I’m so excited to share a bridal shower with you today that I threw for a friend last month… who also happens to be getting married this weekend!!
I’ve known the bride-to-be since that first day of kindergarten at age 4 and really wanted her bridal shower to have a playful, whimsical vibe that was reminiscent of our childhood fun… which usually included a lot of sugar, silliness, and time spent outdoors.
After everything came together, the key elements for this “Sunshine and Love” theme included paper parasols, bicycles, fruity candy, mason jars, flowers, and love birds – all brought to life in a sunny yellow & strawberry red color palette!
There are lots of DIY details and recipes to share, so in order to keep this post from being a mile long (or maybe more accurately 2 miles long!), I’ll start with the visual overview today and post additional DIY, recipes, and party printables later. Here we go…
As I mentioned above, bicycles were one of the key elements of the theme. While bicycles did integrate easily into the “playful summer” vibe of the theme, the main reason for this was actually because Cindy’s fiance is an avid cyclist, and I loved the idea of using a tandem bike to play on the metaphor that he was “making room on his bike for her.”
I also borrowed his & hers beach cruiser bikes from friends to serve as the backdrop for our “photo booth” area.
(No one had a tandem bike on hand that I could borrow – which is not exactly shocking! – but when budget allows for it I do think it would be cute to rent a tandem bike for this theme… especially if you turn it into a couples shower or engagement party!)
The photo area also had paper parasols and hand fans that guests could use as props for the photos… little extras like this always make for fun pictures!
Paper parasols played a starring role in the table centerpieces too…
I had a hard time figuring out how to display the parasols on the tables at first because they weren’t tall enough on their own. The solution ended up being to flip one 20″ glass cylinder vase upside down to act as a pedestal for a second glass cylinder. Worked like a charm!
I secured the bases of the 2 vases together with glue dots then covered the “seam” with 2 layers of decorative paper. (also added some white vase gems to the top vase to ensure the arrangements were heavy enough to keep from toppling over!)
Paper elements played a key role in the party – I had so much fun designing these paper patterns, framed signs, napkin rings, place mats, and favor tags…
The mason jars were embellished with a custom favor tag around the neck and a coordinating paper circle glued to the lid (made with a 2.5″ craft punch).
Larger 32-oz mason jars were used as vases throughout the rest of the party. Mason jars are really inexpensive and make for wonderfully affordable decor – just $11 for a case of 12! I embellished the jars with leftover paper napkin rings.
And speaking of affordable vases, the rest of the flowers were displayed in vases from Ikea…
Gerbera daisies, China Mums, Carnations, Roses, Spider Mums, and tiny daisies were displayed in simple, eclectic groupings next to the centerpieces and on side tables.
For the main outdoor arrangement, I made some oversize paper flowers – utilizing this paper rosette tutorial for the blooms and then attaching them to wooden dowels for the “stems”. (See third image from the top for a visual of this…)
I also used some of the paper flowers as hanging decor, in addition to the yellow, red, and white eyelet paper lanterns that were hung from fishing wire in the main room and from plants and branches.
This big faux leather “C” for Cindy was a happy find at HomeGoods – only $10 and the perfect shade of red! (It also doubled as a gift after the party.)
I also covered my regular wall art with decorative paper so that the artwork colors (blue and green) wouldn’t clash with the party. (This is always a good trick when temporarily transforming your home space for a party.)
Those cute glass vases pictured above? Only $0.99 at Ikea too!
I spray painted this manzanita branch red and decorated it with small 4″ paper lanterns. (There’s another arrangement I did that featured red, yellow, and white manzanita. For some reason I can’t find a photo of it – and of course it was my favorite piece! :0 I’ll do a DIY tutorial if I can find it….but in any case just know that the manzanita looks fun spray painted yellow & white too!)
The dessert table and lunch tables featured “runners” created from striped fabric. (I just folded the fabric down to size – no needle & thread required! I’m all for shortcuts!)
There was so much yummy food for lunch that we kept the desserts simple and sweet. Mini cupcakes from Cupcake Love (Solana Beach, CA) and individually wrapped, sugar-dusted lemon bars.
The signature drinks were Red & White Sangria – perfect-for-summer cocktails that just happened to match the party’s color palette perfectly too!
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the ridiculous yummy food that was homemade by 2 wonderful ladies that seriously outdid themselves… check out this fabulous presentation!
The beverage table also featured a fun piece of party decor…. stacked boxes made to look like a tiered wedding cake. Check out the full DIY on this here.
And last but not least, I can’t forget to mention the cool little frames that are sprinkled throughout the party – including being utilized as our “cake topper” here!
They’re also from Ikea – and again – are only $0.99! I love how versatile they are – and the fact that you can display images on both sides… which means that no guests are stuck staring at the “back” of the frame!
All in all, this was a really fun party and the bride-to-be was super happy, which is always the important thing! And now it’s on to the wedding this weekend! :)
Photography by Michele Ehlers