That’s Amore’!! An Italian Themed Couple’s Wedding Shower

 

With all the wedding hoopla going on in my life I know I’ve been absent from the blogosphere way too much this last six weeks.  I just simply couldn’t find the time to sit down and blog between my work load for a dozen or so clients and all that was going on leading up to the wedding.  Literally every minute of everyday of the last few months and especially the last two was either work, wedding or rehearsal dinner “stuff”.  But, now the wedding has come and gone and life is settling back into some sort of normalcy so I plan to do my best to catch up.

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But, of course I can’t catch up without blogging about some of the exciting events we had going on in our world leading up to the wedding. One of these events was the amazingly wonderful shower some of my good friends gave the bride and groom.  It started with these adorable invitations done by Nicole Page Designs.  (I blocked the address and contact info with the little strips of black paper.  Obviously it looks better without that stuck on top!) An Italian themed shower with the catch phrase “That’s Amore’” leading the way.

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  It was held at my good friend Connie’s beautiful home.  If you’re a follower of my blog or read it frequently you will have seen her home before.  It’s the place for many occasions in our group – the most recent being the baby shower we had which you can check out here.

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Oddly, one consistent “issue” we’ve had with all the couple’s showers we’ve thrown for our kids – and there have been numerous – is that we’ve been almost “cursed” with horrible weather.  We’ve experienced unexpected snap freezes where multiple heat lamps had to be purchased last minute, unexpected stifling heat waves where fans had to be added last minute, thunderstorms with torrential down pours (you can view that shower here) and even a tornado……yes….a tornado!

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The last time we had a couple’s shower at Connie’s house a tornado blew through three days before the party.  Yep – right after she and her husband had meticulously cleaned out, planted and groomed their lawn and gardens for the event – a tornado came roaring through and snapped 11 or more tree’s, ripped up flowers and all but destroyed their beautiful gardens.  As well as knocked out their electricity! I was actually there when it happened – helping her to babysit her grandchildren so her girls (the kid’s mommies) could go out for some “grown up” time.  We crouched in the bathroom with the little ones and her dog while her husband looked out the window counting as the trees came down.  Crazy!   It was unnerving and unbelievable, but, with the help of family and friends they whipped it back into shape within a couple of days and on we went with the shower!

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But, fortunately for my son and his fiancé’ the “weather curse” seems to have been broken and we actually had picture perfect weather here in Texas for their big night.  And, I mean picture perfect! Something right out of a storybook.  Her gardens were immaculate, the weather was comfortable and crisp……the atmosphere absolutely magical.

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All around the lawn were tables with checked cloths or toppers, Italian bread sticks, candles and later big bottles of Chianti.

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All her flowers looked amazingly vibrant and colorful.

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As did the hostesses….

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Three of my oldest and dearest friends.

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They used wine bottles and mason jars as candle holders and added little vases of roses for a sweet touch. 

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So quaint….

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A great turn out with family and friends.

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My daughter-in-law with two of my wonderful friends.  Connie, an event coordinator by trade, and Barb, a fabulous chef and party thrower extraordinaire, brought their ultimate expertise to the wedding prep and helped me out immensely!   You can see them at one of Barb’s awesome parties on my blog post here.

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The adorable happy couple.

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To create this long 16 foot table that accommodated twenty seats Connie and Craig set up three or four saw horses for support and placed two 8 foot boards on top.  They covered the boards with white paper and added crayons for the guests to draw or sign the table top with.  Great idea, inexpensive to do and worked like a charm!

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More great friends who were there to support Daniel and Melissa.    They’ve watched him grow up.   Love them all!  You’ve seen them before on several of my blog posts, too.  One of the couple’s showers with this group – I blogged about last summer – you can check it out here. 

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As part of the fun Connie had them re-tell their “love story” in intermittent intervals throughout the evening and re-enact the proposal.  You can see the real proposal here.  While Italian music played in the background – every time the phrase “That’s Amore” was said they had to stop and smooch.   Too cute.

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Melissa said the evening was even more wonderful and magical than she expected and said it was the perfect prelude to the wedding.  And, I must say, I couldn’t agree more!

Happy Decorating!

Texas Hill Country Themed Shower

 

I’ve mentioned in previous posts the numerous showers my friends and I end up involved with for our children and now grandchildren.  We’ve rotated over the years having and/or helping with countless wedding showers, the weddings themselves, the baby showers, etc.

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Our most recent couple’s shower was last weekend for my sweet friend Connie’s son, Ryley and his fiancé, Ashley.  As sweet as they are beautiful  – we were so excited to throw them their big bash.  After a pow-wow between the hostesses we decided on a Texas Hill Country theme.  I found these invitations with the Texas bluebonnets online – perfect for our theme – but, when they came in I thought the simple white card looked a bit lackluster.  So I decided to add the check craft paper and attach it with this red raffia ribbon through holes punched at the top.  It cost pennies per card to add and gave them a little more ooomph and personality.

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Originally we were going to have it at my house in June so we could utilize our back yard to accommodate guests, but when the wedding suddenly got moved up to May because of the venue’s remodeling issues we had to scramble a bit and move the shower up to March for their college spring break. With a March shower and unpredictable weather we I decided it best to make a change to my friend Susan’s house where we could accommodate as many guests as needed regardless of whether or not the weather cooperated.   This is the circular drive to her front walkway and front door.

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And since the weather clearly chose NOT to cooperate it’s a good thing we did. It poured down rain most of the day and most of the evening.

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Since I was the one who originally wanted to have it at my house I decided it was only right for me to go ahead and do not only the invitations, but the decorating as well. I wasn’t about to dump all that on Susan after asking to switch it to her house. Besides – it was something I really wanted to do for my sweet friend and her sweet kiddo’s. 

