Wrapped in Love: 5 Unique Wedding Shower Gifts

courtesy of clker.com

courtesy of clker.com

First and foremost, before I being the list of MK’s top picks for unique and fabulous wedding shower gifts, I need to begin with a disclaimer… because like 99.9% of all wedding details, the shower gift should be all about

the bride!!!

… and groom.

Haha!

So, my disclaimer is this:

Before you even consider your shower gift, consider the bride, her groom, their taste and your relationship with each. Sure, everyone wants to give a gift that stands out… just don’t be the girl who gives one that would cause them to walk out after :)

For example, if you’re dealing with an infamously picky bride who you don’t know as well as others? Stick to the registry. I repeat, Stick.To.The.Registry :)

But if you’re attending a shower of a family member or friend who you know, love and understand? Don’t be afraid to have a little fun and buy something brilliant! Below are five such examples of gifts that may not be registered for, but just may be the one thing she’ll love the most!

1 | Forget the Registry, Pamper the Bride. While this might not seem like the most couple-centric gift in the world, trust&believe, it’s one that they’ll both benefit from! Planning a wedding can be stressful; so, by giving the bride a gift of pampering herself with a spa, you’ll not only help make her feel better… but her beau-to-be, as well. I mean, hello??? Who doesn’t like a happy, healthy lady ;)

courtesy of swizzyland.wordpress.com

courtesy of swizzyland.wordpress.com

2 | Personalized Glassware. This is one I can personally vouch for! Every bridal shower registry I’ve ever seen always has some sort of wine, mug, whiskey, champagne flute glassware on it… So, it’s really amazing when you show up with something of equivalent quality personalized just for the soon-to-be newlyweds! Not only is it unique and sentimental, but it’ll be something they’ll have and use for years!

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

To view a wide variety of affordable and engraved glassware, check out our selection of personalized barware :)

3 | Add a Personal Fave to a Registry Staple. If you’re more of a traditionalist and live or die by the registry, no worries! This list is still for you! You don’t have to stray from the registry to still give the bride and groom something unique! For example, if you get them wine glasses, accompany it with your favorite bottle. Or perhaps you’ll purchase a crockpot; well, then why not start a custom crockpot recipe book? Purchasing a set of bowls? Perf! What could be greater than filling them with supplies for delicious ice cream sundaes?? Um, nothing! Haha!

courtesy of bostonmagazine.com

courtesy of bostonmagazine.com

4 | Date Night Money. Okay, so I realize money walks / money talks doesn’t seem like that unique of an idea, but it is if you center it around the notion it’s to be used for a pre-wedding date night :) All too often, couples become consumed by all the planning, they forget the courting. So, give them a reminder by providing them with some spending money specifically for an ooh la la evening out. If you worry money is too generic, specify the deal by catering to their tastes: movie passes and a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, tickets to the theater or their fave sporting event, an overnight stay in a fancy hotel, etc.

courtesy of brimcdanielblog.com

courtesy of brimcdanielblog.com

5| Customized Honeymoon Things. Depending on your closeness with the couple, personalizing their honeymoon stuff can be super fun. I’ve seen everything from custom luggage tags to Swarovski bedazzled bikini bottoms, featuring the Mrs. {fill in new last name here}. Plus, you only get to be newlyweds for so long; so, why not let them revel in all the Mr. & Mrs. accessories while they can?

courtesy of aliexpress.com

courtesy of aliexpress.com

Shower Power: 4 Fabulously Fun Decoration Ideas

courtesy of noimpactbride.com

courtesy of noimpactbride.com

Ladies and well, ladies ;)… start your DIY engines and rev into some of today’s most fun wedding shower decoration ideas! (& yes, I’m totally talking in exclamation point, because I want y’all to be just as hype as me about some of these ahhh(to the)mazing decorating ideas!

Now, we all know, it part of the obligatory duties for a bride-to-be to have a shower. Whether its thrown by a favorite cousin, a fancy bridesmaid, a mom (be it by relation or soon to be marriage) or otherwise, it’s always fun to dress – in the case of a shower, your space! – to impress!

OBVS, depending on where the shower is thrown, it’s key to keep the room – be it someone’s home or some place rented – in the forefront of consideration for decorating. That disclaimer aside, let’s look at these 5 Decorating Dreams below :)

