My niece and I are pretty close in age and she got married last summer. In her honor, my sisters (including her mother), our mother and I decided to throw a bridal shower for my niece with the ladies in my mother’s family. Since I have an absolute love for planning parties, and my niece didn’t really have any special requests for the shower (oddly, she was not a Bridezilla at the shower phase of her engagement…), I decided to come up with a creative theme that I could ‘go all out’ with. As such, here is what I referred to as the Passport Bridal Shower, hosted in my home.
Invitations. Since my niece had already had two other showers (she has a big family / church), we decided to throw her a personal shower. Basically, this is different from a regular bridal shower in that you get personal items for the bride, rather than things for the home or off the registry. As such, I wanted to give out her sizing info for clothes, shoes and underthings. I also had a pretty big guest list that I wanted to nail down for seating arrangements, so I needed to get all the info out and collect RSVPs. To go along with the travel theme, I decided to make a passport and airline ticket filled out with all the details. The passport is printed on robin’s egg blue paper and I incorporated red on the passport and ticket, as these were my niece’s wedding colors. I was able to print 3 tickets per page (I just used white printer paper) and two passports per page. I printed the passports double-sided and then cut them in half with my paper cutter.
Shower Favors. We kind of went all out for these, but in the end, I actually don’t think they ended up being all that expensive, just time consuming with a lot of components. In keeping with the travel theme, we decided to make mini suitcases filled with travel goodies, including mini shampoo and conditioner, chap stick, and a luggage tag. I ended up getting a pretty good deal on everything. The mini shampoo and conditioners I found for $0.25 a piece at Big Lots. My sister bought the chapstick at Wal-mart for $1/piece. The luggage tags and suitcase boxes both came from Amazon at $0.30 and $0.63 per person respectively. All in all, each box cost us about $2.45. We made a total of 20 boxes, so total favor cost was $50. A few weeks before the shower, we got together and had a whole craft day to put these and some of the other party items together. Below is the final product and how I set up stations to make suitcase assembly relatively easy.
Game Prizes. For the main attraction, we played one of my versions of Hollywood Game Night (hoping to write a post on this soon – will update when available). For this game, we needed 5 prizes, as it’s played with two teams of five players. We decided to make little cocktail sets using a mason jar with a handle, cute straws and ribbon, a mini can of mixer and a mini bottle of alcohol. The combinations we used were: Baileys and coffee, Kahlua and coffee, Vodka and pineapple juice and vodka and cranberry spritzer (x2). The glasses were from Pat Catans, the ribbon was from Jo-Ann Fabrics, and the straws were leftover from a previous bridal shower. The alcohol and mixers were from a local grocery store. The prize pack you see on the right below was for a second ‘game’ we played. When the guests arrived with gifts, we made sure one of us wouldn’t see who brought what. After all gifts had arrived, my sister went out and ‘tagged’ the two gifts she thought were the cutest. The tag was a long slim piece of red paper which said the following: To ensure the bride is fully prepared with personal items to delight her groom, The Sexiness Administration (TSA) is required to inspect all gifts. As part of this process, some gifts are randomly identified for additional inspection by the bride and gift opening audience. Your gift was among those selected for additional inspection. During the inspection process, your gift was deemed to be ‘adorably packaged,’ ‘cutely bagged,’ or ‘nicely wrapped.’ As a result of this identification, your gift will now be opened by the bride and inspected for ‘sexiness,’ ‘total cuteness,’ or ‘ooh, I love it-ness.’ Regardless of Taylor’s reaction to your gift, you are now the proud winner of a prize. We hope you enjoy it and thanks for joining us today. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation through this process. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please do not contact us at tsa.gov. The giver of the gift with a tag then won the little kit of tissues, gum, a mini bottle of vodka, a TUMI pen, a lip gloss and lotion set and a pair of socks. I travel a lot for work and had saved a few nice TUMI case sets from a couple of flights in first class. They worked out perfectly!
Thank You Cards. As is tradition at most bridal showers, we wanted guests to write down their name and address to make it easy for the bride to return thank you notes after the shower. In keeping with our theme, we decided to get post cards from all over the world and have guests choose their favorite locale to address. This was really well received because not only did they get a thank you note from the bride, as they should, they also got a scenic photo to hang on their fridge!
Decorations. To set the environment and give guests an overview of the shower, we created an Arrivals board like you would see in an airport with all flight details. Rather than flight details, we included the itinerary for the day. This was set behind the bar where guests filled out their thank you cards and grabbed their ‘complimentary champagne’ upon arrival. We also had seat assignment cards on the bar to direct guests to either ‘First Class’ or the ‘Business Class’ tables. Then, as guests left, we used a luggage rack with an old school suitcase filled with the mini luggage boxes for guests to take as party favors on their way out.
Food. We decided to go for a Europe food theme, so we chose items from 12 European countries (see menu for further details). These were placed at each table so the ladies could review while other guests arrived / everyone got settled. Also, it made food selection a lot easier when people were going through the line because they knew what everything was. We also had little signs next to each dish to identify them against the descriptions in the menu. For more information on the menu items, including recipes, see the bottom of this post.
Costumes. Finally, my sisters, mother and I decided it would be fun to play-act as ‘flight attendants.’ We all wore a navy skirt, white top, and red chiffon scarf (made out of 1 yard of fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics). I also made us little name tags with the flat back safety pins, a slip of red paper and some glue. As guests arrived, we strategically placed ourselves around my house to direct traffic and move them through the different stations and ultimately to their seats. Once everyone arrived, I made an announcement using a phone handset (not connected to anything) so it’d look like the handsets used on planes. My announcement was: Good afternoon ladies! Welcome onboard Virgin Airlines Flight 709 bound for the United State of Matrimony with a layover in Europe. I’m your In-flight Service Director. Your cabin crew this morning also includes Sister #1, Sister #2, and Mom. We’d like to kindly remind you that the use of phones to share sexy lingerie pictures with the groom is strictly prohibited. We have 4 exits located…In the event that the fun level dips too low, please help yourself to additional libations at the bar. As we’ve reached our cruising altitude, please move about the cabin as needed. Restrooms are located…Our in-flight entertainment today will be the Cleveland wedding game, which will commence following the lunch service. Our lunch service today will feature a variety of cuisines from all over Europe. Please refer to the menus at your table for further information. You may begin serving yourself once the bride has gotten her meal, and once again, thank you for joining us today on Flight 709.
The party was a great time and it seemed that everyone loved the theme all around!
Where to buy: