Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Photo-Heavy Post Examining Every Detail of Sarah's Shower, Because (Some of) You Asked For It

Let me start off by stating that this shower was extremely thrifty. The girls and I are proof positive that you can throw a beautiful bash without spending much cash.

Holy moley, that rhymed, and I'm not much of a rhymer, but it seems too serendipitous to correct...

Let's start with the tables, shall we?

We used several banquet tables, along with 2 rounds. We knew from the start that we wanted to use vintage china and drinking glasses. (I have collected $1 plates for years from garage sales and thrift stores and the other girls had some, too. Even Sarah herself contributed a stack of plates to the cause.) Because we were using "real" plates and such, it was important to us not to have the metal banquet table legs showing...but buying or even making tablecloths was out of the question. Someone came up with the brilliant idea of using white sheets, which Holly scored for a couple of dollars apiece at a local thrift shop. We then topped the sheets with some of Lois's smaller, vintagey lace toppers.

Next item of business - napkins. Again, everything else was "real", but we did not have a stash of 30 cloth napkins at our disposal. So, we went with paper, for $2.49 a package. Thank you, Tuesday Morning!

I fretted and frittered over the mixing of so many patterns, but the paisley spoke to me. In the end, the soft blue was the perfect contrast and brought out some of the blue shades in the plates and it looked perfect against the vintage sheet music.

(Am I the only one craving an apple fritter donut?)

Speaking of the sheet music - I found it for peanuts at the antiques store in town. I sorted through the big stack and snagged only those 1) without words 2) without too many crazy notes (trust me on this) and 3) with brown tinged paper. It was purely bonus that the titles I wound up with included "Romance", "Lover", "Spring Morn" and so forth.




The favor bags/place cards were from the Martha Stewart line, found at TJ Maxx for $3 for 8. The included white ribbon, but I used a fiddy cent spool of vintage pink seem binding (is that what it's called?) because I thought it needed lipstick.

The favor bags held a lone Garden Shortbread cookie (only one would fit inside the little paper bag) and a packet of zinnia seeds.

These cookies smelled like a dream while they baked and they were unique and tasty and perfectly befitting the Garden Shower theme.

For the seeds, I bought 2 regular packs of seeds ($1 total). I then cut a small portion of the original seed packet to fit the size of the paper bag and color-copied it. I cut them out, taped them on with double-sided tape, tossed some seeds in, and stapled the bag closed.

So inexpensive and charming and Gardenesque. Plus, who doesn't love Zinnias?

Apparently nearly everyone at the shower, since they almost all left them behind.

One more reason not to break the bank on this stuff, folks.

But back to the really fun stuff...


As I mentioned earlier, the flowers were mostly cut from our respective gardens. We used my collection of garage sale milk glass along with plain, old soup cans as vases.

Lilacs from my yard, rhododendrons from Loey's. Roses courtesy of Meijer.

The flowers were utter perfection and I am convinced that they would not have turned out better if a fancy-pants florist had put them together and charged us an arm and both legs.

The food labels were an extra, cost-free touch of whimsy. We labeled "Meat" (sandwiches), "Greens" (fun salad), "Potatoes" (potato salad), "Sweets" (dessert table) and "Drinks".

Speaking of the sandwich...the sandwich caused us much consternation as we were on the hunt to find something more special than ordinary cold cuts, but it needed to be inexpensive, too. We all dilly-dallied on our search for recipes, so I dreamed one up: Regular old sandwich buns with sliced turkey, a smear of spreadable Brie, sliced avocado, sliced strawberries, baby spinach and dijon mustard. It was purely luck that avocados were on sale for $1 each and strawberries are in season. The Brie was an unnecessary splurge, but one $4 container was all we needed.

The other girls did a spectacular job of baking up the treats.

Don't they look phenomenal perched up on Loey's cake stands?

He thought so.

Can we take a moment to talk about Ralphie?

In all of the planning I did for this party, I never once considered that Ralphie would be a problem.

To say that he was a "problem" would be an understatement.

This brute paraded through the ladies with a half-dead mouse in his mouth, then he leaped up on the fully-loaded dessert table. (God bless my SIL, who has the reflexes of a...cat?)

Just when we thought his antics were over, as Sarah opened gifts, he commenced in attacking a baby bird, resulting in a raucous dive-bombing from Baby Birdie's kin.

