The theme for this rustic bridal shower was antiques and ivory, incorporating lots of vintage pieces like typewriters and hat boxes with ivory letters, flowers and a stunning white cake. Bride Ali’s bridesmaids went above and beyond with their DIY decorations—her bridesmaid Nicole created all of the calligraphy chalkboard signs for the party, including a welcome board and a sign on the succulent favor table. My favorite special touch is the white roses Ali’s fiancé sent her, each with a tag on it sharing one thing he loves about Ali! Avonne Photography was there to capture this stunning rustic bridal shower.
A travel bridal shower is one of my favorite themes—it was even the theme of one of my showers. It’s a unique way to celebrate an interest of the couple, and can supply lots of great gift ideas, from honeymoon essentials to travel accessories to experience gifts like concert tickets or a weekend getaway. Start with your tagline…you’ll find three great themes below: Traveling from Miss to Mrs, Adventure Awaits and You’re My Greatest Adventure. Highlight important places for the couple, like where each was born, where they had their first date, where they took their first trip together and other important destinations in their story. Of course, globes and suitcases are obvious decor essentials. We especially love this idea of putting the cake inside a vintage suitcase—the effect is so chic. Check out more ideas for a travel bridal shower below, or on our Travel Bridal Shower Pinterest board.
Traveling From Miss to Mrs chalkboard sign, globe table decor, Adventure Awaits dessert display, bon voyage paper lanterns, map print cake, You’re My Greatest Adventure photo wall, succulent party favors in vintage suitcases
Bride Colleen’s bridesmaids threw her a gorgeous nautical bridal shower at the Pine Beach Yacht Club. The shower included so many personal touches, from a hand-drawn cocktail sign (created by one of Colleen’s bridesmaids in a nod to her previous California address) to gorgeous florals from another bridesmaid’s family flower shop. The airy space on the Tom’s River in New Jersey was decorated with chic gold-lettered banners and each table toasted with a bottle of rosé featuring a custom bridal shower wine label. And we are fully stealing this gift idea for the football-loving bride: a jersey with her new last name on the back! Kelly of Kelly Sea Images captured this modern and bright event.
Photography: Kelly Sea Images | Venue: Pine Beach Yacht Club | Banners and table signs: Bannerize | Floral Design: John’s Riverside Florist | Wine Labels: Label With Love | Welcome sign: Unlimited Studio
This personalized tote comes in black, pink, blue and gold, and you can even customize the lettering style. I love the rope handle detail, and how spacious they are. You could definitely fit a lot in this bag! $24.95 each.
You can honestly never have too many cosmetic bags. They are just so handy! In addition to cosmetics, I store jewelry, pens, and even tampons in mine when I’m traveling. I love the gold details on this personalized cosmetics bag, $21.50 each.
Guys, I’m kind of obsessed with these personalized sleep masks from Sleepy Cottage. This version says “SHHHH, Sleeping Off Tilley’s Bachelorette,” which you can obviously personalize with the bride’s name and the color of your choice ($22 each). But they have so many other adorable options! Can I suggest the Wake Me For Mimosas version ($15 each)?
Perfect for a bachelorette party favor or to stuff in a beach wedding welcome bag: flamingo and swan drink floats, set of 2 for $12.99!
This sweet botanical travel set ($29) has so much going for it. The bag itself if adorable, with a tropical fern print, and it comes stuffed with a soap and lip balm of your choice, lavender detox salts, and a skin rescue balm.
These personalized champagne flutes are perfect for mimosas as you’re getting ready with your bridal party! $16.95 each.
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For this New York City bridal shower captured by Jessica Frey Photography, bride Ariana’s friends decorated this New York apartment in chic style and treated the guests to a bubbly bar and a decadent charcuterie board. We love the pops of gold, like the fun metallic LOVE balloon that made the perfect photo prop, and the sparkly Future Mrs. cake topper. The ladies toasted on the rooftop with a view of the New York skyline, and Ariana’s fiance joined them for a few sweet engagement shots.
We’re finally on the last installment of my recap of our honeymoon in Spain, and this will be a quick one. We spent our final day in Spain in the seaside area of the small town of Gavà, right outside Barcelona. We were only there for 24 hours, so you might wonder why I’m taking the time to devote a whole post to Gavà. Well, I felt it deserved it since Gava really surprised us! We seriously only booked this stay because we had an early international flight and were looking for a good hotel near the Barcelona airport. I found the AC Hotel Gava Mar, a partner of Marriott hotels, and saw that it was located right on the Mediterranean with what looked like a nice swimming pool. I thought, “Done. Even if it’s a crummy little town, we can hang out by the pool.” But Gava was not a crummy little town—it was gorgeous! Little did I know it’s a popular suburb of Barcelona where many of their soccer stars own beach homes!
The hotel was lovely, with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean, and the pool was aces. We spent some time both on the beach and at the pool, then ate lunch right off the beach at Coco Beach Bar—the food was OK, but they made a great mojito. We later walked literally right across the road from our hotel to an excellent restaurant called Torreon, which was maybe one of the best meals we had in Spain. So if you’re looking for a place to spend the night before or after your international flight, this is perfection.
