Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas1 of 13
The Kitchy Kitchen’s Claire Thomas looked to the great outdoors to find inspiration for this bloom-filled alfresco affair. Fresh flowers, fruit, and vegetables appear all the more natural when arranged on an upgraded picnic table. DIY crowns decorated with wild buds enhance the celebration’s boho vibe, while simple make-ahead recipes (like the ones in her new cookbook, The Kitchy Kitchen: New Classics for Living Deliciously) allow hostesses to stay cool and composed for the duration of the event. Here, her tips for planning this soiree that will delight the bride-to-be and her guests from start to end.
Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas2 of 13
First Things First
For this bridal shower, the dress code demands a flower crown. Sprinkle supplies and instructions among the tablescape and prompt attendees to get started on their very own headpiece soon after hellos and hugs are exchanged.
Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas3 of 13
Conversation flows freely while partygoers design colorful coronets.
Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas4 of 13
The beauty of a craft this customizable is that guests who are not yet well-acquainted with other invitees can bond over flowers or colors chosen for their respective wreaths.
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Even crafting novices will have no problem creating this floral accessory, thanks to the easy method designed by Thomas.
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Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas6 of 13
Strike a Pose
Guests show off their creations with the landscape as the backdrop. Any shrubbery, trees, or other buds surrounding the house (or venue) will work for an impromptu photo shoot.
Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas7 of 13
Dress the Part
Party-givers can encourage all the ladies (by word of mouth or as an insert in the mailed invite) to dress up in outfits adorned in blooms; that way, their getups will match the hair accessory to come.
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Thomas mixed three large pitchers of Sangria Blanca—a recipe debuting in her cookbook—to serve at the shower. “The juicy white peaches and nectarines, along with the strawberries and subtle rose syrup, make this drink a celebration of summer,” says Thomas. “The refreshment’s success hinges on the ripeness of the ingredients.”
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Thomas puréed a trio of roasted eggplant, goat cheese, and garlic for the creamy appetizer, and served it with homemade olive oil and rosemary crackers. Tempted to head to the grocery for a prepackaged version? Resist! “These crackers are, first off, monster-sized and so delicious and light," Thomas says. “They are much thinner and crisper than a store-bought cracker that tends to be a little thicker.”
Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas10 of 13
Vegetable Relish with Walnut Pesto
Basil and parsley are what turn the color of Thomas’s vegetarian spread, which she created just for the shower, to a true grass green. Pulsing walnuts, grated Parmesan, green onions, and more with butter, olive oil, and water creates a creamy final product. Crisp, raw vegetables, like carrots and red peppers, are a fresh alternative to crackers.
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Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas11 of 13
For That Sweet Tooth
Thomas again looked to light, fresh ingredients to make this triple-layer sponge cake with exposed sides. She whipped up an airy egg-white-and-lemon-based mix before incorporating it with sifted flour, egg yolks, sugar, and water.
Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas12 of 13
It’s the Inside That Counts
Thick layers of cream cheese frosting and slices of peaches, plums, and nectarines separate the tiers of sponge cake.
Photography: Courtesy of Claire Thomas13 of 13
Three guests smile for a selfie. The image (and the flower phone case, which could be gifted to guests as favors) makes for a sweet memento of the day of fun.