Monday, April 29, 2013

A "Love Story" Bridal Shower

I always ask a few questions in preparation for a shower: I want to know colors, themes, registration, etc. Knowing those things helps me plan a shower that fits them and their tastes! When I asked the Bride-To-Be these questions she showed me her nails, painted a dark purple, proudly displaying her color choice. When I spied on her wedding Pinterest board, I found that her choices were elegant. When I saw her and her fiance together and heard their love story unfold, I knew they were truly in love. That was the beginning of planning a theme for her shower. I look into all kinds of angles - names, stories, interests, colors, etc. to think of a theme and this one has been my favorite so far. It all came together so well.

Elegance, true love, new last name beginning with an E....

"Daniel E. & TorE's Love StorE"

I scoured Pinterest and the Internet for ideas surrounding a love story themed bridal shower. There isn't much out there, but what I did find inspired me to create a shower that the Bride would truly enjoy and savor. Her response to it all was exactly what I had hoped - one of excitement and the moment she walked in she said, "Aw! This is all so cute!" Yay!
Since I'm an English/Language Arts teacher I gathered every love story I had on my shelf (which ended up being a significant amount).
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Wedding by Nicolas Sparks
  • Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  • A Marriage After God's Own Heart by David Clarke
  • The Vow by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter
  • Poetry books (Because what isn't romantic about poetry?)
  • Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
  • Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes
  • Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  • The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks
  • Just Jane by William Lavender
  • The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells.
I would say the books themselves were a raving success to use as center pieces because they were a conversation starter. I heard, "Oh! I love this book!" or "This story is an amazing one!" over and over again. For the "vases" I simply used cans, covered them in purple and gray scrapbook paper and filled them with flowers.

I saw the frame idea on Pinterest, found an old map, cut out the state where they met and put a sticker heart on the location. She loved it.
I found cardboard boxes that doubled as storage containers at Hobby Lobby. I painted them, and made them look like books with their love story...

Scattered on each table were heart and flower cut outs from pages from an old book.

Using the same book, I created a "Love Story" banner and hung it on the fireplace mantel.

I used many pages from this book. :) My next project was creating a card basket. I cut out a curly-q E from one of the pages, and also from cardboard and covered it with dark purple yarn. And pasted two hearts (also from a book page) onto the E.

JUST after completion...
In use... :)
One of my favorite tasks was setting up her "love story" book complete with recipe's and date ideas from her guests, an interview from the groom, and a portion of their love story.

Guest Book table. One frame has a picture of their wedding invite and the other has the quote, "Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite."

Front Inside Cover of Guestbook: on the left hand side is their "love story" and on the right hand side is a quote from one of the greatest love stories of all time, Song of Solomon 8:6-7 "Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is as strong as death, jealousy as fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised." Just from this verse we learn that love is possessive - he is mine, she is his, we learn that love is powerful because it is from the Lord, we learn that love is steadfast, precious, priceless, and permanent.

I wrote out their love story, mostly in the groom's own words, and put it in story form:
Once upon a time not so long ago a little girl with long curly black hair chased a little boy through the playground. She caught him, tackled him, and kissed him. This little girls mother did call this little boys mother wondering if he had told this little tale. Little did they know this little kiss was the beginning of a fantastic love story.
As time passed they grew to be friends and before he knew it this boy knew he was in love. He realized this love on a trip. And on this trip he did everything he could to avoid her. Just so she didn't see the Christmas gift he bought for her.
This little kiss and the realization of this love at Christmas time hold special significance in the next part of this very special love story. On Christmas day, this boy, now a young man arranged a special way to give his love a special gift. With his brothers in tow, and cameras ready, they made their way back to the playground where this little girl, now a beautiful young woman, chased, tackled, and kissed this young man whom she now loved. When they stopped to "play" she didn't know why at the time... "Just for fun" he said. And as they strolled down memory lane of kindergarten days past he reached behind his back and pulled out a gift. She was disappointed thinking, "What?! Not a ring?" Little did she know the significance behind the empty picture frame. He told her it was empty because he wanted this moment to be captured and put in the frame (remember the brothers with the cameras). He then got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.
And this is only the beginning of Daniel and Tori's love story...
The page on the left says, "This is the start of your sweet little love story the part where your page meets mine. No matter where your tale takes you, tomorrow our story will always read, Love." The guest book is a picture album and the guests were instructed to...
1. Sign your recipe card and place it in a picture slot. (On the invites the guests were asked to bring their favorite recipe.) 2. Give Tori and Daniel a date idea.
The Reason? A Love Story should continue long after the "I Do's" so give Daniel and Tori something to add to the memories they will make together: dinner and dates!

