Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Shower: The Details

Here are some of the details!  With 60 people attending, I knew the bulk of our budget would go toward food and drinks.  So the challenge Anita and I had was to pack a big punch on a relatively small budget.  I think we mostly succeeded.  Lesson learned here....when you make something, take a picture of it at home if you want a picture of it.  Setting up was pretty intense, so I didn't get pictures of everything. Boo.  But, here's what I did get pictures of.....

The advice cards.  This is something I like to do at showers because showers can get hectic.  This serves as an opportunity for each person attending to write down something special for the guest of honor that they might not have a chance to say at the shower itself.  Their thoughts, words advice, or wishes for the guest of honor can later be kept as a keepsake for the guest of honor.  I usually like to keep them private but often people like to have them read out loud. 

Here is a close up.  I designed the cards in PSE using the same elements from the invite.  I kept them long so they coordinated with the invitation.  The pens were made by one of the hosts, Priti.  She's an amazing cook/baker/crafter - as you can see from my previous post.  She covered each pen with floral tape and added a silk flower to the tops.  It's hard to imagine that something so cute was also functional.  We ended up placing each pen at each place setting along with a little box of chocolate covered raisins - Priti's doing - and it looked really nice....but you will have to take my word for it.  That was yet another one of the pictures I didn't get a chance to take. :(

The favor bags.  Priti got these cute white lunch bags for guests to fit all their goodies in.  Despite how roomy they were, some guests still filled two and sometimes three bags up.  I don't blame them.  If I was a guest, I would have hit the dessert table up before the food.  Just sayin'.


Here is a close up of the tags I made.  I used my silhouette to cut out 60 tags and wrote "Love is Sweet" on each one.  

I wanted something guests could just clip onto the bags to close them with, but I couldn't find any red medium sized clothespins.  So, I did what any self respecting craft addict would do.  I called my friend Mandy over and we hand painted 60 of those puppies.  And I don't regret one second of it.  It was the perfect shade of red and the perfect amount of cuteness.  

Then, as if that wasn't enough fun - it really was - we tied bows around the tags and placed a glue dot on each one so that guests didn't have to fool with adding their own tag.  They just had to place the clothespin on their bag and call it a day because the tag was already attached. 

Here is what they looked like in action on the dessert table. Oh my.  I'm so proud of them.  I think I just teared up.

The napkins. Since there were so many people, I wanted the buffet to run smoothly and didn't want to have anyone having to go back to get their plasticware. So, I wrapped the plasticware with a napkin. But, well, you know me.  I can't just leave it at that.  So I added a doily and some ribbon.  Doily, have I told you lately how much I love you? 

The tables.  The tables were 72" rounds, so I knew I needed a centerpiece that made a statement.  I would have loved to have had real flowers, but it wasn't in the budget.  So, Anita helped me make some tissue flowers that tied our whole color scheme in.  Much to Mr. Bean's chagrin, I used our cereal bowls as vases to hold said flowers in.  He only missed one morning's worth of cereal, so no worries. Then, I added ribbon because, well, I'll say it again, ribbon makes everything prettier.  For an extra punch of color, I used my old fall back and cut wrapping paper.  Priti brought her left over silk flowers and we tossed them around the centerpieces.  What I didn't get a snap of was the favor boxes Priti made with the chocolate covered raisins in them. The tables looked pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. 

The photo wall.  OK, so here is where I get a little crazy.  Only here though. ;)  Sharmee loves:  red, hearts, and taking pictures.  So, I thought, why not incorporate all three into her shower? So I did. I made a photo wall.  Anita was forced to wanted to make some tissue poofs that we hung around the photo wall.  We bought a lot of other elements that we didn't have time to hang but I love it all the same.  I was really nervous it would look cheesy.  And, well, it did.  In a good, Sharmee kind of way.

Here is the close up.  Anita and I made cut out the letters with the silhouette, which was hung using clothespins to cut down on time.  I then made a few doily banners and then attached lots and lots of streamers and ribbons to a pre-made tinsel curtain.  Unfortunately, the photo wall wasn't used but twice. And by twice I mean only two pictures were taken in front of it.  So, it was a lot of work sort of wasted but at least I got to try my hand at a photo wall.  I did learn a few things about these backdrops, though.  No matter how huge it looks in your house, it will look very puny in a 34' x 26' room.  Also, I shouldn't have let the tear down crew at it so quickly.  There were plenty of people helping me tear down that could have taken pics with it.  So.  Better luck next time.

All in all, I have to say I will never do this again. Ha.  Seriously, though, about 50 people ended up coming.  That is a lot of people.  We couldn't really do a whole lot with decor, but I think Anita and I managed....what do you think??  :)

I hate to make this out like an awards ceremony, but....thanks to everyone that had to put up with all my crazy emails.  I know they were almost a daily thing. :) A HUGE shout out to Priti.  You are amazing and so talented.  And to Julie for helping coordinate everything.  And to Anita for putting up with my obsessive craft-pulsiveness.  And to all the people that helped set up, namely Sonal, Bhavik, Mehul and Kishan.  We couldn't have finished everything without you guys.  And to Mandy for always willing to put in some hard labor for events you will never see in person.  That's dedication.  And lastly, HUGE thanks to Sarah and my Seester for having to listen to my worries and woes. Love you guys.

