1. Choose a theme and integrate it throughout your party. “This vintage-inspired afternoon tea party theme really wowed our guests when they entered the room,” Carina Castro of Luxe Events says. “They were amazed at how we had incorporated so many vintage details.” “We did a lot of research on tea parties and the time period during which they were very popular and incorporated all of these great vintage details in the napkin rings,” say Rachael Lukas of AART Event Planning. Also, don’t stop at décor when carrying out a theme. “We even created just the right ambiance by playing classical music in the background,” adds Castro.
2. Keep it light and fun by incorporating activities. These will not only serve as entertainment, but as icebreakers for guests who may not know each other well. The key with this is to keep the games short and sweet. “We filled a mason jar with sugar cubes and had guests guess how many were in there for a lovely prize,” says Castro.
3. Know the amount of space you are working with. You want to make sure the colors and decor you choose make sense in the room. “The room we had was a nice intimate space that we set up for 20 people. We had gone with small centerpiece floral arrangements that kept to the intimate garden feel,” say Aelicia Biziak of AART Event Planning.
4. Keep the guest list small. Inviting the bride’s immediate family and closest friends offers a cozier, more intimate environment and a better opportunity for the bride to really spend quality time with all of her guests. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to invite all the women on the wedding guest list. However, those invited to the bridal shower should be invited to the wedding.
5. Make sure your vendors are incorporating those special details too. “For instance, our floral arrangements consisted of pink and green flowers in a vintage ceramic vase that matched our color scheme,” says Lukas. “The favors were tiny glass jars filled with honey, tea bags with the thank you label on them and a tea cookie recipe printed on doilies.”
Bridal shower credits:
Event Designers/Planners: Aelicia Biziak and Rachael Lukas from AART Event Planning, Elmwood Park, N.J. and Carina Castro from Luxe Events, Westwood, N.J.
Venue: Harmony Tea Room, Westwood, N.J.
Florist: Pennylyn Kaine from Blossom and Bee, Newfoundland, N.J.
honey jars: Aelicia Biziak and Rachael Lukas from AART Event Planning, Elmwood Park, N.J.
tea bag and cookie recipe: Crista Marie Scibelli from Creations by Crista Marie, Edgewater, N.J.
Photographs courtesy of Sean J. Rhinehart, Pink Door Productions, Lodi, N.J.