Toss out modern minimalist just this once, and go all out “18th century French” for your bridal shower! Visualize the extravagant look of that era and bring it to this special occasion—from your party venue, to its ceiling decor, to your table display, all the way to your guest keepsakes. Sounds intimidating? Don’t despair. While Marie Antoinette was certainly known for her excesses and opulence, the creative use of materials can allow you to experience her private boudoir with less effort than you think. Gather six to eight of your dearest friends and prepare for a luxuriously romantic tea party!
Enter the World of Versailles
Here are stunning decorative details to make your bridal shower truly feel like a tea party in Versailles:
1. Antique glass chandelier - Found a venue with a lavish, antique chandelier? Then, you’re truly lucky! Take advantage of this stunning piece and tie it in to the shower’s color scheme with varying widths and lengths of hanging satin ribbons in cornflower blue and pink—with each bearing a lovely blue jeweled brooch.
2. Lace drapery and chiffon ceiling swags - For an immediate “wow factor,” consider finding a special location with a room that is virtually draped in full-length lace curtains and flouncy ceiling swags in elegant ivory chiffon. This can be a living room in a quaint bed and breakfast, a vintage French or Victorian restaurant, or even a cozy tea room. [Hint: On the web, you may want to check out Tea Map for a directory listing of tea rooms around the country.]
3. Topiary-style centerpieces - Recreate the lavish ambiance of the French court with towering centerpieces. Cover tapered stands in ruched bronze-colored satin and—for a topiary effect—top each with a fluffy ball of pink tulle finished with an oversized blue satin bow.
4. Jeweled touches - Swirl strings of pearls amidst the table display, arrange frilly fans onto pearl trimmed accessories, lay out pretty floral lace appliqués, and use jeweled brooches to transform blue satin ribbons into elegant napkin rings. In a final gesture of “queenly generosity,” you may even surprise your guests and include these brooches as keepsakes of your shower.
5. Place settings and favors fit for a queen - Establish the rich look of the table display with a gold-and-blue brocade tablecloth. Then, for truly royal place settings, set out fine china plates, gold plate chargers with ruffled pink liners, ornate sterling silver flatware, and stemmed wine goblets, with frilly white lace napkins as the ultimate finishing touch.
Some examples of what to give:
- ruffled all-lace fans adorned with blue rosettes and pink ribbons (a lovely bouquet alternative for the bridal entourage come your wedding day)
- miniature place frames with a vintage finish (they start off as place card holders atop each place setting)
- lace handkerchiefs (yes, those are the table napkins in disguise!)