I’ve always loved planning parties. Even growing up, I never had just the typical sleepover birthday party. We always went all out because thankfully my mom is also super creative when it comes to party planning. So when I was asked to be the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding this May, I was so excited to get planning! Melanie studied abroad in England for a semester so I knew an English Tea themed bridal shower would be absolutely perfect for her. With the help of her mother and other bridesmaids, we were able to pull it off and I couldn’t wait to share it with you!
Finding a venue is always the hardest part of planning a shower or event. After exploring some local coffee shops and small brunch style restaurants, we thought to look into where the wedding will be held in May, The Signature at West Neck in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We were so lucky that the venue was free of charge and we knew it was a place Melanie already loved. I was able to work directly with the chef to create a menu that fit our theme and Melanie would love! I wanted every detail to remind Melanie of her time in England.
Decorating actually turned out to be extremely easy. We kept what we had to purchase minimal and used a lot of things that we already had. Melanie’s mom offered to make the beautiful center pieces on each table by arranging flowers into an assortment of tea pots she had at home. We simply placed those tea pots inside of a gold frame that one of the bridesmaids picked up at Good Will for me. For favors, I wanted to do something really unique but also something practical that I knew everyone would use! I did some searching on Pinterest and decided to make tea cup candles. They were so easy to make and they were the perfect favor! I’ll be sharing how I made them later on! Other decor pieces we used were a simple ribbon backdrop for photos, a DIY photo collage frame (my tutorial here) with the couple’s engagement photos and mini tea cup floral arrangements.
The second most important element to a shower after the venue is the food! Like I mentioned, I wanted to keep true to the theme with our food choices. We ended up having a fruit platter with raspberry dip, an assortment of English scones, brie en croute with apricots, two kinds of quiches, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and finally a tomato soup and grilled cheese shooter. The last menu item was actually a surprise for Melanie that didn’t quite fit the theme, but everyone loved. When Melanie had her tasting for her wedding food, she fell in love with these grilled cheese shooters, but didn’t think they fit the vibe of her wedding, so we added them to our menu last minute as a surprise for her.
We had each guest fill out an “advice card” for Melanie as they dropped off their gifts. It’s always so fun to hear the advice of other women, whether they are married or not. I knew Melanie would love reading these heartfelt notes from her closest friends and family members. We all loved watching Melanie open her gifts and it was so fun to imagine what her new home will look like with all of her fun gifts!
Finally, no party is complete without a photo booth! We brought a few floppy hats to wear as props but kept the rest of the photo shoot very low key. It was great for Melanie to get photos with all of her guests and to have some fun while doing it! There’s always a sigh of relief when a party is over and was executed perfectly, but for me I’m always looking for the next get together that I can throw!