You see, a little more than a year ago, one of my long-time best friends, Nick called me and told me he wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Sonia, and he needed my help. Nick, Sonia, Travis and I hang out as a group on a regular basis, so this was super exciting news---and I love to plan stuff, so away we went.
At that point, I was in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy, so Nick and I came up with an idea for the 4 of us to go eat together and then go to a cupcake place where the two of them had first discussed the idea of getting married and sharing a life together. Nick was excited for the plan, so I told him that I would get it all together so she wouldn't suspect.
I called Sonia and told her that I really wanted the 4 of us to have a fun night out as a 'last-hurrah' of sorts before the baby was born. Sonia was all about it, so I asked her what she wanted to do. She offered to come down to where we live, but I insisted that I wanted to go somewhere in her area (we live 30 minutes apart), that we hadn't been to before. We settled on a restaurant that was about a 5 minute walk from the cupcake place where Nick was planning to propose. Sonia told Nick all about our idea and to continue to keep her from catching on, he even faked not wanting to go out that weekend. She 'convinced' him to go so off we went. As we were riding together to dinner, I started talking about how I had been craving cupcakes lately and was too lazy to make any, so I asked if everyone would be okay with going to the cupcake shop near the restaurant after dinner.
Everything went as planned and Nick pulled off a very successful and memorable proposal.
A couple of months later, Sonia asked me to be a bridesmaid to which I happily accepted. :)
There are three bridesmaids: Ruth (Maid of Honor), Sara (Nick's sister) and myself. Ruth lives out of state and told us early on she wouldn't be able to schedule time off from work to make the shower and the wedding, so Sara and I started figuring out plans for the shower a couple of months ago, right around the time my summer vacation started. Sara has been a busy bee this summer, including moving to a different city, working and school, and I was spending most of my days with Nathan and watching shows like Scandal and Orange is the New Black on Netflix, so I started pinning ideas and recipes on Pinterest for the shower that I was interested in doing.
First of all, Pinterest is pretty much the best thing ever for finding recipes and ideas for just about anything, but the downside is that there are SO MANY ideas it gets difficult to pick and choose because you start to feel like, "I NEED ALL THE THINGS!!!!"
We settled on doing a brunch-style shower so that it wouldn't be smack-dab in the middle of someone's day, which is great for the guests, but that doesn't leave much time for preparing the morning of! Sonia's mother offered her house as a venue which I immediately took her up on because her house is a middle-ground for where the guests live.
I told Sara that since she was busy, I just needed her to take care of the games and that I could do mostly everything else and if I needed her for something, I'd let her know. It took me forever, but at the last minute, (as in the day I went to the grocery store to get ingredients for the food) I planned a menu. I wanted to pick things that are crowd-pleasers, so I was definitely inclined to pick classic items.
-Deviled Eggs - A family recipe
-Fruit salad - Cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, honeydew melon & grapes
-Pigs-in-a-Blanket - Standard Lil' Smokies wrapped in crescent rolls
-Mini Cinnamon Rolls from Iowa Girl Eats. We added chocolate chips to some of them and it was yummy!
-Sausage Balls - Made by my best friend Kim; her family recipe
-Blueberry Scones from Tastebook that I made previously.
-Powdered Donuts (I bought Hostess...Nick loves them!)
-Bacon Wrapped Egg Muffins from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body. I found they turned out best when I baked the bacon in the oven until they were about half-way cooked. It was less greasy in the muffin pan.
I also thought about doing little pancake kabobs on hors d'oeuvres picks with a slice of strawberry and a blueberry, but I ended up cutting the idea at the last minute. Sonia's mother also ordered some pinwheel sandwiches as well.
I also decided to have apple juice, orange juice, champagne, water and a coffee bar for beverages.
It took me a while to decide what to have for the cake option. I thought about a cake or cupcakes, and I liked the idea of cupcakes. You don't have to cut and serve them and they played a role in the engagement, so that's what I decided on. Feeling ambitious, I decided to see if I could make and decorate my own cupcakes.
