7.24.2014

A Vintage Tea Party Bridal Shower


I've been absent from my blog for nearly 3 months because I am my sister's maid of honor, I'm in the midst of helping her plan the wedding and throwing her the most amazing bridal shower ever.  I wanted the theme of the bridal shower to be a secret from my sister, Caitlin, so I have been unable to post about the bridal shower until now.  This past weekend was the big bridal shower bash and it went so well, I just had to share some photos of all the amazing decorations!  And because this is such a monster of a post and I've been gone for so long, there is a free Silhouette cut file at the end of the this blog post!

My sister loves vintage and so does her fiancé.  So I knew the bridal shower would have to have a vintage flair to it.  I had been searching around on Pinterest for ideas for the bridal shower and came across the most adorable card.  It was so cute I just scraplifted it--I didn't think there could be any improvements made to it, plus with the wedding having to be moved up an entire year, I really didn't have a whole lot of time on my hands.  This card had a cute vintage teacup on it with a pocket for a sachet of tea and I knew that a vintage tea party was what I needed to throw for my sister's bridal shower.

I couldn't find any cute, free teacup vectors to use for my own bridal shower invitations, so I made my own teacup.  From there I used a cute script paper, some cardstock and patterned paper, the Prima ledger paper and of course, Tim Holtz distress inks!  I embellished with Tim Holtz crinkle ribbon, Doodlebug pearls and used Tazo Passion and Zen teas for the pouch.


For the inside of the card, I used Adobe Illustrator to create a vintage looking frame to hold all the information guests would need for the party.  I asked guests to bring a pair of panties in Caitlin's size but represented their own personalities.  Caitlin then had to guess who brought which pair.  I created a lingerie-shaped card cut file for my Silhouette with my sister's sizes that could be taken out so guests could bring it to the store with them to help them remember Caitlin's size.

That’s it for the top-secret invitation I made, now on to the decorations for the location!

My Aunt's formal living room is where we sat and ate and where my sister opened her presents.  I just love the soft backdrop of the linen colored sofa and chairs with the burlap and lace curtains.  

Luckily my Aunt had the perfect house for a vintage themed bridal shower, with plenty of room for guests.  Her house is full of burlap and lace, cream colored and leather sofas and lots of wooden tables and benches.  It became the perfect backdrop for the boxes and boxes of decorations and entertaining supplies I brought over (let’s just say, it took me two carloads and I have a nice mid-sized sedan). 

Close ups of the banner I made as well as where it hung on the mantle in the living room where we played our bridal shower games!
I also created a banner for both the bridal shower and the wedding that has my sister's soon-to-be last name.  I hung this over the mantle at my Aunt's house where the bridal shower was held and will later hang it over the mantle at the wedding reception location.  I used vintage papers from Die Cuts With a View, some organza ribbon and white grommets.  I also found a cute cotton pleated ribbon at Michael's that I tied onto each end of the silk ribbon that the banner was strung on.  I used Recollections glitter in Champagne from Michael's to give a little bit of sparkle to the banner.   (Think the panties on the laundry rack are funny?  I’ll get to that in a minute!)


I also made a banner for the front door that says “I Do.”  This was another idea I found on Pinterest, but instead of making the letters glittery like all the examples I found online, I painted my letters with ivory chalk paint and then distressed with Tim Holtz distress ink.  I used Ranger Ink Glossy Accents to glue bows made from crinkle ribbon onto the letters that I made with the Stacey Nichols “Bow It All” tool and then used the back ribbon on the bows to tie the letters to some champagne pink-colored ribbon used as the vertical banner.  I glued the letters on with a hot glue gun for extra stability and added pearls and flowers to dress it up.  I just made a loop and knot at the top of the pink ribbon and hung it over the top of the door, using a clear command hook to secure the banner to the back of the door with the loop.
I made chalkboard frames out of Silhouette chalkboard vinyl to put onto apothecary jars for labeling the macarons.  I wish I was able to take more photos of the buffet table but not all the food was placed out right away and I was so busy running the shower, I forgot to get some photos of the whole table.  I guess none of my other family members remembered to do it for me either,* but just imagine a long table dressed in white linen with a purple ombre rosette table runner.  The table was laden with tea sandwiches of different kinds, fruit salad, veggies and dip, cupcakes and macarons.
*Update:  Apparently my aunt did get some other photos of the buffet table!  Here is the table in the aftermath of the party.  Lots of food was eaten and present wrapping is all over the place.  
Buffet table in the aftermath of the party.

