If you are a person who thinks you don’t like bridal showers, try adding wine. Ta-da! Now you love bridal showers! But seriously, Running Hare Vineyard in Prince Frederick, Maryland, was the perfect setting for this gorgeous bridal shower picnic for bride Andie’s family and friends. Matron of honor Caroline gifted each guest with mini pies from Andie’s favorite bakery and the ladies enjoyed cabernet and conversation in the sunshine. Costola Photography was on hand to capture the special moments from the winery bridal shower, including a mini photo session with Andie’s fiancé.
This backyard bridal shower got a splash of 70s style with flower crowns and bell-sleeved dresses in the dreamy California sunshine. Bride Kelsey and her bridesmaids popped a few bottles of champagne to get the party started while each guest donned a delicate baby’s breath flower crown. An adorable bunting banner displayed pictures of the bride and groom over the years for a twist on the “guess their ages” game. Mini succulents in copper pots served as a party favor, encouraging guests to “let love grow.” Dulcet Creative was there to capture the beautiful event.
When trying to decide when to host a bridal shower, winter isn’t often the first season that comes to mind. But why shouldn’t it?! December could be the perfect time of year to host a winter bridal shower since many of the bride’s childhood friends might already plan to travel to their hometown for the holidays. Which makes your shower convenient and unique. Plus, can we talk about the built-in fabulous decorating option on hand? Amazing evergreen smell? Check. Twinkle lights already hung? Check. In the cooking baking mood? You know it. The winter white palette just so happens to be perfectly bridal as well, and adding rustic accents, like pinecones and natural wood, will bring a cozy vibe to the event. Break out your woolly socks and cable-knit sweaters and spend some quality time with the ones you love.
If you’ve been following along here at Ultimate Bridesmaid, you know we are all about making a bridal shower personal to the bride. So a favorite things bridal shower is absolutely going to be my favorite kind (and did I mention dark green is one of my wedding colors? Obviously I’m obsessed with this shower). The ladies of Lemon & Lime Event Design started with bride Vanessa’s favorite color—a deep emerald green—then accented it with gold and white to add a modern twist. Guests enjoyed cupcakes from Vanessa’s favorite bakery in DC, as well as a temporary tattoo bar and a photo booth stocked with football-themed props to celebrate her favorite teams. Vanessa is known for making scrapbooks for major milestones in her friends’ lives, so each guest was asked to bring a picture or piece of memorabilia to create a scrapbook page. Once all the pages were assembled, they made for a truly beautiful and personal shower gift.
A bridal shower is above all about celebrating with the women in your life, and what better place to raise a glass to a future bride than a gorgeous vineyard in South Africa? Nitidia Wine Estate was the perfect setting for this intimate shower for bride Natasha. Her friends shared their best wishes for her on her upcoming wedding day and enjoyed sparkling wine and some sweet treats. They saved a few sweet surprises for Natasha as well—especially when she cut into her candy-filled cake! (Why aren’t all cakes magically filled with candy?!) The emotion of the day shines through in the photos captured by Crazy Little Thing, from Natasha’s beaming smile to the girls’ heartfelt toasts. Cheers!
This tea party shower was a true work of love by matron of honor Ashley and maid of honor Christianne. The two carefully planned every detail, from the floral arrangements designed by Christianne to the tea bag–shaped cookies monogrammed with bride Holly’s future last initial. The backyard was transformed with elegant tables set with gold chargers and purple linens. The effect is regal yet relaxed, as the guests sipped sparkling wine and mingled in the Houston sunshine. After tea, treats and a few shower games, the guests gathered in a circle around Holly and each shared what they love most about the bride-to-be. A few of the memories (especially the words from Holly’s mother) led to tearful hugs. Finally, the women prayed over Holly, sending their love and best wishes for her upcoming marriage and new life. What a perfect, beautiful way to share support and love for the bride before her big day!