April Shower: The Food and Dessert

Although I can't take much credit for it, we had a pretty fab display of food and dessert.  For food, we chose catering and had a bhel puri, samosas, and khaman dhokla.  For drinks, we had sangria and lime sherbet punch.  Unfortunately, I didn't get too many pics of the food.  In fact I just got one pic. And no pics of the sherbet punch Priti, one of the hosts, made.  Or the sangria we made.  Yes, I already kicked myself in the butt for that.

I will, however, take credit for the food labels.  Although, you can't really see it, I used the same floral element from the invite on the food labels.

This was the khaman dhokla. Naturally, I had to apply ribbon everywhere.  Because ribbon makes everything prettier.....

For dessert?  Priti created a dessert bar that was amazing.  Everything was homemade except for the candy.  She started baking on Wednesday morning and actually packed it all up and drove for 4 hours on Friday.  That woman is a saint.  See for yourself.   

The only bad part of the table?   Priti now has several people that will be expecting this at their showers!!  I'm not going to judge, though....I'm one of them. :) I told her I'm going to have to get married again or have a baby because that spread was to die for. Or at least have a wedding and a baby for. :)

There was also a banner on the dessert table that Anita and I made that read "Love is Sweet" but I didn't get a snap of it.  More tears....  The aqua vases were also mine leftover from another shower I threw.  Anita and I made some tissue flowers to put in them and tried to fashion them like the floral design on the invite.  Not sure if many people got that, but that's what it was meant to look like.  One last post left!!! 

April Shower: The Invite

I will break this post up for those that have short attention spans because, well, it's a lot of pictures....  

I co-hosted a bridal shower for my friend last weekend with 5 other women. Four out of the six of us coordinated everything and poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the decor and food.  The blood was negligible, because really, you can't be a paper crafter and expect to escape paper cuts.  The sweat was, well, sweat.  The tears mostly came from Mr. Bean every time I told him we'd have to order in again, but he managed to stay alive. 

We anticipated 60 people would attend - 78 were invited - and had only an hour to set up.  This was definitely the biggest event I'd ever worked on with the most number of hosts, so for about 2 weeks I literally lost sleep trying to wrap my head around how we would pull the shower off.  But, I think we did a really good job considering. Half of us were working from out of town so big props to the iPhone, email, FaceTime, email, camera phones and email.  Yes, there were a ton of emails....thank you internet and Steve Jobs!

Once Anita and I hashed out a color scheme, we got to work on the invitations.  Sharmee's favorite color is red, so Anita and I were sure to incorporate that in the color scheme. I pretty much drove Anita crazy because I couldn't make up my mind whether to make the invitations or buy them despite the fact that in a few days I was leaving the country for almost two weeks.  To me, the invitation sets the tone for the event, so I am always careful to choose the right invite.  And, I will admit, sometimes I over think it. Handmade invitations aren't always the most cost effective approach despite the perception that DIY is cheaper.  Especially considering we had to make at least 65 invites.  But, it is a labor of love.  I think anyone that crafts will agree with me on that one.  But, I'm hard headed and crazy and paper is my thing so we went with handmade.  Since I used quite a bit that I already had in my stash, these invites ended up costing a lot less than buying something online. 
I designed the invite in PSE and went through about 200 different design options.  But, I finally decided to go with a long invite since we had so much text and I wanted to keep it as clean looking as possible. 

Originally, I wanted to add double faced satin ribbon to make a bow that would wrap around the invite, but the floral element threw me for a loop since I couldn't get it to not completely clash with the envelopes and the ribbon once it was printed, so Anita came up with the clever idea of using our scraps to make sort of a mod belly band around the invite.  Awesome idea.  

The invite fit into a #10 standard sized envelope.  I created some labels for each envelope since addressing 65 invites wasn't exactly the best use of my time 4 days before I left for Ireland but I still wanted them to look pretty and not like we just slapped labels on.  So I created some cute labels with fonts from the invite.  Anita was kind enough to put up with me a while longer and cut all the labels down and apply them while I was gone.  The label folds over the backside of the envelope and reveals the return address.  The invite was not what I envisioned originally, but everything I wanted it look like.  Love when that happens.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Blog posts with no pictures make me sad.

I just thought I'd let everyone know I am still here.  I am working on a shower for my sweet friend and 60 of her closest friends/family.  Luckily I have a team of 3 awesome, talented, patient women working with me so it has been fun working out the details with them.

The shower is this weekend, so hopefully I will have some pics up soon!