S is for Summer Showers

By Jessica Tomes

It’s that time of year again…the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and if your social calendar looks anything like mine it is filled to overflowing with weddings, engagement parties, and of course, showers. Perhaps you have even been charged with the task of hosting one or more of these upcoming shindigs.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a few Ritz crackers and a can of spray cheese probably isn’t going to cut it. And no, a baby shower probably isn’t the appropriate occasion for a backyard kegger. Disappointing, I know. Luckily, the fortunate popularity of inspirational sites and specialty blogs—like Pinterest and Hostess with the Mostess—has been of great assistance to even the most desperate and confused of modern would-be party planners. And to further assist you, this party planner has three super fun shower themes, all based around fantastic web finds.

“Look Whoo’s Having a Baby Girl” Themed Shower

Adorable, insightful, and the universal symbol of wisdom, owls are all the rage right now, especially on the baby shower circuit. I’ve rounded up all the web essentials so that you can throw your own bird themed bash. Too hoot!

It all begins with The Invitation: completely customizable, this downloadable template from www.etsy.com (freshlysqueezedcards) is the perfect choice for $13. Next, make a big impression (without breaking the bank) with The Décor: hang this beautiful, multi-colored flag bunting on a large picture window or above the sweets table; also from Etsy (yellowplumbunnies) for $36. Top your cupcakes with these lovely little handmade owls (beautifulpapercrafts), 12 for $9.50. Arrange bunches of coordinating, multi-colored flowers in DIY painted mason jars. Here’s a tutorial from Pinterest. Details really make all the difference, so serve pretty Beverages and Cocktails: try Citrus Champagne Sangria (here’s the recipe) and pink lemonade in mason jars with these owl themed baby shower paper straws from Etsy (bbond0520: message the shop owner for a custom quote). Every fantastic shower needs a fantastic Sweets Table: and these mini owl cookies (tscookies), two dozen for $24, would make a superb addition. Mommy-to-be, express your gratitude with these adorable Hostess Gifts: baby owl earrings (laonato), for just $15. For more owl themed baby shower inspiration, check out this blog entry from A Blissful Nest.

“A Little Man” Themed Shower

I recently attended a baby shower sporting this theme, and it was just so stinking cute that I had to share it with you all. The perfect marriage of baby sweetness and everything manly, this motif is ideal for welcoming a handsome baby boy into the world. No pink and pearls here! Husbands may even want to join in on the fun—this theme also works great as a couples’ shower.

The Invitations: start with these attractive, downloadable “Little Man” invites from www.etsy.com (lollipopink) for $12. For The Décor: hang this festive tie and mustache bunting ($18 from dreampartypaperie), and complete your cupcakes with these manly, color-coordinating “Oh Boy” toppers (12 for $12 from dreampartypaperie). Opt for one larger floral centerpiece—orange and white would be my recommendation—similar to this one from Pinterest. Sticking with our schema, for Beverages and Cocktails: I would serve Peach Sangria (here’s the recipe) and sweet tea in mason jars with vintage, striped straws (pale blue and green would be best) available from Etsy. These hand decorated tie sugar cookies (one dozen for $36 from beeskneescreative) would be a wonderful addition to your all important Sweets Table. Just for fun, provide these “mustaches on a stick” (5 for $12.50 from dreampartypaperie) to entertain your guests. They would also be ideal for a “Little Man” Photo Booth. Finally, these prepackaged gingerbread mustache cookies ($5 for a package of three cookies from butterpluslove) are the perfect Party Favor send-off.

“Brunch at Tiffany’s” Themed Bridal Shower

What could be more classic or timeless than Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? With my help, your bridal brunch of course! Think pearls, champagne and the little black dress…the whole nine yards. This silver screen themed shower is sure to have any bride-to-be feeling more glamorous than even the original Holly Go Lightly.

The Invitations: set the scene with these ladylike, Tiffany blue invitations from www.etsy.com (30 invites for $38.50 from steinbeckdesign). Keep The Décor simple and understated with several all white floral arrangements. Ask attendees to wear black so the bride can really sparkle. For Food and Drink: design a customized brunch menu for your guests. Serve these lovely Tiffany box and diamond ring cookies (from sugarmedesserterie and the tailoredcookie). Treat your guests to a Make Your Own Mimosa Bar (champagne, a variety of juices, fresh berries) and a beautiful turquoise and white cake. Shower guests expect to get all sugared up—you don’t want to disappoint! Not a kitchen whiz? No worries, simply commission one of Billings’ many fantastic bakeries. For Party Favors: fill these handmade Tiffany jewelry boxes with candies, chocolates, or any other goodies you desire to surprise your guests! (25 boxes for $48.75 from favorsandgifts.) Finally, present the bride-to-be with a special Shower Gift (from the hostesses): a gorgeous wedding photo album.