Category Archives: Invitations

Neon Party Inspiration

It’s easy to forget that neon is a throwback to a totally rad era since it’s popping up everywhere right now. I see it on shoes, fingernails, pants, paint chips and, of course, at parties! But chances are a lot of current brides were born in the 80s, so what’s the harm in taking inspiration from the decade that brought her into the world? Plus, you can make neon feel completely current with a few easy tips. The key to pulling it off: Balance with tons of crisp white and avoid stacking color on color. Let each shade shine on its own.001 002 neon table setting 003 neon candy bar 004 lanterns 005 table setting 006 007 008 neon flower vases 009A DIY neon pottery 010 neon invitation

Check out more neon party inspiration, including ideas for party favors and gifts like this friendship bracelet, on my neon Pinterest board.

Sources: Rad 80s tablescape, baby’s breath tablescape, neutral and neon tablescape, neon candy bar, neon lanterns, four-color neon tablescape, utensils, drinks, gift wrapping, stickers, heart vases, tea pot, invitation.

Tea Party Bridal Shower Inspiration

A tea party is one of the most common bridal shower themes, but it can sometimes come off a bit matronly. Don’t fall into the trap of pastel-on-pastel or doilies overload! I’ve compiled inspiration and ideas for creating an elegant tea that’s the perfect mix for a vintage yet modern bride.001 patterned table settingFirst, let’s talk decor. The key to a strikingly gorgeous tea party is restraint. It can be tempting to pile pattern on pattern—doilies, lace, patterned tablecloths, floral china, bright burst of flowers—but it’s all too much. The intricate beauty of china patterns will be completely lost if there’s no respite. The eye needs negative space to appreciate the beauty of a simple object. Solution? A neutral canvas. Stay away from patterned or lace tablecloths, instead opting for the plain wood grain of the table or a cloth in a solid, warm shade. If you must incorporate lace, use it as a table runner. Above, brightly patterned seat cushions and beautifully mismatched china are balanced with white flowers and a sandy tablecloth. 002 tea party inspiration Here, a lace runner adds a little touch of femininity to a strong wood table, and rattan place mats balance the floral china. The white teapot doesn’t distract from the delicate pale pink roses—a patterned pot might overwhelm them! (Learn how to make teapot flower arrangements here.)
004 table settingYou can use this image as a guide to creating a proper table setting, gorgeous in its simplicity. Again, there’s plenty of wood here to balance the pastel pink and lace. The china is the star and the flatware and glassware become neutral accents.

Next up, invitations. By now you should be seeing a theme in the types of invitations I choose—modern and clean with strong typography. Pastel, lacy invites with birdcages and curly calligraphy are really, really not my cup of tea (excuse the pun). So it should be no surprise that my two favorite tea party invites have clean, crisp designs with a little dash of cute. You can find the pastel orange invite here and the charcoal and pink teacup invite here.005 pastel tea cup invitation006 tea cup bridal shower invite

Your first important decision is what tea to serve. Whatever flavor you choose, make it loose leaf! The difference between bagged and loose tea is night and day. Loose tea has a much more concentrated and complex flavor. This is a party, so spring for the good stuff! It’s not even that expensive! You can find lots of nice affordable loose teas at Whole Foods or World Market. Can’t find loose tea in your area? Mighty Leaf is an online retailer with a good variety at reasonable prices. Here’s a great video that shows how to brew loose leaf tea.

leaf teasIf you haven’t tasted a certain tea before, you can get a pretty good idea of what it will taste like by smelling it. It might be nice to choose a few different types of teas, like a black, a green, an oolong, a chai or a flavored. At a traditional tea party, you would brew the tea in the kettle, pour it into pots and then serve your guests from the teapot. But if you want to let guests sample several teas, create a tea bar with a kettle of hot water and filters or tea balls, and guests can brew their own cups. Either way, be sure to use some of the tea as decoration by setting out little bowls so the smell of it fills the room.

tea bar 3The traditional accompaniment to high tea is an array of tea sandwiches. I’ve compiled some of my favorite finds here, from modern spins on traditional tea sandwiches courtesy of the BBC to healthy updates on multigrain crackers.

traditional and modern tea sandwichesGingered pea and green goddess tea sandwiches
gingered pea and green goddess sandwichesI love this triple berry kale salad as an accompaniment. It’s light and refreshing with bursts of sweetness from the berries and a bit of crunch from the almonds (plus, there’s a tart strawberry vinaigrette).010 triple berry kale saladIf it were up to me, I’d make the tea sandwiches, but order dessert. I just do not have the skill nor the time to produce gorgeous fruit tarts like these!

