As I’m brainstorming for yet another bridal shower I’m planning for my friend Theresa, I’m reminiscing on how much fun I had planning a shower for my wonderful friend Autumn! [You met her in one of my previous posts. If you missed it, you can find it here] I also realize that since it’s wedding season, many of you are helping plan showers as well. I’ll offer some helpful tips for creating a beautiful shower without going way out of budget!
Autumn’s wedding was planned to be a classy night wedding with dessert reception so I knew I had to make her shower just as elegant! Her colors were black, gold, and purple. So my biggest goal was creating a shower that was classy and elegant without spending a fortune. Because lets be honest, it’s easy to do a shower that has that rustic DIY feel for cheap, but this was NOT Autumn’s style, so I knew I had a challenge ahead of me.
My first step was figuring out where this shindig was going to take place. Sometimes you can find a friend that has a beautiful home and backyard that you can really dress up, which is always a great first option since it’s free! But if thats not an option, my recommendation to anyone trying to find a beautiful place for any event is town halls or city owned buildings! I know that sounds weird, but trust me!
There are some gorgeous historical town halls, old churches, or even schools that have beautiful spaces that towns rent out for events. There are usually discounts to people who live in that town, so start with looking in the towns that either you, other bridesmaids, or family of the bride live in. I chose the Old Town Hall in Bedford, MA. It was only $80 an hour and it included use of a full kitchen that was attached to the “Great Room.” It was the perfect space for the shower so I jumped on it!
Since the building was built in 1856, it had some gorgeous features, but had also been updated so it had a fresh look inside! It’s nice to find a space that has beauty of it’s own because it requires less decorating on your part. When the “canvas” you start with is already beautiful it makes your job a lot easier.
Once you’ve found the setting for your event, you need to start working on decorations and the theme. I decided that we were just going to try to achieve a very classy and elegant event. I splurged a little on getting nice tablecloths. Figure out what your one “splurge” item will be. Pick something that will really stand out and make the difference, so it’s worth spending a little extra on! I rented the black tablecloths which were around $75 for all of them. Then I went cheap on the rest of the table settings. I got gold paper dinner plates and gold designed dessert plates with matching napkins. I also found some really cool plastic utensils that still looked fancy. To add a special touch I put chocolate kisses on each plate that were in purple wrapping to add a little pop of color [purple was also one of her colors].
The glasses were a fun project – I bought them from the dollar store! I know right?! A buck each is an awesome deal, especially because I doubled the glasses as the party favor! So everyone got to take their glass home. All I did was paint on a little modge podge to the bottom of the glass and dipped it in gold glitter. It made for a beautiful glass that looked a lot more expensive than it really was! And the great part was that people could just put them throughout the washer and the gold glitter disappeared and they had a brand new wine glass!
For the centerpieces I headed to Savers! I grabbed anything gold. Candle holders, frames, and any other cool trinkets in gold. And anything that wasn’t gold, I just spray painted [spray paint rules all!]. I spent mere dollars and just printed out pictures of the lovely couple for the frames and bought some purple candlesticks. Easy! Autumn loved milk glass so I also found some milk glass vases at Goodwill and in my Mom’s house. We grabbed some flowers from the grocery store and just like that, our centerpieces were complete!
I added various creative touches throughout the hall, including gold letters of the bride and grooms first names. I bought foam poster boards and had my mom carve out the letters with an electric meat carver. To finish it off I spray painted them gold and added string to make them easy to attach to the front doors of the hall.
To make Autumn’s life easier, I had a check-in table where people could write their addresses on envelopes so that Autumn could later send thank you cards. I found them at Home Goods for about 3 bucks! I had a pretty basket for people to put their finished envelops in and had a framed picture of the lovely couple to finish off the table!
My sister used her beautiful penmanship to write “Welcome” on a chalk board sign that I bought at Kohl’s on sale for 12 dollars! Booyah! I’ve used this chalkboard sign at several events since Autumn’s Shower!
Food can get pricey real quick! I knew I had to watch the food costs or else I’d be in big trouble. BJ’s became my best friend! They have tons of frozen appetizers and finger foods that are perfect for an event where you have lots of mouths to feed. I always checked to see how many serving were in each box and if the cost was worth it. It’s also important to offer variety to the guests, so have fun with it and get a little bit of everything!
As long as you’ve got pretty containers to put the food in, everyone will think the food is so fancy! Another huge money saver was the fact that a family friend make the cake for free! What a blessing! It was simple and absolutely gorgeous!
I used some extra decor I had to keep the food table looking attractive. Just use whatever you can find to spruce it up a bit! Presentation is everything and going for a classic and elegant look can never go wrong.
To add some class and fun to the party we had a “Mocktail” bar, which was FABULOUS! Our friend Abi was the bar tender for the night. She made virgin Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris!
We had pretty straws for the glasses and I found gold colored sugar on Etsy to rim the glasses with. Can you say YUM?!
For coffee and tea we had a separate table for guests to go to. I borrowed some of my mom’s pretty china that was gold. I added a vintage gold mirror that I had to make the table extra pretty!
Bridal Shower games came be super L-A-M-E. Can I get an amen? We opted for just sticking with the classic bridal bingo so the guests would have something to do while Autumn opened gifts. Instead we made our own Photo Booth for people to snaps pictures in front of throughout the night.
To create the DIY Photo Booth, I just borrowed a stand from my Dad’s church (perks of being a pastor’s kid!) and then I used black fabric as the backdrop. Then I got some gold sparkly paper that I cut in squares and then folded in half. Next, I taped them to some bakers twine and make several strands. And just like that, the Photo Booth was complete! I had a friend set up her camera on a tripod in front of the booth and we were all set!
And there you have it folks! A great Bridal Shower is actually very easy to accomplish when you use smart and davy ways to be frugal and creative. And in the end, if the Bride is happy, then it’s a job well done!
Planning a Bridal Shower soon? What ideas do you have up your sleeve?