Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My best friend's bridal shower

My best friend, Ashley, is getting married in about 5 weeks (EEEEK!  I'm so excited!)  This past Sunday I, along with a TON of help from her two sisters, her mom and various other friends and family members, hosted her Italian Bridal Shower.

It was SO fun!  Here are some of the details from the event.

The theme

Ashley and Matt are planning to travel to Italy in the spring of 2013 for their honeymoon - so amazingly romantic and also a perfect shower theme!  Guests were given a hint of the theme through the invitation I sent through Paperless Post, which is a really great website for sending electronic invites/save-the-dates/announcements or whatever!

When the guests arrived our theme was pretty much right in their face as they walked down the driveway.  


The party was hosted in her mom's backyard around the pool, and I wanted things to feel fresh.  As you can see from the invitation, the event was somewhat of a wine shower (a great idea in my opinion - especially if the bride and groom are already set-up in their home).  From there, we found inspiration for the décor.

Once the guests made their way to the backyard they were greeted with our guest book table.  Complete with a gingham tablecloth.

I potted basil in Italian pasta sauce/tomato cans and we also used wine bottles as flower vases with simple stems from the grocery store.

Ashley's mom had the most beautiful hydrangeas bush in her yard.  I couldn't help but make a bouquet...and then take it home with me.

Food and Drinks

We set up a drink station inside Sue's closed in sun porch.  We served:
  • Ice cold lemon water
  • Red and white wine
  • and maybe my favourite part of the whole shower...an Italian Soda bar!  

Deciding what to serve at an Italian Bridal Lunch was a lot of fun, since you can't really go wrong with Italian food!  We went with:
  • Pizza
  • Caesar Salad
  • Caprese Skewers
  • Veggies and Dip
  • Meat Balls
  • Pasta Salad
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Cheese
  • Meats

Dessert was an amazing Red Velvet gluten free cake from The Cake Shop.  We served it with fruit and dessert squares.  Ashley's sister also made chocolate dipped biscotti which she created to look like the Italian flag which went perfectly with coffee.  

Games and such

I think I speak for most women when I say I am not a huge fan of shower games.  Including 1 or 2 little activities is cute, but a strict schedule of forced embarrassment is just bad.

We went with 2 games which were set up on a table by the pool.  If you wanted to participate you were more than welcome, but if you preferred to simply drink your wine instead, that was ok too.  

The games we chose were: 

1) Celebrity Hubby: each guest wrote down the name of a celebrity who they thought would be a good match for Ashley (if she wasn't marrying Matt of course!).  It was fun to see who people wrote down and why they thought he would be a good fit!  Ashley read the responses out loud and chose her favourite - it was pretty cute.  And yes, those are pictures of hunky Italian men.  And they were spread around the house as décor also - even in the bathroom!

2) Use your Senses: 3 different types of herbs and 3 different types of pastas were set up for guests to check out.  The goal was to guess the name of each!  This proved to be more difficult than anticipated.

Winners for both games won a basil plant!

We also set up a door prize.  Shanon had the most brilliant idea for guests to enter the door prize by writing their name and address on an envelope.  This envelope would then be used for Ashley to send out her thank-you cards.  We made sure to purchase her lovely cards and stamps so that she was all set.


We decided to give our guests Jordan Almonds as favours since they are a traditional Italian wedding favour.  We tied 5 Jordan Almonds together in tulle and attached a cute poem

Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat
To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet
Five wishes for the soon to be husband and wife
Health, wealth, happiness, children and a long life!


I love the idea of using chalk boards or frames to insert instructions/notes/messages to guests at parties.  I purchased some black and gold frames for 1 dollar at Dollarama and used them for different areas/activities at the shower.  This way I didn't have to announce instructions for the games or door prize - guests could simply make their way over and figure it out themselves.

Some scenes from the day

that's the MOB in the middle - doesn't she look so happy!?

It turns out planning a bridal shower is a lot of work!  But totally worth it when I see how happy Ashley was!


  1. It was the most amazing bridal shower ever! You girls did such a great job!! Best MOH ever :) Love: Ash xox

  2. Wow! Looks like fun! So many cute ideas that I had never heard of before. Love all the detail and thought put into it. Good job Meags!