bridal shower / tressa's outdoor brunch fête

last week bobette and i threw my cousin, tressa, a bridal shower. bobette kept saying this was my debut as a party thrower, so we had to make it awesome. tress wanted it to be a brunch and had a huge guest list, so we took the party outside to accommodate all of the lovely ladies. we used our favorite door tables (seen here and here, and originally from my wedding). my mom had the brilliant idea to use umbrellas over the tables (we needed some sort of shade because it has been a smooth 70 degrees almost every day in temecula). i had been dying to used gold fringe ever since i saw this picture. the combination of the umbrellas and the fringe about killed us.


down the table we created faux place settings (the food was still buffet style, but we put a charger, glass, and napkin down). bobette got those gold chargers from a future wedding client, it will be so handy to have 200 of those babies at all times! we used bobette's mixed stemware, somehow she had enough. we got those amazing gold napkins on clearance at west elm, but we only  had twelve so we mixed in white napkins too. on top are coasters from home goods. bobette crafted those awesome arrows using clay and everything (she got the tutorial here).

i made all of the magnolia leaf garlands the days leading up to the shower. they actually were not that hard. i picked the leaves from the trees in our neighborhood (it went fastest when i pulled down whole branches). i wiped the leaves with a wet paper towel to shine them up (and get any bird poop off). then i used floral wire and wrapped it around the stem about three time per leaf. i put the leaves about an inch apart on the wire and changed sides every one or two leaves to make it even. my mom kept telling me how long it would take and that i would never do it. between these garlands and the arrows we really did diy the crap out of this shower.


we also tied magnolia leaves to the backs of the chairs with hot pink ribbons. it gave our not-so-cute rentals the bit of love they needed!


we had to do something with our planter boxes leftover from my wedding. we filled those tall vases with branches from our blossoming tree, and then put fresh rosemary from our plants in the rest of the boxes. want to know the biggest secret to cutting costs at parties? cut all of your flowers and greenery from your backyard (or neighborhood). the only flowers we bought were the little rose bushes on the tables (1 per table at 1.99 each), and the snapdragons for the entry (seen below). we filled little bud vases with some little purple flowers from the backyard and added those in down the tables and inside. but how much do you love the blossoms? they are already almost dead and they may have taken my heart with them.


somehow our chevron painted floor that was supposed to wash away with the rain has held up for two years and still manages to help us make our events look amazing. 


for our entry, bobette continued her arrow theme with those cute ones on the door. we put out an 's' for tressa's future last name (stevens). i love those cabbages and ranunculus.


just inside the door my mom made more arrow garland and gold dot garland (from a package of coasters). we put out some pictures of tress and her fiance (see the shoot here), the snapdragons and my favorite gold lamp. (don't mind the cord, it drives us crazy too).


above the fireplace bobette added more arrows to her sunburst mirror. i'm going to steal those vases soon.


i had a vision for the brunch that i think we really brought to life. i really wanted it to look like a cute dessert bar, but out of brunch foods. the centerpiece was a naked poppyseed cake topped with raspberries. we had a donut cake with the cutest pink sprinkle donuts ever, a sugar donut stacks (these is no secret to doing these, just find the cutest donuts you can and stack'em up! we found it was easier to use smaller dishes and make the stacks higher). we had lots of people help with the food (thank you!). we had adorable mini parfaits, individual bread puddings (recipe here), scones, orange rolls, potatoes, mini quiches, and pork tenderloin sandwiches (recipe to come!). the food was to die for!


we used our black and white table cloth on the table, and more gold fringe above. we made a little canopy out of crepe paper- it actually made the coolest effect, like being in an outdoor cabana. we stuck to all white serving dishes and used our little chalkboard signs to tell what was what. in the center we used more paper arrow garlands.


be sure to check back next week to see the brilliant group gift!