Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Toast to the Bride and Groom!

This past weekend I hosted a wine shower for a friend. I again researched with google some ideas for an evening shower with wine, everything seemed like it was going to cost a lot to pull off. I began thinking of ideas on my own. My budget goal was to stay under $200 but I spent it a bit differently this time. There were 13 guests in attendance.

First so I could save some money for other things I sent the invitation through evite. It was a great way for everyone to communicate about the shower - and this party was for an out of town bride so we had to plan way in advance - it was nice to be able to send a reminder.

My favorite thing is to start with the decorations - that's so much fun! Her colors for the wedding are black and ivory so it was the perfect make up for an elegant wine party. I started with a black table clothes and utensils from Dollar Tree and ivory plates and ivory wine bottle napkins from Party City (since they were specialized I had to go to the party store this time). Then I knew I wanted to use corks and wine bottles in some way. I have a friend that collects corks so I borrowed from her (Thanks Jen!) I loved the elegance of candles and hydrangeas so I made the table "busy" with all these things. It is really hard to find cheap candles - I found these ivory candles at Garden Ridge (9 candles for $45). I borrowed the grapes for an added feature but I know they are available at Hobby Lobby and Michael's. I felt it was important to set the table for this party so it would feel more like a sit down dinner with wine. It gave us a chance to chat as a group.

For the food at this shower I wanted it to be a meal of heavy appetizers. Another way to help with the budget is to ask for other people to bring something to share or do the shower with a few friends so it doesn't all fall on you. I plated everything on white dishes to help pull out more of the elegance.

I also asked for help with the wine and had a few close friends bring a bottle or two of wine with them. We had a nice variety of reds and whites. I set up a section of the counter just for the wines.

For the party favors I bought mini bottles of wine for them to take home with them. I had four different kinds - two whites and two reds - I found the bottles at Target.

A few other additions I had that aren't pictured - I put wine glass charms on each glass for the guests to take home with them (Bed, Bath and Beyond). Also I bought the bride a wine glass with her name etched on it (Things Remembered).

A special note if you are hosting a bridal shower for an out of town bride - I had the guests bring gift cards or order a gift from the registry and have it shipped to the bride and groom and then print a picture of the gift so she knew what she was getting. It was a nice touch and I think Zena enjoyed receiving "gifts".

Thank you Zena for allowing me to feature your shower!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Shower Gone Wild!

This year I had the privilege to host showers for a lot of my friends. Some are having a baby and some are getting married. First up - a safari themed baby shower - my friend Lisa loves giraffes, therefore that became my inspiration!

I did lots of research online for ideas to pull this off but I struggled with what everything was going to cost to make it as amazing as the parties I found google searching. So I took some of their ideas and made them my own to fit my $200 budget (for 16 guests).

First on the agenda... the invite! I found a reasonably priced invitation on Zazzle.com - $1.20 an invite.

The invitation is a great way to get the rest of the colors and theme down. So if you are stumped on a the direction you want the theme to go - look through invitations for inspiration.

Next on my list was the menu. I found some great food ideas at GreyGrey Designs. So with their help I began planning my menu.

Lisa's shower featured Jungle Juice, Lion Meat (sub sandwiches), Gorilla Grapes, Hungry, Hungry Hippo Hummus, Sticky Zebras (Zebra Cakes), Tiger Tails (Cheetos spirals), Giraffe Grass (salad), Animal Crackers and Animal Cakes (cup cakes). I also made little safari faced chocolates.

Plates and napkins found at Shindigz.com.

After the menu was set I began looking into decorations and party favors. I decided anywhere I could pull the theme in I would. Around the food I had printed pictures of baby jungle animals sitting on burlap and I also taped baby animals to the wall and had some framed for the table centerpieces.

Another way I brought the animal print in was to line the tables with animal print ribbons.
I found some cheap jungle picture frames in the dollar bin at Target that I framed the ultrasound in. I also found two little jungle notebooks in the dollar bin at Target to have in the prize gifts for the games.

I found the cute, affordable safari good boxes on PartyCheap.com as well as a cute blow up giraffe that was on the front porch. Each box had a package of Animal Crackers inside.

Added touch - I put the mom-to-be's picture on the mantle.
For the games we played name the baby animals (i.e. tiger=cub) - download here - and the measure the mommy's belly (not quite in the theme but very fun).
Other cost effective purchases - table clothes and utensils - Dollar General, ribbon, wooden balls, animal print scrap book paper - Michael's, animal print balloons - Party City, burlap - JoAnn's, safari bucket, monkey picture frame and safari journals - Target.

Thank you Lisa for letting me feature your shower!