Monday, May 2, 2016

Bits & Snaps: A DIY Bridal Shower & Etsy Weddings Event

It's been a busy start to spring and one of my favorite parts of this time of year is the return of wedding season — the celebration, the happy spirit & general inspiration of it all.

We have a few weddings in the family coming up this year and last weekend my sister and I hosted a bridal shower for our cousin. I've been eager to share some of my favorite pics from the party along with a few highlights from the Etsy Wedding event in NYC if you care to see...

My sister opened up her home for the party and we planned the shower decorations, taking heavy inspiration from colors and design elements in the bride's wedding invitation and notes from her career in the field of Library Science.

We used a mix of vintage books and cameras paired with mason jar vases that held diy floral arrangements with white and blue accents (find the diy tutorial for the vases here). Little brass bees and greenery to mimic garlands were also woven in to echo the emblem our bride's fiancé  designed for their invitations. 

Oh! The cupcakes. We can't forget these. The Queen Bee honey flavored cupcakes from Pearl's Cupcake Shoppe — they not only hinted at the bee portions of the party theme, but made a great story as this was the same flavor from our own wedding cake & first anniversary.

When it came to activities, we tried to think of something a little more meaningful than your typical bridal shower games. I'd found a set of blue library style cards to pass around prior to gift opening and asked each guest to write their name & relation to our bride to be, followed by a fun fact, anecdote or favorite memory you share. We collected each of the cards and asked the bride to read them aloud prior to opening each recipient's gift. This turned out to be a fun way to get to know one another, as well as learn something new from the many facets of the bride's life — plus she was able to take each of the cards home with her.

Have you heard of the tradition to use bridal shower gift ribbons to create a faux bouquet for the wedding rehearsal? Our bride's sister assumed the bouquet-making role and we all watched with eager anticipation of whether or not the bride would "break" a ribbon — another wives' tale, being the number of broken ribbons as the equivalent to how many children she'll bear.

Perhaps my favorite part of the shower decor was the custom designed chalkboard. You may recognize the board from our wedding — after wiping it clean it became the perfect canvas for a shower backdrop. Using Etsy's local search, I found a Richmond-based calligrapher, Sarah Hilterbrant, who hand-lettered the design and delivered the finished piece for the shower. Sarah was incredible, and incorporated the same bee garland emblem from the wedding invitation to help tie everything from the shower theme together. Definitely take a look at Sarah's shop — she's got a growing collection of paper goods and is open to custom requests like chalkboard art or other mediums.

Speaking of Etsy, I was in New York this past week for work, part of which included talking trends at this year's Etsy Weddings Event:

With over 40 Etsy sellers displaying their newest collections across weddings — there was enough creative inspiration and unique products to make a gal want to plan a wedding all over again (raises hand). Good thing the bridal shower last weekend helped satiate that feeling :)

Part of my job entails keeping a pulse on emerging and evergreen marketplace trends, which leads to incredible opportunities like this weddings event where I get to meet the creative entrepreneurs behind the products. My favorite part of the entire scene was pairing faces with the shop names I've been familiar with from behind the screen on a daily basis. Highlights included meeting Laurie, the jewelry designer behind Bare & Me and both Kat & Lana, the mother/daughter duo behind Lankka Bridal. Lana's design past was in the New York fashion industry before her daughter convinced her to develop her own line of hand tailored dresses from local and sustainable materials. The dress I wore to the event was handmade by Lana, so you can imagine how excited I was to meet them both in person:

Thanks for checking in today. Wedding season always has a lifting effect on me — it reminds me of the time spent planning our own big day, marks milestones to spend time with family and old friends, and keeps me continually inspired with what's happening across the "celebration scene" in general. Cheers to the season!

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  1. I love that library card idea! How fun. I just graduated with a degree in library science, so the book touches are adorable!


  2. Truly this DIY Bridal Shower looks awesome! Loved all party arrangements. I am going to host a bridal shower for my cousin. Booked an indoor event space NYC for the special event and would use these ideas. Thanks for the inspiration!