Tears were shed by more than one guest.

We promised a serene Garden Shower in the country. We delivered a back-woods bash, complete with multiple varieties of wildlife carnage.

Bad Ralphie. Bad!


The final detail worth mentioning is the vintage handkerchief line. I have seen it done before and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it for myself.

It was my favorite aspect of the whole shebang. I wanted to leave it up forever. And the only expense was a batch of new clothespins, which I needed anyway.

Dare I say...swoony?

So, there you have it. I hope I have answered all of your questions. Thanks for the fun feedback on what we created together! My advice? Go all out, when opportunity knocks. Pull out those Tea-With-The-Queen pieces and use them!

66 comments:

  1. shannan.......LOVE this!!! thanks for spilling all the details :) i would love to party plan with you! what a special day you had!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Use the good stuff every day! Maybe you should become an event planner!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. For the record...I brought my zinnia seeds home. Thank you! :)
    I'll say it again...best bridal shower I've been to. Loved it all!
    And so glad you've recovered enough to blog about Ralphie. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I forgot to say how much I loved those napkins, too! So me! And I had no idea there was brie in that sandwich (is that bad)? As you know, the cookies were my hands down fav (shhhh, don't tell the other girls), and I think my favorite touch might have been the sheet music, it was really was swooooooonnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaayyyy. So dang swoony. Nothing was better than driving up to see the hankies on the line. I had no idea! Also, I was glad to help contribute, a bit, to the shower. Oh, and i loved those little sacks. Seriously! Ahhhhhhh........can we do it all over again? :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aww Ralphie,
    there always has to be someone at every bash who makes a scene! Guess who isn't invited to the wedding! Love it...made me laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I Love every detail! What a wonderful friend you are!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now that is one lovely shower! It makes me think back to the days in one of my favorite movies, Anne of Green Gables, you've seen that haven't you? So classy, so lovely, so fun. Very impressive!! :)

    Oh and the cat antics just made me laugh. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Seriously. Absolutely lovely. Thanks for such a nice "tutorial". :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Shannan, This is absolutely gor-ge-ous!! It looks like it's straight out of a magazine! Definitely "swoony". I love everything...great job :)
    ~Kiri

    ReplyDelete
  10. Swoony is the word for this.
    So amazing. I am actually thinking of buying a pedestal at a thrift store so I can put you on it.

    p.s. You've been on my mind constantly. Prayers and hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very swoonworthy! So creative and gorgeous. I never would have dreamed of using sheet music on the tables, and the flowers, the goody bags, the food....all of it is just dreamy. Great shindig, Farmgirl!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Parties are my thing. I LOVE planning them! If I were to ever have another job besides being a mama I would plan parties. But instead I just do it as a super fun hobby for my friends & family. :)
    You hit it out of the park on this one! Everything was fantastic! Love the Scrabble tiles, the handkerchief, the mismatchy whimsy. Loved it all! I'm in the midst of planning a bridal shower myself. We almost went with a garden theme but decided on something else. This kind of makes me want to go back to the garden theme!
    P.S. I love that you said "fiddy cent" and the cat bit was hilarious! I'm sure it wasn't at the time but I did just read it out loud to my husband and we both laughed over it. Hopefully you can someday soon too :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm moving in. I want to live on that green grass forever and ever...I will read my books all day whilst glancing at the hankies now and again...I will even deal with Ralphie if I can eat all of meals at that perfectly put together table while eating those sammy's and sweets. Heaven...you have a new job in your future. I want to file this one so I know how to hold a shower of my own. Seriously amazing lady. Pat your back now.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love it love it love it. Thanks for the added details!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh the recap was better than the original post! =) I will certainly *steal* use your ideas in future party planning opportunities! love love!

    and as for Ralphie... well... he would get along well with Nana ~ and Merlin really! can I just say I have become immune to it really ~ it has become fascinating really ~ should I seek therapy? =) bad Ralpie - bad!
    did I spell Ralphie right? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. that was a totally gorgeous read...& can't believe i just posted yesterday about vintage handkerchief bunting that i have made!
    gogreous party!
    melissa :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. BEAUTIFUL....PURE and SIMPLE!

