Choose the bride's favorite color (in this case, pink) and build your shower theme around it.
Here, cutouts of colored paper are glued to the invitations for a color-block effect. At the bottom of each one, we printed an exchange between Julia Roberts's and Sally Field's characters in the film "Steel Magnolias": "My colors are blush and bashful. Your colors are pink and pink."
Photo garlands make charming timelines of the bride and groom's childhoods -- and festive decorations especially for a bridal shower. To make, sew glassine envelopes with the flaps open (we used pink envelopes) together, end to end, on a sewing machine; glue photos (or copies of them) to colored paper, and slide them inside.
Here's an easy centerpiece idea that stacks up well against pricier options: clusters of flower-filled cafe au lait bowls. You can find inexpensive bowls at home-and kitchen-supply stores (ours are from Anthropologie and Sur La Table); or collect mismatched vintage styles from flea markets. Place floral foam in the bowls to anchor the blooms, then group them on reception tables, stacking some atop inverted ones for visual interest.
Any romantic knows that beautiful blossoms are the heart of the matter -- especially when their stems are cut short and they're gathered into tiny vases or glasses arranged in the unmistakable shape of affection. This is the perfect centerpiece for a pink bridal shower.
The ancient art of Japanese paper folding was used to make this romantic design, complete with a pocket for a place card. Making the 3 1/4-inch-high stand-up heart shape is surprisingly simple. Choose 6-inch square origami papers with a pretty pattern or different color on each side (we used a pink patterned paper for the heart and solid pink paper for the place card); both will be visible in the heart.
Ask guests to bring gifts wrapped in the bride's favorite color to make a spectacular gift display to match the rest of the shower. Here, gifts are stacked near a myrtle topiary, whose planter is wrapped in two layers of paper -- the top layer is glassine, with the bride's initial cut out so the solid pink bottom layer shows through.
Send shower guests home with boxes of candy wrapped in white wrapping paper, tied and sealed with pink ribbon and these monogrammed labels. To fashion the labels, print on adhesive or regular paper and cut out with a 3-inch circle punch. Use them on favors, gifts, or even paper cups to customize your shower.
Put everyone in a romantic mood with napkins in shades of pink and white dressed up with old song titles or favorite lines of poetry. For a more personalized treatment, write down the story of how the bride and groom met, and use excerpts from it on various napkins. Guests (and the bride) will have fun piecing together the special love story.
Acknowledge Cupid's work with strawberry ice cream hearts in which his arrow has made its mark. Soften the ice cream in a mixer on low, spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, and refreeze. Bake arrow-shaped tuiles; just before serving, cut ice cream with a heart-shaped cookie cutter and place the arrow on top.
The "fortune-teller" of your childhood can make a grown-up statement at a shower. To make one, fold a 7-inch square of decorative paper into quarters; unfold, then (printed side down) fold corners into center. Turn over; fold corners into center again. Turn over again; place thumbs and forefingers in flaps and lift. Fill with candy that matches the color palette of the shower.
To create matching tokens for everyone at the shower, dress up gift boxes and fill them with favors. For the inside of the box lid, have a stamp made with your message. (Make sure the stamp block fits inside the lid.) Stamp the lids (we used pink ink), and let the ink dry before closing. Or, stamp 1/2-inch quill paper repeatedly with the bride and groom's name, and use the paper for wrapping the box.
Let your shower guests know you feel fortunate to have them at the party with these charming pink and red fortune cookies filled with treats or special messages. Make an extra-special bunch for the bride-to-be and ask guests to write special fortunes for her.
Make a quiz about the love story of the bride and groom to test the knowledge of your shower guests. Spring coils of quilling paper (paper sold in precut strips) are glued to the ends of pink artist's pencils to make average pencils look special and add a fun twist to the quiz taking.
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