Soooooo……..

To start with I brought my own metal garden cross from home for the front porch planter and draped it with a sign that says “Faith Family Friends” I got from Hobby Lobby – half price of course. And I made these fun letter signs (above) with their initials and some other things from Hobby Lobby.

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The initial signs came like this and they were on sale, too, of course.  But, they weren’t quite big enough to make the impact I wanted so I purchased two picture frames they had on their 80% clearance for $2.00 each – pink and white girlie frames – and covered them with this cowhide fabric I also got at Hobby Lobby (using my online 40% coupon).

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I wrapped each frame with the fabric and stapled it onto the back.

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(The tag says $9.99, but they were really $1.99!)

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I added picture hangers to the back so I could tie them on the wreath holders with twine. 

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I screwed in a couple of screws to the front so I could hang the letters right onto the plaque from the picture hangers attached to the back of the metal signs.   This way they can keep them on the plaques and hang them like I did…..

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Or prop them up on a table or dresser with the easel like this.or remove them from the tin plaques and hang them on their wall.

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But, for the shower I hung them with the twine bows from some wreath holders I had.  Cute, don’t you think?

Next it was the main dessert table.

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I started with more cow hide fabric.

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Then I started layering with more fabric – faux leather I had on hand – and all the Hill Country accessories I could muster up.

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This leather luggage was from my client, Amy.

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I helped decorate her house a dozen or so years ago in the “Old Worldish” style so prevalent back then and now she is going Asian contemporary and has no need for them anymore.  So when I was at her house accessorizing for the new look I asked if I could borrow her old look for my shower.  Thankfully she was happy to oblige.

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I got these baskets at CCA for .50 cents a piece…

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And, these cool “Hill Country” accessories like the frame and the longhorn from good old Hobby Lobby half price as always….

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Brought stuff of mine from my own house…

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Added the amazing Texas cake that Susan baked and decorated herself. (I know….can you believe it?!)

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We used the leather wine carrier for our “Message In A Bottle”.  With the pens and small note cards (shown below) guests were asked to write the young couple a note – could be advice, a scripture, a poem, a joke….anything they wanted to say to them.  At the end of the shower it was corked up and the couple is to save it till they return from their honeymoon to read them.

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We bought these potted flowers at Callaway’s Nursery for color – and to look sort of like hill country wild flowers.

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We added twigs, river rock, twine to look like rope, a cross and candlesticks I had in my own stash.

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And these vases filled with tree branches.  (They’re actually fake branches I got at – where else – Hobby Lobby.)

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And ended up with a fun Hill Country themed dessert table.

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Next was the beverage section.

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I found a great website for labels called www.myownlabels.com where you can customize your own labels for wine….

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Susan actually found this particular design which we decided looked the most Hill Country-esque.

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Perfect for our wine bottles….

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And these monogram caps for the beer bottles..

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And these labels for the water bottles…

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On the back of the water bottle labels I was able to write their “story” for a little personal touch.  (Unfortunately none of the “old people” could even read it without their glasses!  And, most didn’t have their glasses with them.  Too funny!) Diane and Susan got together and put all these labels and monogram tops on everything.

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We brought out these big metal tubs and I added the twine and twigs for the rustic touch.  Even the hubbies pitched in to help.  Susan made some to die for Sangria we kept on ice in pitchers in one of the metal tubs.  It was so good hardly anyone drank the bottled wine so now we have a ton of Ryley and Ashley wine bottles left over!

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I put a hill country accessory and name card by each dish so everyone would know exactly what they were eating.  These hill country accessories are actually drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby.

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They fit perfectly here on the island where the buffet was.

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And of course we had our “chips, dips and other stuff” section that Diane set up.

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It was a great turn out in spite of the ridiculous weather.

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Lots of mingling, food and fun.

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And a fun, little game.

If any of you have ever played the left-right game you know it’s one of those games that even game-haters can enjoy.   I discovered the left-right game theme at Christmastime and thought it would be fun to incorporate it here.  So I wrote a lighthearted, fun, little love story called “The Hill Country Honey’s” about Ryley and Ashley with lots of the words left and right sprinkled throughout the story. We had everyone stand in a circle then we passed out several gift bags to various guests in the crowd.  As I read the story the gift bags were passed left or right each time the word was said throughout the story until it’s finished.  The guests holding the gift bags at the end of the story got to give them to the wedding couple and each one received a prize – a bag with wine to take home, themselves.

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Ryley and Ashley (yeah, that cute young couple in the middle) seemed very pleased with the outcome.  How cute are they?

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My hubby, Doug, and I relaxing and having a great time.

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This is our little group of old, very special friends (our group nickname is the “goddesses” – you may have seen them on previous blog posts). Connie, the mother of the groom is standing to my left – the rest of us were the hostesses.   The four of us have teamed up many, many times for each other’s kids various showers.  This time it was her turn.   She was a grateful, happy mother-of-the groom.

Thanks goes out to Susan, far right, for letting me switch it to her place!  Thankfully she’s always happy to open up her amazing home and it worked out beautifully for the large crowd and the un-cooperating weather . (I recently did a post on her home. You can check it out here. ) I’ve decided that’s why God gives you friends with big houses…..so you have a place for all the big parties!

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And little did we know that this cute bride-to-be was getter sick throughout the evening and had to go straight to the hospital immediately afterwards with 104 degree fever!  She was quite the trooper and appeared to be having a great time for someone who ended up with the flu!

Fortunately she is all better, back to planning her big day and no one else at the shower got sick!

Happy Decorating!

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