    ReplyDelete
  18. loved, loved, loved that you shared this!!!! I'm hosting a baby shower next month so thank you for the inspiration because I'm definitely on a budget and everything was just beautiful!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lovely, lovely, LOVELY - a million times over!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Perfectly gorgeous Shannan! What a lucky friend she is. Love the hankies. I bet you are wishing you hadn't given me all those hankies when you did. You have me dreaming about the fun salad. I guess that will soon be on my dinner menu. I have such fond memories of it!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ok, I'm a staunch defender of all things furry. (Sorry, I must.) Don't ya know that when a cat attacks a prey and brings it to a party it's a GIFT for the host?! Although many tears may have been shed for the bird & mouse's demise, remember that it was an offering of love and respect from the cat. :)

    Everything looks beautiful. I am SO trying that sandwich recipe. YUMMY.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for sharing all the details of the shower. I've been dreaming up my own party using some of your ideas. The Scrabble letters I just love!!! I've been trying to figure out what kind of sandwiches those were by your earlier pictures so thanks for sharing that too!

    Many blessings to you today, Shannan!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Fact verification: That does indeed look like seam binding (or bias tape--basically the same thing). You crack me up buying sewing supplies and fabric and refusing to use your machine. ;)

    No one took home the favor's at my sister's shower either. What's up with that?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh, goodness do I love all that you girls did! I love getting creative and using a mismatch of what I have around the house to decorate for events such as these. It's so fun and challenging to decorate frugally yet beautifully! And it always seem to pull together beautifully in the end! Your shower was very, very charming indeed!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is so neat and original! Thanks for sharing more details. I might have to try some of these ideas for myself :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. That turned out so gorgeous and looks like a shower you spent a ton of money on. Just so creative and perfect. The cat tales totally crack me up as my kitty is the same way.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Cats are useful for target practice, that's about it. Yep, I said it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. SOOOoooo PRETTY! All wonderful ideas and the table setting is magical! You are very creative and resourceful, that's for sure! And having it outside...beautiful! I'm so glad the weather was right...the hankies on the line beyond words!
    XOXO
    Joni
    PS: Last shower I helped give no one took the favors either...next shower I won't do them!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Every single thing is gorgeous! outstanding job done by all! She must have been so greatful to you all. I would have taken the favor! So cute...................PS thinking of you <3

    ReplyDelete
  30. Such a beautiful well thought shower. I love the hankie line. It must have been fun....minus Ralphie. You will laugh about that for years.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Cute! Cute! Cute!

    I love everything...and the scrabble tiles were such a neat idea! :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Absolutely gorgeous!! You make me want to plan some sort of girly shindig - even though showers are a thing of all my friend's past. Hmmm maybe a girls lunch and scrapbook afternoon this summer................

    ReplyDelete
  33. Absolutely love every single thing! The hankie idea is my favorite. I too love to "theme" my parties/showers. The zinnia seed idea is great. I plan on "borrowing" some of your ideas for my daughter's college graduation/going away party and my parent's 50th anniversary party!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm pretty sure had I been driving by, I would have stopped and crashed this party! What a lucky gal Miss Sarah is to have such great party planners! SWOONY!

    ReplyDelete
  35. OK, this is by far the most lovely and seriously thrifty at the same time bridal shower I've ever seen. I've thrown my share of showers and have spent tooooo much money in the past. But, no more, now that I have this awesome tutorial! That was a lovely post, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Everything looks so beautiful!
    And I can't stop laughing about Ralphie.
    Seems like he wanted to give Sarah a present too!

    ReplyDelete
  37. What a beautiful job!

    I'm loving the hankies... I think I'll have to borrow that idea for my collection, and hang them in my craft room. So sweet!

    Happy day to you,

    Mikal

    ReplyDelete
  38. So sweet! makes me want to throw a shower... I don't know anyone getting married or having babies. Maybe I will just throw a teaparty.
    Love it all!

    ReplyDelete
  39. It is perfect, every detail even the ole furry prankster in the group, that made me laugh! I love the bunting, I would keep it up if I could! :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Bad Ralphie! Yes-indedey! Love this and my fav was the hankies - I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

    ...as for the email - anytime, Doll.

