Showering a sister…
I have a son and I happen to be pregnant again and will be surprised with the sex for the 2nd time round. You wonder why I’m telling you this? Well it’s because if I have another boy, which I’d be over joyed with (yes my biggest fear in life is having a teenage daughter – we can talk about this in another blog post…), I realize I will never get the pleasure of throwing a shower like this again. This Saturday I had the honor of working with some of the sweetest, most fabulous bridesmaids to put on the shower of my sister’s dreams. It was the first time, sadly, I know, that I realized just how lucky I am to have a sister. I’ve always taken her for granted and unfortunately we were not super close growing up. But that’s all changed and in the past few years as we have become incredibly tight and speak every day even when we have nothing to say to each other.
So when first sitting down to plan this special event for my sister I just had to consult with her on the theme, color palette and some of the main concepts because I wanted it to be as perfect as can be. Her love of tea, vintage and shabby chic details pulled together into a “tea for two” theme for the party and with this we designed a soft, feminine and really pretty inspiration board to work with…
This was the end of my sister Mandy’s involvement in her shower as from this point on LMP and the bridesmaids took the vision for her fantasy shower and ran with it.
Now before I go any further here I need to give a shout out to Robyn Harrison who took the photos that you will see below (aside for the odd one that was taken by my Aunt Debi). Her photography is simply amazing – thank you for all of your hard work and sending these shots to me so quickly!
On to the venue. Many of the girls so generously offered up their homes to have Mandy’s shower in. I thought it would be best to have it in one of the girls’ homes to save some money and to make it more personal. So we had the shower at her friend Elyse’s house who happens to be a chef…not too shabby and we’ll talk more about this shortly. Elyse’s house is beautiful. She has a lovely dining room/living room but the creme de la creme is her backyard. A really nice size, lush grass and large patio set with plenty of room to set up all the tables we wanted to really let our creative juices flow. One key factor here…the weather. We needed sun, warmth and sun. HA! Well guess what? We got it! And actually – it was the nicest day we’ve seen to date this 2012. The sun was beaming, the air was warm with a beautiful breeze and the clouds kept their distance. I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better if I tried.
So we put up a sign on the front lawn to direct the guests to the backyard and we were ready to roll…AND…that’s when…
We set out three main tables for the party: drinks, brunch and dessert. We also set a table for gifts and favors for everyone to take home. And we had the joy of setting out tables for guests to sit at which made for a really laid back and comfortable celebration.
The color palette was made up of soft pink, mint green, gold and ivory lace. We combined all of these colors in the table where we set up drinks for the guests to help themselves: coffee & tea, pink sparkling lemonade, a pink Moscato, sparkling and still water and of course plenty of lemons & limes. I purchased a pink lacy parasol umbrella from Luna Bazaar from which I hung black and white pictures of my sister as a baby on doilies from. I give 100% credit to my mother Vici for this fabulous idea which turned out to look gorgeous at the beverage station.
In addition I found the most beautiful little pendants from M&J Trimming to hot glue onto ribbon and put around the corrugated sleeves that we set out for the coffee cups. A great DIY way to spice up a boring plain white cup. We also set out ivory roses in a silver tea set that we borrowed from my Boobie Frieda (aka my grandmother). As you may or may not know, my Boobie turned 90 this past November and couldn’t be more precious to my sister and I. We are so thankful that she is with us and as strong as she is being able to attend all of the special occasions that have been going on in our lives. Boobie played a pretty large role in this shower as she loaned us much more then just her silver tea set…
We took several of her vintage tea cups, tea pots, platters, vases and table linens to use throughout the party. This made the party not only more stunning then it already was but also very meaningful and special to our family who was in attendance. We were also very lucky to borrow some of the vintage tea cups that my Auntie Marissa has been storing from our late Bubbie Nelly (aka my other grandmother). We used the teacups to fill with flowers, make mini cake stands and as part of the centerpieces on the tables where the guests were able to enjoy their delicious bites. We even filled some of these beautiful tea cups on the tables with cookies that Elyse replicated right off of Pinterest which were delicious and adorable! Surrounding each we put up more childhood pictures of Mandy for the guests to enjoy looking at.
