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 :)