Tuesday, September 11, 2012

{Vintage Bridal Shower for Carmen}

I haven't hosted a bridal shower in years, and it was such a treat to do so for my best friend from high school, Carmen!  I was thrilled that she would be passing through Seattle in August, which provided the perfect opportunity to treat her to a special afternoon with all her Seattle peeps!  See, she lives so very far away in South Carolina now and has lived all over the place over the years (New York, Zambia (yah, Africa!), Philadelphia, and more).  And although we haven't really lived within 40 miles of each other since high school, we can always pick up right where we left off.  I am so, so happy she has found her perfect match in Clark.  He is a wonderful, amazing guy and she just lights up in joy talking about him.  Engagement...such a FUN time!   Doesn't she look radiant?
Carmen has hosted many a bridal shower as so many close friends have gotten married over the years, so I really wanted HER to be treated now that it was her turn in the spotlight.  She is doing a vintage take on her wedding, so I thought I would try to have a few vintage details at her shower.  Now I don't OWN many truly vintage items, but I tried to give it that casual feel with varying dishes and tablecloths, simple food, and beautiful simple colors.
I pulled out my tablecloths (including a lace one I got at Goodwill years ago for Addy's tea party) and white serving dishes, and then I grabbed a few things from around my house. Most of it I already had, but I did buy (and repaint) the old cupboard door turned chalkboard (hey, vintage!). I bought the 'LOVE' letters from Joanna's and painted them yellow and then used a rag to apply stain to make them look a little old (it kind of worked). And then I made the pennant banners. I love how that really pulls it all together. Plus I can reuse them for so many things!
Also, the only way I can make this work is to set it all up the night before. I cannot attempt to do the 'set-up' the day of. I do this for the kids' birthday parties too. 
I bought a couple bunches of flowers (from Fred Meyer!) and created some simple floral arrangements using mason jars, tulle, and twine. Love fresh flowers!
Since I don't consider myself a good cook, the food is always the tricky part. I'd much rather decorate cute mason jars than bake!  It was a 3pm shower, so I didn't feel like I had to serve a big meal.  And I kept reminding myself to keep it casual and easy (vintage!...not pristine.).  I made the raspberry muffins, lemon snowdrop cookies, and a bowtie chicken caesar salad.  I bought the croissants, veggies, and brownie bites (and added the cream and raspberries to make them look almost homemade).  The food actually turned out great!
I was so excited to use the china I found at Home Goods in Utah for yes, just $3 a plate (I'm counting down the days until I can return to that store in October!)  They were perfect for the shower.  And I served a sparkling lemonade/limeade...which was much needed because it was a hot (and gorgeous!) day. 
I hung a few pennant banners on the deck above the table and added a little tulle to the chairs.
Here are some of the guests...they were all so lovely and gracious.
It was such a treat to see some other great friends from high school, Rachel (with her baby Hannah along too!) and Amy. I can't believe we didn't get a group photo.
I skipped the corny bridal shower games (no toilet paper brides!) and opted for a simple 'Get to know Clark' game where I had him answer some questions and Carmen had to try and guess his answer. It was entertaining and fun.  She had some lovely presents to open too.   And then I took a picture of her with each of her guests. 
It was a beautiful afternoon!  My kids were so well-behaved (banished to the upstairs and actually kept quiet watching a movie).  And I was really able to enjoy Carmen and her dear friends celebrating love and marriage...such a wonderful thing! 
I absolutely cannot wait to attend her wedding in November!!


Kris and Cath 11:28 AM  

Chelle. You need to start a business! people would go crazy for your awesome design and touch on decor! and the food-YUM! I would hire you1

Carmen Goetschius 8:06 AM  

I JUST READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are the best. Everything was perfect. Every detail.

Thank you for throwing such a beautiful, beautiful shower. You are a gem. Thank you for your continued friendship!! Much love, Car

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