You will also see we had some beautiful flowers all over this shower. I had the pleasure of working with Suzanne from Wildflowers for these fabulous arrangements. She was super sweet and so helpful and I cannot wait to work with her again!
We couldn’t resist the beautiful tissue fans from Shop Sweet Lulu either. So we strung these along the exposed brick wall back drop to our food and dessert tables. Though they were blowing in the light wind and not staying straight and even (which to a person like me who has a wild case of OCD is pure torture) they added a girly and cute element to our overall decor.
Moving along to the food…here’s where Elyse really comes into play. A chef, cooking school teacher and along with the rest of the bridal party a dear friend to my sister – Elyse spent countless hours the day prior to and morning of preparing the most insanely delicious food I’ve ever eaten at a brunch. Not to mention…simply gorgeous. The menu consisted of the following:
Green Bean Bundles with Herb Dip
Wild Mushroom Phyllo Purses
Goat Cheese and Caramelized Shallot Tarts topped with a Roasted Tomato
Bacon and Aged Cheddar Scones with Chive Butter
Crab Cakes with Dijon Aioli
Trio of Crostini: Gorgonzola Cream with Fresh Figs & Red Wine Reduction, Goat Cheese with Truffle Honey & Toasted Walnuts and White Bean Puree with Garlic Confit
Tea Sandwiches: Curried Chicken Salad, Smoked Salmon with Dill Creme Fraiche & Caviar and Asparagus with Lemon Cream Cheese – could these be any more stunning?
I’m not sure how to express to you how good this food was…maybe you can try to get the idea from these pictures…haha. And if you want to see more of Elyse’s work including her write up of Mandy’s shower check out her blog here.
Onto desserts…um, wow. Thanks to my long time friend and wedding planner Mona Ng, I was referred to a bakery called Bobbette & Belle. Talk about talent – these girls are amazing. Their desserts are not desserts…they are pieces of art. Using our inspiration board as pasted above we came up with the following menu for the dessert table:
Piped royal icing flower sugar cookies
Assortment of macarons
Assortment of melt in your mouth meringues
Mini cupcakes piped with soft pink roses, soft green leaves and gold centers
Two tiered pink ruffle cake
These desserts were simply off the hook and couldn’t have looked prettier or tasted any better.
As for the little details that LMP prides ourselves on – we set up a table for the gifts where by we encouraged the guests to shower Mandy with items that could be enjoyed by her and Jason.
The bridesmaids, myself and my mom went in on a gift that we thought was special for Mandy & Jason because of their love for entertaining. Michelle found this awesome, hand made set of platters on Etsy that we personalized with their initials M+J and gave to Mandy as her gift. The gift most certainly got the reaction we were all hoping for from both Mandy and the crowd. “oh my gosh..these are so cool”! Was Mandy’s reaction…while we got a huge “OOOOHHHH and AHHHH” from the girls watching as she opened all of her goodies.
We also set out a table of favors for the guests to take home and enjoy. Mandy’s friend Natalie put these together for us and did a beautiful job. Inspired by Martha Stewarts version she made these her own for our Mandy.
Of course there are some traditions no bridal shower is complete without. So we played a couple of games to keep the guests entertained. However, I don’t like playing games at these things…so we made them activities where the guests didn’t have to do very much. One of which involved faux diamond rings – we thought very fitting and appropriate for our shower here. Each guest was given a toy ring and if they said the name Mandy or Jason could lose their ring to the person who caught them. In the end the gal with the most rings won and in this case that was my cousin Stevie Jane. The second game, inspired from my friend Traci’s baby shower at which I won and was super excited because I did NOTHING for it was we ran an egg timer during the gift opening. If it went off while Mandy was opening your gift you got a prize. We had some fun with the bag of prizes as we put in a teapot shaped tea bag rest, a jar of honey and a honey comb stir all from Crate and Barrel.
It’s also really nice and customary for the groom to be, to make an appearance towards the end of the shower. Jason did just that with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in hand. What a sweetie pie!
A special thanks goes out to my family who shared this special day with us and all of Mandy’s friends who are so good to her and she is so lucky to have. Not to mention the bridesmaids – Mandy is blessed to have you all in her life. This shower would not have happened without the help, support and love from each and every one of you. Lastly, to my sister…for being so wonderful giving me the great privilege to be your matron on honor. From the bottom of my heart – I love you.