I love a good bridal shower. So, when one of my oldest friends announced she was getting married and was not going to have a bridal shower (something about being too old and not wanting presents), I knew I needed to step in. Along with five of our friends, we threw a pretty spectacular, small, surprise shower.
How did we keep it a secret?
Well, I have to say it helped we, the ones planning the shower, were the only ones invited. We didn’t have to tell anyone closer to her (her fiance or her family) what we were doing. We had an e-mail chain going around with JESSIE DELETED incredibly large in the subject heading. Honestly, I’m surprised we did it. I almost replied to the wrong message more than once and we’re a group not particularly known for keeping secrets.
How did we get the bride to come?
We have monthly friend dinners, so we just chose a date when we could all make it and said we were going to have a pot luck at my house instead of going out. Easy peasy.
Pale pink and yellow love birds.
I love decorating with flowers. I think they bring a lot of color and sophistication to a party. They don’t have to be a big expense, either. I ran to Trader Joe’s the day before the party and bought five bouquets of flowers for about $30.
The centerpiece consisted of a grapevine wreath*, vintage books, flowers, a wooden bird, and a chalkboard painted wooden bird. The grapevine wreath’s circular shape worked well with my large round table. I made some bird decorations and hung them from the light over the table. See how I made them in this tutorial.
All good parties have a cute banner. We put this banner together quite quickly. I printed letters from Shanty2Chic and they were cut and strung up in no time.
The most important part of any party!
I had never had macaroons before, but I knew that they were pretty. That was my main reason for wanting them. These particular strawberry and lemon macaroons were from Oakmont Bakery and were to die for.
Seriously, look how pretty they are!
They may or may not be making appearances at my parties in the future just because I like the way they look…
To drink, we made Strawberry Basil Lemonade. So yummy! We also had champagne and wine to optionally spike the punch.
And doesn’t my crystal look beautiful! That’s one of those wedding presents you get and don’t use that often. I do love my Kate Spade crystal*. This was the first time I used my 4-in-1 serving dish* as a punch bowl. I had used it before as a veggie tray, possibly for chips and dip, and possibly as a dessert stand. Very excited to see how it worked as a punch bowl. I think it looked great and loved having the area below to put the serving utensil on.
The strawberry basil lemonade looked so pretty with the garnish and paper straws*.
The best part about throwing a party with other women: everyone brings food! We had chips and salsa, guacamole, and baked brie for appetizers. Artichoke chicken was our main course with a zucchini and squash casserole, macaroni salad, and potato salad as our sides. And you can’t invite a bride to her surprise shower without having her bring something, so she picked up some super yummy cupcakes from Priory Fine Pastries.
What are old friends good for if you can’t pull out a stack of embarrassing photos at your bridal shower?
We didn’t play a ton of games, but we had some fun activities.
I passed around small pretty scrapbook papers for everyone to write down a memory on. We then went around sharing our memories. These then made cute keepsakes for the bride.
We also made date night cards. Everyone got a card with an envelope to write down a date night idea for the bride and groom. We told the bride these were for anytime they were in need of a fun date night, or just out of date night ideas.
How could we not pass along marriage advice to our friend? I made these beautiful advice cards where we could impart our wisdom.
We passed ours around so everyone had someone else’s, then read them aloud for the bride to guess.
I’ve made the template available for you to use and personalize.
Gifts were opened and enjoyed. I’ll be sharing my DIY Anthropologie inspired tea towel gifts in a few days.
And even though there were only a few of us, we couldn’t leave our bride without a rehearsal bow bouquet.
Happy Surprise Bridal Shower Jessie!
We couldn’t be more happy for you! Can’t wait for the big day!