Category Archives: Food and Drink

50 Food & Drink Ideas For Your Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Party

50 Food & Drink Ideas For Your Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Party

Planning a party menu can be a little bit daunting, so we’ve put together 50 of our favorite food and drink ideas for a bridal shower or bachelorette bash. Looking for a signature drink for a bachelorette party? A perfect tea party bridal shower menu? A show-stopping cake (that you actually bought at the grocery store and then just prettied up with a few quick tricks)? We’ve got it. Plus, a few no-fuss serve-yourself food and drink bars that will limit your time in the kitchen and some cute DIYs (hi, gem ice cubes!) to add a little wow to your cocktails. Cheers!

9 Spectacular Cakes For Your Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Party

1. Kissed Cake: We love this kissed cake for a red-hot bachelorette party. The best part? You can just customize a store-bought cake. All you need is edible pearl dust in shades of red, a new paintbrush and a stencil.

2. Very Berry Layer Cake: Celebrate the natural sweetness of summer berries by pairing them with a smooth buttercream and beautiful layers of yellow cake. The result is simplicity at its sweetest.

3. Coney Island Cheesecake: Warning: This cake contains the following ingredients: animal crackers, sugar cones, peanuts, vanilla ice cream, confetti sprinkles, and cotton candy flavoring. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

4. The Moistest Chocolate Cake: OK, I know some people have a thing about the word “moist.” But LOOK at this cake. Do you see it? I rest my case.

5. Candy-Filled Cake: Can all cakes be filled with candy? She’ll love this sweet surprise when she cuts into the cake.

6. Honey Earl Grey Cake: The absolute perfect tea party cake. We love that this cake is totally on theme and is simple to make.

7. Rosemary Lemon Cake: You’d never guess that this cake started its life in a grocery store case. The bridesmaids dipped a knife in hot water and ran it over the too-perfect icing to create a more handmade look, then topped the cake with fresh rosemary and lemon slices. Instant perfection.

8. Simple Flower Cake: Another way to spruce up a store-bought cake. Add one large statement flower to the top and a matching ribbon around the bottom. Done!

9. Candy-Covered Cake: We love tricks that turn simple store-bought cakes into design masterpieces. Choose her favorite candies in colors that match your shower theme for this stunning look.

8 Food and Drink Bar Ideas For Your Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Party

10. Sugar Rush Cart: Stock your bar cart with donuts, candy, cake, ice cream and plenty of cute cups and spoons for sweetness overload.

11. Yogurt Parfait Bar: Perfect for a bridal shower brunch. Include Greek and plain yogurt, tons of fruit and granola, plus honey for drizzling.

12. Bloody Mary Bar: A classic for a reason. Create a bloody Mary bar with carafes of tomato juice and pickle-infused vodka, then lay out all the toppings from this extensive list.

13. Biscuit Bar: Yep, you read that right. The part of me that spent four years in North Carolina is like “get out my way, folks!” Have scrambled eggs and bacon for a breakfast version, or roast turkey, ham and cheeses for a lunch spread.

14. Taco Bar: Cooking for a big group can be daunting, so the casual setup of a build-your-own-taco bar takes some of the stress off the host as many of the ingredients can be bought ahead of time and don’t require cooking!

15. Churro Bar: Wondering how you can make pieces of sugared fried dough even MORE decadent? Dip them in chocolate and other treats, of course!

16. Gin and Tonic Bar: Think there’s only one way to make a gin and tonic? You would be wrong! We love this build you own gin and tonic bar, complete with the fixings for grapefruit, cucumber or rosemary versions.

17. Bruschetta Bar: Cheese, meats, breads and an assortment of vegetables and drizzly things…ta-da! A bruschetta bar is the perfect answer for easy entertaining.

10 Perfect Signature Drinks for Your Bachelorette Party

18. Blushing Bride Sangria: Toooooo cute. Probably one of my favorite drink ideas ever. Mix up a simple rosé sangria with apples, pears or other seasonal fruits, then slap a cute little tag on and you’re done.

