Bridal shower and bachelorette party season is heeeerrre and this year is especially exciting. My baby sister is getting married in August. Because she is a fabulous human, she deserves every detail to be perfect!
She’s not the type to want to celebrate one last night as a single gal with shots and well, male anatomy props, but I still wanted to throw her a more intimate get together with her closest friends. Rather than your typical bridal shower with moms and aunts and friends and family friends all mashed together with finger foods and gifts of pots and pans (not that those aren’t great too), this is what I came up with:
Read More for great DIY’s, a sample menu, and decor inspiration for your own “Love is Brewing” bridal shower or bachelorette party!
“Love is Brewing” INVITES & ITINERARY:
Erika and I were born with a very prominent coffee gene. For large gatherings, our family brings extra coffee pots. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve solely supported at least a half dozen coffee farmers and their families and their family’s families. We loooove our java beans. This baby sister of mine is also a health nut. Her day is not complete without a workout and she’s really disciplined when it comes to her diet. She is very pro arts & crafts and enjoys, but rarely treats herself to the finer things in life and would rather a small get together than an all-out bash.
With this in mind, my scheming resulted in an afternoon of girly/bachelorette-type celebrations starting with a (healthy-ish) coffee bar and ending with a spa hour and wine tasting- all themed around “Love is Brewing.” I designed the invites and decor similar to coffee shop branding and labeled each activity so it matched a coffee theme:
Morning Blend: As soon as guests arrived, they were able to grab a plate and cup o’ joe (or tea) from the coffee bar and then stock up on supplies from the “DIY Mug” station.
Instead of games or ice breakers, guests chit-chatted and got to know each other over the Pinterest-popular Sharpie mug craft. After some research, I found that oil-based Sharpies, work much better than regular Sharpies and actually adhere to the mug through several washes after baking. For full instructions, find more tips here.
Along with several colors of oil-based Sharpies, I stocked the station with a plain white mug for everyone to decorate (check out your local second hand stores and the dollar tree), instructions, some inspiration pages for ideas, masking tape & letter stickers if people wanted to trace, and goodies (mints, notepads, and trail mix) as favors to stick in the mugs once they were done. I also had an extra mug to pass around for all the guests to write their well wishes on for Erika to take home as a memento of her day.
Relaxation Roast: Next on the agenda were nails. Depending on a guests’ budget, I wanted to find an activity that had options so had all guests choose between a basic mani, shellac mani, or basic pedi. Everyone took the same amount of time and was able to be in the same area. Work with a local salon to see what they offer for events such as these – if you’re in the Rochester, MN area, City Looks had a wide variety of services, the ability to handle eight people at one time, and offered complimentary drinks during our stay.
Adult Brew: To “top off” the day, we headed to Four Daughters Vineyard. We enjoyed their amazing sangria, did a wine tasting, and shared some tapas- their French Onion Potstickers are SO yummy.
DECOR & DIYS:
Dip Dyed Silverware: I’ve collected a ton of mismatched, old silverware to use for parties. It’s less expensive than buying disposable silverware every time you have a get together and I really don’t care if a piece goes missing. Since it was all mismatched, I wanted to give it that sense of cohesiveness through dip dying the ends a single color.
It’s actually pretty easy. Simply line up your silverware on a piece of newspaper. Using painters tape, tape another piece of paper over the part you’ll be eating off of. Apply a layer of primer first (the spray paint kind), then finish off with a color of your choice (again, use the spray paint version). NOTE: if your event includes children, provide them with good ole plastic. Warn people to avoid the painted ends.
Fruit and Floral Centerpieces: Flowers can get expensive. Like holy whoa expensive. To cut down on the costs, experiment with a variety of fruits, simple flowers (daisies, tulips, and carnations are usually on the inexpensive side), and then buy a vine of fake greenery from your local craft store to create the look I did. I arranged all items in rectangular containers I had around the house- think bread pans, burlap covered Velveta containers, and things I’d found at local second-hand stores.
Faux Cafe Chalkboard: I wanted a real chalkboard- a big, old, board with that dusty look and cafe feel and even had the perfect frame for it. I researched custom fit boards, making my own, and in the end decided I could live with a DIY faux chalkboard this time.
I simply found a piece of black foam board at Walmart, cut it to the size I needed, using a chalk marker (also from Walmart) wrote what I wanted it to say, and fit it into the frame. Some tips: Do NOT use regular chalk – it won’t work. Also, layout your design first on a piece of paper, then using stencils, a ruler, and pencil, draw out what you want your final design to look like.
Newspaper Garland: I wanted to add decoration without adding too much color, so made some garland out of newspaper. It’s pretty simple, but takes some hand work. I recommend getting comfy, streaming Netflix, and cracking a beverage of some sort.
Just simply cut a bunch of strips of newspaper your desired size, place simple string (available at any home improvement store) in the middle of the strip, glue with a glue stick, and fold to stick.
Continue the process until you literally can’t anymore.
Coffee Stirrers: The easiest of easy DIYs. Step one: Buy coffee stirrers. Step two: Cut out shapes or letters from pretty paper or pictures or these adorable doughnut printables (adjust your printer scale settings to make smaller). Step 3: Glue cut outs to one end of the coffee stirrer for insta-cute detail.
Coffee Bar: This included a little bit of everything coffee-related. It included: a big pot of coffee, a tea kettle of hot water, half-n-half, skim milk, sugar swizzle sticks, coffee stirrers, 4 varieties of tea, honey, stirrers, two kinds of flavor syrups: hazelnut and caramel (I found the best place to buy these is at your local grocer), and of course, mimosas.
Brunch Food: I stocked the brunch food with the perfect mix of healthy and traditional and made sure it included lots of Erika’s favorites. Here’s what I had:
- Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushroom: This tasted yummy, but was one of those recipes that may not turn out anything like the photo. The recipe indicates to make twelve wells in your spinach and mushroom mixture… well my “mixture” was more like soup and for sure wasn’t wellin’. I just cracked the eggs on top. It wasn’t as pretty, but got the job done. ALSO do NOT let this sit out for more than 15 min. The eggs will turn to rubber.
- Cinnamon Roll Waffles topped with Maple Syrup Glaze: I want to start making these every day. So good and easy. Don’t forget to top with the glaze!
- Fresh berries
- Yogurt and Granola
- Edamame and Chickpea Power Salad: Sounds not so good, but was a favorite dish! I think everyone asked for the recipe.
- Mom’s Homemade Chicken Salad: Sorry, this recipe is more protected than Busch’s Baked Beans.
- Doughnut Hole Tree Tower: Instructions here. Just FYI, I originally wanted two doughnut hole trees, but once I discovered one 4″ inch Styrofoam trees holds THIRTY, 3-0 holes, I immediately hard pass-ed.