic sheeting from Party City, sold in 15-foot rolls and perfect for making affordable look chic!

35. Black and White Letter Board: Simple yet bold, a sweet saying on a black and white letter board adds a perfect accent to your table.

36. Closet Bar: Short on space? Turn your closet into a bar. These bridesmaids draped gold tinsel in the back of the closet and added a gold-framed sign to create this whimsical moment.

50 Simple and Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas from Ultimate Bridesmaid

37. Poolside Decor: These creative bridesmaids incorporated spring greenery, tons of tassel garlands and a cute and simple banner to create a whimsical poolside oasis.

38. Vintage Wash Tub Drink Cooler: Not everyone has a vintage wash tub lying around, but take a cue from this example and reimagine things you (or your grandma) already have in your home.

39. Flower Wall Sconces: I would have these in my house all the time if possible.

40. Travel Shower Suitcase Cake Display: A vintage suitcase made the perfect cake display for this travel-themed bridal shower. The bride also had a fruit and yogurt bar, so empty fruit containers serve as a great accent.

41. Flowers in Limes: Use this quirky styling trick for a fiesta bridal shower. We love the freshness of the lime green (not to mention the scent of citrus in the air).

42. Lemon Place Card: So cute, so easy and so fresh. Half a lemon and a few scraps of patterned paper or fabric are all you need to create this sunny little place card.

43. Glitter Craft Letters: The crafty ladies of Linen, Lace and Love created an Ice Cream Bar sign using craft letters from Paper Source and some spray paint, but you can use their method to create any message. Simple and stunning.

50 Simple and Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas from Ultimate Bridesmaid

44. Confetti Poppers: While this DIY looks complicated, it’s actually incredibly simple. Which is our very favorite type of DIY.

45. Rustic Vintage Tree Photo Display: An antique glass water jug and a branch from the host’s yard made for a rustic natural photo display.

46. Picture balloon: Displaying pictures of the bride- and groom-to-be is always a nice idea. You can also celebrate the bride’s friendships by using pictures of her with the important women in her life, or use pictures of the bride throughout her life for the old “guess what age the bride is” game. I love this creative method of displaying the photos.

47. Gem Statement Wall: We’re a little bit in love with a “You’re a Gem” party. There are just so many cute decor options…like this statement gem-covered wall.

48. Rossette Tablecloth: Pretty patterned linens can be expensive. You know what’s not expensive? Lettuce. That’s right, this tablecloth’s bold pattern is made with lettuce.

49. Pinwheel Wall: Go crazy with pinwheels to create this statement wall. The paper decorations make a huge impact at an affordable price.

50. Floating Presents: Just wrap styrofoam blocks to pull off this trick. (Pro tips: Don’t wrap the bottom—these won’t last forever and leaving the bottom unwrapped will extend their life a bit. Also, only put them in the pool right as the party begins.)

My Favorite Whole30 Recipes

I recently completed my first Whole30! You can read a complete recap of my experience (the good and the bad) here, as well as my results and check out all the details of the program here. Here, I’m sharing my favorite recipes from the Whole30, as well as my approach to cooking for the week.

My Favorite Whole30 Recipes

My Whole30 Approach & Weekly Cookup

I don’t mind eating the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch. I think this would bother some people, but for me it’s totally fine. So for my Whole30, I would cook my breakfasts and lunches for the weekdays every Sunday. For breakfast, I would have a hard-boiled egg and half an avocado with black iced coffee. This is a little bit of a light breakfast for Whole30, but I found it to be the right amount for me. Some days I would have the whole avocado or an extra egg if I needed more fuel. For lunch, I would have roast chicken breast along with roasted vegetables, which I would vary week to week (carrots, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli rabe, etc.). I’d also bring an orange or apple to work to have with lunch or as a snack and would always have a Larabar in my purse (my favorite flavors are Carrot Cake and Coconut Creme Pie). Then, when I got home I would make dinners (though we would usually have enough to have leftovers one or two nights a week).

Weekends were the exception and honestly were harder for me than the weekdays. I think I do well with routine and weekends break routines. Since we don’t have a weekend wake-up time, there’s no set breakfast time. And since each weekend day is different, it’s harder to plan out in advance what you’ll eat. Still, I muddled through. Andrew and I would make awesome breakfasts (my favorite below) or go out to breakfast (by far the easiest meal to eat out on Whole30). One other thing that helped me out was doing the Whole30 in January, a month that’s super antisocial (hi, biggest snowstorm in NYC’s history). We hung out with friends a few times, but it was mostly at their house or ours, so it was pretty easy for me to stay on track.

One challenge was that my work friends wanted to throw a little birthday celebration for me. Our workplace is big on birthdays and it usually includes a breakfast of bagels and smears, an afternoon cupcake treat or a pizza lunch. Obviously, all those things were out for Whole30. I had told my coworkers about my Whole30, so they were aware and supportive and asked me what I would recommend for my birthday celebration. I came up with the idea of ordering in tacos from a great local tacqueria (that makes everything from scratch) and just ate my scrumptious chicken taco bowl with lettuce, salsa and guacamole.