19. Margaritas: Blood orange, coconut, smoky jalepeno, classic… 10 fresh and tangy margarita recipes. You’re welcome.

20. Garden Party Cocktail: We love the vibrant flower-petal-filled ice cubes in this refreshing cocktail, which incorporates Pimms and gin.

21. Whiskey Lemonade: Sometimes I like a cocktail with lots of fancy ingredients. And sometimes I like a cocktail that I can make with just two. This simple drink goes in the latter category, but tastes like perfection.

22. Sunny Winter Cocktail: The Sweetest Occasion is one of our favorite destinations for creative, colorful cocktails. This citrusy take on a margarita made with clementines, tequila and a pinch of cayenne pepper is no exception.

23. Blood Orange and Sage Mocktail: Looking for a tasty mocktail to serve? We love this refreshing vibrant drink that combines tangy blood orange, fizzy soda and a slightly herbal note with touch of fresh sage.

24. Rosé Champagne Mojitos: This twist on a mojito with a splash of rosé champagne feels perfect for a bachelorette.

25. Raspberry Lime Iced Tea: Iced tea gets fancy with an infusion of raspberry and lime, making this the perfect drink to serve at an afternoon picnic shower. A little swizzle of lime peel provides a finishing touch.

26. Agua Frescas: Fresh juices that incorporate seasonal fruits like strawberries, cucumber of cantaloupe make amazing mixers for summertime cocktails or are refreshing all on their own (perfect for a spa party).

27. Cucumber Mint Gin Cooler: I love a cocktail that also sorta makes you feel healthy at the same time. I’m totally drinking a smoothie, guys! (With gin!)

8 Healthy Dishes to Serve at Your Bridal Shower

28. Salads in Tea Cups: Perfect for your tea party bridal shower menu. Try a light spring green mix with your favorite toppings. Everything looks dainty and pretty in a tea cup.

29. Veggie Bar: One cannot live on sweets and cocktails alone (though one can try)! Add a crudite bar of raw veggies and dips, like guacamole, hummus, classic ranch or warm spinach and artichoke. We love how this bride classed hers up by displaying the veggies in silver urns—so chic!

30. No-Cook Cracker Toppings: Does “no cooking” sound like music to your ears? These six creative cracker topping ideas are perfect for no-fuss entertaining. My favorite? The rosemary cracker with brie, blackberry and a drizzle of honey.

31. Carrot Hummus Pots: This adorable idea for a garden bridal shower menu is just the best. Line clay pots with coffee filters, add hummus and top with baby carrots.

32. Grilled Potato, Lemon and Zucchini Salad: This hearty and healthy salad features grilled potatoes, zucchini, green beans and olives drizzled with a creamy red pepper sauce.

33. Fig and Prosciutto Crostini: The simplest way to look fancy: crostini. Take quality ingredients—like creamy goat cheese, fresh figs and prosciutto—and pile it atop a slice of crunchy bread. Done.

34. Gruyere and Kale Strata: For a brunch shower, a quiche or strata is a great option. It’s easy to prepare ahead of time, serves a crowd and it’s delicious.

35. Green Goddess Tea Sandwiches: These light tea sandwiches combine fresh crisp vegetables with a creamy homemade green goddess dressing that comes together in a snap.

6 Simple DIYs to Class Up Your Cocktails

36. DIY Metallic Glassware: Get the midcentury cocktail vibe without the expensive price tag with this DIY that turns plain glasses glam.

37. Bling Ice Cubes: We love these colorful diamond ring ice cubes. Use pink food coloring for a flavorless variety to float in a glass of champagne, or freeze fruit smoothies for a thick and colorful ring.

38. Glitter Ice Cubes: There’s something in my drink…oh wait, it’s these amazing glitter ice cubes (that will totally not kill you!). Just track down edible food glitter and follow the simple instructions.

39. Flower Drink Stirrers: Add a touch of whimsy to your cocktails with a decorative flower stick. Use a different flower for each guest and these double as drink name tags.

40. Gold Lip Kissed Mimosas: Add a touch of sparkle to a classic mimosa with this DIY for temporary metallic-kissed glasses.

