Wedding Week: Backyard Bridal Shower

If you are hosting a bridal shower for a girlfriend or relative but have no idea where to start or need some good ideas, I can help!  This small affair usually includes those closest to the bride-to-be. Think immediate family, bridal party, and future in-laws. Given the intimate group, it is both appropriate and cost-effective to host the event at home. Or as we decided to do—the backyard!  I’ve outlined some easy-to-follow steps so you can host a charming and memorable backyard bridal shower without breaking the bank!

As with anything, a brainstorming session is a great way to begin with everyone who is helping with the shower.  Sit down and chat about the bride’s favorite things or email if you can’t get together.  First thing to think about; what is her style?  How does she dress, decorate her home?  Is she preppy? Modern? Classic? Extravagant? Vintage? Romantic?  Organic? Rustic? Trendy? Eclectic? What are her colors?  What’s the kind of feel she’s going for at her wedding?  What’s really nice for a smaller party like this is that you can do some of the things she really would love to do, but just aren’t feasible for a larger crowd. So feel free to ask her and get her input. Use her as your inspiration, and the process of creating something special for her will be easy.

The invitations will set the tone for the shower.  They can help you have a reference to look back on when putting together a cohesive look.  Darcy from Pretty Girl Designs took my ideas and made them even better.  We used an assortment of vintage stamps from Verde Studio and topped the invites off with the stunning calligraphy of Crystal Kluge.  Calligraphers usually have a couple fonts to choose from; look for one that aligns with the bride’s style as well as one that works with your invitation.
*Planning Tip: Make sure to include the stores at which the bride has registered on the invite!
*Planning Tip 2: Make sure to send invites out 1 month in advance. Download the Backyard Bridal Shower Handbook for the whole planning timeline checklist!

Play off the location space.  We chose my backyard; but if you live in a highrise building, you could always take the party to a park.  We dressed up my backyard with cafe lights.  They are an inexpensive and easy way ($18/two strands at Target) to add some height to the space.  The florals and greenery I strung through the lights added romance.

The tablescape was simple and pretty.  Since I could not find a mint colored vase I painted the inside of one of the vases that I had from  when someone gave me flowers.  It worked great and popped against the yellow parrot tulips and roses.   An old pew and bench was used for seating.  Votives always add a nice feel to a tablescape.  We used Design Darling quartz votives and lit the candles with their adorable bee matches.  Rachel Carl Co made the beautiful place cards.

For a thoughtful touch I painted MDF board mint and painted “10 things we love about Kate” and adorned it with leftover flowers.  When the guests arrive the host could direct them to the sign to write something sweet in each place.  It would be a nice take home for a bride.

In my opinion you need food no matter what time the event.  Of course it can be lighter if it’s at 3pm and not 12pm, but something tasty besides sweets is always appreciated.  For this we suggest a salad, mini quiche, mixed cheeses, and tea sandwiches.  A Pear & Walnut Salad with honey drizzled over it would be great.  The tea sandwiches and mini quiches are great for picking up a quick bite and mingling.

The Short Giraffe, as always, came through with mouth watering mini’s.  For the mini almond cream cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream we put custom cupcake flags from em for marvelous.  We had all but one say “I love Kate” and the last one said “I love Matthew” – which is the one our “bride” would get!  The Fresh Lavender cake was the perfect shade of honey, and had honey buttercream frosting.   Hello, delicious!  We topped it with lavender and a couple of garden roses.  We used  Sucre Shop hand stamped wooden utensils with honey and mint stripes on the Honey Cheesecake Mouse Shooters.  They were layered with Ginger Graham crust and then drizzled with honey and mint.  Vintage Confections provided the LOVE lollipops in the perfect shade of mint.  Rachel Carl Co was the calligrapher for the adorable banner “Love is Sweeter than Honey”.

The honey mint juleps are classic mint juleps but instead of simple sugar, honey is used.  I love a bar area at any event, even if it is small. A calligraphy sign, beautiful parisian gold bowls filled with fresh mint, gold spoons to put in extra honey to taste, mint striped straws, and cocktails ready to go make for a great little bar. The high ball “MRS” glass from Furbish, was perfect for the brides special glass.  Of course non-alcoholic drinks should always be provided.  Iced tea and cucumber water are nice and refreshing.

Your ultimate goal should be creating a thoughtful shower that is custom to your bride.  She should go home feeling loved and known.  So if you find yourself hosting a bridal shower, don’t feel like you need to take this on alone.  Delegate, Delegate, Delegate.  Remember most people are more than happy to help, they just need to know how they can.  Enjoy yourself, and the bride will too.

I love useful favors.  For this shower, we had mini pots by Custom Love Gifts filled with delicious tennessee honey.  We also stuffed custom stamped muslin bags by Crafty Clemintine with fragrant lavender from Paula’s Garden.

Download or print off all of these tips, a planning checklist, and recipes in the Backyard Bridal Shower Handbook!

Vendors:  Coordination & Styling: Sarah Tucker Events // Photography: Naomi Chokr // Desserts: The Short Giraffe // Invitation Design: Pretty Girl Designs // Sign Calligraphy and Placecards: Rachel Carl Co. // Invitation Calligraphy:  Crystal Kluge // Models: Candice, Ashten, Shannon, and Stef // Lavender:  Paula’s Garden // Muslin Bags: Crafty Clemintine // MRS & MR. highball glasses:  Furbish // Quartz votives: Design Darling // Custom wooden spoons: Sucre Shop // Mini honey pots: Custom Love Gifts // Love lollipops: Vintage Confections // Custom cupcake flags:  Em for Marvelous // Fusio Cheese Spreader:  Rablabs  // Gold spoons:  Harabu House // Parisian gold bowls and superior servers:  Shop Horne