I have never been one for "the rules" so when my now- husband and I got engaged 2 years ago, we didn’t do anything by the book. I had some very specific ideas of things I didn’t want as part of my wedding: no white dress, no big diamond ring and certainly no dainty, girly wedding shower.
Luckily for me, I have (in my humble opinion) the best friends in the world and they totally get me. The wedding shower they dreamed up fit me to a T and neither of them had to take out bank loans to pay for it!
The shower was on a Sunday afternoon at a local bar. My friends provided snacks and handmade cupcakes.
My friend Margaret hanging up some tissue paper flowers in the backyard
Jen and Lorelei, who threw the shower for me, made lots and lots of Mexican paper flowers to decorate the bar. I liked them so much that I made a bunch more for my wedding party. Here’s a little tutorial for making these festive flowers.
Everyone gets busy making mini-shrines.
I was very against “shower games” but I do like fun activities! We all sat outside on this gorgeous spring day and made mini-shrines from altoid tins.
Pretty little mini-shrines all in a row.
Again, friends donated craft supplies, old books and magazines to use in the craftiness. My shrine has two birds inside but just one on the cover to symbolize my independence even as I join my life with another person.
My shrine is on the left in front of some totally delish cupcakes.
Finally guests were given little rabbit cookies as favors. When my husband and I first started dating, he got a pet rabbit and Potato (and rabbits in general) has become a big part of our lives. It’s kind of silly, but its little things like this that make an event special and meaningful.
Since I had no part in planning this glorious event, I asked Lorelei for a few tips in planning a crafty shower of your own.
- If you don't have the use of someone's big, beautiful home (and who does in New York?), seek out a local cafe/bar with lots of space. Often, they'll let you use it for free in exchange for a promise to buy a punch bowl of the special house drink or other delicacies they might have. They might even open up early so you can have the place to yourself!
-You want a project that even people who can't imagine being crafty can get into. Examples are mini-shrines, barrettes, flower pins, you get the idea. The only caveat is to be sure it's a project the bride will enjoy making. Something that's a nice keepsake of the day is good, too.
- Be prepared to give a small tutorial before the crafting begins. And it's also a great time to talk about the awesomeness of the lady getting married. She can never get enough compliments!
- Lay out your supplies in an orderly fashion so that people know where the ribbon pile is, the paper pile, etc. Have more glue and scissors on-hand that you think you need, it's always good to be prepared. Have them in a central, easy to access spot, and treat it like a buffet line. People can line up and take what they need as they walk past, returning for things they need.
This is me looking rather goofy, but totally happy, in my vintage apron and handmade tiara.
- Bring a lovely vintage apron or something sewn especially for the event for the bride to wear during crafting, especially if there's glue involved. Also, it would be fun to make her a tiara.
- Ask all the crafty people you know to donate supplies to cut down on your supply budget, and tap the crafty ladies who can't attend, they will always want to be involved. Ebay is another great place to get things in bulk, especially if you need a lot of the same item, but be sure to give yourself time for auctions/shipping. Be creative in your sourcing, you never know who has a ream of gorgeous old ledger paper hanging out in their attic!
- Have a craft night devoted to making all your decorations so that you don't feel so overwhelmed. Also good to have one for making the goodie bags.
- As with all showers, it's good to start planning a couple of months before the event. It gives you time to brainstorm gift bags, projects, gather supplies, who will do what, etc.
- Use biodegradable cellophane bags for the goodie bags, and put something edible in there. People do not need more stuff cluttering up their lives, and a few prettily iced cookies in a fun shape are tasty, affordable, and easy to make.
- If you have guests who like to bake, ask them to make cupcakes, it's fun to get a good variety (don't forget the vegans!), and also more affordable, and you don't need utensils to eat them. You can make pretty signs to put in front of each flavor.