41. Floral Coffee Cup Wraps: These printable floral cup wraps are perfect for coffee at a brunch shower or hot chocolate at a winter gathering. Did we mention they are free?

9 Sweet Treats For Your Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Party

42. Gummy Gems: Can we all agree you’ll be making these gummy gems? They are just too darling to pass up!

43. Tie-Dye Smores: If Lisa Frank went camping, she would totally serve these.

44. Raw Gem Cupcakes: Take any old classic cupcake and turn it into a gem. It’s simple—just smash up rock candy and top each cupcake. The result looks like raw gemstones that are almost too pretty to eat.

45. Key Lime Ice Pops: I have to admit that key lime pie is one of my favorites, so of course I’m in love with this recipe. Best of all? They’re made with almond milk and almond yogurt, so even dairy-free friends can enjoy them!

46. Party Popcorn: Add color and fun to simple popcorn with a drizzle of white chocolate and your favorite sprinkles.

47. Funfetti Dessert Nachos: Do I even need to explain why these are a good idea? No, I do not. I challenge you to find a girl who’s not into funfetti. Go ahead. TRY!

48. Hey Girl Brownies: Sprinkles? Check. Chocolate? Check. Really easy to make? Check. So fetch? You know it.

49. Tea Bag Cookies: Dip them in your tea or serve them separately, but these cute cookies will be the star of your shower.

50. Donut and milk shots: “Donut you know we are in love?” Fill little shot glasses with milk and top with mini donuts and a straw. #thatsdarling

Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration

As the wise Donna Meagle once said, “Treat yo self.” And what better way than with a gorgeous spread of desserts at your bridal shower or bridesmaid luncheon? Nuha of 17Berkshire Bakery in Tennessee created a Parisian-inspired dessert table perfect for just such an occasion, utilizing soft pinks and creams set off by plenty of sparkling gold leaf. Fine French pastries are on display, like her raspberry macaroons, petite eclairs and gorgeous croquembouche, accented by roses and baby’s breath. A caramel drip cake and strawberry cheesecake chocolate pyramids add a whimsical yet modern touch. Bethany Veach Photography beautifully captured this dreamy dessert spread.

Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach Photography Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach Photography Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach Photography Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach Photography Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach Photography Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach Photography Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach PhotographyPink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach Photography Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach Photography Pink and Gold Parisian Bridal Shower Inspiration | Ultimate Bridesmaid | Bethany Veach Photography

Photography: Bethany Veach Photography | Desserts and Table Styling: 17Berkshire Bakery

A New York City Bachelorette Dining Guide: Part 2

NYC Bachelorette Dining Guide: Where to Eat and Drink in New York City

First up, can I just say that writing an New York City bachelorette dining guide is hard! There are so many choices and I want you to love your experience in my city. So take a look through the below, but make sure to also check out my first NYC Dining Guide! It includes many, many more recommendations.

Restaurants have to meet a few very important criteria to make this list. First, they can’t charge you crazy rates for being a large party. Some restaurant require large parties to have a set menu and buy things like “beverage packages” and meet “room minimums.” You just want to go to dinner! So if they have a policy that will end up costing you $75 a head just for the food or will force you to meet a $2500 minimum in three hours (I am not making these numbers up, they are legitimate packages I found while researching this article), they are out! Also, they have to accept reservations. If you have a group of six or more, you are just never going to get into a nice restaurant without a reservation. Not on a Saturday night. No way. Unless you wait, like, two hours. And you don’t want to do that. You have some celebrating to do!

For this list, I let myself go up a little bit on price point for you. My first list focused on restaurants where you could pretty easily get an entree for $15 and still enjoy some ambiance. This time, I’ve upped my price point to places that average around $20-$25 an entree. I’ve made sure that each of my selections still has lower-priced options, but we can look at a whole new group of restaurants if we open the price point a bit. Eating cheaply can definitely be done in New York—what’s difficult is finding cheap eats with atmosphere. Lots of incredible hole-in-the-wall joints are making amazing food in New York, but many only have counter service or have six chairs crammed up against the wall in a railroad-style eatery. They can’t accommodate a big group. Or they won’t have that urban, energetic New York atmosphere you desire. I’ve tried to pick places that deliver on atmosphere, will serve great food and can accommodate a big party with ease (no easy feat).

