A Couples Wedding Shower

A Couples Wedding Shower | www.thisgratefulmama.com

It was our pleasure to host a couples wedding shower in honor of our nephew Brandon and his bride-to-be, Lauren.

Our nephew grew up and graduated high school in MN but has since moved out-of-state. Lauren had never come to MN with Brandon to see where he spent his childhood, nor had she met some of his family and friends who live here. They were able to fit in just one short visit before the wedding – it was the perfect, and only chance to throw a wedding shower.

Since the couple came in late Friday and left on Sunday, Saturday was the only day available to throw a shower. We chose brunch so they could make the most of their only full day in town. Having the shower in the morning left the rest of the day open for the couple to explore his old stomping grounds.

This post includes the special touches to ‘shower’ the couple. I’ll follow-up in another post with the food we served for brunch.

For more shower ideas, check out another couples wedding shower we threw last year- A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower.

Invitations

DIY Network Shower Invitation Template | www.thisgratefulmama.com

The shower invitation was modified from this free invitation template from the DIY network. All text can be modified so it could easily be used for any type of event! Who would have expected to find free invitation templates on the DIY Network site? There are a few other options available – in fact, I almost picked this free Nautical template instead.

Date Night Idea Card

Date Night Idea Card | www.thisgratefulmama.com

A stamped note card was included in each invitation for guests to write date night ideas for the bride and groom. Guests came up with all kinds of creative ideas.

His & Hers – 10 Favorite Moments Together

His and Her Favorite 10 Moments

Before Brandon and Lauren arrived, we asked each of them to email 10 of their favorite moments together. Originally, I planned to display two short lists using a chalkboard or poster. BUT, they sent beautifully written paragraphs that told their story with genuine affection and honesty. Condensing their moments into a short list would have taken away the emotion and love their words conveyed. Instead of changing them, each paragraph was printed and posted on the wall for guests to read as they mingled.

DIY “We Do” Wedding Shower Photo Banner

DIY WE DO Wedding Shower Photo Banner

Every bride-and-groom-to-be needs a banner in their honor – that is just the way it is! We asked the couple to send us some of their favorite photos. Text and photos were printed on cardstock in black and white. The text flags were cut and lined with patterned tape. The same tape was used to decorate clothes pins. It was quick and easy – just peel and stick! I actually used the other side of the patterned paper decorated clothes pins used to hang the You Are My Sunshine photo banner. The flags and photos were strung using twine across our kitchen.

Coffee Station Photo Banner

Coffee Station Photo Banner | www.thisgratefulmama.com

I found this free printable about love and coffee (I lightened the exposure so it could be printed without draining our ink cartridges) to hang by the coffee station. Like the “We Do” banner, it was strung with twine alongside two more black and white photos using clothes pins.

Gift Table

Wedding Shower Cards Garland and Gift Table

Two banners were made for gifts – one hung on the gift table, and one hung above it for cards. Guests used a clothes pins to clip their cards to the twine and left their gifts and date night cards on the table.

I Have Found The One…Sign

I Have Found The One Whom My Soul Loves | www.thisgratefulmama.com

I love this verse from Song of Solomon, especially for a wedding shower. This photo (changed to black and white using Pic Monkey) was printed on cardstock and applied to an 8×10 canvas using Modge Podge. The sign was placed on the gift table in the entryway for the shower and will be hung in our bedroom.

Advertisements

A Couple’s Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch

Once upon a time, we hosted couples wedding shower brunch. And sometime this spring, over a year later, I  started writing about that brunch…now, in true procrastinator style, I’m posting it.

Better late than never?

(PS. This was written in April – No, I’m not pregnant again)

I’m going to blame it on pregnancy cravings, but I woke up this morning with brunch on the brain. Brunchy thoughts made me realize I never shared what we ate at the wedding shower…now almost a year ago.

