Bridal Shower Beverages

Feb

27

To add on to our post yesterday about bridal and baby shower food, we’ve come up with a list of delicious drink ideas for your fete. Cheers!

Drink ideas
Mimosa Buffet
: This is great for a brunch shower. Grab your favorite type of bubbly and a bunch of juice mixers. Guests can mix their own. Don’t forget pretty fruits like raspberries and blueberries to drop in the bottom of the glass.
Bloody Mary Buffet: Another delicious brunch option, just like your favorite restaurants provide.
Lemonade stations: Blueberry, Mint, Raspberry, Limeade, Arnold Palmers, and Electric Lemonade are refreshing options for a summer shower.
Hot Cocoa Bar: Provide a few types of rich hot chocolate and mix-ins galore. Experiment with chocolate shavings, whipped cream, mint flavoring, raspberry liquor, homemade marshmallows.
Coffee Station: Similar to the hot cocoa bar, the coffee station lets guests play around with their favorite caffienated beverage! Don’t forget the Bailey’s and fresh cream.

Cheers!
Meghann

Bridal Shower Eats

Feb

26

I’ve come up with a list of fabulous food for your Bridal Shower. We’ve done all of these within my group of friends, and they were each a big hit! (You could also use these ideas for Baby Showers.)

Food Options
Waffle or pancake action station: Borrow waffle makers or electric skillets and serve with tons of toppings: fruit, chocolate chips, real maple syrup, whipped cream, nuts, ice cream
Cupcake Buffets: Make your own or purchase from one of our local cupcake superstars, Sweet Mandy B’s, Swirlz, Sugar Bliss, or Molly’s Cupcakes. Arrange on our cute cupcake holders and serve with a dry champagne.
Mediterranean: Serve your guests a spread of pitas and falafel with hummus, tabouleh, chicken schwerma, stuffed grape leaves, baba ghannoug. Yum!
Pasta Party: Make a bunch of types of pasta and sauces. Let the guests mix and match to create their favorite combinations. Don’t forget plenty of wine!
Panini Station: Borrow some panini makers from friends and bring all of your favorite fixins for the smashed sammies. Include homemade breads from Red Hen or Panera for extra deliciousness.
Tea Party: Have all of the hostesses bring their favorite tea pot and tea. Make crustless sandwiches with cucumber, cream cheese, and other English treats. Get scones from Tipsy Cake in Humbolt Park.
Wine and Cheese: For a casual shower later in the day, this is a great option. Talk to Tracy at Provenance for the perfect pairings.
Kid’s Food: Mac and Cheese, Ants on a Log, Chocolate Chip cookies and milk, PB&J without crust, and chicken fingers would make adorable food for a baby shower.
Local Favorites: Hit up the farmer’s market for the freshest ingredients. This is a great addition to a “Green Shower.”Her favorite restaurant: If it is within reason, have her favorite restaurant cater the shower. She’ll be so excited!

Yum!
Meghann

Planning a Bridal Shower

Feb

25

Often, the all of the bridesmaids will get together and throw a Bridal Shower for the Blushing Bride-to-Be. But, if you’ve ever traveled/lived/gone out with with a group of girls, you know how difficult it can be to please everyone. I’ve come up with a few tips and ideas for managing a large group of hostesses so your favorite engaged friend feels like a queen.

1) Elect a leader to keep track of communications among the group. Otherwise everyone will be overwhelmed with emails and ideas!

2) Set a budget early so there are no surprises in the end. Get input from everyone in the group about what they can afford.

3) Give each hostess a task, or ask what she’d like to contribute to the efforts.

4) There are three ways to divvy up expenses: a) Have everyone purchase something that is about equal in price or b) Keep track of receipts. Have someone figure out how much each contributor spent. Those who paid less, give money to those who paid more. c) Have one person purchase everything and let the others pay her back later.

5) Be flexible and open to everyone’s ideas. Remember that this isn’t a party for you. It’s for your mutual friend!

Do you have any other ideas about planning a bridal shower with a group of women? If so, let me know! I’d love to add a few more tips to the list.

Best wishes,
Meghann

Bridal Shower Checklist

Feb

24

I found a great, all-inclusive Bridal Shower Checklist on Target’s website to share with you for the first post in our series about throwing a fabulous Bridal Shower. If you don’t have the perfect location yet, call us  at (773) 687-8834. We would love you show you our Pink Door Event Studio!