Also, note: Happy hour is your friend. A lot of these restaurants have considerable deals between the hours of 5 and 7pm.

Dinner Spots

Pagani: A beautiful rustic Italian restaurant with plenty of candlelight and leather banquettes perfect for seating a large group (they also have a private back room that can accommodate 13). The homemade pasta dishes are the star, like the ricciatelle with wild mushrooms and arugula ($19.50) or the gnocchi with gorgonzola and black truffle ($23).

Flex Mussels: This place focuses on doing one thing really really well: mussels. The menu offers over 20 preparations, from the classic white white with garlic and herbs ($21) to thai flavored with a curry coconut broth, lemongrass and kaffir lime ($24) or decadent Maine lobster with bacon and a creamy chowder-like broth ($26). And yes, they do offer a few non-mussel dishes (helpfully listed on their “Not Mussels” menu), and a good happy hour menu. Save room for dessert and try the key lime pie in a glass, a deep fried whoopee pie (sinful but delicious) or a selection from their donut “collection.”

Bacaro: The ambiance of this little Italian spot is pitch-perfect for a bachelorette party. A flight of stairs leads down to a wine cellar–like dining room lit by romantic candlelight. The location is a bit off the beaten path, tucked away in Chinatown, but a quick cab ride will bring you to the heart of nightlife just a few blocks north in the Lower East Side. They’re great with groups and the food is lovely and quite affordable—braised pork shank with polenta will run you $20 or try a whole wheat pasta with duck ragu for $17.

The Mermaid Inn: The perfect spot for the seafood-loving bachelorette, The Mermaid Inn feels like a New England home with a bit of New York City flair. A daily happy hour from 5-7pm offers $1 oysters, $7 specialty cocktails like a Mermaid Mary and a menu of delicious snacks, like shrimp corn dogs ($3) or fish tacos ($3.50). The dinner menu is a bit pricier, with entrees like linguini and clams running $24, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a seafood restaurant with this high quality at a lower price.

Burger and Barrel: The ambiance of this winepub is warm, urban chic, with dark wood booths, brick walls and low lighting. Entrees like duck lasagna or Southern fried chicken will set you back $20, but you can also easily make a meal for the table with their sharing plates, which include things like a kale Caesar salad, chicken lollipops with Asian BBQ sauce or rock shrimp hush puppies for around $14 each.

Momofuku Noodle Bar: OK, I cheated a little on this one. But Momofuku is a New York institution and a dining experience not to be missed. The restaurant is small and incredibly popular (for good reason), but reservations are not offered…unless you order the fried chicken. Yep, the only way to get a reservation is to order the Korean fried chicken dinner ($135, including a few sides, but no drinks or other dishes—those will cost extra). Since the meal will feed up to 8 people, the cost isn’t prohibitive, so I let this one slip onto the list. So sue me. It’s that good.

Unique Drinks

The Frying Pan: Set on a barge floating in the Hudson River (docked next to a historic ship that you can also drink aboard), The Frying Pan is the perfect place to spend a sunny summer afternoon. Order a bucket of cold Coronas and some Old Bay French fries and enjoy the sunshine and the breeze off the river.

The Met Rooftop: Want a rooftop bar without the a hefty price tag or bottle service? Or just a fun way to end your visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Grab a drink on the roof! Open during the summer, the roof features a sculpture installation plus stunning views of Central Park and midtown Manhattan. Sunset is the perfect time to visit.

Tequila Park: You like the name already, am I right? Located in a courtyard of the Hudson Hotel, Tequila Park looks like the coolest little Mexican eatery you’ve encountered. With ivy climbing the brick walls and plenty of inviting seating, this is the perfect place to kick back with a margarita and a few yummy and inventive tacos.

