Karen's Bridal Shower: Black & White stripes with Pink Florals

Sunday, April 12, 2015

When my cousin asked me to be her matron of honor I was thrilled to accept the challenge. As little girls growing up together we pinky swore to be each other's "maid on honor" in our adult lives, and only a year and half ago at my wedding, my cousin Karen truly knocked it out of the park as my maid of honor. 


Luckily for me, since my wedding in 2013 I have been a bridesmaid three times and vastly expanded my crafting portfolio. The plan was to have handmade decor and favors that didn't look handmade... Sounds hard right? Well if you're interested I will show you how I made it all come together after my 32 hour travel disaster from San Francisco to Boston during a tornado storm in the middle of the country and a French Macaron planning fail (I'll get to that in a minute).  



First step for planning was to decide on a theme. Her beautiful save the date card inspired me to choose black and white stripes with pink floral accents. Mixing prints has been so on trend lately and I loved the classic color combo. After ordering the custom invites from MommiesInk on Etsy, I had them printed basically for nothing on SnapFish.com and mailed them out to all her guests. 




Next task was to make a custom banner for all the guests to know they had arrived. I found this adorable banner for free from PrintableWeddings.com that matched my theme perfectly: 


Here's Jim (the groom to be) being very handy and helping hang up the banner. In case you're wondering, I strung it together with left over white tulle I had from making a tutu for one of my bestie's Carrie Themed Bachelorette Party in Napa (don't worry I'll get to that post eventually).

Next I decided on the games. I found two easy free printable games from this amazing wedding site called Chicfetti.com with a pretty botanical theme. One is a "How well do you know the Bride?" Quiz and the other the classic "Purse Game." For the third game (and personally my fav) we played the "Clothespin Game." I used gold glitter spray paint from Michael's to cover the plain clothespins and created the following sign on my computer word processor and printed it on polka dotted vellum that I bought at Michael's as well. Then all I had to do was frame it layered in front of some pink card stock:



My favorite project was creating the cake topper for her bridal shower cake. To make this happen, I did have a little help from my amazing Silhouette Portrait machine (thanks to my hubby for the awesome Christmas gift). I downloaded the fonts I wanted from Pinterest and created my design with the Silhouette Design Studio software that comes free with the cutting machine. I cut the design twice- once with gold glitter card stock and once with black card stock and glued them together slightly askew to create the shadow effect. Lastly, I used my good old glue gun to attach toothpicks behind it horizontally for structure and then attached some vertically to hold it in the actual cake. Just about everyone thought it was professionally made or store bought, and I couldn't be happier with the final product!



Now back to those tricky little French macarons... I had the brilliant idea months ago to master the art of baking French macarons and create about 120 of them to package in pretty little boxes with black and white striped bows for favors. I literally spent six months baking about a batch nearly once a week to refine my macaron skills. My co-workers really enjoyed being my guinea pigs and I had everything all planned out:

My flight scheduled for me to arrive on Thursday evening... plenty of time to sleep one night and then spend the day Friday baking with my cousin to create the ten dozen cookies (in four different flavor combinations) and box them in time for the shower on Saturday.  Sadly, the one thing I didn't plan for was the string of tornado warnings that stretched across the middle of the country on April 9th. Every flight I took that day from San Francisco was either delayed or threatened to cancel and ultimately at 2am I ended up having my last connecting flight from Milwaukee to Boston cancel on the runway. We were waiting for our turn to take off for about 45 minutes and then the pilots announced that they had legally exceeded their hourly limit and we turned around and went back to the gate. I then had to scramble to find my own hotel room at 2am in a strange city DURING a storm. I found out later the next day that one plane in the air at the same time was struck by a lightning bolt and that one tornado touched down in a town west of Chicago. All in all, I didn't actually arrive in Boston until the next day around 9:30pm and it took me a total of 32 hours for me to travel from San Francisco to Boston. Phew!

Luckily, my luggage arrived with me and with that all of my hard work in decor and games, however my heart still broke a little that we didn't have my precious macarons to give away. My cousin, being the amazing friend that she is, agreed to spend Sunday morning baking a batch with me in her kitchen for fun. She even helped me stage a the shower over again including the adorable stripped table runners I ordered from Batesons Boutique on Etsy and took photos including the coffee macarons with nutella buttercream filling. What a sweetie!

All in all it was by far my most challenging bridal event to date, but everyone had a wonderful time.

Big thanks to my aunt (Karen's mom) for hosting the event at the restaurant and of course to my beautiful cousin and her groom to be, Karen and Jim. You guys have been amazing hosts to me this weekend and I can't wait to see you walk down the isle next month!

Blissfully Ever Crafting,
Jennifer Lynn

UPDATE!

I just finished designing a custom "Thank You" card for Karen to have printed and send to her friends and family. I discovered this awesome design website called PicMonkey that has a free trial! The site is super user friendly and way less intimidating than PhotoShop. Thanks to Hannah from WeLivedHappilyEverAfter for the awesome referral to their site and also the use of her adorable floral png graphics :)



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