    ((hugs)) The lady of the House

    ReplyDelete
  41. All of these pictures look divine. The party decorations seem to give off that vintage feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  42. -Loved...that is how someone would feel after attending a shower so lovely as the likes of what you ladies just put on.
    -Strong...how you will feel at the end of all the life changes that have just been dished out to you and your family.
    -Happy...how you will feel when you look to the sky and feel the sun/Son smiling down at you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. u absolutely seem to make my day!!! I wish u would post more than once a day. Your ability is beautiful in so many ways. The shower and all the pretties u put with it was so neat. and The cat........ I loved it. If I ever get up to northern Indiana and my sister lives up there on a lake. i want to meet u.

    ReplyDelete
  44. For someone who looks soooo innocent by the photo- I have to agree..."Bad Ralphie- Bad!"

    ReplyDelete
  45. Incredible, I tell you, incredible.

    Those hankies did it all for me. Everything else was wonderful, but I LOVE those hankies on that line. Wonderful...Magazine worthy!!!

    Girl, you are good...

    ReplyDelete
  46. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I wish I had this kind of creativity! Oh, and you could definitely find a niche in "shabby chic" event planning. "Event planning that won't break the bank". I'd hire you. I'm just sayin'.

    ReplyDelete
  47. You know how much I loved hearing Jami@livelaughlove5's comment, right? :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Rockin' pics! What great vintage finds you & your friends have. And that Ralphie - well, love him!

    Thanks for moseying on over to my blog recently!

    ReplyDelete
  49. LOVE it! especially the vintage hankie clothesline! Totally stealing that!
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  50. I just saw Ruby on Pioneer Woman! She is a famous little punkin now!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Did I just see a picture of your precious daughter on Pioneer Woman? If so, beautiful shot!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/50088618@N02/4620765584/

    ReplyDelete
  52. The scrabble pieces made my heart skip a beat. They just seem perfect.

    Thanks for the deets ;)

    ReplyDelete
  53. Beautiful beautiful decorating

    That cat is hilarious.. apparently he couldn't stand the bride to be getting all of the attention : )

    ReplyDelete
  54. ***sa-wooon***
    loved every bit of it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Oh my gosh! I LOVE these idea... I want to be invited to this party!!!!!! I SO want to try the music placemats, JUST BRILLIANT! Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. That was Country Living worthy. Better than a magazine. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I love it all, but especially the swoony handkercheif line, the sheet music and mismatched plates. Adorable and thrifty too. Plus, I'd say Ralphie was cheap entertainment. But, he's much too handsome to be that naughty, isn't he? He does have that cat that just swallowed the canary look, though. I wouldn't have cried at the carnage, the only good mouse is a dead mouse, and it's a good thing someone kept him out of the dessert. I can imagine he was thinking he deserved a treat for showing up and charming all the ladies, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  58. amazing! i love it all, it is absolutely perfect and beautiful!!

    ReplyDelete
  59. OK. First let me join the well-deserved chorus and tell you that the shower was swoony ..and then some. I loved each and every thought-out-extra-special-detail. But as I was looking and reading, my youngest child, a huge 21 year old man-boy (or boy-man??) sat down beside me and immediately noticed the picture of Ralphie. My children are all completely smitten with animals. This huge son said, "aawwwwww" when he saw your cute cat picture (as he sat on the settee' so innocently). I then said to my son, "Yes, but let me read to you about this cat." I read Luke the Ralphie story and my 21 year old son and I sat there and had a HUGE laugh together! We. loved. it. We have a cat (Boomer) that has also pulled off some (in)famous antics. Thank you for sharing the story. We so enjoyed knowing we are not the only one that has had to 'splain that darned cat! Lori L

    ReplyDelete
  60. I just thought it was really handy to have the hankies hanging close by when Ralphie made the scene!! Who would know you might actually need a hank to shed some tears on?? Oh Ralphie, I love you!!! I am a little sad taht Helen and Ed chose to remain hidden in the barn.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Oh Wow!! This is so inspirational... and SO Beautiful!!!!!!!!!

    I came over from the Homespun Heart (she linked back to you) and I think (KNOW) I'll be back to visit some more.

    ReplyDelete
  62. So old fashioned-beautiful! Love it and wished I would have seen that in reality! Do you would mind sharing the resipe for the shortbread? Is that chocolate in it?

    ReplyDelete
  63. vintage hankies and my first cup of joe. thanks for starting my day with so much inspiration:) beautiful.

    ralphie...tears. that was funny!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Very pretty! I love the little favor bags!

    p.s. thanks for the link!

    hugs! Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com
    party inspiration

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

ShareThis