Gallows Green: From the folks behind Sleep No More, an interactive theater experience unlike any other, this bar is a bit of immersive theater in and of itself. Take the elevator to the top floor and suddenly find yourself outside a log cabin surrounded by a pine forest. Inside you’ll find bunk beds that serve as seating, communal tables, plush armchairs, and an outdoor patio under the stars. Truly transporting.

Yummy Treats

Momofuku Milk Bar: Oh man, this place. They do such crazy/wonderful things! Their inventive desserts remind you of childhood favorites but are totally grown up. Best known for their crack pie and compost cookies, which must be tried to be comprehended, they also mix up a mean frozen yogurt and naked cakes in unique flavors like cereal milk (way more yummy than it sounds). Not a sit-down joint, but pick up for a celebration in the hotel.

Dylan’s Candy Bar: Worth a stop for sheer color and sweetness overload. Dylan’s is the ultimate candy store, packed with every sweet treat imaginable, from nostalgic favorites to new creations. You can also hold private events here, making it a great location for a sweet-themed shower. Or stop in at the Candy Bar for a candy-themed cocktail, like a Pop Rocks Explosion made with vodka, melon liquor, lime and orange juices and, yes, Pop Rocks!

Sprinkles: Two words: Cupcake ATM. Worth it for the Instagram alone, am I right?

NYC Bachelorette Dining Guide

A Bridal Crafting Party + A DIY Bunting Banner + A Raspberry Iced Tea Recipe

Bride Gemma enticed her bridesmaids into helping her with some of her DIY projects by throwing a pretty little bridal crafting party on the rolling hills surrounding her grandmother’s home. The ladies gathered for a meal of love-inspired bites all shaped like hearts, including chocolate-filled cronuts (a croissant + a donut) and tomato soup paired with mini heart-shaped grilled cheeses. A hair and makeup artist herself, this DIY bride used the occasion to trial the wedding-day hair and makeup for all of her bridesmaids, resulting in gorgeous fishtail braids and casually tousled up-dos. Scroll through the sweet shots from this sunny afternoon from Maru Photography and find two bonus DIYs below: the recipe for the refreshing raspberry and citrus-infused iced tea the ladies enjoyed and instructions for the delicate bunting banner they created.


Citrus-Infused Raspberry Iced Tea

A light, fruity tea forms the base of this recipe. For the best result, you’ll need to brew your own using loose tea leaves. Bride Gemma used a blend called Cosmopolitan that incorporates raspberry and strawberry notes. If you can’t find that exact blend, simply substitute another herbal fruit tea. David’s Tea Mighty Aphrodite would be a perfect fit.

6 cups raspberry tea, brewed strong
1/2 cup simple syrup
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lime, sliced (+ lime peel twists for garnish)
A handful of raspberries to garnish

Brew a strong batch of raspberry tea, then allow it to cool completely. Mix tea, simple syrup, lemon and lime juice together in a pitcher. Add raspberries and lime slices, then fill pitcher with ice. Take a sip and then dilute with more ice or water if necessary. Add a swizzle stick with raspberries or a lime twist to each glass for a pop of color. Enjoy!

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Bunting Banner

Gemma and her bridesmaids crafted these chic bunting banners to add a vintage, handmade vibe to her country hall wedding. On the wedding day, the banners crisscrossed the rafters along with strings of twinkling cafe lights.

3-5 different fabrics in varying patterns or colors
Sharp scissors
Double-sided tape
Fishing wire or a pretty string or ribbon cut to the desired length of the complete banner

1. Cut strips of fabric that are about 2 inches wide and vary in length from about 10 to 14 inches. Be sure to test your fabric out—avoid those that frays easily.
2. Fold each strip of fabric in half. Place double-sided tape between the two sides, leaving enough room to string the fishing wire or a ribbon through.
3. String on your fabric strips in a repeating pattern or go for a random look—either can work!

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Foodie

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Foodie

1. Two cookbooks I’m incredibly excited for this year: Four & Twenty Blackbirds and Bountiful. Four & Twenty Blackbirds is a bakery only a hop and a skip from my apartment, which resulted in an appearance by their salted caramel apple pie on my Thanksgiving table. They often put a little twist on a classic, like a chocolate julep (chocolate + mint + bourbon) or a brown butter pumpkin, all with their signature killer pie crust. Bountiful is the first cookbook from power food blog White on Rice Couple and focuses on simple, seasonal foods grown in their garden. I love cookbooks that present recipes that don’t overcomplicate things—I’m much more likely to try them out myself if they don’t intimidate me!

