Last weekend I had the privilege of decorating a wedding shower for my cousin and best friend. Sarah and I shared an awesome childhood together of playing beanie babies, participating in Pony Club together, slumber parties, and hours of talking and laughter. I can’t believe she is getting married this summer and I couldn’t be happier for her. So, when her sister-in-law asked if I would decorate for her shower, I jumped on the opportunity.
Now, I’m not a professional party planner by any stretch of the mind. Besides my own wedding and sister’s graduation party, I don’t have a ton of experience, but I know what looks nice and somehow pulled it off for this shower. I titled this as “A decorator’s guide” because if you are decorating for anything, then you, yourself are the decorator. With the few events I’ve decorated for, I’ve been able to come up with a method and guidelines to achieving a gorgeous look. There are a few key points I like to keep in mind:
- Don’t spend much money as you can find a lot of great stuff around your home or a friend’s home.
- Remember traffic flow.
- Keep trying new arrangements until you love it.
- Cover as much space as possible.
Are you ready to find out what a decorator’s guide to a beautiful shower is? I’m so excited to share it with you!
Gather Your Things
As I mentioned before, go “shopping” around your own home or someone else’s home. As much as I think it’s important to make an event like this as beautiful as possible, I also realize, it’s just one night and not worth breaking the bank. Here are some things I came up with just from around my house.
Looks like a mess, huh? Ok, now that you’ve gathered your items, if you need to do some furniture rearranging, go ahead and do that now. For a shower you’ll want a food table, gift table, seating for guests, and a card table for the guests of honor to open gifts.
Set the Background
Remember that last key thing to remember while decorating? “Cover as much space as possible”. I was so excited when we decided to push the food table up by the fireplace because that gave me the opportunity to bring the decorations higher, thus filling out the area even more.
We covered the fireplace and table with a painter’s drop cloth. I love the texture and the imperfections in this awesome material.
Now we have the background all set up, it’s time to add some height. I think too often we get caught in the trap of keeping things flat on the table and not remembering to draw the eye upward. I found these cute pom-poms at Party City and snatched them up.
I love the color and character that they add. It took myself and my Mom a long time to get the arrangement just right, though. My mom kept joking that, “it sure takes a lot of work to get that thrown together look!”.
Arrange Large Décor Pieces
I love using bulky items in decorating. They cover so much space and give a platform for the small things. For this shower we grabbed a wooden crate, galvanized tub, and baskets which really brought out that rustic feel I was going for.
Fill in with smaller items
We’re not done yet! There is still way too much empty space, so we are going to fill it in with smaller items. Things like jars, buckets, lanterns, chalkboards, and pallet wood capture the countryside charm.
Arrange things in groups of odd numbers for the most pleasing layouts. Think triangular shapes. And, be careful not to let it get too cluttered. It’s so hard to find that happy medium, but if you keep playing with it, you’ll get it!
The thing with rustic decorations is they tend to be very neutral and unless you do a bunch of painting before, you’ll end up with a bland look. An easy and inexpensive way to add color is with the table service. If you are buying plates and napkins anyway, go for the ones that give a pop of color. Most likely that’s all you’ll need to up the brightness.
See those adorable Mason jar utensil holders? I gave a full tutorial on how to make them on the newsletter which will include exclusive content every month. You don’t want to miss out on those, so sign up today!
Give a Personal Touch
If you are celebrating something monumental like a wedding, baby, or graduation, you’re going to want to add a few special personal touches to the scene. Pictures can be displayed with twine and clothespins wrapped around an empty picture frame.
Aren’t they just the cutest couple? Even more beautiful is their love for Christ and each other.
Chalkboards give the opportunity to write instructions for food or games or a special message to the guests of honor.
For the gift table, I found a roll of brown paper we had once used to cover the floor when painting. It worked perfectly as a table cloth for the gift table because I was able to draw on it with a chalk marker.
The evening flew by in a rush of joy and excitement for the young couple. I was having so much fun, I never got out the camera once the guests arrived. You’ll have to just picture the smiles and fun everyone was having.
I was so pleased with the way the decorations turned out and I give credit to this method I’ve developed: a decorator’s guide to a beautiful shower. By following the steps of setting a background, adding height, arranging large items, filling in with small items, adding color, and giving a personal touch I was able to convey the rustic countryside feel I was going for.
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