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SO I made the trip this weekend for two of my favorite ladies. One is a beautiful and hilarious blushing bride-to-be, and the other might be the cutest little pregger mama I’ve ever seen.

The showers were super cute, so I wanted to share some of the lovely little details with you all! 

First up… babies ūüôā (Even though that’s not the objective here at Wedding Belles, a lot of the ideas can be applied to a BRIDAL SHOWER too! Take notes.)

 

Centerpieces

Centerpieces

Case in point. My favorite floral technique – bunches of same stem flowers that look beautiful in bulk! I’ve talked about this before, but budget friendly flowers in bulk look amazing together! These mini carnations worked perfectly and were perfect for the “It’s a Boy” Shower.

They also kicked up the tables with adorable stuffed animals, and INCREDIBLE cake plates. I had to go get one of my own after the shower. Home Goods is a magical place that everyone should visit. These cake plates came with TERRIBLE kiddie-bling. That’s the only thing I can call it. Wires with ribbons, buttons, soccer balls … you get the gist. Anyway… wire kiddie-bling removed and replaced with ribbons in shades of blue, gingham and polka dots it’s perfectly wonderful! You can change the ribbons depending on the theme and color scheme of the shower, and ¬†it’s so easy!¬†

I’m making up my own right now, and can’t wait to share with you all the fun details!¬†

 

The other amazing little table details were the cupcakes! They came from out of Philly and all of the cupcakes had piped in icing shaped ducks, booties and rattles. AND, there were homemade chocolate lollipops shaped like safety pins and rattles! I mean… come one. How great is that!¬†

 

Cupcakes- Booties

Cupcakes- Booties

 

Ducky cupcakes

Ducky cupcakes

 

Chocolate Rattle Lollipops

Chocolate Rattle Lollipops

You can buy chocolate lollipop molds at craft stores, and follow recipes like this one from Jacques Torres, this one for two color lollipops, or this one for marbled chocolate lollipops to make and decorate your own fabulous favors! 

Moving on… Brides!¬†

My friend J is getting married in May, and while her shower was very traditional, it was completely unique to her at the same time! Love it. I’m a pretty staunch hater of shower games. HOWEVER, sometimes they can serve as great ice breakers, and really hilarious moments. You have to gauge your crowd. This crowd was all about fun, so the games were mild and very entertaining.

Because J and her fiance are honeymooning in Hawaii, her shower was themed accordingly with  starfish wine stopper favors, orchid centerpieces, red velvet cupcakes and a lei for the beautiful bride!

 

Orchid Centerpieces

Orchid Centerpieces

 

 

 

Starfish Wine Stopper Favors

Starfish Wine Stopper Favors

 

The Blushing Bride

The Blushing Bride

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

J got a few of the questions in the¬†Newlywed¬†Game (see below) wrong, and her punishment was based on her own personal vice… red wine. Her quick thinking bridesmaids made up red wine jello shots instead of the hard liquor variety for her to spoon out every time she got a question wrong.

 

The Newlywed Game

The Newlywed Game

All-in-all it was a wonderful weekend of showers- both bridal and baby! I’m so glad I could share these with you! I detailed three of the bridal shower games below.

 

Game #1- Bride Bingo

Print out empty grids- which you can find online- and have guests fill out the boxes with gifts they think the bride will receive- dishes, bath towels, blender etc. Then add bowls of m&m’s on the tables for people to use to mark the boxes as gifts are opened. Winners yell bingo, prize is distributed… you get the point. This keeps all of the guests engaged in the gift opening process and limits the table chatter at traditional showers. Plus it’s a great way to keep everyone involved.

Game #2- The Newlywed Game

Ask the groom a set of questions prior to the shower and have the bride guess his answers. Every time she gets a question wrong you can have her (eat a marshmallow or a piece of gum) which truthfully, is kind of gross… OR you could always make her take a red wine jello shot…(again… gauge your crowd accordingly)

Game #3- The Purse Game

Make a list, or look on up online of things that you may or may not find in your purse (comb, sunglasses, safety pin, 1986 penny etc.) Assign points to each item and have guests tally up their bags.

