I am happy to say I had the bridal shower of my dreams! Everything looked gorgeous and I did not go past my budget. Lemme tell you a little bit about my experience and hand out some useful info I learned during the event preparation process.
Back home we call it “the big shower”, since brides are lucky enough to get more than one bridal showers. This one is just organized by the mother of the bride and the mother-in-law (in most cases, if not by the mother of the bride and closest relatives and friends). The bride expects about 200 people, more or less, and every guest leaves a small envelope with a certain amount of money requested previously in the invitation. There are two amounts mentioned, one for the regular guest and the other for the guests who want to be considered as an organizer of the shower, which is usually about 10 dollars extra (guests give about 15 dollars per person). It’s usually held in a big venue, and lasts all afternoon (4-9:30 pm tops).
My shower was on May 7th, at the terrace of a very traditional hotel in my hometown, Hotel Gandara. I wanted it to be there since its right next to the pool. It’s quite lovely. Oh, and I was lucky enough to have perfect weather that day (my hometown is known to be as one of the hottest, if not THE hottest, city on Earth).
The first part of this adventure (it was actually quite an adventure) was to choose my colors. I like pastels, white and teal. I’m crazy about all that that shabby chic vintage style that’s all over Pinterest, I had just purchased 12 mason jars in teal to decorate my new home and my boyfriend’s mom had over 20 tablecloths in lilac. Bingo! I shared my vision with my florist and she came up with this. It was beyond beautiful!
- This was the main table at the entrance:
- The centerpiece for guest tables were two mason jars (one in teal and one clear) and a large glass bottle filled with water and colorful flowers like carnations. The small table cover is made of paper, I found it in a special store for event suppliers. Less than three dollars for a set of 10.
- The deserts and snack table was set at the very end of the terrace. The bowls and mirror bases are all rentals from the florist, same as the gorgeous white tree in the middle. I had my closest friends and family make small cellophane bags of chips, pretzels and popcorn. They also helped me dice pineapple, jicama and cucumber for picos de gallo, and we put peanuts in another bowl to mix them with the cucumbers and make pepihuates with chamoy sauce. Tomato and clam juice, salsa and chamoy sauce were poured into crystal jars instead of displaying them in their usual plastic bottles. We had bowls of Hershey’s Kisses, butterscotch candies and mints. My brother’s girlfriend made delicious brownies and banana cupcakes and her mom made pate sandwiches. Guests could also enjoy fresh strawberries dipped in a chocolate fountain. We told the waiters to place only half of the food available on the table, and then refill by 6:30 pm or earlier if needed. They also handed out slices of strawberry and mocha cake to every guest, as well as water, soda and coffee. I’m happy to say we spent a very small amount of money and the food was sufficient enough; people actually had about three servings of everything.
- Besides from a Facebook invitation for younger guests, it is required that you hand out printed invitations for those who do not use social media. I fell in love with an invitation a friend of mine designed for her cousin’s bridal shower and asked her if she could redo it for me with my information. I wanted something different from the usual silhouette of a bride, and I got it. 🙂
- I also wanted something I could have as a keepsake. There is the guest book, of course, but I wanted something different. I remembered people are always asking when arriving at the bridal shower about the required amount of money in the invitation per guest, so I copied this really cool design I saw from a friend (she had it done for her daughter’s first birthday, with super cute info about her) and adapted it with information about me and my fiancé. I did not have the time to find a small blackboard with a cute frame and colored chalk, so I once again asked for the power of graphic designers and had it printed out on a thicker piece of cardboard. Ta-dah! My friends loved it and at least two of them called the printers and asked for one of their own.
- I wore a vintage (I think it’s from 2006) BCBG Max Azria dress covered in sequins, with a sash on the waist, which I LOOOOVE. The accessories were minimal: only a pair of long earrings in the same tone of the dress and a touch of gold, as well as a golden bracelet, a bracelet I got for my 19th birthday I hardly ever take off, and of course, my engagement ring. Make sure you give yourself time to have the ring polished for the event, or at least clean it with some vinegar. I had NO time to do that on the big day because I kept procrastinating. Same thing with my manicure and hair color. I had to do my nails while I was having my hair done and kept asking the hairdresser to please part my hair somewhere where you couldn’t see my roots. And since I knew I was barely going to sit down during the event, I chose a pair of beige platform pumps, they are the most comfortable shoes I can wear with my duck feet! :$
- My mom on the other hand, looked perfect in a Tadashi Shoji lace dress, in blue and nude. She chose a similar pair of shoes, though her were patent leather. She chose a simple pair of pearl earrings and let the dress do the talking. I have to say she stole the spotlight from the bride-to-be.
– Make sure you know exactly what you want when you talk to your florist and event decorator. Tell them your colors and style, and maybe show them some images of your ideas. If you’re not sure about something, don’t be quiet.
– Choose beautiful and inexpensive flowers like carnations, alstroemeria or baby’s breath. Unless you are set on roses and peonies, then go ahead.
– Originally, bridal showers had snacks and desserts for their guests. Nowadays, people are splurging on 2-course meals. If this is not on your budget, stick to the snack table, just make sure you have enough of everything. Chips, pretzels and popcorn are inexpensive ways to keep everyone happily munching, and they look really nice if you hand them out in cellophane bags with a colored bow. There’s also no need to spend on expensive cakes and confectionery if you are able to handle an oven and make cupcakes from a box.
– Plan on a venue that allows you to introduce different kinds of food if it’s possible. The usual package of cake, coffee and refreshments is enough if you add a little extra food.
– If you’re planning on inviting 150 people, tell the venue to only set 10 tables and be prepared to set two more, just in case. This lowers costs and most people come and go at bridal showers, so it’s highly impossible that someone will left standing.
– Wear something comfortable!!! Wear comfortable shoes!!!
– Hire a professional photographer. This is an extra special event, and you will want to remember it forever.
– If you are able to purchase items to decorate the event that can be useful afterwards, go ahead! Decorators charge quite a penny for a mason jar that they probably purchased at 2 bucks, and they will use them. Best part? If they like them, they might wanna purchase them from you.
– Hire a coordinator or someone you trust. You should be able to arrive at the shower looking gorgeous and not having to worry about anything. It’s your day, enjoy!
Credits (all come highly recommended by me!):
- Photography: Marina Laporte & Chai Esquivias
- Hair and make-up: Edgar Maytorena & Sergio Agraz
- Decoration: Floreria Janaya
- Coordinator: Ramiro Leal Escalante