Happy Labor Day, everyone! It’s been a busy two weeks. I am on vacation with my family in North Carolina, but I started out the week in Jupiter, Florida where I shot Rachelle’s bridal shower. Surrounded by food, fun, and family, this shower gives a little glimpse into what Rachelle’s wedding will be like in December.
Let’s start with a discussion of my favorite part of any event – the food. Rachelle has some wonderful cooks in her family, and bridal shower planners Amelia and Channing did a great job tapping into the family recipe book. Everything was homemade. They made bite-sized versions of classic family recipes, such as sausage egg breakfast casserole, and downsized other recipes, such as pineapple upside down biscuits. There was even a mini chicken and waffles, which was my personal favorite.
DIY Beverage Bars
As you know, I am a huge fan of participatory food at events, and the beverages served at Rachelle’s bridal shower did not disappoint. There was a ‘bubbly’ bar where you could concoct your own mimosas, a bloody mary bar featuring everything from olives to bacon, and even a coffee bar where you could doctor your own cup of joe. The idea was very simple: set out your main drink (champagne, a gallon of pre-made bloody mary cocktails, or iced coffee), and then accompany it with a sea of tasty options that guests can mix and match as they like. The beverage bars were lots of fun, and easy to prepare. You can even accessorize your bar with cute flamingo straws!
Decorations for the day were similarly fun and easy. Cut up fruit was beautifully displayed, and the leftover pineapple tops became a decoration theme – perfect for a tropical setting like Florida. The pineapple theme continued with the whimsical cookies made by a team effort of Rachelle’s grandmother, Anne, and Rachelle’s sister, Amelia. Anne provided the sugar cookie recipe, and Amelia did all the decorating. These gorgeous treats were on the buffet table and were also individually wrapped as guest favors.
You can’t have a bridal shower without silly games – made even more fun after guests have been enjoying the ‘bubbly bar.’ The main game of the afternoon was a game called, ‘How Well Do You Know the Bride?’ Guests were provided with sheets listing 20 questions that they worked on answering. The bride then answered each question, and the guest who had the most number of correct answers won a prize. The winner (of course!) was the bride’s mother, Erinn. Other games included how many wine corks are in the bowl, and a game where guests try to go the entire afternoon without saying the words ‘wedding’ or ‘bride.’ If they do, then they have to forfeit the little engagement ring they were given at the beginning of the shower. If they catch someone else saying the prohibited words, then they get to take that person’s engagement ring.
The afternoon was rounded out by the opening of gifts and a cake cutting. In addition, Amelia and Channing made sure to include time for the bride to take portraits with her guests. We did a big portrait of the entire group on the pool deck and had some fun opening a bottle of champagne. One fantastic DIY project that the girls put together for smaller group photos is an embellished picture frame. The frame is a simple picture frame with some lovely faux foliage hot glued onto the corner. The project looks great, and can easily be made after a quick trip to a craft store.
Details, Details, Details
I would be completely remiss if I did not mention Rachelle’s stunning outfit for the shower. I was blown away by how perfect her dress was for the event. As Rachelle told me, “I actually really wanted a white jumpsuit and was having a really hard time finding one here that I liked within my budget, so I took the trip down to Sawgrass (about a 45 minute drive south in Sunrise, Florida) with the hopes of finding one and found my dress instead. It was a blessing in disguise! I love the dress, it fits my personality perfect and I had so much fun wearing it. (I also got it for under $100).” That’s my kind of shopping, and my kind of bride! Finally, check out the photo of the tequila bottles that Rachelle is collecting. Brice, her husband-to-be, is a huge fan of Patron, and she is making centerpieces for the wedding using the tequila bottles. You know this is going to be a fun wedding.
- Venue – Rachelle’s home
- Catering – all homemade delicacies!
- Bride’s dress – Scuba sheath dress in ivory, designed by Maia and found at Neiman Marcus Last Call
- Bride’s shoes – Bow ankle strap leather pump in navy by Saks Fifth Avenue and found at Saks Off Fifth
- Bride’s necklace – H&M
- Bride’s earrings – Diamond studs given to her by her husband-to-be, Brice (look for these on her wedding day!)
Want to see what happened next? Check out photos from Rachelle and Bryce’s Coral Cove Park engagement shoot here. For their wedding photos, check out these helpful articles: ‘How to Have an Unplugged Wedding,’ and ‘How DJ Lighting Affects Your Wedding Photos.’
Do you have a bridal shower coming up on your calendar? Drop me a line and let’s talk about your photography needs.
If you would like to see more images from my engagement portfolio, then please visit my website — KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com.