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REAL PARTIES: Retro Chic Bridal Shower

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retro chic bridal shower ideas

This super-stylish bridal shower was designed/hosted by Alison Donahue and features the always-fabulous color palette of chocolate and blue, plus tons of pretty details like parasols, retro-chic coasters, paper-wrapped vases, and polka dots. Read on for tons of photos and a full recap, in Alison’s own words…

retro chic bridal shower ideas

“I wanted to host a beautiful bridal shower for my dear friend Merritt.  Merritt is sassy and fun so no ordinary shower was going to do it for her. A lingerie themed shower was in order!

Since her wedding colors were blue and chocolate brown I decided to incorporate them into the shower.

The invitations were made by using supplies from Paper Source and asked everyone to bring a piece of lingerie for her to open.

retro chic bridal shower ideas

The party was located at my house in Santa Clara, California.  I hung paper parasols from Luna Bazaar from the ceiling in shades of blue, brown and white.

retro chic bridal shower ideas

My mom was a life-saver and helped me prepare for the party! She made two amazing table runners with fabric from JoAnn’s Fabrics.

retro chic bridal shower ideas

We picked up flowers at Costco and grass from the Safeway floral section.  We wrapped paper from Paper Source around the base of each vase and tied off the ribbon with rings from Michael’s.  We tied the same rings around the napkins used for lunch.

retro chic bridal shower ideas

The afternoon started off with blue martini cocktails, lemonade, and a homemade pesto and sun dried tomato torta. We used coasters from Hello Lucky (pictured in top image) to hold our drinks.

retro chic bridal shower ideas

Lunch was almost all homemade and consisted of fruit skewers, spinach and mushroom salad, salt and pepper shrimp skewers, zucchini Madeleine’s, sausage and black olive roll, meatballs from Trader Joe’s, cucumber and chive butter sandwiches, homemade cheese puffs, cream cheese and salmon toasts and quiche.

retro chic bridal shower ideas

After lunch the ladies chatted, worked on a scrapbook page for Merritt by taking Polaroid photos
with her, and prepared to play some games.
We played 20 questions about Merritt, the “What’s In Your Purse?” game, and the “Pass the Teddy” game which is fun for a lingerie shower.

The ladies played for various prizes that I wrapped in boxes from Packaging Specialties and wrapped with paper and stamped and embossed stickers from Paper Source.

retro chic bridal shower ideas

We wrapped up the day with desserts. We snacked on homemade heart shaped brownies, lemon macaroon tartlets, and mini cheesecakes topped with personalized flags from Notepolish.

retro chic bridal shower ideas

As everyone left they picked up a goodie bag that contained a votive candle, and personalized matches saying “Merritt & Joe, a perfect match.”

retro chic bridal shower ideas

All in all it was a very fun party and we sent Merritt off right for her honeymoon!

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

23 responses to “REAL PARTIES: Retro Chic Bridal Shower”

  1. That is just beautiful! I love the color choice!

  2. Kristy says:

    This shower is AMAZING! Great job!!

  3. Sandra @ Ribbons and Favors says:

    This was such a well put together shower theme. Not overdone and remained sophisticated yet with a fun flair to it. Absolutely loved your use of ribbons for just the right touch on your favors, noticed no bow just a great grograin ribbon and a knot with some paper shred and a label….great job!

  4. I love the retro chic theme throughout every detail. Love it!

  5. Emily F says:

    Wow, this is so amazing! Especially the food. I always struggle with what to serve at a shower. Since there is never a table big enough for everyone, it has to be something easy to eat. I really LOVE everything about this shower!

  6. This is so great! I LOVE the parasols. Such a great idea. =)

  7. Joanna ( says:

    Wow! This is so great down to every last detail! I love the goody bags with the personalized votives.

  8. Joanna ( says:

    Sorry ;) personalized matches!

  9. So cool! The umbrellas are my favorite!

  10. Chris says:

    Beautiful! How did you hang the parasols from the ceiling???

  11. Merritt's Mom says:

    Truly a work of LOVE! Done to a tee with an artistic flair. She left nothing out.

  12. Alison says:

    Thanks so much for the nice comments! I bought sticky hooks at bed bath and beyond and hung fishing wire from them to the umbrella handles!

  13. […] stumbled across this  post about a lovely bridal shower hosted by Alison Donahue, a photographer, in honor of her close […]

  14. Julie Mazzoleni says:

    Wow what a great job. everything look very nice and very creative. I want the recipes.
    Hope to see you Thanksgiving.

  15. Christine says:

    Do you have the recipies for what you made at this party? Everything sounds so delicious!

  16. Myriam says:

    I think the little dessert flags are my favorite touch! Love how different this is from typical frilly pink-ish showers!

  17. Eve says:

    Oh that cake stand is the cutest thing i have ever seen! great post, Bridal showers can tend to be a little dull (from my experience) but this one looks awesome!


  18. april says:

    I love it! Everything looks perfect and ties together so well. And your mom did a great job on the table runner!

  19. Retro Chic Bridal Shower | Bridesmaid Dresses Blog says:

    […] as well as blue tone palette have been ultra styling. Sophisticated nonetheless fun. Thanks to hostessblog for a indeed pleasing by Alison Donahueinvitations as well as vase paper by […]

  20. […] REAL PARTIES: Retro Chic Bridal Shower. […]

  21. Sarah Jackson says:

    What a great shower! Beautifully done! I really LOVE the 2 tiered serving dish what you could weave ribbon through around the edges. Could you tell me where you bought that or if you know where i could find one?

    thanks so much, Sarah

  22. Jan says:

    I was so inspired by your shower that I hosted a retro bridal shower for a friend.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful event with all the lovely details.