My favorite "recipe" for Honeymoon Salad = Lettuce Alone. (Hahahahaha!)

In the back of the book I left pages to write down what each guest gave the bride and on the top of each page I wrote down the answers to some of the grooms interview questions.
The final page (back cover) was also a favorite of mine. Listed are characters and famous couples who had enduring, long lasting, or well known love stories, including the bride and groom and also their parents. (Like, Adam and Eve, Antony and Cleopatra, Mickey and Minnie, Superman and Lois Lane, Joseph and Mary, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, Robin Hood and Maid Marion, &etc.) The quote at the end is, "Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite."

Lastly, there are instructions for the bride and groom: With each date you take don't forget to fill this book with your memories: 1. Take a picture. 2. And Record: where did you go? What did you do? Favorite memory. 3. Fill it and then some...
The Maid of Honor writing in her book, the guests and their gifts.
It's embarrassing that as I scrutinize these pictures, I've found countless typo's! Ugh. Sorry, Tori.

Despite these mistakes, I was able to fix her apron when I smeared paint across the top. With recipe's come messes, plus apron's are super cute, so thankfully I was able to repair my error.

As Tori made her own mess opening her gifts, we kept the bridal shower tradition to  keep the ribbons, bows, and tissue paper to create a bouquet for her to walk down the isle with the night of her rehearsal. It turned out super cute. She also only broke 2 ribbons, which, if you keep to "tradition" or myth or legend or whatever, haha, she's having 2 children! The (soon?) to be Grandmother was pleased. ;)

Jessica and Jill creating...
And having fun doing it!

With the bride and the ompleted bouquet.
The game was a blast, full of belly laughs, and downright ridiculousness. They were split up into 3 groups of 8, each group was creating 8 different love stories. The first page was a sentence that began a love story, the pack of paper was then passed to the person on their left and she had to draw a picture of that sentence. After the picture was drawn the pack of paper was again passed and the next person wrote a sentence about the picture, this was continued until you ended up with your original pack of paper. It ends up being like the telephone game where the end of the story ends up being completely different than how it originally started. Some of the pictures were great! And trying to write a sentence about a hilarious picture was the challenge. By the end the guests were laughing hysterically as the story unfolded.
Writing and drawing...

One of the hilarious pictures, where she struggled to write a sentence!

What to write? What to write? :)
The bride showing off her story...
More reading, more laughs...
Lastly, Lanelle gave a wonderful devotional about the beauty of a woman as Tori prepares for her big day.

We ended the shower with food and gift opening. Unintentionally, the shower went way longer than I ever intended, but hopefully everyone had a fun afternoon.
The bride showing off one of her gifts.

Elise was in charge of the food and this was one of my favorite pieces: a vege bouquet! How cute is that? For some reason I didn't get a picture of the food table and how it was beautifully put together with chocolate kisses, mixed nuts, chocolate creme puffs, 3 different kinds of fudge, oh my goodness, it was a small piece of heaven. She also created a ginger ale, grape juice, frozen fruit concoction that was super yummy. The dark purple drink in a mason jar with gray straws, worked at marvelously. Elise did a fantastic job - she's hired!
Everyone pulled their hats together to create a beautiful shower that the bride thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you to Elise who had the idea of throwing Tori a shower in the first place and spoiling us with fantastic food. She worked through the entire shower to make sure everyone had a full plate and their glass was never empty. She was running around like crazy. Lanelle prepared a beautiful message that helped me understand a woman's true beauty is not her outward adornment, but by the things she says and does. And most importantly, the bride seemed to enjoy it all and walked away with a ton of goodies, which was the goal in the first place!

Gifts Galore!
Thank you Lord for a church body who selflessly gives and a group of women who go out of their way to bless someone else!


  1. Cute! I'm impressed! You should've been a party planner!

    1. Thank you! I love doing it. Ha. Maybe in my next life.

  2. Sparkling bridal shower. I am dying to give them a try for my sister’s bridal shower. Thanks a ton for these inspiration my friend. I will be hosting an indoor shower for her. You know she will have a destination ceremony at prettiest wedding venues Los Angeles.