a berry fun time.

As promised, here's another installment in party planning from little ol' me...
this time for a bridal shower one of my best friends from home, {eb}!
{I was beyond honored to be a bridesmaid in her beautiful June 2010 wedding!}

bride-to-be {eb} with her bouquet of peonies!

Her bachelorette was in Chicago this past May--about 1000 miles from my home in Providence. Since I love to party plan, I volunteered my services to the maid of honor, {hp}, also one of my best friends from home...

moh extraordinaire {hp} + {av}
I stuffed my suitcase to the literal BRIM with goodies...not knowing exactly what the space looked like, I just took a little inspiration from the bride-to-be's new last name, Berry. I went with vintage heart theme {appropriate yet somewhat cliche, I know}. 
Everything but the flowers had to fit in my suitcase, 
so this is what came out of my magic bag!

A banner...
photo from {ek}
Though this wasn't the ideal wall on which to hang it, I made this banner using black cardstock {by first drawing the letter in pencil} and then cutting it...pretty simple! I was hoping for one big blank wall, but it contained a HUGE piece of art...so it was a no-go. sad face. If you can't read it, it says: "we <3 erika berry much"

As a sidenote, I used twine as the base for my banner and I found the mini-laundry clips at Michael's for next to nothing--they're great to reuse in the future too!

The table + chairs...
photo from {hp}

I brought the coke bottle {vases} from Rhode Island, which coincidentally were from the 2010 Final Four...featuring the Butler Bulldogs {the alma mater of more than half the guests!}. Though I wanted vintage bottles, I didn't want to worry about them breaking in flight or having to lug them back. Instead, I just distributed these among the bride + bridesmaids.

We found the peonies {with flecks of red} and the hypernicum {aka berry-looking flowers} at the Whole Foods on our walk to the restaurant. We thought about paying someone to do the flowers, but with a few summers in a floral shop under my belt, I figured I could save a few pennies by doing them at the restaurant...with scissors from my magic bag.

I used the twine to put one of those funny wooden hearts 
{which cost all of 50 cents a piece at Michael's!} on each chair. 
Those magic bag scissors definitely came in handy again!

The placecards...
photo from {ek}
I made all the placecards in Rhode Island, using shipping tags I found at Staples.

hipstamatic print by {av}

I used a small set of alphabet stamps that I found at Michael's {in the $12 range, but good for many future projects!} to create each placecard. I then used a heart hole punch I had around the apartment to add an extra ounce of flair. 

photo by {av}
Before finding the hypernicum berries, I was content to have just the heart cookie cutter {found via Oriental Trading Company...an inexpensive option since it was more for looks than utility} and the shipping tag...but the berries were like the cherry on top ;) I added the two red dots with a pen to tie the red in from the hearts elsewhere in the room.

photo from {hp}
{Here's the whole gang enjoying {eb}'s bridal brunch at La Madia in Chicago...
you should have seen {hp} and I running around the hour before they all arrived. 
We made it happen, that's for sure ;) With a week or so lead time,
I was really happy with how it all turned out!}

 All in all, the magic suitcase went back to Rhode Island a little lighter, 
but my heart was definitely much fuller! 
There's nothing I love more than making the people I love smile.

What did you think of my first attempt?! Have you ever helped to plan a more 
formal girls' get-together like this? What did you do to make it special?

Apologies again for my lack of blog chatter...work, class, and life have been getting in the way! Don't worry...I'll be back at it soon! As always, thank you so much for your blog love. You know how to make a girl feel wanted ;)

Can't wait to hear your thoughts! 
Have a great Wednesday! xoxo {av}

57 comments:

  1. I love how you used the shipping tags! Great idea!

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  2. I just tried to post and my computer froze, so you might get two comments from me. The hearts are so cute! You had wonderful ideas that I just love!

    XOXO,
    Hannah

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  3. My goodness, it all looks so perfect. You sure can work some magic with just a few things. Kind of like the McGuvyer of the wedding world:)

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  4. hey!! thanks for your sweet comment!!
    great post!:)
    love your blog so much!

    xx

    fashionbit

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  5. I think you are currently in the wrong profession, my dear! Love all the details!

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  6. How fun! I love the table setting! You are so creative!!

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  7. everything is perfect!! so pretty!

    i was pretty much the first of my friends to get married but i CANNOT WAIT to plan my friends bridal showers. ugh if only one of them were engaged. haha!

    stop by and enter the Boots skincare giveaway: http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

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  8. oh my gosh so pretty! LOVE the place cards :D

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  9. Wow... those shipping labels are such a great idea!... I would have never though of that! And the heart punches are the perfect finishing touch :) Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Pretty sure I am going to hire you whenever my big day comes around ;) LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! You are so talented friend! Oh and loving the new blog look. Sorry if I am a few days behind on noticing this!

    xoxo

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  11. Love it my dear- you did such an amazing job and how lucky is your friend to have a girl like you on her team? Fabulous. And ps, love love the new look over here!! xo

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  12. That banner is totally adorable! I love it. And the tiny clothespins? Even cuter!