Want to read about the rest of our honeymoon in Spain? You can find all the posts here:
After our two days in Ronda, we jumped in our rental car and headed for Granada. We decided to drop off our rental car at the airport right away and just take a taxi into the city. We were planning to stay in Granada central for the next two days, so we figured it would be a waste of money to let our car just sit in a parking garage until we were ready to fly out. I was really surprised by how huge Granada was. It’s sprawling—not as big as Barcelona, but waaaaay bigger than Cordoba or Ronda. Our hotel was right in the historic district, placing us close to the Alhambra and other major attractions. We had also heard that Granada was a great city to eat in.
Our time in Granada was part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. You can read about the rest of our trip in the posts below.
And here’s our Granada travel guide!
We stayed at the Casa 1800 Granada in a room with an Alhambra view. We loved our room and the hotel itself, especially the complimentary 4pm afternoon tea they offered every day with sandwiches and snacks. The hotel is beautiful, with an open-air courtyard and stylish furnishings. The location is both a plus and a minus. It is a very short walk to the Alhambra, but this means it is smack dab in the middle of one of the most touristy sections of Granada. The shops and restaurants right around our hotel were not to our liking at all. We definitely had to venture into different neighborhoods for meals, especially since the hotel does not have a restaurant or bar, only breakfast and the daily tea service.
Museo Casa de los Tiros de Granada
Other than the Alhambra, this was my favorite stop in Granada. It’s a small museum with art, frescoes and carvings from the 17th-19th century. I like small museums because they aren’t overwhelming. You can enjoy a few pieces and not feel worn down by wandering through hallways for hours. The fresco work in particular was really striking. Plus, the entrance fee was quite small, so I think this museum is well worth your time.
Number one on any itinerary in Granada must be the Alhambra. The Alhambra is not just one location, but rather a sprawling complex with many different gardens and palaces to visit. You can easily spend the whole day there. I recommend you buy your ticket online ahead of time to avoid waiting in line. Also, the most spectacular palace in the Alhambra, the Nasrid Palace, requires a timed entry ticket, so booking online will ensure you get the timed entry that you want.
After coming through the main entrance of the Alhambra, we headed for the Generalife, which consists of a leisure palace and the most beautiful gardens.
Next we visited the Alcazaba, a fortress that is the oldest part of the Alhambra. There are excellent views of the city of Granada from its walls.
Lastly, we stood in line for our entrance time to the Nasrid Palace. The palace is most definitely worth the wait. The carvings, mosaics and intricate decorations covering the walls, floors and ceilings are spectacular. I literally could not stop taking pictures.
Granada is known for being one of the last cities to honor the age-old “free tapa with your drink” tradition. While I’ve been told you can find this practice in some restaurants throughout Spain, we only really experienced it in Granada. And the best place for this experience was Taberna La Tana. We showed up a few minutes before their doors opened because we had heard the place was tiny and filled up fast. This was good advice: The bartender and cooks rolled up to the restaurant at 8:40pm (ten minutes after they were supposed to open), took a few minutes to get settled and invited us in. The two of us and one other couple were the first to arrive and grabbed seats at the bar. Literally 15 minutes later the place was packed, and stayed that way all night. We also liked Bar Poe, which is run by an English ex-pat and had a very unique tapas menu.
There’s one last thing I have to tell you…
Unfortunately, Granada turned out to be my least favorite destination on this trip. While the Alhambra was fantastic and absolutely worth the visit and we had some of our favorite tapas in Spain here, we also experienced some of the most aggressive buskers and beggars I have ever encountered. Let me be clear—I live in New York City. I am a freaking expert at saying “no” to people approaching me on the street. On a day-to-day basis, four to six people will try to stop me on the sidewalk to ask for money for a sandwich or to tell me about how they lost their job and need to pay rent and buy diapers for their baby. On any given subway ride I’m likely to be approached by a mariachi band, kids selling candy for their basketball team or people shouting “showtime” and flipping around the subway cars. I am also often asked if I “have a minute for gay rights/to save the environment/to combat hunger” or if I “have heard of [insert name of start-up company here].” So I know how to say “no.” I have never, ever experienced the aggressiveness that I saw in Granada.
The most common ploy was for women to approach me on the street trying to give me a sprig of rosemary “for love.” These women would not accept “no.” They woul d try to shove the rosemary in my purse, grab my arm to stop me, get in my face and follow me for blocks insisting I take it. I assume if I did, they would have then asked for money with the same aggressiveness, or they were trying to pickpocket me. For some reason they would only come after me, not Andrew, so a few times he literally inserted himself between me and the women to try to get them to back off. This experience really soured me on Granada and shocked me as well since we hadn’t experienced anything like this anywhere else in Spain. I had a hard time giving Granada a chance after being accosted so frequently. This really only happened around the major tourist areas, like the Cathedral and outside the Alhambra, but it still left a nasty taste in my mouth.