HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER

Greetings! Today’s blog post is all about how to host a beautiful bridal shower.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I did just that recently in honor of the daughter of my oldest and dearest friend. The bride’s grandmother and I hosted the shower together and got lots of help from friends and family members. It truly does take a village to host an event like this. So, the best party planning advice I can offer is:

  • Plan, plan, plan way in advance
  • Create a party Pinterest page to collect ideas
  • Make lists and be very organized
  • Do as much as you possibly can well in advance
  • Delegate and say yes when people offer to help

DECIDE ON A THEME

We decided to have a Tea Party theme.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |#Tea #PartyHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There are many reasons why a Tea Party is a perfect theme for a bridal shower:

  • It’s a feminine pastime
  • Finger foods served at a traditional tea are dainty and ladylike
  • High Tea is traditionally served at 4:00pm. That gave us all day to get ready.
  • 4:00pm is also just about the cocktail hour so we decided to have a Bubbly Bar as well.

DECIDE ON A COLOR SCHEME

In keeping with the colors chosen by the bride for her wedding, we went with a white, gold and natural/ecru color scheme. Once you determine the colors it’s easy to plan for everything else. So, as we started ordering and gathering the party decor and everything else we needed, it was easy to make choices in keeping with our color scheme.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

MAIL BEAUTIFUL INVITATIONS

In today’s world we are so quick to simply send evites. Make your party stand out as something really special by having custom invitations printed. We had these beautiful invitations printed by Wedding Paper Divas.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Bridal #Shower #Invitations By #WeddingPaperDivas

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Bridal #Shower #Invitations By #WeddingPaperDivas HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Bridal #Shower #Invitations By #WeddingPaperDivas
  • Mail your invitations 1 month in advance
  • Ask guests to RSVP at least 1 week in advance of the party
  • I believe handwritten addresses are so much more personal than computer generated labels
  • Address envelopes using a fine point pen with a coordinating ink color
  • Find pretty matching postage stamps

PLAN THE MENU

A traditional High Tea typically consists of both Sweet and Savory petite finger foods. Following is what was on our menu. We decided in advance who would prepare or purchase the various items and ingredients needed to make all the items on the menu. Two days before the shower we got together and prepared everything we could in advance. We also decided on and set out all of the serving dishes we would use for every item on the menu.

The Sweets:

  • Fresh Blueberry & Strawberry Scones with Almond Glaze served with Butter, Clotted Cream, Lemon Curd & Raspberry Jam

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |#Blueberry & #Strawberry #Scones

  • White Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies in the Shape of a Heart

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |#White #Chocolate Dipped #Shortbread #Cookies

  • White Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with White Candy Pearls & Shimmering Sugar

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #White #Chocolate Dipped #Strawberries

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #CakePops Dipped in White Chocolate with Gold Sprinkles on Gold Forks

  • Mini Lemon Tarts in Sugar Cookie Shells

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |#Lemon #Tarts

  • French Macarons

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #French #Macarons

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |#Mini #Cupcakes

  • Mini Pavlovas

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Mini #Pavlovas

  • Petit Fours

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #PetitFours

The Savories 

  • Baked Brie & Pecan Bites with a Balsamic Reduction

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Baked Brie, Pear & Pecan Bites

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |#Smoked #Salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber Bites

  • Pickled Baby Beets with Herbed Goat Cheese served on Gold Spoons

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Pickled Baby Beets with Herbed Goat Cheese served on Gold Spoons

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Mini #Quiche

  • 4 Types of Tea Sandwiches, all on different types of bread cut into interesting shapes
  1. Egg Salad

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Egg Salad Sandwiches

2. Pimento Goat Cheese (Click Here 4 the Recipe)

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Pimento Goat Cheese Sandwiches

3. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Smoked Salmon & Herbed Cream Cheese

4. Curried Chicken with Cashew Nuts & Dried Cranberries

Curried Chicken with Cashew Nuts & Dried Cranberries

Each menu item was identified on a card being held by a heart shaped place card holder from BHLDN.com.  And, plastic flowers were glued onto toothpicks, pretty as well as handy for picking up finger foods.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Heart Shaped Place Card Holders By BHLDN.com

And last but not least, a beautiful tablecloth is essential. We rented ours from La Tavola, Fine Linen Rentals. They ship everything right to your event and will send fabric swatches in advance to help in the selection process.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

DECIDE ON THE LIBATIONS

Since this was a Tea Party naturally we would be serving hot tea.  I ordered these darling heart shaped tea bags from a wonderful source on Etsy called Klassic Khaos. In keeping with our color scheme I asked if they would make the attached heart in gold and they gladly accommodated my special request.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We set up a tea station with white and gold china tea cups. A gold framed mirror proclaimed “You, Me & Tea”.  Other chalkboards and signs around the party had tea themed sayings as well:

Love is Brewing
Eterni-Tea
The Perfect Blend

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Napkins were printed with the name of the bride and groom and coasters were printed with their wedding date, both by Wedding Paper Divas.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Bubbly #Bar #Napkins from Wedding Paper DivasHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Bubbly #Bar

In addition to a Tea Station we set up a festive Bubbly Bar complete with a variety of fresh fruit, fruit juices & liquors to make Champagne Cocktails. Champagne glasses were dipped in gold pearlized sugar.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Bubbly #Bar

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Bubbly #Bar

And, don’t forget to set up a water station, especially when alcohol is being served.