1 | It’s all about air… Balloons, that it! So, I recently attended a bridal shower and absolutely fell in la-Louvre with their OVERfilled, OVERabundant use of balloons. It was fabulous incarnate. Legit, the place was floor to ceiling balloons, and it looked all kinds of incredible! But not only did they achieve an awesome look, but they were more than happy brag about the cost! Balloons are Peep-styled cheap, ladies; so, pending a rental fee on a helium tank… you can get some serious bang for your buck with these festive floaters :)

collage courtesy of mph.ie

collage courtesy of mph.ie

2 | Monochromatic Marvel. Pick a color… any color… and then??? Go absolutely NUTS with it! Like really go nuts with it! And don’t just use one shade of it — use all of them, haha! It really creates for a dramatic look :) Now, while it’s best to pick one of the bride-to-be’s wedding colors, but again, if the space doesn’t allot for any kind of coordination, it’s always safe and easy to go neutral and still make a place pop :) Thinks crisp whites, creamy linens, sparkling silvers and  tawny taupes. Are you picturing it? Good, now picture it everywhere and fall in love!

collage courtesy of theweddingspecialists.net

collage courtesy of theweddingspecialists.net

OR…

collage courtesy of ashleyholmgren.blogspot.com

collage courtesy of ashleyholmgren.blogspot.com

3 | Have an Issue? Here’s a Tissue. (& lots of it!!) Just like the balloons above, tissue paper is a super cheap way to be a decorating diva! If you’re a lady who loves to DIY, there’s no better decorating companion than this thinly sliced paper! From poms and flowers to table runners and ceiling danglers, tissue paper is fun, easy and low cost way to make ‘em go “Ooh lala!”

collage courtesy of thai.alibaba.com

collage courtesy of thai.alibaba.com

4 | Be a Theme Queen. Is the bride really into 1920′s glam? Or mayhaps superheroes are her thing? Does she gaga for Lady Gaga? Absolutely ape over all things royal? If your lady in waiting is really into something – be it an era, a book, a way of life, etc. – give her a really memorable shower and decorate it around her interest. Not only will this narrow down your options, it’ll create a whole lot of fun in the process too!

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

collage courtesy of burnettsboards.com

 

7 Unique Bridal Shower Ideas She’ll Love

courtesy of woodlandsbride.com

courtesy of woodlandsbride.com

Alright, ladies, everyone knows being a bridesmaid isn’t cheap. Being that I’ve been one a schmilly times over (#truestory); at the very least, find comfort in knowing you’re in good company ;)

But alas, I digress, because even if you’re a real life 27 dresses like this fine piece of real estate or a bridal party rookie, throwing an awesomesauce shower for your bride-to-be is simply one of the many responsibilities of the ‘maids. After all, <fingers crossed> she’s only gonna get to do this once; so, as amazeballs bridesmaids, we wanna make sure it counts.

Mae West put it best, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

Substitute “live” with “marry,” and I believe you have all the reason you need to make sure her shower is nothing short of spectacular! Below are 7 Ideas to help inspire just that :)

1 | Dress in Theme. There are very few times in one’s life when it is socially acceptable to wear white head to toe, and being a bride, you own that right. So, in the case of the shower, let the bride bedazzle everyone in a hot-to-trot white dress; while the rest of you whip out your best little black dress. I mean, hello?? Win / Win! Bride in white and everyone else rockin’ out LBD style!

courtesy of fabulousarizona.com

courtesy of fabulousarizona.com

2 | Bling It Out w/ Ring Pops. Everyone knows the baby shower clothespin game (say “baby” and give up the pin), but in the case of the wedding shower, swap “baby” for “bride” and give out Ring Pops instead! It’s a tasty twist to a traditional engagement and will keep your guests engaged the entire time!

courtesy of chrismoncusphoto.com

courtesy of chrismoncusphoto.com

3 | Ensure the Use of NEW Utensils. Consider your wedding registry; if you haven’t ever had one, consider what you’ve bought in the past… Pots, Pans and Blenders, oh my! That’s right. So much kitchen gear! So, why not ensure she’ll get good use of them by having guests RSVP with their favorite recipes?! Then, you can compile them in a special keepsake cookbook for the bride-to-be to take with her when she goes!

courtesy of muchmorethanthebirds.blogspot.com

courtesy of muchmorethanthebirds.blogspot.com

4 | Mmm Mmm Mimosas. Whether you’re throwing an early morning brunch crunch or late afternoon shindig, consider setting up a mimosa bar for guests to enjoy! Not only will the drinks look beautiful and taste yummy, but they will also help keep the guests loose and in good conversation. It’s all about mixing, mingling and making friends, people!

courtesy of kojo-designs.com

courtesy of kojo-designs.com

5 | Creative Cakes FTW. And speaking of things looking beautiful and tasting yummy, don’t be afraid to have fun with the dessert! Whether you DIY it yourself and put it on order for someone else, coming up with a super tasty treat that double as decor, is always a crowd pleaser!