Here are a few of my favorite meals from the Whole30: Continue reading

My Whole30 Experience and Results

My Whole 30 Experience and Results

I first heard about the Whole30 on one of my all-time favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess. Elsie’s post about her experience is well worth the read and a lot of things she said really resonated with me. At the start of her post, she talked about how frustrated she was that exercise never led to weight loss for her. She said:

One of the biggest things I have learned is that fitness and weight loss aren’t the same thing, and they don’t necessarily come hand in hand…[When I was training for a marathon] I was definitely feeling stronger and more disciplined than ever before in my life. I was running long distances leading up to the race (five miles, then six, then eight, then ten….), and it was a great experience! But I did this at my highest weight ever. And I’m not going to lie…it was frustrating in some ways because, even though I felt accomplished and fit, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t lose any weight. —Elsie, A Beautiful Mess

That. Is. So. Me. I could not put it better. I had recently been feeling really betrayed by my body. I had felt as though I was doing the things you are supposed to do: being mindful of what I eat, pushing myself to exercise more and better, but with little to no result on the scale. Over the past two years I made it a goal to up the amount of exercise in my life. I woke up an hour earlier every day and went to the gym four to five times a week before work. I was running faster and longer and my flexibility and strength were better than they had ever been in my life thanks to yoga and Pilates. I could feel muscles forming, I knew I was getting stronger, I had more energy—but I was not losing weight. Far from it—if anything, I gained weight. Now don’t get my wrong, focusing on increasing exercise to my life was NOT a mistake. This routine has become an integral part of my life and I’m 100% grateful for this. Moving your body every day is a good thing, no question about it. But the fact that I was putting in all this time and work and my clothes were fitting WORSE, not better, was very, very discouraging. Why was I waking up early every day, trudging through the rain and snow to the gym, if the result was just that I needed to size up in my pants?!

I also ate what I felt was a pretty healthy diet, mostly by cutting out grains and legumes during the week and limiting when I added dairy like cheese or milk to a dish. I rarely indulged in sweets. But I definitely made exceptions; my rules weren’t hard and fast. I looooove cheese. I regularly indulged in wine or my favorite drink, gin and seltzer with lime (seltzer! it’s healthy, right?!). I felt that indulging in a fancy cheese plate once every two weeks and a glass of wine or two (or more) a night was what I deserved for all the hard work I was putting in. I was willing to restrict things, but I wanted to live a little too, right?! But “living a little” often turned into total derailment on the weekends: let’s have bagels in the park this morning, football time, I’ll just munch on a few of those fries at the bar while we drink a few beers and watch the game, whew, what a day, I’m tired, should we order a pizza?? Drinking led to bad eating decisions as well—hello, cheese drawer, my old friend—and I’d wake up the next morning feeling disgusted with myself. I’d throw myself back into my restrictive eating to try to make up for my misbehavior.

Once I started reading about Whole30, I liked what I saw. You can read all the details for yourself here. I liked that the program was very clear. Some people might be put off by how restrictive it is, but to me this is one of the benefits. Plans that allow you to save up “points” for “treats” just do not work for me. Cheat days do not work for me. I think this is because it’s really psychologically confusing for the body. One day you may have saved up enough calories to have that slice of lasagna. The next day, you can’t. I don’t think your body and mind truly understand that difference. It’s also a very negative loop. Either you’ve “been good,” so you deserve the treat, or you’ve “been bad,” so you can’t have the thing you want. Whole30 has none of that. Foods are approved or they are not. There’s no “this week you can’t have dairy but next week you can have a little bit.” For the 30-day program, you either can eat it or you can’t.

I also liked that Whole30 involves no math. There is no calorie counting. There is a meal template that shows you basically how much protein, vegetables, fat and fruit should be incorporated into a meal, but it’s a rough guideline. As long as you are eating approved foods, you are following the program. You are doing it right! You are also not starving yourself on Whole30. Because you are eating nutrient-dense foods and filling up on them, you not only have more energy, but you don’t get hungry as quickly. One of my mantras while dieting used to be “if you feel hungry, that’s good, it means it’s working.” NOOOOO. No, that was so bad.

