Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake! A Bridal Shower Inspired by Marie Antoinette

My younger sis, Vanessa is just weeks away from tying the knot! I can't believe it's almost here. This will be my first time as a Maid of Honor (er.. "Matron", but that word just seems so drab), and I'm pretty excited. I can admit it's been beyond challenging to be the best MOH in the history of MOH's, since I have to do everything from a billion miles away. I was excited to be able to fly home last weekend for her "Bridal Shower Weekend" - just like I had when I was getting married. Although it's exhausting to have 3 or 4 showers in 1 weekend, it's nice to knock 'em all out at once. I could only be home for a long weekend and Vanessa's job @ Mayo Clinic is super demanding, it worked out pretty good. We set the dates for the showers and coordinated everything over the phone, and I have to say, it was a pretty successful weekend.

Of her 4 showers, I hosted 2 of them. Her lingerie/personal shower and a relative shower. I was lucky to have Stacie and my sister Lanae's help for the showers. My sweet mum was extremely helpful too. I could NOT have pulled them off on my own. A few weeks ago, I made a post about my inspiration for the showers I was hosting . For the 1st shower - Lingerie - I really wanted to go with a french/Marie Antoinette/Shabby Chic theme. Florals, luxe, garden party, sexy, sweet, pastels, you get the point. For her other shower - Relatives - Lanae and I decided to drag out the Marie Antoinette theme with a pinch of Circus/Moulin Rouge/Party Time feel.. We pumped up the colors, with reds and made it a little more flashy.

Obviously, invites are KEY for any party/shower/event. It sets the whole tone! I spent a while trying to come up with something creative for each shower's invitations (bring on the DIY!), and with some inspiration, here's what I came up with. For the lingerie shower invites, I found perfect cornflower blue cardstock and matching tulle. I added a strip of baby pink lace around the top with a hot pink bow, to simulate a Antoinette-esque thigh-high. Along with each invite, I sent an 8x8 scrapbook page/sleeve with instructions for the girls to decorate the page with their favorite memories and photos with Vaness. I was really happy how much the girls got into it.. Those who couldn't make it to the shower, shipped it back to me and those who came, snuck the finished page to Lanae or me so we could assemble it and give it to her during gift-opening time. I wish I could take credit for such a sentimental idea.. She absolutely loved it.

It was pretty challenging to stretch the tulle as smooth as possible. I used my lovely lil hot glue gun and a strip of ribbon to hide the seam while playing with the whole thigh-high idea.

For the Relative Shower invites, I went with Antoinette meets Circus/Moulin Rouge. Since it was more of a home and kitchen suply shower, I included recipe cards with a fun little poem I wrote based off of pieces of some I found online. I was pretty happy with how they turned out!

I made it to the Twin Cities last Thursday morning around 9:30am and hit the ground running. Shopping, shopping, shopping all day long for supplies and decor. Since I only had just over 24 hours to transform my parent's home into everything Antoinette, I had to get moving quick.
Unfortunately, we faced plennnty of challenges with the flowers Lanae ordered (she works in a flower shop, and could get them wholesale). Long story short, they were more expensive than expected and completely out of season. We were able to pick some up last minute, as well as combined with with loads of arrangements Stacie had.

Some serious flower-arranging techniques, thanks to Lanae & Stacie
What's a shower without flowers???
At about midnight, we decided to take a "break" and make our tissue pom flowers while we watched Marie Antoinette.

I might bore you to death with the hundreds of photos we took while prepping and getting everything in order. You can ask anyone who knows me.. I don't do small parties. You gotta go big and you gotta go all the way.

For decor, I wanted to go with a Shabby Chic style.. Very garden-party.. Very lavish.. Very Antoinette. With the help of my friend Erin, I was able to make some rad garland with a sewing machine and lots of fabulous cardstock. I found loads of cute prints and punched them out with a 2.5-inch punch, in order to sew them into long strands of garland.

I added some random pieces of tulle to a few of the pieces

Vanessa loved.
I also made an adorable strand of cupcake-liner garland, which totally added some frou frou to the whole theme!
I spent quite a while deciding on the menu, drinks, music and favors.. I wanted everything to be so perfect. I made a perfect french playlist on my ipod, full of Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, Carla Bruni, Yael Naim and some Django Reinhardt.. It totally set the mood.

For the menu, here's what I came up with:

Drinks served --
French Blueberry-Pomegranate Punch (with Raspberry Sorbet)
Pink Lemonade
Cran-Raspberry Mimosas (with fresh raspberries)
"Death in the Afternoon" (Pastis & Champagne)

Hors d'œuvre's and desserts served (minus the macarons I planned to bake, but ran out of time, Augh!) --

Chocolate Croissants
Four-Cheese & Florentine Quiche, French Crudites
Feta & Artichoke Tarts
Sweet Brie Canapes with Raspberry Almond Chutney
(Stacie's) Roasted Red Pepper Crustini's
Fresh Fruit and the most amazing Maraschino Fruit Dip
Homemade, Gourmet Cupcakes in Red Velvet & Chocolate
Complete with toppers printed with "Ooh la la" and Je t'aime"
(Stacie's) Homemade Raspberry Creme Cupcakes
There were so many different options to do for Favors.. But I decided to go with Vanessa's favorite, White-Chocolate (Almond Bark) dipped pretzels --

Favor tags said: "Merci Mon Ami -- White Chocolate Pretzels"

A few more pictures from the evening...

We also made some tulle poms (same technique we used with the tissue)

One of the few things I completed while in SC.. A simple veil (for fun) with a ruffle flower.. She was such a pretty little Bride-to-Be!

Prizes for game-winners were a little bags full of pampering & mani/pedi supplies.. lip gloss, nail files, toe separators, buffer and a cornflower blue nail polish. We played the "Purse Scavenger Hunt" game and a memory game with a tray of 'naughty items' (condoms, penis sucker, handcuffs, etc.).
With our Mom, before the evening got rolling
Before opening presents, Vanessa had to participate in a "How Well Do You Know Your Groom" game, which we called Jon to ask him a bunch of personal questions. For every question Vanessa got wrong, she had to eat 1-2 marshmallows. Vanessa and Lanae arranged this game for my lingerie shower, and I thought it was really fun for me and everyone else.
I wanted the game-portion to be enjoyable and not dreaded (as usual), and I found this idea on a bridal website a couple weeks ago.. We had the girls break into 2 teams for a relay, to see which team could put on nylons while wearing oven mitts. The girls got really into it and it was absolutely hysterical!

What a fabulous and memorable night!

The next morning was Vanessa's 2nd shower - Relative brunch - and in the afternoon more relatives came over for the other shower I was hosting (with Lanae's help). We were able to keep up the decor with a few things added and new food made. We had some new games and fun prizes, like Candyland's caramel popcorn. With the final shower the following day, I'd say it was exhausting and well worth it!

[Special fonts included on invites, favors and cupcake toppers can be found free @ www.kevinandamanda.com]


  1. You are AMAZING my friend!!! Such fun photos:)

  2. You're work is amazing. When are you starting your own party planning business? Amy Atlas WATCH OUT!


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