courtesy of thepartydress.net

courtesy of thepartydress.net

6 | Involve the Groom. Alright, so everyone KNOWS it’s the bride’s day ;), but she wouldn’t have her day, if it weren’t for the man waiting at the end of the aisle; so, why not involve him in the shower? (Dudes, don’t worry, I’m not asking you to come! Haha!) But you could do a newlywed game show inspired shower game. Ask the groom questions about their relationship beforehand and see how many his lady-in-waiting can answer! It’s also a great way for people who maybe don’t know the couple that well to get to know them :)

courtesy of lisahadleystudios.wordpress.com

courtesy of lisahadleystudios.wordpress.com

7 | Don’t Forget to Bow the Rehearsal Bouquet. As the bride opens her ribbon covered gifts, don’t forget to have one of the ‘maids use a paper, plastic or whatever plate is available (!!!) to gather them altogether and create a bouquet that she’ll be able to use at the rehearsal. *Also, don’t forget that for every ribbon she breaks = one future child! This is especially fun for the grandmas-to-be :)

courtesy of whitmeyerphotography.blogspot.com

courtesy of whitmeyerphotography.blogspot.com

Throwing a Bridal Shower for the 21st Century Bride

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Let’s face it: getting married today is not like is was 50 years ago – heck, 30 years ago if we’re being realistic – and 10, if we’re completely honest :)  Brides and weddings today are no longer the cookie cutter ceremonies of our grandparent’s era – no sir!  In fact, they are very far from it.

Recently, I had the extreme fortune of being a part of such a discussion with my grandma, good ‘ole Dottie :)  Now, you see, Dottie, is from a very, very old school of thought.  Turning 87 this year, her and my grandfather have been married for 64 years!  And that, my friends, is nothing to shake a stick at!

Anyhoot, in lieu of my baby brother getting married this weekend, there has been nothing but wedding around the family water coolers, and as Jamie – the future bride-to-be – was discussing some of the final details of seating chart drama, Gramma Dottie couldn’t help but let out a large, low, long winded whistle, commenting, “Man, this sure ain’t like it used to be.  We served cold cuts at our reception, and there wasn’t all this fiddle about who could sit with whom or who was or wasn’t speaking to, for or against the other… eesh.”  Another long whistle and she was gone.  Haha!

This got me thinking about how much really has changed and how dissimilar things really are… how dynamic and different each couple’s situation is.  Today’s bride, not only comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and styles, but she also comes from a completely different background, school of thought and altogether situation in general.  Couples today aren’t just marrying each other, pending their age, race and religion match.  No way.  No how.  More and more couples today – in fact – are marrying who they want, how they want and when they want.

Sometimes, (Gramma, close your ears) sometimes, couples even choose to not get married at all!  Sometimes, they just live together with no deadline or direction on making it official  And when (or if) they do choose to make it official, for some, it might not be the first time they did.  For some, it might be the second or third  or fourth time around!  I think you get my point…

Marriages today are extremely unique – each providing a different situation to the next, and one area I’ve really seen this being broadcasted is in the wedding showers!  Recently, I’ve attended several of these “unique circumstances” showers, and it was very interesting the take some took.  Whether it was the couple’s second marriage or they’d already been living together or because they were getting married later in life and already had everything they needed, each shower was structured in the same uinique way as the couple, and it was very fun to be a part of!  Below are some examples:

  1. Let’s Hear it for a Holiday Theme.  I went to one shower that was holiday themed.  The couple had been living together for several years and had pretty much already established all the typical shower stuff  (ie. plates, appliances, kitchen utensils, towels, etc.).  So, they thought it would be fun to have a shower where each guest bring some sort of holiday decor — be it for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day etc.  That way, when they were decorating for all the most festive times of the year, they’d have all the ones they loved with them as well :)
  2. Looking to Build on Love.  For another shower, the bride and groom had both previously been married with children but had been living separately.  After months of searching, they finally found a home that would accomodate both families post nuptials – an old, super duper, fixer upper.  While neither one was keen on having a shower – as they both still had gifts from the first time around – their families insisted.  Hence, the Live off Lowe’s gift card shower was born!  Rather than going out and spending money on new place settings, the couple received money to go towards fixing up their new home.  Absolutely loved this!
  3. Not Big Enough for a Shower, just a Little Sprinkle instead.  (This is mayhaps my favorite!)  In this case, neither the bride or groom had been married before, but they were both in their forties, well established in their careers and home appliances.  Therefore, the couple’s friends chose to give them both a “Sprinkle” where they rented out a room at their favorite restaurant – the one where they went on their first date – and had guests bring well wishes, favorite stories or marital advice for the soon to be newlyweds.  It was sosososooo cute, and the couple really loved it!
  4. Wine  for the Win!  Okay, this was my favorite :)  Haha!  In this case, the futire Mr. and Mrs. were huge wine connoisseurs and collectors.  So, rather than have a typical shower, they threw a party for friends and family and simply asked that each bring their favorite bottle of wine to help fill their cellar with love, support and above all, the deliciousness of fermented grapes :)