While monogramming is often left to the popped collar, prepster brigade I have to say, for bridesmaid gifts, and for¬†wedding¬†gifts, it’s kind of a nice thing to do. Not that the person you’re gifting is going to forget their own initials, but it’s just a little bit more fun than boring old registry gifts. ¬†You can still buy them what they want on their registry, just add something personalized to make it more personal.¬†

Plus, monogrammed “stuff” turns into a great “possession¬†to pass down”. Didn’t you know your unborn children are actually interested in crystal goblets with scripted initials on them. ¬†They are.

Here are some of my favorite monogrammed swag for bridesmaids, guests and the bride-and groom-to- be.

  $14.99 Palm Gifts

I LOVE these coozies. First of all, you can monogram them and second of all you can pick your fabric. How great is that!? They’re so cute! Include them in welcome baskets, bridesmaid bags or hand them out at a casual BBQ style rehearsal dinner for guests to use. ¬† They also make great shower and bachelorette party favors! ¬†These are $14.00 from Palm Gifts.

 

 $18.00 Palm Gifts

So I don’t know how many people still use sleep masks. It’s kind of an indulgence that¬†disappeared¬†in the 80’s, but something tells me there’s a market…¬†particularly¬†on the Upper East side, but maybe… just maybe… it’s one of those things you would never be caught dead buying for yourself… but wouldn’t mind getting from someone else. These are adorable, and again you can personalize the fabric and the script. They would go perfectly in a bridesmaid swag bag for a bachelorette getaway, or in welcome baskets for guests for a small intimate wedding. ¬†They are $18 from Palm Gifts.

 

 $20.00 at Palm Gifts

$10-$15 at Williams Sonoma

These are super cute and very practical. Not that bottles of wine should be left unfinished, but in case they ever are, these wooden wine-stoppers from The Palm Gifts, and sterling silver ones from Williams Sonom, with personalized initials are the perfect way to save some for later. pair them with stemless wine glasses and a corkscrew as a shower gift. They also make great bridesmaid gifts with a nice bottle of wine and a pair of monogrammed glasses. (See below)

 

 $16 for a Box of 10 Cards at The Palm Gifts

These are perfect to give as a bridesmaid gift with a beautiful pen, or stationary set. They are also a really great shower gift for the bride-to-be. Have her new initials monogrammed on the note cards and give them with a beautiful photo album, or desk set.

 $34 at The Palm Gifts

 $99 at Williams Sonoma

Perfect for the culinary loves in your life. Monogrammed cutting board would make a great shower gift for a bride-to-be along with a nice set of monogrammed knives from Williams- Sonoma, an adorable monogrammed apron and a fabulous cook book. 

 

 $54 for a Set of 4 at Williams-Sonoma 

$38 for a set of 2 from Williams-Sonoma

 

 $30- $85 Silver Plated Jewelry Box from Pottery Barn

This is a great bridesmaid gift. Put matching necklaces or earrings to be worn the day of the wedding inside and hand these beautiful silver boxes out at the rehearsal dinner. Your bridesmaids will thank you.


For the Guys:

 $34.00 Monogrammed Golf Balls at Red Envelope

For the groomsman who loves to golf, these monogrammed golf balls from Red Envelope are a great gift, especially when they’re paired with silver or brass finished golf club links, also from Red Envelope.

 $40 Р$60 at Red Envelope  $40-$60 at Red Envelope

 

 Special- $48- $58 at Red Envelope

This nickel-plated, monogrammed humidor is perfect for groomsmen who like to light up from time to time. Cedar lined, this stogie home is perfect storage for a couple of cubans… Make it a really nice gift and add the cigars before you give them the box.

I’m really not a cynic. In fact most of my friends would probably describe me as a romantic in denial, since anytime anyone tells me that I’m romantic I look at them sideways roll my eyes and smirk, spitting “Oh please,” through my teeth. Ok, so I really liked Sleepless in Seattle and when Rosie O’Donnell tells Meg Ryan her problem is that she wants her life to be a movie, yes, that’s me. HOWEVER… the universal symbol for romance I can certainly do without. In fact I’m launching an anti-heart campaign right here… right now.

Hearts are so gross. Unless you are 7 years-old, or it’s a cold day in February, hearts are not ok. Really they should not ever enter into any decorating or end up as centerpieces or favors or anything else you attempt to bestow on someone else. Really, I’m not kidding.