Photography: Michelle Able Photography | Event Planning: Ashley Appling, Matron of Honor | Florals: Christianne Taylor, Maid of Honor | Catering: Swift + Company | Linens: What’s the Occassion Linens and Decor
If you’ve happened upon this post, you’ve probably already been invited to an Around the Clock Shower. For this popular shower theme, each guest is assigned a time of day and asked to bring a gift that can be used at that time. Though the concept is cute, it often leads to scratching of heads when guests are assigned a time that doesn’t immediately correspond to an activity. Common outcry of “but you’ll just be sleeping between 1 and 5am” or “what exactly does one do at 3 in the afternoon?” can be heard from party guests around the globe. Though it can take a bit of creative thinking, you can find a present for any time of day. Here, I’ve given you a bit of help. Remember to consider both weekday and weekend activities when brainstorming. Don’t like my suggestions for your exact hour? Look at the ones right before or after—I bet you they’d work for your time too.
Also, make sure to affix a tag with your time of day to the outside of your present (some hosts may provide this with your invitation). Often the gifts are opened in chronological order. Feel free to include a little note on why you chose the gift for that hour, or just share with the group as the bride is opening.
6am: Rise and shine! Does the bride like to work out in the morning? Gift her a new yoga mat, your personal favorite workout clothes, or passes to a new class she might enjoy (barre, body pump, spinning, whatever the cool kids are doing now). Is she more likely to hit the snooze button than the gym? Go for a fancy coffee maker, your favorite brand of fair-trade brew, or a cute coffee mug like this one. Andrew and I have a tradition of gifting each other mugs each Christmas printed with the funniest pictures we’ve taken of each other that year. Feel free to start that tradition for the bride.
7am: Getting ready. Gift her with your favorite beauty products or a subscription to Birchbox so she can try new products each month. She’ll need a beautiful mirror in the hallway to check her hair, right? Or how about a handy coat rack, mail holder or jewelry box—she’ll have to make a stop there before she heads out the door.
8am: Time to head to work. A nice leather tote that can fit all her work essentials would be a stellar gift. Help her hide Monday morning hangovers with a pair of sunglasses. Does she take public transportation? A monogrammed Kindle case or some of your favorite recent reads make a nice gift. Drive to work? Would she like Sirius radio or a Garmin GPS?
9am: Breakfast is served! If it’s a lazy weekend, she’s going to need a great pair of slippers and a fuzzy robe to match. Stock her kitchen with everything she’ll need for a gourmet breakfast: silver grapefruit spoons, a crepe pan, muffin tins, a juicer, whatever. Personalize a kitchen gift with your favorite breakfast recipe handwritten on a recipe card.
10am: 10am is like the perfect time to catch a flight, right? (Sure it is. Just go with it.) A set of luggage is a generous and long-lasting gift (I’m still using a set that was gifted to me over a decade ago—god, now I feel old) or opt for smaller travel accessories, like a monogrammed passport carrier, leather luggage tags, makeup pouches (great for stashing all kinds of little things) or packing bags like these to separate your dirty clothes from the clean while on the trip—so clever!
11am: Weekend brunch begins. And brunch makes me think of two things: Eggs Benedict and mimosas. Provide the gear necessary for these classic brunch staples, or present the couple with a gift certificate to a fancy local spot. You could also stock their pantry with fancy jams, designer pancake mixes and Bloody Mary mix.
12pm: Create a whimsical lunchtime picnic in the park with a picnic set and blanket. Want to get away from kitchen/food gifts? Decorate her home so that she has something to gaze at while she enjoys a sandwich at the kitchen table or on the couch. Artfully Walls and Minted both have very affordable prints in all different styles and allow you to create groupings for instant gallery walls.
1pm: A Saturday afternoon is the perfect time for an outing. Get the couple a membership to a local museum or zoo, or buy them tickets to a nearby attraction, like a theme park. Sessions at a rock climbing gym, a cooking class, a deep-sea fishing excursion or kayak trip could be the perfect thing to help the couple de-stress or connect over sharing a new activity.
2pm: Commence weekend lounging hour. Get her ready for an afternoon by the pool or at the shore with a cute beach tote, pretty patterned beach towels, a flirty coverup or useful sun hat. Add high-quality sun protection for her skin and hair or a ridiculously awesome pool float.