So, you see, no matter what the situation, just find the one that’s right for you, and if it hasn’t already been invented, be the trailblazer and make a new one!  Who knows, you might just end up being a trendsetter too :)

 

Bridal Shower Alternative: Give the Couple a Proper Toasting

courtesy of I Love To Laugh! via facebook.com

Recently, a friend of mine (holler for a dollar, Candice!) had her “bridal shower” here in town, and I couldn’t help but get a kick out of the theme.  Thrown by her mom and aunt, they decided to do a “Wine & Whiskey: Stock the Bar” themed celebration, and I gotta admit… I thoroughly enjoyed it :)

Instead of bringing your typical BB&B / Target / Crate & Barrel / fill-in-the-blank-of-your-fave-registry gift, friends and family were requested to bring their favorite bottle of booze (be it beer, wine or otherwise) and / or their favorite barware accessory to stock the couple’s latest home remodel: their new bar!  Now, before anyone starts calling the authorities for potential abuse, I think it’s important for me to state their case :)

Candice is everything but traditional.  Since moving to Chicago six years ago with her long term beau, they’ve really already built a life together.  Candice is the kind of girl, if she wants a gravy boat – for whatever reason one would want a gravy boat – she’ll buy it.  If she wants to drop everything and take a trip to the Canary Islands next week??  Well then, by golly, she’ll book her plane ticket that day at lunch.

She really is one of a kind, and after already living together for such a significant time anyway, they really did have mostly everything they needed to make their house a home, which generally includes all the appliances, dishware, kitchen accessories, towels etc. that would normally be put on a registry.  Therefore, her mom came up with the brilliant bar themed idea to complement their newest renovation, as well as their love for entertaining!

I mean, how can you not love that??  After attending such a celebration and seeing all the fun, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the fabulousness of such an event… but what’s even more amazing is the practicality of it all too!  Candice and Jared (or her gentleman caller, as C refers to him, haha!) love to entertain!  With the majority of both their families living in Indiana and them posting up shop in the Windy City, they highly encourage their “open door” policy and vow to never turn away a wearisome traveler or friend from their welcoming embrace.  Hence, the theme becomes even more amazing!

Heck, even for the less open / more closed door couples, I still stand by this being a good idea!  While I may have hung up my party hat after an incredible four year stint at IU, there are still the throw back occasions that cause for toasting.  And while I’m country born and bred and will always have a taste for brew-ha-ha, it’d be nice to be able to offer something for the classier pallets that come my way when need be… especially without spending half the grocery budget to do so!  Haha, booze is expensive!

In the end, it’s OBVS up to every individual couple on what will work best for them, but this was one I knew I had to share!

Cheers to C and Jared and many. MANY years of happy toasts!

C+J (courtesy of Candice)

‘Sprinkle’ Your Bride with Love: Bridal Shower Alternatives

courtesy of news.asiantown.net

This day in age, there are all types of brides, and often times, many of those brides are second chance brides.  No matter what pomp or circumstance lead to it, there are several reasons why a first marriage maybe didn’t work out as planned, but more importantly than the reason why it didn’t is the fact that that these ladies continue to find enough faith to give it another try.  It’s these brides that I especially love… the ones who never stop believing in ‘happily ever after.’

Recently, a family friend (holler Jennifer!) got married to the man of her dreams, and even though it was her second husband, it was his first for everything; so, the sisters of said dream man wanted to spare no expense.  The dream man and Jennifer, however, had other plans in mind.  Being that they were both older and already living together AND that she already had the big, whoo-whoo celebration before, neither one felt the need to have all the hoopla a wedding can often bring.

One of the first “hoopla” items to go was the shower.  Because they already had several of your typical shower gift items under lock ‘n’ key, they didn’t find it necessary to register for a whole bunch of things they already had.  Plus, they were both already well established and struggled to combine what was already there in the first place…  But the sisters persisted and decided that if a shower was out of the question, then they wanted to throw a ‘Sprinkle’ for Jennifer instead. 

First of all, the name alone… Addddooorrrraaabbbllle… But the idea behind it???  Even cuter!  Instead of having Jennifer register at a bunch of places for gifts they didn’t need, they simply took her out to dinner at her favorite spot and showered her with well wishes, advice and sentimental gifts.  Ummm, helllooo?  Love!

And you wouldn’t even have to go out to dinner necessarily either.  You could even plan a luncheon or girls night in.  Really, the choice would be up to you!

It’s also a great idea for the non-traditional bride… or even the non-traditional groom to use.  Because Sprinkles are intended to be less formal, many couples may choose to make it a couple’s event.  This way, there’s no obligation for guests to get traditional gifts, but rather, still spend an afternoon or evening celebrating your love!  It would also work famously for older brides and grooms already living with each other, who don’t feel the need to register for new China or spatulas or couples looking to downsize what they already have.   The possibilities are literally limitless!