I had a friend in high school who was dating this terrible girl. He actually told me that he thought we could be friends if only we’d go shopping together. I declined and offered to settle for making fun of her behind her back. That’s what you do in high school right?
Anyway, he made me go shopping with him to help him pick out a birthday gift for her. We ended up at JCPenney’s or the BonTon, someplace in a mall with a limited jewlery selection and a price range 16 year-old boys could afford. Fine. I picked out pretty little turquoise dangles…. we left with a terrible silver pair of heart shaped studs that needed a nice polish before they went into the blue velvet box. Gross. She wore them every freakin’ day until she cheated on him and they broke up. Slut. Again, hearts are ugly.

I was shoping for bags online today and came across what I thought was a very cute little bag at L.L. Bean. Then I zoomed in on this cute little bag and realized it looked like this.

Ruined. I’m sorry, I just don’t like them. Most heart shaped jewelery, as I discovered in high school and maintain today, is ugly. It doesn’t matter if it’s from Tiffany’s either. Also, gross on bags, clothes, shoes or anything else you’re planning on wearing out in public. Boyfriends, husbands, brothers just don’t do it. Even heart shaped diamonds… not my favorite, and who doesn’t love a diamond. Don’t ruin that beautiful symbol of your love by lopping off the top and making it look like a cherry ring pop.

I’m willing to make exceptions in one area…food. As a cookie, lollipop or cupcake shape, hearts are fine. The decorations are what matter. Like these are cute.

These are from Beau-Coup, but there are really great bakeries all over the country that do this kind of thing.

But, things like this: Not O.K.

“Oh why thank you for coming to my shower…here’s a bag of hearts to take with you.” What the hell are you supposed to do with a bag of hearts seriously. Come on. I give you a blender and I get a bag of hearts… no, no.

Ick. I’m all for personalized coasters, but why do they have to be hearts? I get it. You’re in love. I know. I just shelled got all dressed up and sat through a full Catholic mass… and had to pay a dollar to dance with the groom, and I get coasters? I’d rather have white chocolate almonds in netting.

And what the hell? Hearts aren’t even shaped that way! I did a science project on it… again… in 5th grade, and the heart is not shaped like a box of Russell Stover Chocolates. Though you can often get to a woman’s heart using Russel Stover Chocolates… well you’re actually probably better off with extra dark Godiva, but I digress.

Hearts remind me of cheap best friend key chains (You know the ones that looked like lightening had struck straight down the center), Runts (yes, the candy) and The Babysitters Club, (Dawn or Stacy…one of the blond ones… she used to dot her “i’s” with a heart. Every single one).

Hearts are really truly reserved for little girls, chocolate boxes and valentines. Abandon them 11 months out of the year. February… go nuts.

My wonderful friend Jenn is getting married this summer to her college sweetheart, and last weekend we threw her a shower in Kennebunkport, Maine. For those of you who haven’t looked at a map since 5th grade, Maine is not exactly close to New York. But, after just a little bit of travel, the weekend turned out to be one of the best in awhile. We all joked that Jenn picked us to be her bridesmaids not because she loves us, which she does, but because she knew that with all our powers combined shit would get done.

And done it did. Good times in Maine last weekend, minus the rain. Here are some ideas I wanted to share from cute little seed personalized seed packet favors and menu cards to amazing chocolate centerpieces and strata. Yes, Strata. It’s pretty darn good. The love goes into the details. I think we had the best damn bridal shower prizes on the east coast. Who doesn’t love getting matching wine glasses and a bottle of deliciously alcoholic vino to take home?

Jenn & Jason, who also happen to be featured in this month’s Modern Bride in an article called, “Divine Inspiration,” are incorporating sunflowers into their wedding, so we wanted to do the same thing at the shower.

I found these personalized Sunflower Seed packets that we tied with yellow raffia online, and placed in front of each place setting.

One of the other bridesmaids who is also simultaneously planning HER wedding made these adorable chocolate sunflower lollipop centerpieces. She literally melted the chocolate, and poured them into sunflower molds and added sticks. Super cute. Plus everyone got to take one when they left!

We also made individual menu cards, which sounds like a lot of work, but really totally worth it. Putting the effort into the details makes a difference. We printed everything on translucent paper and then pasted them onto card stock with alternating yellow and green polka dot ribbon.


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