Like any good girl from West Virginia, I love a bridal shower. From mimosas to the cheesy AF games, I live for it. Josh and I chose the non-traditional route by eloping in Paris, just the two of us, so I wasn’t sure how to incorporate this beloved event into the months leading up to our trip to Paris. However, my amazing mamma and so many others helped me put together a Parisian bridal shower brunch that would bring a little piece of the City of Lights to Charleston and allow us to celebrate our wedding with the wonderful women in our lives.
Setting the Mood
Deciding upon a theme for my shower was one of the easiest parts of the planning process. Since we were eloping by ourselves, I wanted to share in our love of French culture with my shower guests. We got the ball rolling by picking July 14th, Bastille Day, as the day for the festivities and moved on to selecting a venue. I wanted to capture an elegant, timeless, and slightly whimsical space – à la Ladurée. Unfortunately, their closest location is over five hours away, so thankfully we have a gorgeous space with The Woman’s Club of Charleston, in my hometown
To give The Woman’s Club the added decor that Marie Antoinette herself would approve of, I spent a lot of time pinning on Pinterest to determine what I wanted to DIY and what should be left up to the professionals. The majority of the paper goods were absolutely best suited for someone with a creative eye. Marisa Made’s Marisa Jackson is an incredible artist who went above and beyond for our paper pieces. She is an amazing human too and I love to support local people who give back. Marisa heard my vision and ran with it – creating perfectly themed invitations, a welcome sign, favor tags, and a cheeky champagne print that now hangs in our home above our bar cart.
Likewise, after researching the cost of making your own flower wall versus renting, I am so thankful I found Brittany Anne’s Rentals for the gorgeous backdrop she provided for the seating area. Not only was it much more affordable [and less time consuming] than making it myself, her team delivers, assembles, and takes down the flower wall for your event. They even helped attached the Je T’aime sign I had made through Gatsby Monograms on Etsy!
The rest of the seating area and decor came together through lots of group messages and elbow grease. One of my mom’s closest friends helped so much with the prep work and day-of-coordination for the shower and I am forever grateful for the village of people that come to help you out in Appalachia when you have major life events happen! Anyway, she helped to secure, paint, and prep the beautiful furniture featured in the seating area at my shower and I adored how they turned out! To finish off the Parisian bridal shower feel, I knew I wanted lots of fresh flowers. I t enlisted the help of our elopement planner, Clara of Jet Wed Co, and a few friends to help put together twelve centerpieces and the flowers on the cake, bar cart, and food tables. It was daunting, and definitely not for the faint of heart, but I love flower arranging and think they turned out beautifully for a DIY project! Also, even the pedestal vase holding the arrangements were made by hand, using this tutorial. You can leave the vases clear glass, or spray paint them gold like I did– so luxe looking for pennies!
Finally, If I could suggest one thing for event planning, showers, et cetera, it would be to invest in real glassware and linens. They make such an impact on the overall look of your event, are more eco-friendly, and, like in my case, are often cheaper than purchasing plastic pieces. If you are local to Charleston, I recommend Food Among the Flowers/The Rental Party for rental needs!
Let Them Eat Cake
Having your shower on Sunday in the early afternoon can only mean one thing: you are going to serve some type of brunch. We kept it light, knowing that guests would be with us between lunch and dinner, but wanted to keep the bites a plenty and the champagne flowing. A light brunch is one of the easiest meals to prepare yourself and not have to worry about bringing in a caterer. The highlight of the buffet had to be the charcuterie and cheese section – lovingly assembled by one of my dear sorority sisters who referred to this task as the Super Bowl of cheese boards.
In addition to crudités, quiche, locally made croissants, and a delicious salade niçoise, you cannot have a Parisian bridal shower without laying on the sweet stuff. From a plethora of fresh fruit and nutella to macaron favors and towers from Ma-ka-rohn and a simple, yet stunning strawberry champagne cake, my shower contained more sugar than a corner pâtisserie in the heart of the Marais district. However, the custom cookie tray had everyone in awe. Another sorority sister’s mother is the queen of cookies and if you are lucky enough be graced with her talent, you get gorgeous edible art like this.
We finished off the [and started] the afternoon with lots of bubbly and a mimosa bar – even utilizing the champagne glasses as seating chart for guests.
Games, Gifts, & More
As mentioned above, this girl absolutely kills at shower games. I can rack up some bath & body gift baskets faster than you can say “bride” and lose your clothespin to me. However, we all know those tried and true games so we tried to mix it up with three unique games. First, guests were asked to collect as many gold miniature Eiffel Towers as they could find – with the most in hand by the time we opened gifts winning a prize. Second, we updated the traditional “What’s in your purse game?” to “What’s on your phone?” This was so much fun with a room full of pageant, sorority, and blogger girls all counting their editing apps and pictures of their dogs. Finally, Josh joined us toward the end of the shower to open gifts and play one last game. My dear friend Katie led Josh and I through a personalized version of the “Soon-to-be Newly Wed” game and it was hilarious and allowed Josh to be apart of the shower fun too – although he lost major brownie points for not correctly guessing my favorite cocktail of choice. Guests were able to participate by, not only watching Josh and I see who knew the other best, but also had the list of questions before us and whoever most closely guessed how many of the fifteen we would match answers won a prize.
For the prizes, we kept it simple and universally loved with one of my favorite candles which I’ve linked below and a gift card to a local coffee shop, wrapped in adorable boxes from Target. It was nice to give a little something back in the form of favors and prizes to our friends and family who came and showered us with gifts for starting our new journey together. We were just in awe of how thoughtful and generous everyone was and we just about checked everything off our registry list, which I’ve linked some our favorite things from our registries below, and some surprises like the vintage Hermès scarf I received!
Hopefully that concludes everything anyone could ever want to know about my Parisian bridal shower and maybe provides a little inspiration for planning your own event! You can also check out more photos from this day on my Instagram under the highlights tab. Let me know if you have any questions or if you try out any of the tips in this post in the comments below!
P.S. – For even more photos and insight, check out my bridal shower featured on Jet Wed Co.