My sister loves (and I mean loves!) birds.  I decided to use a few of the birdcages she has bought for the wedding, including this black one from David’s Bridal to collect cards at the wedding.  I put a few vintage Twinings tea tins and some flameless candles into the birdcage and propped it up on one of the various decorative boxes I own (this one happened to have lots of green in it—one of the wedding colors).  I added a little die cut birdie to it as well.  It's a little hard to see the die cut in this photo but it's just cream colored cardstock with a hole punched through to hang it with twine.  I just looped the twine around the top of the cage and let the bird hang inside.  

My mom and I have been collecting vintage items from antique stores around town for months to use as decorations at the shower.  One of those items is a vintage Royale typewriter from the early 1900s (it’s nearly 100 years old!) that I used to hold a note to guests asking them to write marriage advice or well wishes for the bride on the bird die cuts and then hang it on the wishing tree.  The wishing tree is a jewelry stand my mom bought on Etsy and is made from baling wire.  My sister has so much jewelry we thought it would be a nice decorative piece for her future house; plus, her fiancé loves trees!  I intend to keep the typewriter, however, as decoration and inspiration for my craft room.  I got a really great deal on the typewriter and it’s still in working condition, though the ink on the ribbon has dried up quite a bit.  If you want a vintage typewriter of your own, check out your local antique markets and flea markets.  I saw many of them during my junking trips, both manual and electric.  They can cost you upwards of $100, especially if the typewriter is still in good condition.  But sometimes you can come across quite the bargain if you have the patience and time to search.  If you love the jewelry tree, you can buy your own from KunsWerk on Etsy. 

Even though I was hosting a vintage tea party, I thought it was a good idea to include some cold drinks since it was a hot summer day.  Between my Aunt and I we had 3 drink dispensers so I offered lemon water, iced tea and blueberry lemonade.  You can also see that I had my sister’s wedding florist create a few arrangements for the shindig and we placed a few mason jars colored green and purple with baby’s breath in them on the iced drink bar. 




Let’s just say it.  Pinterest is amazing.  What did we do before we had Pinterest?  Oh that right, saving images from the web to a folder on your computer and having to bookmark the site you got it from and before that it was saving clippings from magazines.  Uhg, how complicated!  During the planning for the shower, my mom and I decided that guests should bring my sister kitchen tools and organization gifts that were listed on her wedding registry.  My sister really needs help learning to cook and we hoped she would become inspired to learn to make a few meals and desserts after receiving all her presents.  In keeping with the theme, my mom, grandmother and I went in together on purchasing a KitchenAid stand mixer for my sister.  But we didn’t just want her to open it up like any old gift, especially since we got the mixer in purple, her favorite color.  (Why, yes, we did get her fiancé’s permission to buy it in purple.  We told him we could get it in green, his favorite color, but he said “If you can get it in purple, then buy the purple!”  Holy smokes, Caitlin had better not mess this up—Alex is truly a keeper! Okay, back to the presentation of our amazing purple-licious gift…).  So thank goodness Pinterest came to our rescue!  One night I just happen to be searching bridal shower pins and what did I happen to come across but a pin of a KitchenAid stand mixer with a pretty floral arrangement in the mixing bowl.  Bingo!  I had struck Pinterest gold! 

I e-mailed Caitlin’s wedding florist with the picture I found on Pinterest and asked her if she could do a few floral arrangements for the bridal shower, including one in the KitchenAid mixing bowl.  As you can see, the mixing bowl arrangement turned out fabulous!  Caitlin was already crying when she came in and saw how wonderfully I had decorated but the waterworks really started going when she saw the KitchenAid.  She couldn’t believe her eyes and said “Really?  I guess I’m going to have to learn to cook and bake for sure now!”  When I told her that Alex had agreed to the color of the mixer, she was absolutely overwhelmed with happiness. 

