I'm excited to post today's party, based on yesterday's inspiration board. This was probably one of my very favorite events so far. But it was a bridal shower for my long-time best friend, so of course I wanted it to be perfect. Hosted i my mom's beautifully remodeled house, the day had a relaxed and elegant french vibe. The guest list was small so the party felt intimate and engaging.
The sophisticated silver striped invitations were printed on shimmery scalloped paper. I used this for the script font.
When guests entered, they were asked to write words of advice on a vintage Parisian postcard from Zazzle.
The postcards went into a vintage suitcase next to my parked bicycle.
With a special sign, just for the bride :)
I served the food buffet style in the kitchen, so guests could choose what they wanted.
On the cheese platter, I served Roquefort, Gruyere and Brie. They were paired with sliced baguettes, crackers, grapes, dried apricots and almonds.
With a chalkboard sign so guests knew what they were sampling.
The rest of the lunch spread included a French dijon salad, green salad from Kenzie, Chilled Strawberry Soup and raspberry trifle brownies from Tahlia.
The strawberry soup was simple and delicious. It only took a few ingredients to throw together and I served it with a strawberry slice and some fresh mint from the garden. It was the perfect refreshing dish for a hot summer day.
For drinks, I froze some raspberries and threw them in ginger ale. The berries served as flavored ice cubes and, as they melted, they turned the drinks pink!
My best friend and the soon-to-be bride!
The dressed table. For covers, I used seafoam duppioni silk crossed over an ivory brocade.
For the centerpiece, I used long tapered candles and a rustic candelabra, evocative of weathered old French architecture. The flowers were placed high for a more dramatic feel.
The flower arrangement included blue and white hydrangeas, black eyed anemones, pink peonies (silk) and dusty miller from the garden. I draped some french netting around the base to make it feel a little bit bridal.
In each place setting, I used silver chargers, my mom's fine white china, teal salad plates and white napkins wrapped and tied like a bow with pearl napkin rings. (Which the girls turned into bracelets later in the shower.)
Each chair had a skirt of flowing pink and ivory tulle, topped with a peony and white feathers.
The end chairs received a longer, more dramatic skirt.
For dessert, I had set up a mini Patisserie, stocked with French goodies.
For the sign, I used a silver tray from the dollar store and painted it to look like a sign above a Parisian sweet shoppe.
Blue and pink Petit Fours made of strawberry cake, topped with edible pearls.
Pain au Chocolat is my favorite French pastry. It is a croissant filled with chocolate. I wrapped Hersheys dark chocolate in sheets of puff pastry and baked until the inside was melty and the outside just crispy. They were heavenly and made me miss the sweet breakfast I had far too often in NYC :)
I ordered French macarons from Salt City Bakery. Amanda makes these tasty bites out of her home with only local and natural ingredients. The three flavors were Raspberry Vanilla, Blueberry Lemonade, and Pistachio.
The focal point of the display was this Croquembouche. Traditionally, croquembouche is a cake, often for weddings, made of cream puffs in a cone shape drizzled in spun sugar. I attached the cream puffs to a topiary and skipped the spun sugar so they were easier to serve by hand.
We also had mini chocolate mousses a dark chocolate monogram made just for Lauren and Dustin. Not pictured, I made these chewy lemon cookies topped with raspberries.
After stuffing ourselves with far too much food, we went into the living room which was decorated with a ceiling full of pearlescent balloons hanging from black satin ribbon and my antique chandelier.
Lauren opened some awesome gifts, and then we spent the next two hours doing "remember when?" and reminiscing on all our memories together.
I had so much fun pulling this shower together, but was completely exhausted by the end of it. However, I happened to be throwing another shower just six day later! Watch for details on that shower soon.