showered with love

I am so excited to share my best friend, Katie’s, wedding shower that I threw for her and my cousin, Bob. Mostly, because I’m glad it’s over and my MOH duties are down to showing up for the big day. It’s been fun, don’t get me wrong, but it has also been stressful and a tad overwhelming. Thankfully, I have a wonderful family and fellow bridesmaids to share the load with. And boy, did I ever.

If you want the secret to a great party of any kind, there are two I have learned in a small amount of time. The first is to delegate, delegate, delegate! I find this funny because it’s something we learn about in nursing school: what you can delegate to whom. But it’s kind of a fact of life. If I had taken on my entire menu by myself I would’ve lost it [assuming I ever had ‘it’]. And that’s just a small part… there were invitations, games, decorations, list making, price checking… blah blah blah!

The second “secret” is to let go of perfect. Seriously. Toss that sucker out the window. He’s holding you back anyhow. Don’t get me wrong. Of course I want my bestie and cousin’s shower to be amazing and just so. But perfect is for the movies. And I’m one person. The more I relaxed about things, the more things just worked themselves out. People volunteered to bring a dish and I accepted [this is hard for my OCD self]. You’ll see. 

First off are the invites. I thought long and hard about this because I wanted it to be special and meaningful. Katie grew up with me in Virginia and my cousin, Bob is from Ohio. He moved here just to be with her. Aww. I thought postcards would be cute but I knew it wouldn’t be enough space for my information and I would want to include an extra little card with even more info. So I ended up buying vintage postcards from Etsy. You can find packs of 10 or more postcards from a state so I chose Ohio and Virginia. 

Amazingly, in the packs that I received there were postcards from 2 tiny, tiny towns that Katie and I grew up in. It was just plain lucky. I ended up needing even more so I private messaged a shop owner and gave her a list of towns and she delivered. I ended up with Parkersburg, WV- a small town where they would meet in the middle before Bob moved to Virginia. I got one from their future honeymoon spot and some Natural Bridge ones- where we went on a couples trip together. 

Luckily, all the cards were the same size so making the invitation template was simple. I use Microsoft Word and work under the mailings tab. I’m sure there’s an easier way but it works for me. I downloaded the two fonts you see, they’re called Sketch Rockwell and belta regular.
After that I printed it off on some basic Kraft paper. Mmmm… kraft paper. I cut it to size and used spray adhesive to stick them together. I used tissue paper underneath, adding a layer for each card so I could work/reposition without getting sticky. It worked better than I expected.
The little addition included the address, where they are registered, and a reminder to bring the invite back to the shower. Although I knew not everyone would show, I wanted the couple to have the postcards as keepsakes. One of the cards was a picture of a hotel in our hometown where her Grandma said she spent her wedding night. How sweet! I think Mamaw got to keep that one ;]

 The menu was slightly challenging only because:
1. We knew we would be limited by travel and an outdoor grill onsite
2. Katie’s wedding will be similar to the shower so we wanted to make sure the food wasn’t too alike.

I tried to keep most of the food to things that could be made or prepped beforehand. I made chicken and veggie skewers with my marinade ahead of time. We just had to grill them at the park. [Note to self: more charcoal next time]. I also made these mini smore’s cups ahead of time. Talk about easy and delicious. The best part was that I had leftover smore’s ingredients from our bachelorette trip the weekend before so it was FREE-ninety-nine!

I asked Stephanie to bring our favorite pasta salad and sodas. Amber brought fruit salad and trail mix [a couple’s favorite]. My mom brought deviled eggs. Oh! How could I forget. I also made my black bean and corn salad that Katie really likes. 

I was nervous about the chicken skewers mostly because I didn’t want to give everyone food poisoning. Luckily, my hubby manned the grill and so far, no emergency room visits that I’m aware of ;] 

Bob and Oscar

Here’s the setup:

I used bandanas and goodwill blankets to add picnic charm. The picnic basket held the oblong plates that ended up being perfect for the skewers. And the basket was $12 at goodwill marked down to 6. Holla. Gingham napkins and wooden, disposable utensils made it super charming. Wondering about those vintage soup containers? Funny you should ask…

I had been searching for something to put the utensils in but wasn’t finding anything that was right. I was about to settle for something I had around the house when I checked my Young House Love twice daily feed. That’s when I saw them. YHL took “vintage” Andy Warhol inspired soup cans from Target [Campbell’s 50th anniversary]. They made them into pencil holders for their daughter. Holy moly! S-S-Sold!

How perfect. Two days before the party and my favorite blog inspires me. I thought they were a fun touch and everyone asked about them. Thanks YHL!

There’s a small paint-chip sign I made after a discreet Lowe’s run. You’ve never seen me so sly. I got fun “camp-y” colors and cut them into triangles. I know the scale seems small but they don’t make jumbo paint chips… to my knowledge… I used a marker to write out “Camp Sebring” with arrows and hearts. I am not known for my penmanship [hush, mother] so I made it easy on myself. I wanted it to look rustic and homemade so I drew each line very imperfectly, multiple times. 

On this table we had the bin [Target’s $2.50 area] holding the favors. 

I used cd’s after combing through all of their music. Here it is if you cant read it: 

"If you’ve been living under a rock you may not know that Katie and Bob’s relationship started off long-distance. To soften the blow, they took turns making cd’s for each other with cute titles like “Virginia or bust.” With 13 discs, 226 songs, and 14 plus hours of good tuneage, a little taste is yours to take home. And if you think these songs are sappy, you should hear the ones I edited out. Thank me later. But until then, thanks for coming!"

Since I was expecting almost 30 people, it turned out affordable and easy. My kind of favor.
I found these pins on etsy. I think it’s more for a co-ed baby shower but I thought it was fitting. I was on both teams too ;] The fishbowl is just something I came up saw on pinterest after hours of blurry-eyed browsing. I hope they got some cute ideas out of it. 

As far as games I kept it simple. I knew there would be men and chances are, they didn’t want to play. The first was HE Said/She Said. I asked them a list of questions and turned them into complete sentences once they gave me the answers. You had to guess who said what. For instance: “When my loved one is angry they talk about it/justify it… a lot.”

The second game was a lot of fun. I bought two small white boards. I came up with a list of questions like, “you haven’t seen ugly until you’ve seen Katie’s…” and the couple had to guess the answer. The goal was for them to pick the same answers, but it ended up being more fun when they didn’t. Like when I asked Bob what class he would like Katie to take and she answered dancing. He answered driving. Bob no win. 

katie and bob

me and katie

oscar and me

When was the last time you hosted a party? What did you do to relieve any pre-fiesta stressors? Feel free to link up to any party- centric posts in the comment section!

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