3pm: She works hard for the money…especially at 3pm when she’ll start to glance at the clock, waiting for quitting time. Poppin carries basic office supplies in very non-basic colors, or check out Knock Knock for clever, cheeky paper products. A cheerful terrarium would certainly brighten up her space. Or how about a snappy little business card holder to step up her business-lady game?
4pm: Sun’s out, grill’s on, time to head to the backyard for a BBQ. Does she need some lawn games like corn hole or croquet? How about a fun hammock, pretty planters or twinkly outdoor lighting? Find her the perfect crystal pitcher for lemonade (or sangria). Plus, cute serving platters and bowls will be appreciated for entertaining. Girl’s gotta have something to serve guac in!
5pm: As the saying goes, it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere. Stock her bar for the quintessential happiest of hours with glassware and cocktail accessories, like a shaker or muddler. Splurge on top-shelf liquor or mixers she might not normally pick up—here’s a great guide to stocking her bar cart.
6pm: The couple who cooks together stays together. There’s a whole range of special and long-lasting gifts you can pick out for the kitchen. A Dutch oven, grill pan, immersion blender, high-quality sheet pans and baking dishes will all last and get lots of use over the years. A word on gifting knives: I recently found out there is a superstition that giving people knives is bad luck, but I got a set of chef’s knives for my high school graduation and they are to this day one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten.
7pm: Dinner is served. Time to break out those cute novelty plates, wine glasses, and other much-needed serving ware. Provide dinner inspiration with your favorite cookbooks as well, or a copy of your go-to simple dinner party menu.
8pm: Board games for two are great. I mean, party games are great too, but games for two are better because she has a built-in opponent now, so she’ll be able to play them more often. Some of our favorites are Carcassone, Forbidden Island, Ticket to Ride, and this version of Trivial Pursuit (which adds a betting element that’s fun and includes fairly modern categories to pick from). Classics like Scrabble, Monopoly and Clue also work for two people.
9pm: Send the couple out for a night on the town with tickets to a Broadway show, a concert they’ll love or a local comedy club. What about a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant? Slip the tickets into a cute clutch or wallet that she can carry on her hot date.
10pm: Movie night in. If she does not have a Roku, may I suggest one? I love ours to bits. A popcorn maker really does make superior popcorn to the microwave kind and she’ll need a warm throw to snuggle up with her hubby on the couch.
11pm: Bedtime. Perfect for sheets, pillows, comforters and other items to make up a comfy cozy bed for her to rest her head. Let me tell you, sheets may sound like a boring present, but nice sheets are expensive. As I’ve gotten older, they have become like the king of gifts. That and socks. I’m not kidding. Sheets and socks, for the prematurely elderly woman in us all.
12am: Cheers! While most days she’ll be sleeping by 12am, there’s at least one night a year she’ll be awake—New Year’s! Celebrate with champagne flutes, a fancy silver ice bucket and a nice bottle to toast their first year of marriage.
1am: Sexy time. Judge your audience on this one. You can be subtle with massage oils and scented candles or go wild with sex toys and skimpy lingerie.
2am: She’s fast asleep, but gift her something that can be working for her while she’s catching some zzz’s. A slow cooker, a bread maker, a sous vide machine or an ice cream maker can all can be turned on overnight and provide a welcome surprise in the morning.
3am: Can’t sleep? Maybe she needs some soothing decaffeinated teas and a fancy teapot. Or a gift certificate to a local spa so that she can relax and ultimately rest better at night.
4am: Does anyone else always wake up at 4am after a night of drinking with a terrible hangover? I can’t be the only one. Stock her medicine cabinet for this and all other ailments. And while you’re at it, maybe she needs a cute soap dispenser and toothbrush holder, plus a cleansing face wash to help her feel refreshed.
5am: For the super early riser, create the perfect bath or shower. Opt for fancy shampoos and soaps, a high-power shower head (seems silly, but it’s such a luxury!), a new patterned shower curtain or soft fluffy towels.