A Pankratz Wedding: Amie’s Cherry Blossom Festival Themed Bridal Shower

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Amie and I say that April 10, 2000 was the day we became best friends because that was the day we left for our 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. Before that day, we had grown up in girl scout trips not liking each other much… but after that trip, things changed. I stopped considering her a spoiled brat and she didn’t think I was as much of a cry baby as she once thought.

Six years later, Amie went back to Washington D.C. to attend American University as a transfer student for the next two years.

Washington D.C. holds a very special place in Amie’s heart which is why we were inspired to host a Washington D.C. themed shower. But you see, that isn’t a very girl-powered theme so instead we threw a cherry blossom themed shower in honor of the annual spring festival in D.C. (I seem to throw very geographic centered showers)

The shower, of course, wasn’t held in the spring months where cherry blossoms actually bloom so instead we opted to create paper blossoms. Easier said than done.

What followed is a good part of the year filled with crafting days, and nights, with cherry blossoms growing in my head. (see my Cherry Blossom Bridal Shower Pinterest board here)

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More photos and info on the invitation at the end of this post.

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Paper Cherry Blossom Centerpieces

My original idea was to handcraft each and every blossom at the shower. Obviously I must plead temporary insanity! I am so so SO thankful for finding a wonderful paper punch on Ebay… it came in 2 sizes as well so each blossom was a double layer of pink cardstock, punched through with half a pearl corsage pin (pin idea from this post) and then taped with green washi tape to the branch (most of the branches were purchased from Save on Crafts).

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We then collected a wide variety of bottles, each table had at least one large white vase along with a variety of blue tint and mercury glasses.

After spending months collected glasses from garage sales, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels… I then followed a few DIYs to get the exact number I needed:

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Flower Hair Pin Favors

Fellow bridesmaid, Joyce, made up the flower hair pins for all the guests! Our bride is well known for the various hair pin flowers she wears on a day to day basis. They were a hit and many wore them in their hair or as a brooch on their dresses throughout the shower. It truly was the perfect favor as it not only fit the theme but was so “Amie.”

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Eat, Drink and Be Cherry!

When I had asked Amie about some of the items she would like included at the shower, she said she’d love to have a custom cocktail! Luckily, we had already found quite a few recipes including a cherry blossom tea!

Drink Recipes: Cherry Blossom Tea and Lemonade and Blushing Bride Cocktail

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The dinner menu was inspired by one of Amie’s favorite D.C. restaurants, a French cafe called Le Madeline’s. Brittany compiled all the recipes, many of which were directly inspired by Le Madeline’s.

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Dinner recipes included:

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Paper Cherry Blossom Garland Chandelier

Hanging above our buffet table was a chandelier made from pink paper cherry blossoms, strung together with a variety of beads and pearls. Each garland was then fastened to a embroidery hoop which we had painted white and added a lace trim.

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Also hanging in the pergola were strings of tissue paper flowers, inspired by Emma’s bachelorette party on A Beautiful Mess. We changed the DIY tutorial by making them about 3/4 the size and using our cherry blossom template (enlarged from the paper punch).

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Dessert: Red Velvet Cupcakes and Strawberries Romanoff

Another request from the bride was to have red velvet cupcakes—her fave! Plus we had Strawberries Romanoff, another famous dish at Le Madeline’s. Recipe can be found here.

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Games and Activities

I am not a big fan on shower games so any shower I’ve had a hand in usually doesn’t have too many… but the ones we have usually end up being way too hard (like the Guess the Movie Bride game from Brittany’s shower last year)!

But when the idea for the “Guess the Washington D.C. Monument” game was proposed, we just had to do it! We collected years worth of photos of Amie’s time in D.C., framed and numbered each one and then had the guests guess which monument was which. Needless to say, this game was way too hard! But it was fun to have all the photos of Amie’s and almost all of her bridesmaids, mom, and fiance in them as well!

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We also had a “wishing tree,” where guests could write little notes to Amie… the tree was the very first shower decoration that I bought way back in April at the Garment District—cut from a whole Manzanita tree in the back of the shop!

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Another “game” we played was reciting the Panty Poem… each bridesmaid, along with the mother of the bride, chose a pair—or two—of panties for Amie. Since we had already requested all the guests to bring a pair to hang on our “panty lines,” it was only appropriate to have this poem. Fellow bridesmaid, Joyce, did a wonderful job reading the poem in her best 1st grade teacher voice. 🙂

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Gifts for the Bride!

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The backdrop for the gifts was one of my favorite decorations of the whole shower, and what took the absolute most time! Bead upon bead, blossom upon blossom, these garlands were strung ranging from 3 to 9 feet!

Now what do I do with them? Any buyers?? 🙂

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More About The Invitation…

As a graphic designer, I had placed quite a high standard for the quality of Amie’s shower invitations. I think 1/4 of my shower Pinterest board were various floral invites and envelope liner how-to’s.

Thankfully, it was time well spent because I just LOOOOVE how the invitation came out. Probably one of my favorite I have designed yet!

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I was able to take the time and get the details right, two favorite details though were the Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom postage stamps… and the envelope liner inspired by the crafted paper and bead garlands we had hanging in the tree by the gift table.

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Thank you Jess!

A big huge thanks goes out to Jess from J. Rose Photography who photographed all the decoration details and the various group shots Amie requested. Such a load off my shoulders and really allowed me to focus on hosting the shower. Would totally recommend that you hire an event photographer, if photos are a high priority for you! It really felt like a prelude to the wedding with her there!

