Tuesday, June 19, 2012

a literary bridal shower {DIY/how-to post}

My shop has been totally neglected, I've been skipping my regular posting schedule, and sleep has been minimal -- but my almost-sister-in-law's bridal shower was a smashing success!


My brother and his beautiful fiancee are getting married this July (remember them?) and their wedding will be all-things-book-related -- Meredith is an elementary school teacher who is working on a degree in literacy, Ross is an aspiring filmmaker who could never turn down a good mystery or Heinlein novel, and it will definitely be totally "them." My co-host and I wanted to make sure the party was in keeping with their wedding vibe, so we jumped on the book bandwagon and drove that sucker home. :)

A few more pictures from the event -- and then click on the jump for all the how-to details!




Invitations: we ordered the .pdf file from Chalk and Dot and printed them ourselves to save $$ -- they were originally for a baby shower, but it was easy enough to adapt it to fit our book-themed bridal shower. We also included a page from a book with instructions for each shower guest to use the page in some way with their gift (make a card from it, include it in the wrapping, etc.).


Decor: My co-host's home is lovely and bright, so we went with fairly minimal decorations -- just a few handmade book buntings here and there from Wild Paper Flowers. I also made serving platters to fit the theme by decoupaging book pages onto the backs of clear plastic trays.



Food: After finding The Book Club Cookbook, planning the menu was easy -- since the bride-to-be is a vegetarian, we picked out a handful of meat-free recipes from titles we knew people would recognize. Tea sandwiches from Jane Eyre,  mango, corn, and jicama salad from Love in the Time of Cholera,  mint juleps from The Great Gatsby,  and two desserts: treacle tarts from Harry Potter  and mini chocolate pies from The Help  (missing a key ingredient, of course!). [Note: I adapted the dessert recipes so they'd be bite-sized and used pre-made tart shells and mini-pie shells to make my life easier, but you could definitely do it all from scratch!]

We also left the cookbook out for guests to add a message to as a guestbook for the shower!



Games: As guests entered, I placed  nametags on their backs with the names of famous literary characters or great authors -- it was a great icebreaker to help the bride's different circles of friends and relatives get to know each other! The nametags also served another purpose for the favors (more on that later). The guests were also asked to bring along a favorite book; these were piled on a table for a traditional "what can you remember?" game, and then used again during the gift opening: the bride had to choose a book from the stack and guess which guest brought it before opening that person's gift!

After the gift-opening, the bride also got to choose the best use of a book page and that person was awarded a prize (my cousin made the card pictured above -- isn't it lovely?). I found upcycled paper wallets similar to this one to give to the winners of all of our shower games.


Favors: The bride's mother helped me assemble these -- I found a darling picture, sent her supplies (from this Etsy shop), and she ran with it! Each favor was labeled with a matching nametag to the ones on the backs of the guests and contained a Dover Thrift Edition copy of a classic book and a bookmark (again carrying over the bunting theme from the decor; they were inspired by the ones from rockstar diaries).


The most important part: the bride said she had a wonderful time! Happy almost wedding, Meredith :)

15 comments:

  1. Yay! Fun and beautiful - sounds like it was a success (and a party I would love to attend, if you ever want to host another one someday!! =)

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  2. Wow, this is so creative and unique! My best friend is finishing her Master's in English and moving on for her PhD in a few years. She just got married this past weekend so we already celebrated her bridal shower but I'll have to remember this for her future baby shower some day!

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    1. Thanks, Margaux! It'd be perfect for an English PhD :)

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  3. You did an amazing job! Everything is so perfect and beautiful!

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  4. Wow!!! You did such a great job with this. Every detail is so cute!! I'm glad she loved it.

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    1. Thanks Brenda! Coming from you, wedding and party planner extraordinaire, that's a big compliment :)

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  5. Wow! I'm impressed. You did a great job with the shower.

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  6. Can you be my sister-in-law, please? Everything looks amazing! I love the way you carried the theme through in every detail. The decoupaged serving trays are a brilliant idea, and I love the big and little bunting carried through as well. I'm sure the bride was thrilled!

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! Meredith is going to be a fabulous sister-in-law -- I'm lucky to be getting such a wonderful new family member :)

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  7. Beautiful shower!! ALSO- I have that BookClub Cookbook and I LOOOOOOOOOVE it!

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  8. What a great party! I want this for my baby shower!! Your attention to detail is impressive. :)

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  9. Oh my gosh! How did I JUST find this post, literally 3 weeks away from throwing my best friend her own book lover bridal shower! I've been having to come up with most of the ideas myself, as I havent found too many other book-themed showers! Many of our ideas were similar, in fact, I just ordered Dover Thrift Editions as favors earlier today. Thank you for some last minute ideas!

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