013 mini fruit tarts

If you’re inspired and brave enough to make your own desserts though, try to strike a balance between decadence and freshness. This honey tea cake could be paired with fresh berries and whipped cream, while these shortbread tea cookies would be perfect for dipping (though the Queen would disapprove).011 honey tea cake 012 tea bag cookies Have you heard of a champagne tea? Well, now you have! Champagne teas are actually quite common (and traditional) for celebratory events. Start the party off with a glass of pink champagne, move onto your tea, sandwiches and cakes, then cycle back to champagne to keep the guests in the spirit.

pink champagneYou’re hosting a tea party, so you’re going to need tea things. The ideal situation is that a friend or relative has a tea set you can borrow, but as social calls no longer seem to involve much tea, you may have to purchase a teapot and set of cups for the event. Beautiful vintage pieces can be found on Etsy, some at surprisingly affordable prices, or you can buy modern pieces (many of which still look vintage). I particularly like the selection of patterned teacups at Anthropologie.

anthropologie teacupsWant to play a party game that doesn’t involve toilet paper wedding dresses? I’m sort of in love with this tea-leaf reading kit.019 tea leaf reading kitFor your gift to the bride-to-be, I love these personalized teacups with a custom sketch of the happy couple.020 custome couple teacupsFor guest favors, give tea! The cute little packages on the left come filled with chai tea (my personal favorite), stamped with a sweet slogan and wrapped in twine. Loose tea is so beautiful by itself, so test tubes are the perfect way to show it off. Plus, it’s an easy DIY project—all you need is loose tea, test tubes, corks and gift tags.

tea party favorsFor more inspiration, check out my tea party bridal shower board on Pinterest.

This post contains a few affiliate links. All products are selected because we love them—if you love them too, you’re helping support Ultimate Bridesmaid. So thanks! 

Bridal Shower Inspiration Boards

Shower-planning season is in full swing as spring and summer weddings approach, so I took inspiration from five bridal shower invitations, all from Wedding Paper Divas, to create inspiration boards for five very different types of brides, from a modern citrus shower to a magenta and orange sunset celebration.

crafty bridal shower invite

I took my inspiration from the natural cork background of this invite set off against the modern pop of yellow. The text looks hand-lettered and makes me think of a DIY shower complete with lots of greenery. Champagne cupcakes and citrus cocktails are the perfect treats for the day, and mixing lemons or limes with flowers (or even using them on their own) would make a stunning, cheerful centerpiece. Here’s an inspiration board for this sunny shower.

modern yellow and green shower

Images from: Cupcakes, citrus cocktail, flowers, shower sign, balloons, pom-pom wrapping.

chalkboard invite

I love the idea of taking the “shower” part literally, especially for an April shower. The chalkboard background of this invite could be a jumping off point for chalkboard-paint projects galore, with pops of pink and blue to accent the more modern charcoal black. My inspiration board includes drinks with umbrella accents, soft roses and a simple yet chic paper chain that reminds me of raindrops.

pink chalkboard shower theme 2

Images from: Chair decorations, cakechain-link dessert table, shower glasses, roses, chalkboard menu.

deco invite

This invite reminds me of a scoreboard—perfect for a sporty bride. I’m imagining a backyard party complete with lawn games, bite-sized burgers, and plenty of craft beers. I kept it feminine by adding pops of coral in the flowers and place settings.

coral picnic shower

Images from: Mini burgers, beer tasting card, box lunchflowers, cream-filled browniescroquet.

watercolor invite

Sometimes color is all you need as an inspiration, and what’s more beautiful than a watercolor sunset palette? Choose an outdoor location to take advantage of the natural beauty of the setting sun and as day turns to night make sure to have some twinkle lights to keep the party going. I chose explosions of orange and magenta for this inspiration board, from the flowers to the drinks.

sunset colored shower

Images from: Flowers, sunset table, blueberry lavender lemonade, pillow seating, flatware setting, watercolor table.

rustic tree invite

Bride a nature girl? This rustic invite is perfect for a picnic shower set amongst the trees. I used lots of plants instead of flowers in my inspiration board and chose dishes that highlight fresh produce and seasonal ingredients. Send guests home with jam (homemade or from a local artisan) or a potted plant of their own.

rustic back to nature shower

Images from: Table setting, copper drink dispenser, mason jar chandelier, straws, summer salad, plant favors.

This post contains a few affiliate links. All products are selected because we love them—if you love them too, you’re helping support Ultimate Bridesmaid. So thanks! 

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

Not every bride wants lace and glitter. This quirky card is sweet and simple with cheeky lips and mustache and a delicate dotted and filigree border.

This shimmering letterpress option is simple yet striking. The metallic diamond is bold and striking against the natural grain of the paper and the typography screams Deco chic.

Let’s get serious. Nothing says “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” like a bottle of wine. These peel-and-stick labels can be customized with your name and wedding colors, then apply to the wine of your choice. You could also adapt these to be a thank you gift to your maids on the day of the wedding by asking for a design that says “Thank you for being my bridesmaid.”

A card after my own bibliophile heart! This personalized crossword puzzle comes with the answers printed on the back and can be customized to your wedding colors.

Bold typography, a cute arrow motif and customizable color palettes with names like “sugar plum” or “lemon squeeze” make this card cute as can be.

Beach Weekend Invites

August makes me think of extreme heat, sunny days on the beach and that moment of anticipation before you plunge into the ice-cold water for some much-needed relief. It’s the end of summer, but also probably the perfect month for a bachelorette weekend if your bride has an October wedding (one of the top four months for weddings according to The Knot). Here are some of my favorite beach weekend invites.

