Saturday, April 3rd 2021 will go down as a day I will never forget. Being able to see my bohemian vision that I had in mind for my bridal shower come to life was surreal and just got me that much more excited to see my vision for Shaun & I's wedding come to life! But nothing beats being surrounded by my family and friends to celebrate such a huge moment. It was amazing to see so many people that I haven't been able to see for a long time because of everything going on come together to support and honor me for the best day.
To all the bride to be's reading this…. soak up all the things because they go by SO fast and this is your special time and you deserve every ounce of happiness and love that comes from it. I can't say enough thanks to everybody that made me feel like a princess that day.
Quick snapshot of what you will find below in chronological order in case you want to skip ahead to something specific— local vendors used, where I ordered everything from (links), bridal shower favors, what games we played, and how we included Shaun at the end when he showed up (& with the cutest gift for me, might I add).
NOW, let's get into all the fun details!
PS anywhere you see pink font below is a link which will take you to the vendor/items I used!
To anybody looking to create a boho inspired shower or event I have mostly everything that I used (decor, shower favors, balloon wall, boho pampas templates I used for the signs/games etc) linked for you below if you wanted to recreate it or use it for inspo.
So just scroll down a bit and you will see it all!
FIRST, for all my local gals, here are the vendors I used and would HIGHLY recommend:
PHOTOGRAPHER- S&CO Portrait Photography I truly can not say enough positive and kind things about our photographer Steph. I actually met her through my blog and I am beyond grateful that I did because I consider her a friend now. From the second we met, it was just so easy to talk to her. She is so sweet and SO freaking talented. She has an eye for making beautiful photos come to life and knows how to give people direction for the best poses. If you are somebody who is camera shy or doesn't always know how to pose, don't worry she has you covered! If you are in CT or are looking for a photographer for your big event, then I would 100% look into Steph as an option. You will not regret it, I promise! (Here is a link to her IG too!)
FLORIST- The Wild Gyp Kyleigh and Nicole are insanely talented and were able to quite literally NAIL my boho floral design vision and then some. I actually met Kyleigh through my cousin Matt's wife Alexa because she is one of her best friends and did the flowers for their wedding! I was blown away when I walked into the venue on the day of my shower to see pampas galore and all the boho inspired table arrangements.
VENUE- Hawk Ridge Winery is a beautiful vineyard located in Watertown, CT where Shaun and I grew up. The owners and staff are extremely friendly and very accommodating and I can't appreciate them enough for letting me go in the night before to setup my balloon wall (because I just HAD to have one). If you are looking to have a smaller event (shower, birthday, etc) you can rent out the Hawk's Nest which is a private event room upstairs. This is where my shower was located and it was PERFECT. High ceilings with exposed wood beams and a beautiful private balcony that overlooked the vineyard.
PS my favorite two wines from this vineyard are the Hawk's Eye White and the Mad Hawk Red and they make BOMB wine slushies!
CATERER- DiStasi Catering provided the best and most delicious menu for my boozy brunch featuring yogurt parfaits, lemon pancakes, creme brûlée french toast, potato galettes, chicken piccata, and rigatoni ala vodka. Their staff was so sweet and helpful on the day of my shower and the owner Mike went above and beyond by delivering all the tablecloths the day before so I could start setting up!
CUPCAKES + COOKIES- Cutie Pies is located in Thomaston, CT and has become Shaun
and I's "go to" for all our dessert needs for any kind of event we have. They seamlessly execute any design idea you send to them every single time. We have gotten multiple cakes from there for our housewarming, engagement party, and birthdays in the past. They always do such a great job, and they taste so good too! I did cupcakes and cookies for my shower and asked for a boho design with little macaroons on them and cookies that said things relating to our wedding on them. Once again they nailed it!
TABLEWARE RENTALS- Petals & Plates is a floral boutique and rental service that does everything from bouquets, tableware rentals, to event design. The owner Pat is so nice and was able to accommodate my charger plate rental last minute because the ones I had originally ordered online ended up getting backordered. Their store is also adorable, so if you are ever in Southington, CT definitely pop in!
HAIR- Bohemian Hair Flow Leia is a master colorist and stylist who I also met through my blog! Her salon is located in Milford, CT, but she also travels and does freelance work for events. So if you're looking for somebody to do you hair that is local, check her out! She is super down to earth and loves creating whimsical hairstyles with braids. She was able to create the bohemian hairstyle of my dreams for my shower using these adorable hair charms I got! (linked here)
MAKEUP- Aleksandra Artistry has been my go to CT makeup girl for a few years now. The funny part is up until my bridal shower she has only ever done Shaun and I's Halloween makeup, because well we go all out for Halloween. So we were laughing about how after years this was her first time doing a regular non skelton or bloody look on me! Needless to say she is gifted in all departments because my makeup came out flawless!
Now for anybody looking to recreate a boho inspired event here are links to everything that I used!
BRIDAL SHOWER FAVORS— for my favors I did a combination of things. I had a variety of different succulents that I hand wrapped with these cute beige"love" wraps to tie into my theme and to dress them up a bit. These were a huge hit! I also ordered the most beautiful handcrafted soaps in the scent "strawberry champagne". Each soap said "From Stephanie's Shower to Yours" on the back of them and let me tell you they smell AMAZING. Lastly, I had these pens with giant diamonds on them at each person's place setting so they had something to write all their bridal shower game answers with! (All shower favors are linked here)
MY OUTFIT— LOTS of questions on this one. My exact outfit head to toe is linked here! My shoes are currently on MAJOR sale and available in two colors (burgundy wine/neutral straw). Unfortunately my dress is currently out of stock (of course, I know), but the site constantly keep restocking it so just put your email in for the restock alert.