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  13. SO CUTE! i love everything, especially the place cards. you made something that is typically unattractive look so cute!!

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  14. You are amazing!!! I love your new header! I've probably told you that already a million times!!! Amazing shower!!!

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  15. I am saving all of these pictures - GREAT ideas!! You are so crafty. And by the way, love the new header!
    PS - I picked up a copy of Southern Living Weddings last week :)

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  16. What a great idea! Everything looked great! :)

    And I am loving your new header! xoxo

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  17. It all looks fantastic, but I especially love the place cards and the coke bottles! I'm only hoping I can do half as well one day (hopefully, the first will be my sister, so I can have a test trial during which she can't fire me if I mess up).

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  18. What cute ideas! I love the shipping tags for the placecards! Can't believe you packed ALL this in your bag! :)

    ~Lauren
    tickledonline.blogspot.com

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  19. omg! av! so so sweet, i love all of the little details. and those heart cookie cutters are just adorable. i wish we would have known eachother when you were in chicago! i would have taken you out to lunch or something :) glad the bachelorette party went well tho, it looks so sweet. where is her wedding?
    xoxo jcd

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  20. Are you sure this was your first time planning a girl's get together? You sure did your homework, everything looks so detailed and fabulous.

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  21. That is so cute! I was the first of my girlfriends to get married, so I haven't had much opportunity to organize cute get-togethers like yours but with posts like this, I will have lots of great ideas when I do :)

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  22. Wow, you did an amazing job! I especially love the placecards- they are so beautiful! :)


    star-crossed smile

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  23. You've got some serious talent! What a lucky friend!!

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  24. I love those name tags! Pretty sure I'm going to steal that idea for either my wedding this spring or my friend's pre-wedding parties this summer. Lovely!

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  25. seriously SO cute!! i love this it's all DIY and afforable! i'm planning a bridal shower this summer and this is such great inspiration!

    btw, the new header is fab! did you do it yourself??

    xo.ashley

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  26. Oh I love this! Such great ideas! I love her bouquet of peonies also!

    Hugs xoxo

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  27. awww what a fun party!! im planning a bachelorette party and bridal shower very soon, so thanks for the ideas!!

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  28. absolutely stunning decorations. I love how the rustic home-feel of them clash with the elegence of the restaurant. The perfect mix of opposites.

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  29. You did such a lovely job putting this all together! Love all of the little details here and there. Especially love the banner. Aren't parties the best? xoxo

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  30. You did such a beautiful job! The details look perfect. And I love you dress. :)

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  31. Those place cards are awesome! I love your ideas...so much so that I might have to steal them. Stealing is the highest form of flattery right? Or is that imitation? haha.

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  32. {av}, first of all, i love the flowers in the first picture- simple, but the effect is great!
    second, i love the dress you are wearing! so cute!
    and lastly (but definitely not least), i think you did an amazing job decorating! really.. the ideas are so simple, but everything ties in so well. i love everything, definitely my style :)!
    lots of love!

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  33. the placecards are perfect!! everything looks lovely :)

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  34. av you did an amazing job and I am so proud of you! At first when I read Chicago, I got all upset because you didn't tell me you were coming here and I wanted to see you. But then I read that this was from last May hehe my bad :) Love the shipping tags and little hearts on the backs of the chairs!! Happy Wednesday doll xoxo

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  35. LOVE this cute idea! I can't wait to start planning fun bach parties!

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  36. What a gorgeous party! Those heart cookie cutters are absolutely divine!

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  37. Your decorating ideas are so creative!! Everything looks lovely- I love that arrangement of the heart cookie-cutter with the little berry. Such a pretty touch!

    *Claudia* x
    Molto ❤ Fashion

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  38. Everything looks fantastic! Such a cute idea.

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  39. YOU are a master of details. LOVE this post.

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  40. you could plan my next party, fo sho. damn girl. you gots skillz.

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  41. I love it! You made it all sound so simple!

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  42. Cute dress! Where did ya get it?

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  43. You did a great job! Very well put together. And hypericum berries are some of my favorites! Peonies are awesome too!
    I'm impressed :D

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  44. Shipping Tags are the best idea ever!! So glad you shared it with us ;-) Thank you! XOXO

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  45. I'm working on planning a baby shower right now! What great inspiration!

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  46. Wow. Those place cards are so great! They don't look handmade.. they look professional (:

    Very well done, lady. Very well done :D

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  47. I love all the decorations for the party!! I am going to be helping to plan a bachelorette party this summer and this gives me some great inspiration!

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  48. This looks great :) The place cards are my fave!

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  49. ha! i know what it's like to stuff your suitcase to the brim with goodies.....story of my life.

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  50. I looooove this!! I'm planning one now and this gave me some great ideas - thanks AV!

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  51. Wow!!! You are so incredibly creative! This all looks so sweet and beautiful! Big props to you! :)

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  52. that came out adorable! like WOW you are so gifted!

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  53. It looked great! I love the hearts on the back of the chairs :-)

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  54. Very cute! I love how you were able to be so involved from afar. Most of my family and friends live far away and I sometimes feel left out of the party preparations. Thanks for showing that it can be done!

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