2. Fatty Sunday’s chocolate-covered pretzels make the perfect stocking stuffers!

3. A growler. Growler filling stations are growing in number and help you sample local brews in addition to lowering the number of bottles that end up in your recycling bin.

4. A panini maker. This little device is the savior of my household on days when we are feeling tired and don’t want to put together a big meal. Before we got our panini maker, we were spending way too much money on takeout, but now if we’re feeling lazy, we just slap together a delicious panini in seconds and dinner is served!

5. A silicone spatula. My most-used tool in the kitchen. You can never have enough!

Check out our guides for the men in your life or those hostesses with the mostesses.

Wine Basket Bridal Shower Gift + Printable Poem Gift Tags

Today, I’m so excited to bring you a series of printable poem gift tags, perfect for a wine basket bridal shower gift. This is a great gift to team up on with a couple friends. You can split the cost of 8 bottles of wine (at least one should be champagne!) and then add a poem gift tag to each bottle so the bride has a wine collection ready for the milestones of her first year of marriage.

Printable Poem Gift Tags for Bridal Shower Wine Basket | Ultimate Bridesmaid

When I decided to embark on this project, I knew my friend Amanda was the perfect person to collaborate with—she is absolutely the master of writing cute little poems. (When I was in her wedding, she wrote a poem for each bridesmaid, talking about how special our friendship was to her.)

Printable Poem Gift Tags for Bridal Shower Wine Basket | Ultimate Bridesmaid

We looked at similar projects around the web and both agreed that we didn’t like certain events that were commonly used for this gift. We thought First Fight was weird (“Yay, we’re married and we fought!”) and we agreed that Christmas and New Year’s were kind of lame, especially since it’s likely you’ve already spent a few of these holidays with your significant other before you get hitched. We liked the idea of celebrating the first baby, but didn’t like how most poems for this event were designed so that the lady didn’t get to drink anything! We decided that we could get around this by reserving the baby bottle of wine for right when you decide to start trying to get pregnant or for after baby is born! We brainstormed different life events that merited a bottle of wine and came up with a list of eight options: Wedding Night, Honeymoon, First Anniversary, First House, First Baby, First Dinner Party, New Job and Just Because!

For the tag design, I experimented with some of my favorite color palettes—some sunset-inspired shades, then neons, and finally metallics paired with warm neutrals. But when I tried them on wine bottles, I really didn’t like how the colors clashed with the shades of the glass. I finally decided to pull colors from the bottles themselves and landed on four shades of green and violet that would complement the natural colors of wine. (My color choices are also inspired by Pantone’s shades of 2014.) I added a geometric triangle at the edge for a bit of a visual pop. What do you think?

IMPORTANT NOTE: To print these to make your own bridal shower wine basket, you should download the PDF from the link below. It will give you the best resolution and most clear type—the jpegs used throughout this post are just to show you the design, but are too small and will pixelate if you print at full size.

Print from this link for the best results: Wine Basket Printable Poem Gift Tag PDF

I hope you love! And if you want to design your own tags, you can find the full text of the poems after the jump.

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A Kaleidoscope of Colors Bridal Shower

Sometimes a lady does not want a shower that’s all pastel flowers and pink ruffles—she craves whimsy and vibrant colors, a modern affair for a modern woman! Anne from Circus Berry has just such a friend, so she obliged with an explosion of geometric garlands and colorful glassware in this kaleidoscope bridal shower. The crowning centerpiece is the donut hole tower, easily assembled with a styrofoam core, plastic wrap and a whole lot of toothpicks. When the bride asked for a nod to her beloved feline friend, Anne was momentarily stumped, but found the perfect solution with geometric cat cupcake toppers (love the question mark tail!). Check out Anne’s tutorial for the hand-painted champagne glass favors here