Throw a seasonal event that doesn't feel anything like a holiday party.
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There's something special about celebrating your bridal shower in the middle of the holiday season. Whether your pre-wedding party falls before or after the most wonderful time of the year, the chilly temps and potential for snowfall call for something cozy, warm, and festive. That's exactly what photographer Julia Garcia-Prat had in mind when she and her talented team dreamt up the following styled shoot, perfect for virtually any bride-to-be's wintry fête.
This is anything but a Christmas-themed shower—but it does showcase how you can incorporate the cold-weather season into this particular party without going overboard. If we had to describe this party's vibe, we'd go with winter-bohemian-meets-industrial. The reason? From the loft venue (Montréal's L'Éloi) and the décor's fresh textures (event design company Le Coeur Bohème used shag rugs, copper, and marble!) to the greenery-centric floral arrangements from L'abeille Fleuriste, all of this shoot's elements helped to set a contemporary, boho-chic scene that feels seasonal and warm.
The idea of winter celebration was actually a main source of inspiration for the shoot's overarching aesthetic. "We wanted to showcase coziness within an intimate circle," Garcia-Prat explains. "The décor made people feel at ease, and, during what can be a stressful time of the year (the winter holidays), the environment welcomes the bride-to-be and her guests for a moment elsewhere—in a winter cocoon, far from their daily preoccupations."
Ready to see the results of this incredible creative collaboration? Click through to discover how to plan your own wintry bridal shower with a similar boho-industrial vibe.
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It's not a bad idea to strive for a minimalist aesthetic, says Garcia-Prat. "Sometimes, brides get lost because they try to incorporate too many elements, patterns, colors, or styles," she explains. The harmony of your shower's décor comes down to a few, simple elements that work in tandem—not as standalone statements. Since the team stuck to a white-dominant color palette, she was able to play with metals (like the candles on the floor and tables) and textures (in the form of marble plates and a shag rug) more freely.
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Pair Greens with Unexpected Textures
"We infused some classic cold-weather fir with boho textiles like rattan and wood," explains Victoria Lafleur of La Coeur Bohème. Trendier touches, like copper and marble, also definited much of the tablescape. If you're into the idea of greenery, but the pine-family feels to Christmas-related, Lafleur suggests playing with different types of foliage, like seeded eucalyptus or forest fern.
Designing a shower that feels seasonal but doesn't read like a holiday party is easy to avoid, says Lafleur. "Stay away from traditional winter-themed elements like Christmas trees, ornaments, snowflakes, or other patterns and prints related to the holidays, and focus instead on mixing modern metals, unique textures, and seasonal greenery." If you do want to acknowledge the holiday, a calligraphed "Fa La La La La" tag, printed on mint (not pine green!) card stock, is a subtle way to do so.
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Choose In-Season Flowers
Your wallet (and vision!) will thank you. Though we most often associate spring and summer with flowers, winter blooms are just as stylish, says Sanela Osmanagic of L'Abeille Fleuriste, which means you'll have plenty to choose from. "We would recommend garden roses, ranunculus, carnation, ornithogalum, and phalaenopsis orchid," she suggests. For this particular shoot, Osmanagic used king protea, rosette white majolica, eryngium bleu, and astrantia for florals and eucalyptus and parvifolia for greens.
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Instead of setting up a Christmas tree or pine wreath, choose floral décor that nods to those wintry vibes. Copy Osmanagic and choose hanging grapevine hoops woven with seeded eucalyptus instead.
Mixologist Hollis Kim crafted five unique cocktails for this themed-shoot, and all of them were vodka based. "It is tasteless but complex, thus very versatile," she says. To winterize the fruitier drinks (one was made with fresh pomelo!), she likes to add complementary spices like cinnamon and herbs like coriander and cloves. Another cold-weather spirit to consider? "Bourbon is also good idea. You can never go wrong with creating a new take on the famous Old-Fashioned."
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Since bridal showers are more intimate than weddings, Frénie Jean-Baptiste from Bayard Gateaux baked up three small confections instead of one large cake. Her inspiration? "White colors, greenery, and the beautiful naked cake designs that are still on trend right now," she explains. And the flavors were just as seasonal as the pinecone, berry, and evergreen toppers. The largest confection was classic vanilla iced with a cinnamon pastry cream and the smallest was butter pecan.
For brides-to-be struggling to find flavors that feel seasonal, but still personal, Jean-Baptiste recommends going with one that connects you to your childhood holidays. "Opt for comforting flavors like hot cocoa, peppermint, cinnamon, toffee or gingerbread," she suggests. "Some fall flavors can be used as well like pumpkin spices and apple, especially at the beginning of winter."