I searched Pinterest for a cream cheese frosting and found one that was absolutely delicious at Anatomy of a Craft. It was really easy to make and so good it was hard to not just eat all of it directly out of the bowl. I grabbed a box of Pillsbury Strawberry cake mix at the Cupcake Decorator Kit by Wilton and got to work. I realized I didn't have the first clue as to how to get the perfect swirl of icing on a cupcake, so I went to Pinterest again where I found an excellent tutorial at Glorious Treats. She even gives an excellent tip on filling your bag with the icing which definitely helped because I've never been able to do that so easily. The final addition to the cupcake was to add a few pale pink pearl sprinkles and voila! They were exactly as I had envisioned and were absolutely delicious.
I entertained the idea of making the cupcakes from scratch, but after giving several people samples, they said they were delicious and suggested I just go with the boxed mix...so I did (the horror!).
With so many things going the right way, I had to focus on decorations. Sonia's engagement ring is a pearl and she LOVES pearls, so I felt like having a really girly shower with pink, pearls and lace would be idyllic. I talked it over with Sara and Sonia and they both loved the idea, so it was time to find ideas to incorporate those elements. On a shopping trip to TJ Maxx and Ross in search of serving dishes for the shower, I found a few picture frames and a candlestick that I knew would go nicely. I wanted to feature some of their engagement photos (which I had the pleasure of taking!), so I picked frames that would compliment the decor of the shower as well as Nick and Sonia's apartment.
I decided to put the pictures in the entry way of the shower so everyone could see as they signed in. I also had a guestbook made at Walgreens with their favorite engagement pictures and turned it into a guestbook for the shower and for the wedding if they choose. I borrowed the beautiful tablecloth from Travis' grandmother to help tie everything together.
Thanks to Pinterest, I found Shanty-2-Chic, where she shares a template for the whole alphabet, numbers and extra symbols and patterns to print your own banner. Each file loads as a .pdf and they print with the outline of the triangle for you to cut out so they're the same size. It was super easy to do and mine turned out beautifully if I do say so myself!
Imperfectly Beautiful. Each one took me about 15 minutes and as you can see, they were a nice pop of color. I definitely plan to make these for Nathan's birthday party next month.
A project I was really excited to do, and one of the first I found was a pearl monogram of the brides' future last name. It's from Martha Stewart's website (of course I found it on Pinterest) and was relatively easy to make. Mine didn't look as pretty as Martha's (shocker, I know), but Sonia really liked it. It won't hang flat against the wall, but doesn't look too bad suspended, so we used it over the dessert table. Maybe it would have been better if I was better at crafting with wire, but alas, I am not.
My final craft was inspired by a Pinterest post that I can't find the origin for but still wanted to do something similar. I wish I would have gotten more detailed pictures of how mine turned out because I was very happy with it, but I got plain wooden letters from Hobby Lobby, painted them pink, added white polka dots and then hot glued them to a white ribbon. I loved how it turned out!
Here a few pictures of the table spread:
|The beautiful lace on the table is the mantilla that Sonia wore at her quinceñera. It was the perfect touch!|
|I found the banner on Oriental Trading.|
The bottles on the right are different flavors of creamer in bottles from IKEA.
I don't know if this shower would have been nearly as successful (or creative!) without Pinterest. WHAT DID WE DO BEFORE PINTEREST?! Cookbooks? How archaic! ;)
My mom and husband were incredibly helpful the night before, staying up very late to help me get everything finished and I cannot thank them enough for helping make the shower perfect. Sara did an excellent job with putting a little game together that was easy for the guests and had adorable prizes! I can't believe I didn't snap a picture of them!
When I started planning this shower, I of course wanted to give two of my best friends the perfect shower and I can honestly say it was perfect. Everything came out exactly as I wanted it to. The food was delicious, thanks to Sara and the mothers of Nick and Sonia the house looked beautiful (they helped me decorate the night before.
Giving this shower for Nick and Sonia was so exciting for me. I have known Sonia since I was about 5, though we weren't really more than acquaintances until after she and Nick started dating a few years ago. Nick has been one of my close friends since high school. I am so happy for them both and it was so fun to put this together! :)