DECORATE

In keeping with the color scheme and theme of the party, tastefully decorate every area of the party venue. Flowers are easy to arrange in urns and in other pretty containers.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

We ordered these gold Cava Vases from BHLDN.com.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Greenery, flowers and paper fans were placed on the fireplace mantel.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

It’s also nice to place some fragrant flowers in the powder room as well.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Candles look lovely and set a festive mood. Light them day or night but don’t use scented candles near food. I purchased these beautiful gold mercury glass votives from BHLDN.com.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The gold candelabras are from my company, The Hill Ironworks.  Just before the party started we put one of the Junior Bridesmaids to work lighting all the candles.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

Also with the help of the Junior Bridesmaids we made this giant heart out of chicken wire and torn up strips of fabric and toile.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

Family photos in gold frames, including a photo of the bride’s parents on their wedding day were placed in various locations around the home.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com |

DESIGNATE A PLACE FOR GIFTS

Find a convenient place for guests to place their shower gifts upon arrival.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It’s so important to thank each guest for their shower gift. Toward that end the mother of our bride made this beautiful clipboard by gluing on sentimental trinkets belonging to the bride. It was complete with a printed form and Montblanc Pen. The Maid of Honor registered each gift as it was opened.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We also provided the bride with these lovely Thank You Cards from Wedding Paper Divas.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Thank You Cards from Wedding Paper Divas

Here’s a great tip and a lovely gesture! When gifts are opened ask each guest to join the bride as she opens their gift. It really makes the gift giving and opening extra special.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And here’s another great gift-giving-tip for the Mother of the Bride! Have the Ring Bearer’s Pillow made out of pieces of your wedding dress. In this case, Mother of the Bride Lisa used lace, ribbon and a button from her dress to make this beautiful heirloom pillow.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As the gifts are being opened assign a Bridesmaid to make a ribbon bouquet to be used at the wedding rehearsal.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

PARTY GAMES

Every bridal shower requires at least one party game. In our case we found an old fashioned childhood game of Cootie Catcher here on Martha Stewart’s Wedding website. Have the bride pick a number and open the fortune-teller to reveal one of the following tasks:

  • Make a toast!
  • Give a relationship tip.
  • Tell your love story.
  • Serenade someone (group picks the song and the muse).
  • Snap a funny photo!
  • Play 2 truths and 1 lie (group guesses the lie).
  • Pick an iconic couple and give clues till the group guesses.
  • Share a fun fact about the bride or groom!

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We also ordered “Words of Advice” & “Song Request” Cards from Wedding Paper Divas and set them up on a table with pens and pins. Each guest was asked to add a card to the chicken wire frame using sweet little clothes pins. This will become a decoration at the wedding as well. During the shower polaroid pictures were taken and also added to the decorative frame.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Advice & Song Request Cards From Wedding Paper Divas

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Advice & Song Request Cards From Wedding Paper DivasHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Advice & Song Request Cards From Wedding Paper Divas

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | Advice & Song Request Cards From Wedding Paper Divas

PARTY FAVORS

Last but not least are the party favors. In keeping with our Tea Party Theme we gave each guest a decorated mug. The favors were placed on a credenza by the front door so guests could pick them up as they departed. Each mug had a heart shaped tea bag placed inside and a tiny card was tied on that thanked them for coming.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Party #FavorsHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Party #Favors

Mugs were personalized for each of the Bridesmaids, Junior Bridesmaids, and for the Flower Girl who is my Granddaughter Elle.

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Party #FavorsHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Party #FavorsHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Party #Favor Cards By Wedding Paper DivasHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Party #Favor Cards By Wedding Paper Divas

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com | #Party #Favors

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It was such a lovely party, thoroughly enjoyed by all. Now we have the wedding to look forward to!

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comHOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Mother of the Bride, Lisa with Bride To Be, Anna

Mother of the Bride, Lisa with Bride To Be, Anna

So there you have it: HOW TO HOST A BEAUTIFUL BRIDAL SHOWER

Sorry for the lengthy post, I just had so much I wanted to share!

Thanks for dropping in!  Do please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.

Comments

  • Juliet Russell

    I absolutely adore your blog and particularly enjoy your ‘how to’ party and event posts! Oh to be a guest at one of your soirees!

  • I am so grateful for your following. Very much appreciate your support and kind words. It means so much to me! Thank you!

  • Jillian garcia

    Absolutely stunning bridal shower! Love all the details.

  • Thank you so much Jillian.

  • Lisa Sanford

    Every Mom thinks this day is so far away and before you know it…. this day comes and you really can’t believe it! So Blessed to have Celia & Nana give my baby girl such a beautiful bridal shower! Can’t thank both of you enough! XOXO

  • Yes my dear Lisa, time is fleeting and our babies grow so fast. It seems like only yesterday that you were pregnant with Anna and I with Taylor, best of friends having babies 3 months apart. It was my honor and pleasure to be a part of this wonderful celebration of your wonderful daughter.

  • Diane Heimstaedt

    Beautiful shower! Lots of thoughtful details and I’m sure, lots of work! Stunning!

  • Anna Sanford

    There are no words to THANK YOU enough for this beautiful shower and all of your love that went into it! It will be a day that I will look back on for years and years to come. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    Love you,
    Anna

  • Thank you so much Diane for your kind words. It was a great deal of work but worth it to do something memorable for someone you love. We made memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Anna, it was my absolute pleasure and honor to do this for you. I love you like a daughter and was so pleased to be able to be a part of this wonderful and exciting time in your life. XOXO

  • Debbie

    This couldn’t be a more perfect site for me — I love entertaining and hostessing “theme” events, and this bridal shower was bellissima! I thought I was “queen of detail” but you really take the bridal cake! Just Beautiful and love all the details — I will look, and look, and look again — I’m sure this cost more than average, but well worth the investment in pleasure and joy! Bravo! I will share your site!

  • Hi Debbie. A million thanks for your very kind comments! I am delighted you found me and thank you so very much for following along and sharing. I’d love to attend one of your events, as you sound like my kinda girl!