"Kiss the Miss Goodbye" was the theme of my shower. I wanted everything to be pink, red, kiss details, flirty, girly & fun! Impressions by Esther made stunning arrangements, Sound By Design provided a beautiful "LOVE" marquee sign, we created an incredible balloon arch over the buffet station & so much more! The day was perfection & I couldn't have asked for more.
Since we chose to have one shower instead of multiple smaller ones we needed a location large enough to host about 50 guests with enough space for guests to spread out & enjoy. For this reason we chose Vista MKE in the heart of Milwaukee. Their third floor rooftop space was the perfect setting on this gorgeous August day.
I opted to have just one large shower with all the women in my life who have shaped, encouraged & inspired Ray & I along the way. My mom offered to host which was such an incredible blessing & my cousins, Diane & Maria, offered to help me organize and plan everything. I truly could not have done it without these three by my side!
For the Bride: White of course! Wear something that makes you feel beautiful, confident, comfortable & truly like a bride.Comfortable shoes are a must and some fun accessories are always a great addition.
For the Bridal Party:
I asked all of my bridesmaids to wear any pink or red sundresses. Casual, cute & it helped guests to know who my bridesmaids were.
The Food & Drinks
For our shower I really wanted everything to be mix & mingle style so that guests could spend quality time with one another & enjoy one of the last beautiful days of summer. For this reason we had a appetizer style buffet paired with a candy & dessert bar instead of a formal luncheon. All of the delicious food was provided through our venue, Vista MKE, who did a fantastic job not only being sure the food was incredible but also a safe food handling environment with servers on site plating the food. Their team was absolutly wonderful! The dessert bar was a combination of donuts, red & pink candies and a STUNNING cake by The Cake Lady (who is also creating our wedding cake).
As for cocktails, my bridesmaids helped me to create a custom bar menu filled with all pink, red & white cocktails which included my personal favorite "The Cranberry Kiss" (AKA a Moscow Mule with a Splash of Cranberry). We also had custom drink pouches made by The Bach Boutique which everyone raved about! They were so fun for guests & an awesome way to tie the theme into the cocktails. Mine said "Future Mrs. Riordan" while all the guests pouches said "Miss to Mrs" with a little kiss on there. So many of the guests even took their pouches home after the party. 10/10 I would recommend these for a shower, bachelorette weekend or even just a fun girls night!
The Guest Book
For our guest book my cousin created a custom sign for us that said "Kiss The Miss Goodbye", added lip stickers & had guests sign little notes on it. Now post shower, it hangs above my desk as a reminder of all the strong & amazing women I have in my life. She also created a "words of wisdom" box that guests were able to write little notes to Ray & I which we red together the morning after the shower. A great alternative to bridal shower games!
Create or purchase a GeoFilter for Snapchat for your guests to use to share about your bridal shower fun. I purchased mine through Rinacreating on Etsy. They were so easy to work with, was so quick to respond & happily edited the design to fit my Bridal Shower Theme. It came in a downloadable file & in just a few moments you can upload it to snapchat through this link: https://www.snapchat.com/on-demand. Such an easy, fun & inexpensive addition to the day that my guests LOVED!
You can also host a photo booth for guests to take photos in. We opted for an open concept Photo Booth so that we could get large group photos & used the beautiful cream city brick as the backdrop. We also put up pink, red & white steamers & lip balloons to add to our "Kiss the Miss Goodbye" theme. We rented our booth through Sound By Design who did a fantastic job! With SBD specifically each photo taken prints out two copies right on site so that the guests could take one home & we could have one copy to keep in our photo album.
I also had the EXTREMELY talented Lindsey Cole Photography there capturing the day as well. She took all of the beautiful photos you see here! Lindsey is so kind, sweet & has the the most amazing heart. I can not recommend her enough! The moment & memories she captured are priceless and I will truly cherish them forever.
As a "Thank You" to each guest we had a Build Your Own Bouquet bar that guests could put together & then bring with them to decorate their home with flowers from the party. It gave guests an activity to do (since we opted not to open gifts) & doubled as a favor for them to take home.
Over the years I have been to MANY baby & bridal showers and although I think the gift opening is a nice tradition, I really didn't want that to be the focus of the day. I was much happier spending time with family & friends instead of just looking out at them. So instead, Ray gave a wonderful "Thank You" speech, we enjoyed the day with our family & the morning after the shower we made our favorite coffee drinks and opened up everything together. The gifts are all wonderful & are a blessing to us as we start out our married life journey together so it was important to me that Ray & I opened each one together taking the time to really soak in each gift.
Just like any other bride going through this strange time in history while also trying to plan a wedding, we wanted covid precautions to be in place without it taking away from the focus of the day. With this in mind, we had a sanitation stations at the entrance when guests arrived which housed hand sanitizer & pink face masks, we also chose a venue with outdoor capabilities which allowed for fresh air & plenty of space to spread out. We also kept our guest list within 50% of the capacity of the space and had servers behind the buffet station plating the food so that guests wouldn't be touching the serving utensils over & over again.
Although Ray gave a speech at the shower I also wanted to give a BIG thank you to everyone who made this day so special. I wish I could have had 10 hours to spend with each of you really soaking in these moments... the day really flew by! Thank you to my mom who hosted everything & was my person to lean on when it felt like covid just might ruin everything.THANK YOU to my cousins, Diane & Maria, who helped me organize & execute everything. They allowed me to bounce all sorts of annoying ideas off of them, created a lot of the custom items & helped with anything and everything. I truly couldn't have done any of it without them. And thank you to everyone who came despite the distance & all the craziness happening in the world. You all came together to celebrate us & I couldn't be more thankful. & last but certainly not least, thank you Raymond. Thank you for helping to organize everything, calming down my perfectionist side so that I could just enjoy the day, & being present at the girls party. You truly are my better half.