This sunny invite comes from one of my favorite Etsy vendors: SocialitePaperworks. I think Raquel makes some of the most modern, cute bachelorette and girls weekend invites that I’ve seen. Her pieces are feminine and flirty but also clean, crisp and unique.

This invite is definitely outside of the type I usually go for, but it’s such a cute concept and the illustration won me over. Plus, it’s not something I’ve seen before. The artist is also open to complete customization, so each placket on the sign can say whatever you like and you can even request a different font or colors to correspond with your bride.

Now this one is totally up my alley. Cute graphics and a great color combination that’s muted yet modern, plus lovely unique typography. It’s totally perfect for Miami in particular, what with its Florida Deco vibe.

Beach party a bit out of reach? You can still cool off with a summer pool party. This invite can be customized for a bridal shower. I love the typography and the ikat print, especially the bold red mixed with pale blues and that pop of emerald. It’s fresh and cool, just like your shower.

Planning a couples shower? Check out this adorable lake house-themed option, complete with Chinese lanterns, cattails and a cute little duck.  The seller, Paige Burton Designs, also has a similar beach invite for couples showers. The colors and lines are striking and whimsical without being too cutesy. Love it!

Fiesta Bridal Shower Inspiration

Everyone loves a fiesta, especially in the summertime. The colors are bright, the food is delicious and the drinks are strong—the perfect inspiration for a fun backyard bridal shower. My advice is to not go too literal on the invitations—in other words, stay away from sombreros, tacos or margaritas. Instead choose color palettes and motifs that evoke the occasion. This Etsy number uses spot-on color combos, but a modern chevron pattern. I also love the mix of fonts, which really gives the invite an personalized look.

The decorative flourishes on the edges of this invite from Wedding Paper Divas evoke a festive fiesta, but white space and typography make it seem a bit more fancy.

I also like this option from Polka Dot Design. It’s a simpler version of the Etsy invite above, but as a bonus they have napkins and Lucite serving trays in the same pattern (and the back is printed in allover chevron).

Now decor. The traditional choice would be Fiesta ware, but if you can’t get your hands on the real stuff, ask around for brightly colored plates and serving bowls and mix and match for an eclectic feel. I love the mix and match feel of this tablescape: bright traditional Mexican textiles as a tablecloth, mix-and-match colored plates and a few quirky pieces in the center.

I also love the chic simplicity of this setting. The colored glassware in particular pops on the table and the sunflowers evoke the perfect summer mood.

Can we talk about how adorable this idea is?? Flowers in limes!

For drinks, I love the look (and taste!) of this strawberry basil sangria, made with chardonnay and a bit of club soda for bubbles. Add don’t forget the margaritas, of course.

A serve-yourself taco stall looks adorable and lets guests regulate the amount of spice they like in their food. Fill small bowls with chopped lettuce, diced jalepenos, halved cherry tomatoes, and slices of red onions and avocados. Then choose your fillings. For a no-hassle option, you can always shred rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, but if you want to fancy it up, try these tequila-glazed chicken thighs (then shred into taco-sized pieces). For a delicious and fresh salsa topping for your tacos, boil sweet corn for about 10 minutes, then use a knife to take the kernels off the cob. Next, mix with chopped avocado and cherry tomatoes. Stir in two tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons sea salt, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and the juice of one lime.

For a side dish, I love these grilled sweet potato fries with lime cilantro vinaigrette. They’re super easy to make and taste delicious.

And for dessert, you have to go with Mexican wedding cookies! Check out a recipe here.

Additional sources: Hostess with the Mostess Mexican fiesta, fiesta and The Stir table settings.

This post contains a few affiliate links. All products are selected because we love them—if you love them too, you’re helping support Ultimate Bridesmaid. So thanks! 

Lingerie Shower Invites

Finding invites for a lingerie shower can be a monotonous task of wading through pink and black, lipstick kisses and corsets. So, I’m always on the lookout for invitations that step outside that box and come off as classy and cute. Like these!

Simple and sweet, this invite makes lingerie modern. It’s not showy or fussy, and feels chic and clean.

As a woman who greatly appreciates detailed schedules, this is my kind of invite. It’s perfect for a packed bachelorette weekend, giving the guests a sneak peek when it arrives in the mail and a quick reference throughout the event. I love the personalized icons—they make the invite feel really special!

I fell in love as soon as I read the sweet little poem (incorporating the groom’s name) and saw the dainty pastel lingerie. This invite feels a bit Parisian to me with the flowing cursive and striped envelope liner (not included). J’adore!

Most of the “women in retro lingerie” invites really annoy me, but I think this one is the exception. It’s all in the execution. First, the woman looks chic with her messy bob, chandelier earrings and demure pose. She’s not trying to be sexy, she just is! And the pen-and-ink technique gives this more of a ’20s vibe, which I prefer to the ’50s pin-up look. The round corners are the perfect finishing touch.

Ok, maybe “cheers bitches” isn’t the definition of cute and classy, but how can you argue with a call to “libations and debauchery”? The typography is simple and the colors are customizable on this cheeky invite.