One of they keys to hosting a stress-free brunch is to make as much of the food as possible, the day before. With a morning event, make-ahead recipes earn their value in precious sleep for the host.

Do the hard work ahead of time so you can be well rested and at your best on the big day.

Here are some simple, low maintenance ideas if you are hosting a brunch, of any kind. Make the food ahead of time and allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the day and your company.

Couple's Wedding Shower Brunch | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Is it just me, or does every brunch need a balanced combination of sweet, savory and fresh items?

Now I’m hungry…

Something Sweet:

French Toast Bake:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - French Toast Bake | thisgratefulmama.comThis french toast bake may be my favorite comfort food, ever. Growing up, it was served on most holidays. It needs to be assembled the day before, which ensures you’ll be free to do other preparations while your home fills with the mouth-watering aroma of french toast. Golden brown, and topped with fresh strawberries – beautiful, and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 13″ Loaf Stale French Bread, cut into 1″ slices
  • 1/4-1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 4 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 & 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup (or more) blueberries
  • Topping:
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 9 Tbs brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 5/8 cups margarine or butter, melted
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
Recipe:
  • Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Spread butter on each side of the sliced bread. Arrange slices in the dish (there should be enough slices that you have to squish them into the pan).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk to combine eggs, sugar, vanilla and milk. Pour mixture over the buttered bread.
  • Spread blueberries over the top (1 cup or more – as many as you like).
  • In a separate bowl, prepare topping by combining flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and 5/8 cups melted margarine or butter. Spread topping on top of blueberries and bread in the pan.
  • Cover pan and refrigerate overnight.
  • In the morning, preheat oven to 375F while allowing the pan to warm on counter.
  • Bake a 375F, uncovered, for 50 minutes.
  • Allow to set for a minimum of 10 minutes before serving.
  • Top with sliced strawberries to serve.
YUM!

Apple Cider Donut Holes

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Apple Cider Mini Donuts | thisgratefulmama.com

Thank you, Feastie.com, for this recipe for Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes, made in a mini-muffin tin. Bite size, tasty, and a big hit!

To make ahead, bake the day before but wait to roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture until the day of the event.

Something Savory:

Cheesy Hashbrowns:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Cheesy Hashbrowns | thisgratefulmama.com

This Easy Hashbrown Casserole recipe from MyBlessedLife blog may be the only one out there in internet-land that does NOT use a canned cream of something soup.

Delicious. You know you want these.

 

Mini-Frittatas with ham:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Mini Frittata | thisgratefulmama.com

You can’t go wrong with a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. Her Mini Fritattas are made using sliced ham and are uniquely flavorful with the addition of parmesan cheese and parsley. One recipe makes 40 individual fritattas, and they cook in a mini-muffin tin for just 10 minutes, you can prepare these in a flash.

Either make them the day before and reheat in the oven just before serving, or prepare the egg mixture the day before and cook them the day of the event.

Fill those muffin tins without a mess: Mix ingredients in one of these Rubbermaid Mixing Bottles. Seal and shake to evenly distribute ingredients. Open the lid and pour into each well in one row of the muffin tin. Shake and pour into the next row, and so on, until the pans are full. Easy-peasy.

Something Fresh:

Fruit Salad:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Fruit Salad | thisgratefulmama.comPick your favorite seasonal fruits. This simple, beautiful, and healthy side is sure to please even the pickiest eater.

 

 

 

 

Veggies and Dip:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Veggies and Dip | thisgratefulmama.com

Chop an assortment of vegetables and serve with dip, or consider serving a green salad instead. A Strawberry spinach salad (sub pumpkin seeds for almonds for a nut-free salad), or Greek salad works great for brunch. Just toss with dressing just before serving.

 

 

Now, is anyone else hungry for brunch?

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower

A Laid-Back Open House Couples Shower | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Together with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, I was privileged to host a couples wedding shower over Easter weekend.  The shower was for my niece, Brittni, and her fiancé, Justin – such a fun couple! It was our pleasure to celebrate with them as they prepare for their big day!