Onto the food, yummy!  

My Aunt bought a pretty custom cake from Target’s bakery.  However there was an incident with the cake the day before the shower.  Let’s just say that someone who is new to baking must have frosted it because he or she didn’t create a well for the raspberry filling in between the layers of cake.  It shifted before my Aunt even got it out the door and had to go back to get it fixed.  But unfortunately, on the way home, it shifted again.  She called up the bakery and they put in an order to make a fresh one the next day.  Luckily, the second one turned out much better.  

My mom and I double-teamed on the rest of the food.  One of my favorites was the pistachio cupcakes with dried cherries.  I frosted them with a honey buttercream frosting and added a pre-made Wilton purple flower to the top along with some sparkly sugar.  I also loved all the macarons my mom made!




Here’s a full list of what we had on the menu:
  • Tea sandwiches:  curried egg, cucumber cream cheese and chive, Esperanza’s special sandwiches (a co-worker of my mom’s made it for us and it’s her super-secret recipe); PB&J (for my young cousins)
  • Spinach dip and veggies in individual tasting cups
  • Cheese and crackers platter
  • Fruit salad displayed in a pretty glass trifle bowl
  • Macarons:  lavender, key lime, chocolate mint
  • Pistachio cherry cupcakes with a honey buttercream
  • Chocolate and vanilla marble cake with a raspberry filling
  • Tarts:  key lime, strawberry rhubarb
  • Iced Drinks:  lemon water, Tazo Passion iced tea, blueberry lemonade (I mixed 1 Minute Maid lemonade and 1 limeade with a cup of mushed up fresh blueberries!)
  • Hot Drinks:  a variety of teas from Tazo and The Republic of Tea (including a limited edition Downtown Abbey tea!)
  • Scones with Double Devon Cream and strawberry preserves
  • Champagne with lavender flavored sugar cubes for a toast to the bride-to-be!

If you want flavored and colored sugar for your next shindig, check out Trio3 on Etsy.  There are a variety of flavors and colors you can get your sugar cubes or lose sugar in, including gift packs and party favor sizes!


We had a few games we played but I think everyone’s favorite was the “Guess That Panty” game, which I mentioned earlier in the post.  My Aunt and I pinned all the panties to a laundry rack and added some white bows and a wooden I Do sign.  Caitlin had to guess who brought which pair of panties and let’s just say, she wasn’t very good at guessing!  It was the most hilarious thing ever.  Then my sister awarded two prizes—one for the funniest pair and one for the most honeymoon appropriate.  


My sister getting the Bridezilla tiara because she read
the word Bride on a present she got!
We did an engagement ring scavenger hunt.  I hid 12 small fake rings worth one point each and 1 large one worth five points around the party area.  Whoever had the most points at the end won a prize.  I also had a Bridezilla tiara.  The words bride and wedding were off limits and anyone who said them had to wear the tiara.  I had a vintage hatbox full of ribbons and tulle.  The wearer was encouraged to make the tiara more hideous during her reign as Bridezilla.  The other two games we played were purse scavenger hunt and He Said She Said.  You can find fun printables for each by searching for the games on Pinterest.

Below are a few more photos from the Vintage Tea Party Bridal Shower!  And because this was such a monstrous post, at the very bottom is a Silhouette cut file freebie!


Enjoy and keep on crafting!


Adrienne



My sister goofing off by putting a pair of panties on her head.

My sister and all her friends from work who were able to come to the party.
Our cousin Rylee holding Caitlin's
dog, Bella, who was dressed in
white for the occasion.  
Caitlin and her friend Anna


My sister opening a present!
Cait said she was going to frame this
spatula that says "Keep Calm & Bake On"




Like I said, my sister loves birds.  She was so happy to get the salt and pepper shaker love birds set that was on her registry.  


Click the photo below to download your freebie!