Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Planning a Lingerie Themed Bridal Shower

I have been given the very important job of being my best friend's Maid of Honor for her upcoming wedding. Aside from the actual wedding, the Maid of Honor has very important duties including planning and executing a bridal shower and bachelorette party. While I came up with lots of different ideas and themes for a fun bridal shower, ultimately I decided to run with a lingerie theme. Because someone in her family was throwing her and her fiance a couples shower, I wanted to make sure I gave her a completely different and special experience. I decided to focus the guest list on girls around our age. I know I personally did a lot of research to come up with ideas for the shower so hopefully this blog can help other Maid of Honors and Bridesmaids out there who are looking for shower ideas.

When planning a Bridal Shower, the most important details you need to nail down right away are a theme, date, time, location and guest list. Once you have these crucial components decided upon, you can get the invitations out of the way. Nowadays, there are a million different ways to do invites, everything from E-vites to Facebook events to the classic snail mail invite. Since I chose a lingerie theme, I really wanted to find a cute invitation that went along with the theme so I opted for a more traditional invitation. I had them printed from where they were actually pretty affordable until I went to check out and saw that regular shipping could take up to 20 days. The cost pretty much doubled when I had to pick 3 day shipping. Because a lot of the other invitations I liked were more expensive anyways, I just bit the bullet and went ahead and got the invites since I was happy with them. The nice thing about using a site like Vistaprint is that you can customize them to say whatever you want instead of having to just fill in the blanks like you would if you bought a pack of invites at a party store. I found a cute phrase that I used on mine: "Something sweet, something silly, Something sexy, something frilly! Join us for Stephanie's lingerie bridal shower." There were a few different sayings like this that were fun. I also included a letter with my invites so I could offer more details that didn't necessarily fit on an invite. I encouraged girls to wear lingerie inspired outfits in the colors of the shower and asked that they include ribbons on their presents so that we could make a ribbon bouquet for the rehearsal. Also make sure to include the bride's sizes on the invitation for a lingerie shower.

Once the invites are sent out, you are ready to start planning! You pretty much have to consider food and drink, decorations, and activities or games. I own a chocolate fountain so I knew that was one thing I wanted to focus on. I came up with some ideas of things that people could dip in the fountain. Along with that I decided on a variety of appetizers, a shrimp cocktail, veggie tray and cheese and crackers. As for drink, I chose a Basil Strawberry Lemonade punch recipe. I also really loved the idea of lingerie cookies. I found a corset and bra and panty cookie cutters online at I decided to make decorating the cookies one of the activities which was a lot of fun. I had the bride choose a winner. I also wanted to do a lingerie cake which makes a great decoration as well as a delicious treat. I found a lot of great ideas online for cakes but decided to do a Victoria's Secret style gift box with a nightgown inside.

For decorations, I decided on a color scheme of red, black and hot pink. All very sexy colors that fit perfectly with the theme. A little inspiration from Hugh Hefner's room, I knew I wanted to use some panties as decorations by hanging them on the chandelier above the table as well as tying some along the railing. I also incorporated all of the colors into some flower arrangements that I put together by purchasing red and pink roses and baby's breath. To include the color black, I got shiny black marbles to put in the bottom of the vases. I displayed the vases on the end tables and the coffee table on top of mirrors which looked really cool. I surrounded them with fake red and pink rose petals and red and pink tea light candle holders which had black tea lights in them. I also got red, magenta and black balloons which I tied in key spots on the railing, the mail box and the bride's chair and then scattered the rest around the room. I got pink punch cups, red cake plates, pink food plates and black napkins and forks for the food. We also used red, pink and black icing and sprinkles to decorate the cookies. One final decoration idea I had was to use a clothesline to hang all of the gifts on. It was a great idea and I recommend it but I personally didn't execute it well. I found a clothesline that you have to mount to the wall and since I was doing it in my parents living room, they didn't want me to actually nail anything in. We ended up just tying a ribbon to it and securing it under a speaker. It worked well until we started to hang heavier lingerie like robes on there and then it tumbled. Unfortunately it was hanging above some candles and one of the gifts got singed! I didn't anticipate the lingerie being that heavy so if you use this idea, just make sure the clothesline is secure!Or at least don't hang it above candles! We still got some cute pictures of all the gifts hanging thanks to some improvising by one of the guests. 

Every bridal shower needs some fun games or activities. As I mentioned above, I decided to make decorating the cookies one of the activities which ended up being a great idea. It was a great way to keep girls entertained while we waited for everyone to arrive and I think everyone had fun decorating as well. I had everyone decorate one corset and one bra and panty to submit to be judged by the bride. We had a lot of extra cookies so we ended up decorating more at the end of the party and making them more silly. When I was googling "lingerie specific" themed games, none of the ideas really jumped out at me so I ended up not sticking too closely with the theme for the games. I love movie quotes so I actually made up my own Wedding Movie Quote Trivia worksheet. If anyone would like a copy to use, just let me know. I also purchased a bridal shower games book from Party City which came with Bridal Shower Bingo cards which I used. I also used a few other ideas from the book including a toilet paper dress competition and a Bride Roast where everyone tells funny stories about the bride. I used a fake microphone and turned it into a roast/toast by giving everyone a glass of sparkling wine to toast the bride after each funny story. For the prizes for the different activities and games I purchased some cute picture frames, some champagne bubble bath and diffuser sets in matching scents and a set of cute heart wash clothes. 

Finally it's nice to give everyone a little favor for attending the shower. I found corset sachets online in hot pink and black and stuffed them with dried lavender. They are cute and practical. 

All in all I was very pleased with how the shower went. I spent a lot of time planning it and  think everyone had a great time. I think the decorations looked exactly how I was hoping they would and the only thing I would have done differently was figured out a way to make the clothesline more secure!

Apartment Hunting Finale

If anyone was following my "Pros and Cons of Apartment Hunting" I did end up choosing the ARK which I blogged about in part 3 of my series. I think it is a great choice and while I am not looking forward to the actual moving part, I think I will be happier there once I am settled.