Justin had never met most of Brittni’s MN family and friends, and they flew in from the east coast for the shower. We wanted to ensure they had a chance to really talk to people who made the effort to come.  Also, since it was a holiday weekend, we decided to have an open-house shower so people had the freedom to come and go as their schedules allowed. The loose structure and flow of people in and out at different times allowed the couple to talk to everyone who came.

Invitations

Invitations for the shower were created using a free online wedding invitation template found on www.WeddingChicks.com.  All text in the template can be changed, so even though it was designed for a wedding, I was able to modify it for a shower. The invitations were printed on card-stock and mailed along with directions and an index card for guests to bring a favorite recipe to the shower.

A Laid-Back Open House Couples Shower | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Relationship timeline

Because some of the guests didn’t know a lot about the couple, we created a relationship timeline to help guests learn more.  Using white crayon, the timeline was written on black construction paper to create a chalkboard look and bordered by patterned scrapbook paper. The timeline included significant relationship events: how they met, first date, first “I love you, the proposal and wedding details. The timeline was posted on the wall throughout the main room where everyone gathered. As people mingled and ate, they read and learned more about the couple. A few of them are shown below.

Relationship Timeline - FIRST DATE | www.thisgratefulmama.com Relationship Timeline - First I LOVE YOU | www.thisgratefulmama.com Relationship Timeline - THE WEDDING | www.thisgratefulmama.com

What they love about each other

Lists of the things Brittni and Justin love about each other were displayed on the chalkboard sides of two IKEA easels.  They were set up near the entryway to draw people into the house as they arrived. How neat is it that they both listed that they love how the other loves the Lord?

What She Loves About Him | www.thisgratefulmama.com  What He Loves About Her | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Open-house friendly food

Food for the open house was intended to be easy for people to serve themselves, and for us as hosts to keep cold and fresh. We served fresh fruit, chicken salad with croissants, chips with salsa, spinach dip and guacamole, veggies and dip, deviled eggs, popcorn and an assortment of desserts. To keep things simple, we served ice water, unsweetened iced tea with fresh lemons and sugar cubes, lemonade, coffee, and sparkling water.

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Beverages | www.thisgratefulmama.com A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Food | www.thisgratefulmama.com  A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Desserts | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Other special touches 

In the invitation, guests were asked to bring a favorite recipe. They dropped them off by the gift table. There were some ‘secret’ family recipes in the bunch so the couple got some special recipes. In the main room, there was a place for guests to leave a note of encouragement or advice for the couple to read later. A banner was hung across with their names made from the same patterned scrapbook paper as the relationship timeline. We also framed their Save the Date and Wedding Invitations to display them for guests.

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Gift Table | www.thisgratefulmama.com A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Notes of Encouragement | www.thisgratefulmama.com

A Laid-back Open House Couples Shower - Banner | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Since the couple was from out of town, most gifts were small in size, making it easy for them to bring everything home on the plane. Some gave gift cards and money, and some wrapped a photo or description of larger gifts purchased from their gift registry and mailed.

Overall the shower was a success!

We had a great turn out, despite the holiday weekend. This couple is well-loved and people did not want to miss the chance to see them! The atmosphere was laid back and relaxing. Many guests stayed a most of time and were able to spend some quality time with the couple.

Hosting this shower was fun, and was such a blessing to me. Since we don’t live near the couple it was special to get the chance to celebrate before the big day. We had the privilege to finally meet Justin, see Brittni, and watch the respectful, joyful and loving way they interact.  The wedding will be in Maine this June so our family will taking a short vacation to attend. We are also excited that our son Aiden will be the ring bearer (aka. polar bear, if you ask him) in the wedding, so fun!

Congratulations, Brittni and Justin!

We cannot wait to celebrate with you on your wedding day this June.

 

Also check out A Couples Wedding Shower for more ideas.