They are usually great with restocks so my fingers are crossed for you so that you can snag it because it's a great dress. Pricey, but worth it!
BALLOON WALL / PHOTO OP— If you don't know by now I live for a good photo op or basically any excuse to stand in front of something to have my picture taken so incorporating this into my shower and the venue was a must for me. This is the second balloon wall I had ever made, the first one was during my halloween birthday party (blog post here) which I had ordered off Amazon. This time around I was smarter and ordered a balloon kit with balloons that were double lined (my kit is linked here) so the colors really shine through and pop and don't look transparent in photos! BUT let me just forewarn you that double lined balloons are MUCH harder if not impossible to blow up with your standard balloon pump. However, we were able to blow up enough to make it work! If you are doing a double lined balloon wall, make sure to get a high pressure pump or it's going to take much longer to put together! I brought my white wood carved room divider from my house and basically draped the balloons along the edge. It came out PERFECT.
SEATING CHART— The perfect "boho" looking mirror and mirror stand. I linked the exact items used for here.
I just love the look of writing on a mirror to display where all your guests are sitting down. PS. I highly recommend doing assigned seating at any event so that you can group people together that know each other!
PS. All you need are chalk markers to write on any kind of mirror/chalkboard! I have a ton laying around my house now and always use them for events!
WELCOME SIGN, TABLE NUMBERS + PLACECARDS, GAME SIGNS, and MIMOSA
BAR SIGN— I ordered all of these from the same vendor on Etsy (linked here) and I can't recommend doing this enough for any event you may have because you can customize them to exactly what you want and need! You basically buy the template from Etsy and then are able to edit it and then upload the final design to vistaprint or staples/fedex and print them! This little touch really helped tie in the theme across the room! I also linked the napkin rings and table decor here for each place setting here!
DESSERT STANDS— These display stands were the perfect touch to showcase sweets on. They come in all different shapes and sizes and they are perfect for showing off your desserts or shower favors.
They added a beautiful dimensional element to the tables that matched my neutral theme and really accented the items being displayed on them. Linked here!
PAMPAS GRASS— My bridal shower was cloaked in pampas because I freaking love it. My florist provided most of the pampas, but I also brought some of my own vases that displayed large pampas stems and other dried florals. Everything I brought is linked here!
NOW ON TO THE GAMES!!
We had a variety of different games so people had a chance to win some fun prizes! Special shoutout to Skin Te (PS. SUGARED20 will get you 20% off site wide), BE.Ellis, and Smart Sweets for donating gifts for me!
"Who Has the Diamond?" — This is a great game for doing a table prize for each table. One person from each table had a Diamond underneath their place setting. Once food was finished and the plates were cleared everybody had to check under their plate and whoever had the diamond won the prize which in this case was Skin Te— my infamous collagen infused tea drink that I am constantly drinking at the gym and snapping pictures of on my stories.
"Who Knows the Bride Best?" — Quiz game that everybody filled out and whoever had the most correct answers won! I used the templates I described above to create these!
"How Many Corks?" — This one is easy and pretty self explanatory but we had a display case of corks and whoever guessed the right number of corks won a prize!
"Wedding Hashtag Challenge" — Okay this one was definitely my personal favorite game because it was so fun and uhm SUPER helpful. If you don't know what your wedding hashtag should be, then I definitely recommend making this a bridal shower game.
I picked the top two hashtags from the bunch "A Knight to Nardella" and "Let's Get Ready to Nardayy" and then let everybody vote which one they liked best to make it fair! Seriously loved this game!
"On the Spot Quiz" — This is how I gave out the table arrangements as gifts. Whoever answered the "on the spot" quiz question the quickest from each table one the boho floral arrangement as a prize!
"Wanderlust Travel Cards" — Shaun and I LOVE to travel so it was only fitting we had a game that everybody had to write down their top travel spots as recommendations for us! This one wasn't really a game, but I LOVED all the recommendations we received!
"Shoe Game" — Okay I lied… this game was 100% my favorite game because it was so cute and this is how we incorporated Shaun. We had Shaun come an hour before the shower ended to play this game with me. Sitting back to back we both took off our shoes off— I gave him one of mine and he gave me one of his so we both had one of our own shoes and one of our significant other's shoes. My bridesmaid Sara read off the questions on the cards for example "Who is more likely to get a traffic ticket?" and then Shaun and I each raise whoever's shoe we thought is more likely to get a traffic ticket. I'll let you take a guess who's shoes went up. Everybody was laughing and it was just overall a hilarious game.
Last but not least, I wanted to share with you the special something Shaun showed up with as a gift because it's so freaking cute and every bride needs one (swipe through the pictures below). A denim pearl embellished jacket that says "Mrs. Nardella" with our wedding date underneath the collar "6.11.21"….. OBSESSED. Counting down the days until I am actually officially Mrs. Nardella. Jacket is linked here!
Here is a giant photo dump from my shower! Too many good ones not to share!
PS. If I missed something or you have any questions always feel free to DM me on IG (@sugaredstilettos)!
(By Stephanie Knightly)