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Monday, October 19, 2009

Bridal Shower Preparations: Favors and Prizes

As a December bride who also dearly loves autumn, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to plan my October Bridal Shower! The next several blog posts will be bridal shower-related, and although there will be a few which are not directly baking-related, most of them eventually come around to baked goodies in the end (or at least are related to baking).

My shower was this past October 11th of '09, not even two weeks have gone by yet. I hatched on the idea of a fall themed bridal shower pretty early on, in the fall of '08 in fact, which made it a lot easier since I was able to buy a lot of my items last year after the season, at a pretty steep discount. If you have the time to plan, I highly recommend doing the same.

I saw these invitations online, and fell in love with the whimsical design of the falling leaf. The falling in love concept is one that I keep returning to, leaves in October, snowflakes in December. I decided to match the cream color of the invitations and the brown throughout the entire shower.

I knew pretty early on that I wanted caramel apples as favors, and looking online, I thought that diamond-shaped hang tags around cellophane-wrapped caramel apples would fit into my rustic harvest theme perfectly. So I ordered some hang tags that were inkjet compatable, and designed some labels using the leaf motif from the invitation, which I colorized and photoshopped. Pretty close to what I had envisioned!
At first I was thinking that I would use curling ribbon to tie on the tags, but then I spied some lovely raffia (for those who don't know, the strips are made from dried raffia palms) in autumn colors that had the perfect rustic feel that I wanted. So I bought up every fall color I could find. Sadly, there was no true orange, however there was a lovely rusty orange that I paired with the yellow for a lovely effect.

The apples themselves are from Shop Rite. I had investigated ordering them online (too expensive!), and I had so many other things to do, I just didn't feel that I would have the time to dip 65 apples. But a word of advice to anyone who wants caramel apples as favors for to the produce manager at your local grocery store. Sam and Jack at the Spotswood Shop Rite were both great, and had no problem ordering my apples for me, which I purchased for the same price as they were in the store (no extra shipping)! They cost me 0.83 cents per apple, a pretty good price considering the quote most candy shops and orchards quote!
And they turned out just lovely:
One of my bridesmaids, Rachel, came over to help me with wrapping them the morning before the shower. And they were a huge hit!

Now, for the games...I am not a huge bridal shower game person. In fact, they mostly make me cringe. But there are 2 games I decided were acceptable: Bridal Bingo, and the Timer Game. Now, most of you are probably familiar with Bridal Bingo, but let me explain the Timer Game. It is the easiest game ever -- a timer is set to certain intervals while the presents are being opened. If it rings when your present is being opened, you get a prize. It's as simple as that. I like both of these games because they give people something to do while the presents are being opened, without requiring too much effort on the part of guests. So, for my two different games, I needed two different prizes. I wanted them to be fall-related, and also baking related.
For the timer game, I chose ceramic pie plates (with recipes printed in them) in fall colors and flavors - orange/pumpkin, red/apple, brown/pecan, etc. All of the dishes had a colored rim that matched the recipe printed on them, which looked very festive. I had found special fall-themed cellophane meant for dishes and such (as well as smaller matching bags), so I used that to wrap the prizes and distinguish them from the favors.
You can just see the recipe printed on the inside of this pie dish, I believe this one is cranberry apple pie...
And here is one of the pumpkin pie plates. I only had 5 of these because they were a more expensive prize. By setting the timer to every 20 minutes, I was able to make these prizes last for the entire gift-opening.
For the Bingo prizes, since I needed more of them, I chose small ceramic loaf pans with fall motifs on the side.

But because I figured "what's a pan without a recipe??" I modified a pumpkin bread recipe, printed them out using the same font and cream paper I had been using for everything, rolled them up, and popped them into the loaf pans before I wrapped them. And I got some more use out of my "fall in love" theme in the process:

And here they are wrapped:
All in all I am very pleased with how the favors and prizes came out -- they were quaint, rustic, fall-sy (is that even a word?) and baking related. They were also a huge hit, and I hope people enjoy them!
Next up, I have some other little details about the shower that I want to share (this post is getting a little long...), and then to the focal point of my entire shower, the Cookie Buffet!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing,really enjoyed it!