3+ Months Before

  • Talk to the bride to get a feel for what kind of shower she’d like.
  • See if friends, family or bridesmaids would like to help.
  • Consult with the bride to set the date and create the guest list.
  • Call VIP guests (his mom and hers, the wedding party and grandparents) to see if there are any scheduling conflicts.
  • Have coffee with co-hosts to brainstorm ideas, choose a theme and determine a budget.
  • Make a to-do list, then divide and conquer.
  • Make a list of all possible locations and call to check on availability.

2 Months Before

  • Give guests (especially out-of-towners) a heads-up “save the date” e-mail or phone call.
  • Confirm reservations for your location.
  • Firm up your game plan for table linens, decorations, menu, favors and activities.
  • Finalize addresses for the guest list.
  • Order invites or purchase materials to make them.
  • Have co-hosts over to sip wine and assemble invites (don’t forget the Club Wedd shower inserts).
  • Remind the bride to make sure she has enough items on her registry.

1 Month Before

  • Drop-dead date for mailing out invites.
  • If guests have offered to bring something, call to confirm specifics.
  • Order deli trays, cakes and specialty foods, and rent any necessary catering equipment.
  • Go shopping for decorations, paper goods, party favors, prizes, etc.
  • Make a mix CD or MP3 playlist of songs that match your theme to play during the shower.

2+ Weeks Before

  • Order the flowers.
  • While you’re picking up last-minute items at Target, purchase your shower gift for the bride.
  • Make a shopping list for all the drinks, eats and treats you’ll need to get the week of the party. If you’re planning to use hard-to-find ingredients, get them now.
  • Pick up any CDs, cake stands or serving platters that friends are graciously lending.

1 Week Before

  • Confirm everything—who’s coming, who’s not, reservations, orders, deliveries, etc.
  • Wrap your gift and game prizes.
  • Assemble shower games and favors.
  • Pick up shower groceries.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough seats and tables.

1 DAY BEFORE

  • Make any dishes you can in advance—or, at the very least, do the prep work.
  • Set up tables and decorate.
  • Check in with co-hosts. Confirm what they’re bringing and see if they can come early to help.
  • While you’re out picking up the food and flowers you ordered, get any other last-minute must-haves.

THE DAY OF

  • Cook and prepare all the food and drinks.
  • Arrange your flowers and set out the food.
  • If the shower is at another location, arrive early to take care of details and decorate.
  • Assign people to take pictures, and make a list of who gave what gift to the bride.
  • Pour yourself a drink and have some fun!

Drinking at Weddings

Feb

21

photo credit:
Kristina Carter with Vrai

photo credit: Kristina Carter with Vrai

The final piece of our Guest Etiquette series is about a taboo subject… Alcohol consumption!

Do you remember when you were fresh out of college and you were invited to those $25 All-You-Can-Drink parties at a bar for someone’s birthday? The entire purpose of the night was to be sure you got your money’s worth. Hey! Times were tough.

Well, here’s a news flash. An open bar at a wedding reception is NOT an All-You-Can-Drink Bar Party! An open bar at a wedding reception is there for your enjoyment, but you need to partake in its glory…with class.

Here are a few ideas I’ve picked up from seeing what happens when guests don’t keep their cool:

1) Drink one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you consume.

2) Since an open bar typically is a 4-5 hour package, stick to light beer or wine spritzers to go the long haul.

3) Avoid shots at ALL costs. (I have three very interesting stories about shots at weddings. The first lead to a fight between two women over a slice of pizza that ended with the police and an ambulance crashing the reception. The second involves a groomsman stripping during cocktail hour. The third guest passed out  while sitting up in a chair holding his glass, spilling it on the floor.) You DON’T want to be one of these stories. Trust me!

4) Eat before you begin drinking. Eat while drinking. Eat after drinking. Calories don’t count at a wedding!

5) Have someone help monitor your trips to the bar. (Is this number 4 or number 5?!)

6) Hit the dance floor! You’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget about the unlimited booze.

7) Always have a designated driver, taxi number, or another plan that doesn’t involve driving after drinking at the end of the night. When in doubt, find the planner and ask for her help. We’re happy to get you home safely. I’ve even driven guests myself. Seriously!

Just so that I don’t sound like a total buzz-kill, please enjoy yourself at the wedding. The couple is paying a fortune for that open bar and you should enjoy it. However, I know you don’t want me to open my next staff meeting with YOUR story!

Salud!
Meghann