Whole30 is also psychologically healing and supportive in a way that most diets are not (they claim to be, but they are not). It sets you up to eliminate guilt. The program is strict for 30 days, but after that, your choices are your own. You can choose to reintroduce the foods you missed—or discover you don’t miss them as much as you thought. The goal is to break bad food habits and addictions you’ve developed, develop new clean eating habits and then give you a baseline health to which you can incorporate the things you love. I know I’m not going to live a life without cheese. That’s just not going to happen because cheese is heaven. But Whole30 gives you a way to eat cheese AND NOT FEEL GUITLY. It helps you get to a place where you don’t need cheese. And this applies to whatever your dragon is: sugar dragon, pasta dragon, pancake dragon, pizza dragon, cheese dragon. Continue reading

Bow & Drape Custom Sweatshirts (and So Much More)

So guys, I just stumbled across Bow & Drape and now I am obsessed. I know I need one of these bling-tastic totally-custom sweatshirts for my very own, but I just can’t decide what to put on mine! Ever since I discovered these I’ve been brainstorming cute phrases to slap on ’em, and I just had to share with you guys! Here’s how it works.

bow and drape

You can totally buy one of their super-cute designs, like the ones above. OR customize your own, whether it be a soft sweatshirt, a polka-dot metallic pouch, a knit beanie or a snuggly sweater for your furry friend (for reals). And if you’re feeling super-fun, pop on a little flair, like sequin lips or mini French fries.

Obviously my first thought was that these would be awesome gifts, either from the bride to her bridesmaids or vice versa. You could go classic and just get her name in hot pink sequins, or get creative! Add that phrase she’s always saying, a tagline from your favorite show or the way you met (College Roomies, BFFs Since 2nd Grade). Or check out some of my designs below (you can order them here).

Ultimate Bridesmaid Bow and Drape sweatshirt designs

A Savannah Bachelorette Weekend Guide

Savannah has so much to offer as a bachelorette destination. The city has an almost ethereal charm, from the quaint oak-filled squares and colonial mansions to the scrumptious Southern cuisine and friendly locals. Below you’ll find our recommendations for a bachelorette weekend in Savannah packed with good food, gorgeous strolls and to-go cocktails (yep, you read that right). A Savannah Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, eat and drink and what to do for an epic bachelorette in SavannahA Savannah Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, eat and drink and what to do for an epic bachelorette in SavannahA Savannah Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, eat and drink and what to do for an epic bachelorette in SavannahA Savannah Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, eat and drink and what to do for an epic bachelorette in Savannah

For classic upscale Southern elegance, we love the Gastonian. For the budget-conscious, the Hilton Garden Inn and DoubleTree are well placed near River Street and plenty of shopping and can serve as a good home base to explore the city. For more space and a bit of local character, opt for a home rental, like this modern townhouse apartment near Forsyth Park.

Explore the Downtown Design District for the perfect mix of eclectic boutiques and galleries. As the home of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), it’s no surprise that Savannah’s shops are filled with unique jewelry, art and clothing from local designers.

Take a shopping break and savor a scoop of tutti frutti ice cream at Leopold’s, a Savannah institution. The classic soda counter has been serving up sundaes and cones for almost 100 years.

For a laid-back first night in the city, book a table at Moon River Brewing Company for casual pub food with a Southern twist. You may end up visiting an abandoned section of the brewery later if you happen to take a ghost tour…

Speaking of ghosts, we highly recommend booking a private ghost tour with Tara’s Tours. Savannah is known for being one of the most haunted cities in the country—almost every house has a resident ghoul and every local has a paranormal encounter to share. We recommend Tara’s Boos and Brews tour: Half bar crawl, half ghost tour, this is perfect for a bachelorette party. Take advantage of Savannah’s lack of open container laws by bringing along light-up to-go cups (yep, most bartenders will make you a drink in your own cup to go!).

End your first night at McDonough’s for all-night karaoke. May we suggest “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”?

Refuel after your night out by grabbing a table on the balcony at Huey’s on the River and ordering the crabcakes benedict with one of their famous Bloody Mary’s (plus a plate of pillowy beignets sprinkled in powdered sugar to share, of course).

Take a stroll. Savannah is an incredibly walkable city and the houses are arranged around lovely squares filled with trees and flowers. If you happen to be in the city at the beginning of April, do not miss the Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens.

Host a shower in Forsyth Park. The iconic fountain at the center of the park and romantic oaks dripping with Spanish moss is the perfect setting for a picnic shower.

A night out on River Street, the hub of Savannah nightlife, is a must. Start at the rooftop of the Bohemian Hotel for cocktails and tapas overlooking the river. If you’re feeling a little country line dancing, head to Saddle Bags (mechanical bull riding optional), or get your dance on at Club 309 West.

Photos courtesy of VisitSavannah. com. Images 1, 2, & 4 by Geoff L Johnson, image 3 by Dylan Wilson

Pink Bridal Shower Inspiration Board

I know some of my ladies out there just can’t get enough pink, so this inspiration board is for you. Just be sure not to drift into baby shower territory though! Keep your shower on the adult side with one of these two tricks: 1) Pair pink with metallic gold and glitter accents to add grown-up sparkle and shine, or 2) Rather than bubblegum pink, choose a hot pink or fuchsia to keep the look fresh and fun (just like you). For more inspiration, check out our Pink Bridal Shower board on Pinterest.

Pink bridal shower inspiration board

Image credits: Pink fringe photo booth, chevron treat bag, tulip table setting, pink sequin table setting, pink glitter champagne glass, rose feature wall, grapefruit cocktail, red velvet pancakes, umbrella shower decor, shower game and straws