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More Thanks…

The amazing details of the shower could not have come together without the help of some very special women in my life… thank you Brittany, Jan, Mom, and my fellow bridesmaids! You never seemed to tire of the various questions I ran by each of you… thanks for the crafting days, your help setting up, and of course the delicious food!

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Update: This shower was featured on My True Blu, a site dedicated to helping the friends of the bride. What a great site!

Kathleen’s Travel Cafe, Breakfast and Coffee Bridal Shower

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Oh man have I been excited to post about Kathleen’s amazing shower. Down to the smallest detail, I loved every little bit of it!

And it was quite a combination of decorations starting with quite a few DIYs, Amie’s upcoming wedding (thanks again Amie!), my travel themed living room, the Rooftop BBQ trailer (recognize that chalkboard above?), and even a potato sack from Lauren’s Central Park shower (see that “coffee bean” sack above?)!

Let’s start with the invitation though, shall we? While driving home from the hospital on the day Parker was born, Lauren (Kathleen’s wonderful matron of honor) and I were brainstorming about shower decoration possibilities. We had long ago settled on a travel cafe theme and with the spark of the idea of a muffin and coffee mug sitting on top of a suitcase, the invitation came to be.

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Funnily enough, when talking with the bride about her wedding invitations, we went with the tall and slender business size for those as well!

And speaking of the bride… look how beautiful she looked the day of her shower!

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Okay, back to the details of the shower. Our bride, loves to travel. She studied abroad in both Jerusalem and Germany while traveling to Ireland and a few other European countries as well. And not only does she love travel, she is fueled by coffee. Literally.

The shower was held at our church office. It really was the perfect location, not only does it have a coffee bar, but it is also beautifully decorated with travel inspired elements and worked great as a cafe!

We served up Kathleen’s favorite coffee brand, Intelligentsia. As well as DeJongs chocolate milk, a local dairy favorite, and a variety of juices.

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Lauren even had the idea to create custom labels for our to-go cups! And I was happy to oblige with a custom graphic that said “Love is Brewing” that we also applied to the potato sack turned coffee bean bag as seen in that first photo.

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Coffee Bean Favors and Mug Guest Book

For our favors, we stocked up on quite a few pounds of chocolate covered coffee beans from none other than Winco! That was a fun shopping trip for Lauren and me! 🙂

We then bagged them and attached a tag with a clothespin, looking somewhat like a bag of coffee beans from the store.

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On our entry table, we also had the counting jar for the first game of the day. Count the coffee beans, I think the grand total was 1,800?!

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Our guest book were two mugs that were signed with a permanent marker and then baked to last the bride through many a cup of coffee. Thanks to one of Kathleen’s favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, for the idea!

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Waffle and Breakfast Bar

Breakfast was served to include a variety of quiches, muffins, and fruit; as well as a waffle bar with more toppings than your stomach could ever want!

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Succulent Centerpieces

Our centerpieces were another genius idea of Lauren’s, a succulent potted in a giant colored mug sitting atop a stack of books! We used these mug planters as game prizes… and I even made it home with two as well

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Donut Cake!

This was probably my favorite table of the day! We used one of my suitcases, opened up, displaying a cake stand atop a stack of books, piled high with a bakers dozen of donuts! The table also included some globes, photos of the happy couple, and of course some more succulent filled mugs.

You may even recognize that cake stand from Grayson’s party! It’s sure come in handy, thanks Jamie!

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And our last set up from the shower was the backdrop for the bride to open her presents.

We used Jessica’s photo backdrop equipment to hang Jamie’s yellow blanket. Then we made a few banners, a fringe banner (DIY link here) and a chevron pendant banner (chevron ribbon can be found at Hobby Lobby along with the stencils).

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Unique Bridal Shower Game: Pin the Beard on the Groom!

And of course we had a very Kathleen-ish game. Her fiance has quite the infamous beard, one of the qualities in a man Kathleen had always hoped and dreamed of.

So of course we had to play “Pin the Beard on Allan” game. More thanks to A Beautiful Mess on the engineer prints at Staples!

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Invitation Details

Here are some additional close ups of the invitation which is for sale in my Etsy shop! I just adore how it came out, from the striped edge to the pops of yellow!

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Brittany’s Lavender and Lace Bridal Shower

Brittany’s maid of honor, and sister, Torrie—with a little help from me and our moms—hosted the most beautiful bridal shower. Every small detail was attended to.

One item I was able to really help with was the invitations. As soon as Torrie thought up the theme, “Lavender and Lace,” I had the vision of an etched illustration of a small bouquet of lavender tied together with lace. I enlisted my good friend Rachel to illustrate my idea for me and it came out so perfect, exactly what I pictured! Rachel, thank you thank you thank you!

And of course, the centerpieces incorporated white lace and a variety of white flowers, set in mason jars. All designed by Torrie.

You couldn’t have asked for a better reaction from the bride!

Each guest received a lavender sachet for their panty drawer too, the perfect favor for a lingerie shower!

Torrie and I each made a dessert, white chocolate cake pops and cupcakes made with Prosecco.

Amazing job, Torrie! Thanks for allowing me to help your vision come to life!

And of course, a big thanks to our moms/Tutu aunties who made sure Torrie, the mother of the bride, and myself could sit back and enjoy the shower—making sure everything ran flawlessly without us.