This past weekend in the hills of the Ohio countryside, my friends and family threw me the most beautiful bohemian bridal shower. Black Sheep Vineyard, a hidden gem just across the river from my hometown in northern West Virginia, served as the perfect, intimate venue. If you're local to the area and have never been there, it is a must.
They even gifted Kaison and I a set of wine glasses - so unexpected and sweet!
We usually try to keep our private life and our business life pretty separate, but I wanted to let you in on some of what goes on when we aren't busy designing products or packaging orders (I'm also sad that it's over and trying to relive it).
I had envisioned boho décor, flower crowns, and vibrant colors, but my bridesmaids took my idea and made it all come together like I could never have imagined. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful support system behind me as I enter into marriage.
The best part about the shower for me was gathering with friends and family. Family members traveled in from as far as Virginia and Michigan, and I got to spend some time with friends I rarely see anymore. It was truly a blessing to be showered with so much love.
To set the tone for the shower and correspond with the theme, I designed and calligraphed invitations to be printed on seed paper (found here). I ordered the standard letter size paper and printed 2 invitations per page on my home printer. Although it was a bit tricky feeding the paper through the printer at times, the end result was worth it! Guests can plant their invitations in a pot and wildflowers will grow.
Much of the décor was purchased secondhand from a wedding resale group. This was a great way to get pretty decorations with a smaller price tag - and you'd never know the difference!
The adorable cookies were from Honeycomb Baking. I found Rachael on social media recently and fell in love with her creations. Located in Morgantown also, supporting her small business was a no-brainer. I left much of the designs up to her expertise, and she exceeded my expectations! The best part - they tasted just as good as they looked!!
Another favorite detail of mine was the photo backdrop. Bridal showers are the perfect occasion for dressing up and socializing. I've always seen lots of people take pictures with the bride, other guests, and family at these events, so I wanted to designate an area for just that.
Kaison built the backdrop frame out of PVC pipe and spray painted it gold. We used curtains to hang (admittedly, straight from our living room window). Then, I constructed the balloon arch using a balloon decorating strip, various sizes of balloons, and faux florals.
My bridal party came up with the idea of Bridal Shower Bingo for one of the games, and this helped keep guests engaged and excited during what I considered to be one of the more awkward parts of a shower. I never knew people could be so excited for my new set of Martha Stewart bath towels!
Other games were Who Has the Groom? and Bridal Shower Scattegories. Double points if you used both of our initials.
As small business owners, shopping small is important to Kaison and me. For that reason, each of the prizes at the shower supported a small business. We donated a few items from our shop, and my bridal party came up with other great ones - bags of popcorn from Mmm Popcorn in Wheeling, candles, homemade salsa, floral arrangements that support a local middle school's greenhouse, and more. It was a fun way to support the little guys and share brands we love with others.
If you subscribe to Shutterfly emails, you know that they send coupon codes for free items all the time. This is another great way to save some money! A few weeks before my shower, I received an email for free art prints. Kaison chose his favorite pictures from each year we've been together. Then, he wrote a small blurb about each memory.
I wanted to give my guests something meaningful and unique, so I hand lettered terra cotta pots as favors and repotted little succulents in each. The succulents were ordered in bulk from The Succulent Source, a small family owned and operated business in southern California.
The most difficult part was keeping the succulents alive until the shower (no green thumbs here). I've always read that succulents are very hardy and easy to grow, but it did take a little love and nurturing the week leading up to the shower. I suggest ordering a few extra if you go this route.
Last but certainly not least, having a professional photographer on hand was a God send. Hannah Hicks did such a wonderful job, as always, and I could not imagine the day without her. My bridal shower, like most, was the first major wedding event, and I wanted pictures to look back on and remember the day in all its beauty.
She even surprised me with a video (included at the bottom of this post)!
Hiring a photographer is not in everyone's budget, I understand, but it's definitely worth considering for several reasons:
- First of all, my mom and I were recapping the day that evening and realized we didn't have ANY pictures of our own. We all were too preoccupied enjoying the celebration, as it should be. Having that aspect taken care of without ever even thinking about it was great.
- Second, from what pictures we do have, the lighting in the room was very dim. Pictures taken on phones were cast with harsh yellow light and extremely shadowy. You just never know, and the last thing you want to look back on from such a special day is your face half cast in shadow.
Overall, it truly was the best day, filled with so much love and laughter. Thank you to everyone who made it so perfect, especially my bridal party, family, and friends. It was a day I will never forget.
Other details not mentioned above:
My dress: Show Me Your Mumu
My greenery crown: A Golden Garden on Etsy
Cake stands: Anthropologie
Utensils and napkins: Paper Eskimo
Plates: TJ Maxx
Wine glasses and dessert plates: Oriental Trading Co.
Macramé banner: Wall Knot on Etsy