I knew the color scheme I wanted to go with, and searched for invitations first. My mom grew up in the 70's loving Lilly Pulitzer print dresses and preppy pink and greens. I found these adorable gems by Gartner Studios at Target, 50 for $20, and knew they were perfect for the theme. They came with white ribbons for the top of the invite, but I headed to Michael's and picked up a light pink grosgrain ribbon with darker pink accents, which looked much nicer.
A roll of pink and white patterned Waverly wrapping paper, cut in half, served as the table runner. The centerpieces were mismatched milk glass vases that I found for $1 - $2 each at a local charity thrift store. Now I have my own little milk glass stash!
Every place setting had a hand embossed place card in a frame. I found the frames in the $1 bin at Michaels, then hand painted them to match the color scheme. They doubled as cute favors for the guests to take home.
I collaborated with Nicole from Singing Sparrow Flowers on the flowers. I wanted bright pink peonies and light pink roses with splashes of green. I love what she did! The tall milk glass vase arrangements consisted of the dark pink peonies, pink roses and cascading bupleurum, and for the votives she combined light and dark pink roses with Peruvian lillies.
Pink and green M&M's (my mom's favorite) were placed on the table in white tin candle holders that I found - 3 for $1. After the party, they can be used again as cute candy dishes or as candleholders.
Also at each place setting was a light or dark pink tissue paper flower napkin ring which I DIY'd following this tutorial with some modifications - I used 5 X 5 inch squares of tissue paper for my napkin rings.
The cupcakes were the final sweet touch to the luncheon. I shared my theme and vision for the mini "pixie cakes" with Nickol of Enlightened Patisserie. She hand makes the most amazing gum paste flowers or decoration for the top, so I sent her a picture of the napkin rings that she replicated. Nickol uses only the best organic ingredients, I went with her moist pistachio cake with white chocolate buttercream frosting, and tart lemon cake with lemon curd buttercream frosting.
I displayed the pixie cakes at the end of the table on two of my stacked whiteware cake stands, and cut circles of green and pink decorative paper for underneath.
How to translate this to a DIY budget bridal shower:
1. This could easily be held in a home, but don't rule out a restaurant or cafe. I didn't have to pay any rental fees for the luncheon, we basically had the place to ourselves, and the yummy food was under $10 a plate and all the wines were $5 a glass. For a smaller shower, the bill could easily be split among the bridesmaids or others throwing the shower. It could easily be the same cost everyone would spend on buying and making food for a shower at home!
2. Instead of opting for the cheaper (but kind of lame) fill in shower invites, or the expensive custom printed kind, find or download nice blank invites and print them yourself on your printer. I found mine at Target - 50 for $20.
3. Have a DIY night and work on painting the frame favors, embossing the place cards and assembling the napkin rings.
4. Scour thrift shops for centerpiece vases/votives. All of my milk glass vases were under $2 each.
5. Add special touches that make the event about the bride. All of my mom's friends know she is an M&M addict, so they loved that they were on the table for everyone to snack on.