FINALLY, I’m posting about the bee-themed bridal shower I threw for my little sister this month! I thought it turned out bee-utifully. Yeah, I went there. Get ready for more where that came from.

This huge banner was one of the first ideas I had for the shower, and my mom & I loved it—it became a huge focal point at the shower. We used a large roll of burlap, sewed the ends around thick wooden dowels, wrote the couple’s names in chalk, stitched over the lines in black yarn with a thick needle, and then added bee buttons at the ends of the ‘trail.’ The heart was made out of yellow gingham cotton, embroidered with my sister’s wedding date, and stuffed with batting before being added onto the banner. I love that they will be able to use this at their wedding, too!

My gorgeous little sister. When I throw parties, I like to imagine a story behind the event, and the idea of this one was a girl who had ridden her bike out to the country, and stopped at a farm for a picnic. My sister is a nature lover and poet, and edits a bicycling magazine, so I wanted to make sure all those elements of her personality were incorporated somehow! The ‘story’ inspired us to decorate with a casual country feel (slightly challenging in my ultra-modern home), and serve a rustic afternoon tea surrounded by lots of plants and herbs.

The quilt is a family heirloom. The dog is just cute.

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We had exactly 20 guests, which I think is the perfect number for a bridal shower—intimate yet still lots of good energy. It’s not typical for the bride’s sister to host, but Melissa has had a big life filled with lots of travel, so her friends are spread out across the world. All our relatives are somewhat local, so it made the most sense to hold the shower in a central location. Plus, let’s be honest, I really really wanted to throw the party for her. For the tabletops: the plates were a mix of bamboo and plain white from Crate & Barrel, the silverware was vintage, and the napkins are simple dishtowels from IKEA tied with a bit of gingham and a vintage button fastener (my talented mama made these—she rocks). This was definitely a family affair—even my Dad pitched in and helped us plant dozens of herbs (mostly flowering purple thyme) to run down the center of the tables, mixed in with a handful of wildflowers. It gave the whole thing a garden-shop vibe that was perfect for my little sister, who has quite a green thumb and even interned on a farm for a while.

For some reason, I couldn’t get the idea of little flags out of my head. I was kind of stubborn about using them, actually. To make these, take any scrapbooking paper, cut rectangles, stamp each guest’s name on them, glue the end around a wooden chopstick, then ‘plant’ in your pot. Voila.

For drinks, we went with iced tea and white sangria, and of course we had to go with the classic Mason jar to serve it. And honey sticks! I love them! Why are they so cute?

The food was rustic, sort of a wine-country late-afternoon luncheon or tea.

We had cherry scones (not so good: baking + me = bad idea), bacon-cheddar scones (surprisingly yummy), loads of organic fruit, local honeys and jams, and specialty cheeses. I LOVE that we found an espresso-rind cheese called Barely Buzzed—could that ‘bee’ any more perfect? (okay, I’ll stop. I’m making myself sick.)This spice cake is one my mom’s specialties and is soooo good. Recipe HERE.

The entry-way flower arrangement below is actually being held up by a shoe dust-bag! We turned it inside out, attached some burlap ribbon, and sewed a matching ‘stuffed’ heart on the front. Inside we put a plastic container with water, added sunflowers, and we had a themed ‘welcome’ arrangement for about a dollar.

One of my favorite elements to the shower was inspired by my sister’s eco-minded nature. We asked all the guests to bring their gifts wrapped in fabric instead of paper, and then we used the fabric as our bridal shower activity—starting a quilt for the couple!  Luckily the ladies in our family are pretty creative and nobody seemed to be too scared off by this plan.

The cousins…

The bride-to-bee with her future mother-in-law (who stayed the weekend with us and is SO helpful and lovely!), and our beautiful mother (who is incredible and I love throwing parties with her!).  By the way, look how great Melissa’s rehearsal bouquet turned out—everyone used such gorgeous ribbons and my cousin Kristen affixed everything to a bamboo plate to keep an organic look....

and a final message from me to all you lovely readers out there. 

xoxo