This past weekend, I threw a wedding shower for the sister I never had, Ilana. For the first time this year, I have a couple of my closest friends getting married. Ilana and I have been friends since birth and her family is our chosen family. When Ilana got engaged, there was no question that my Mom and I wanted to throw her a fabulous shower. There were only two small problems. First, Ilana didn't want a shower. She's the one whose always doing everything for others and isn't such a big fan of being the center of attention... so it took a little convincing! Second, not only had we never thrown a bridal shower... but we had never been to one. So, to Pinterest we went!
We did tons of looking and tons of google searching to find inspiration. Ilana's guidelines were no gifts, no cheesy bridal shower games and a fun activity. From what I had heard, bridal showers can be a little boring (who wants to watch someone open gifts for two hours). So! It was our mission to create a beautiful, fun, delicious, quaint afternoon for Ilana's small list of her favorite people. Most of all, it wast important to us that Ilana felt so special, loved and like this day was made for the fabulous, kind, easy going, selfless person she is. Ilana adored the day so mission accomplished! Throughout the planning process, I've realized that the most important thing in hosting a shower is that it is fitting for your specific bride. It's ok to do something different, something outside the box and unique to make your bride feel extra special!
With a little help from Paris 312 for gorgeous decor, Toni Patisserie for unbelievable (looking and tasting) pastries and Le Personal Chef, Sami Fgaier of Madison for a spread of delicious food we created what Ilana said was the PERFECT shower. Here are all the details of the afternoon we created to shower our dearest Ilana with love before her big day!
We decided on a theme of Brunch & Bubbles. Because who doesn't love good food and good champagne!? Our colors were gold and white. Simple, elegant and a little fun!
We used Paris 312's unbelievable balloons, tassels and cake toppers (as skewers) as our start. If you don't know Paris 312, they're a fabulous decor company based in Chicago. Their mega balloons (pictured below) and balloon walls are just a few of my favorites. Their balloons stand for up to a week so I drove them from Chicago to Madison the day before the shower! We wanted a bunch of unique gold vases as well so my creative Mom grabbed some spray paint and about 20 glass bottles and started spraying! To add some contrast, she glued faux pearls in various designs onto the vases and it looked ADORABLE. To keep it simple, we went with little bunches of babies breath and white tulips to fill the vases. We added some gold confetti to spread on the tables and we were good to go!
When it came to food, we knew we wanted to use our close friend Sami Fgaier who is the incredibly talented chef behind Le Personal Chef in Madison to cater the shower. Sami travels the world catering events large and small and frequently caters in Chicago also. For brunch, we of course wanted to do a lox and bagel platter because, well... duh. We had a number of other delicious, healthy options to round out the menu. For apps, we did fruit skewers on the adroable Paris 312 gold foil skewers that are meant to be cake toppers as well as bruschetta and pretty cake pops. For brunch, we decided to do buffet style because it was a more casual afternoon and it's fun! In addition to the gorgeous lox and bagel platter with all the trimmings, Sami made a colorful fruit platter, dairy free mini spinach and artichoke quiches, mini gluten free pancake stacks and Israeli salad.
Since it was a small group, we decided to go with cookies and macarons over a cake for dessertl A few weeks ago, my friend had a birthday cake from Toni Patisserie in the South Loop of Chicago and it was a piece of art! When I saw it I knew I wanted them to do the pastries for Ilana's shower! We gave them our colors, a few inspiration photos, the bride and groom's names and wedding date and said: "go for it!" I almost cried when I saw how the pastries turned out. Toni Patisserie created the most stunning, artistic (and delectable) cookies and macarons that I have ever seen. Everyone said they were so gorgeous that they hated to eat them!
We decided that a fun, non cheesy, perfect activity was a cocktail making class! We had a mixologist come and teach us to make 5 champagne based cocktails to stick with the bubbly theme! We came up with cute kitchy names for the cocktails! They were all fairly simple and so delish! My favorite was the French Kiss! I'm going to be making it all Summer long! Here's the deets for all the cocktails!
The French Kiss- Prosecco, peach puree, and white peach for garnish
The First base- Prosecco, fresh squeezed OJ, orange zest
The Tandem Bike- St Germain, elderflower liquor, sparkling water and edible flowers
The Honeymoon Royale- Champagne, creme de cassis, blackberry
The Off The Market- Champagne, simple syrup, cognac, blackberry, lemon twist!
Gift For The Bride & For Our Guests
Our bride requested no gifts but we still wanted to do something memorable for her. I started a poem that each person attending the shower added to and we all read our respective lines to her at the shower! It was really special and everyone wrote the sweetest lines! For our guests, we wanted them to take home something cute, fun and on theme! We decided to send everyone home with champagne splits with cute tags that said: "it's time to drink champagne and dance on the table" in anticipation for her wedding day!
For a bridal shower, I love the idea of pastels, light neutrals and florals! I opted for a little floral number which is unfotuantely sold out now but here are a few other pieces I love for the occasion!
We had a great day showering Ilana with love! I hope these ideas are helpful for any of you throwing a bridal shower for your loved ones!