Thursday, October 26, 2017

New Orleans Themed Couple's Wedding Shower

New Orleans
Couple's Wedding Shower

New Orleans themed wedding shower with cafe du monde coffee cans

My baby brother is getting married, so of course, I offered to throw a wedding shower. I thought a couple's shower would be appropriate so that he could be there too. He and his future bride are having a destination wedding in New Orleans so that was my inspiration. It's nice to give a little hint of what is to come at the wedding but I did try not to do anything that the bride was planning for the big day.

Where to start? I tend to be a very organized person so in planning a party I start with an outline similar to writing a paper or essay. I think it is easier if you name some of the most basic things that you need for a party and go from there.

First, you need a theme. Check! Then a date for the event. Easy enough. Next, a place to have the party. Done. Then you need a list of the basic needs for a party:

Food and drinks
Music and entertainment

First item on the list, invitations, should reflect your theme. I wanted to keep the shower less formal and not too "girlie" since it was a couple's shower. After looking through options for invitations, I decided to make my own on the computer. I guess a New Orleans themed wedding shower is not that common, huh? While looking for some ideas on Pinterest, I came across the cutest dancing alligators and knew right away that I had to try to use them somehow. Luckily, my major was in art so I was able to redraw them with a little umbrella above their heads. (Get it... shower, ha,ha)

The back of the invitation had all of the information for the party such as the couples' names, location, time, and registry information. 

Next item to tackle was the food and drink department. This was easy as New Orleans is famous for it's restaurants and local flavors. My first call was to my mother as she is a bit of a foodie so she helped decide on the menu and thankfully offered to make her red beans and rice in addition to a yummy muffaletta dip.

 I wanted to have one more entree and appetizer so I found a restaurant to make poboys, another staple of the New Orleans diet, and boudin balls, which taste much better than they sound! We have a new restaurant here in San Antonio called Walk Ons which is originally from Louisiana and oddly enough has the best food I have ever had from a sports bar! We added some Zapp's voodoo chips to go along with the sandwiches and I am so glad I did as I think they're the best chips I have ever had! They're like a salt and vinegar and BBQ flavor all in one.

My mom "the chef" on the right and me "the baker" on the left
No party meal would be complete without dessert so we decided on Bourbon balls and hand pies. (Which also doubled as a favor to take home) I wanted to do finger foods for dessert to keep it simple. (Get the recipe for the bourbon balls  here. It is actually a rum ball recipe but just substitute bourbon for the rum.)

Excited to find the kissing alligators at Retro Planet (they are actually salt and pepper shakers)

The hand pies were ordered from Haydel's bakery in New Orleans and they were delicious! The packaging was adorable too! Here's the link: Haydel's hand pies

I balanced out the dessert table with some black and white cookies...

 Liquor was definitely on the menu for the party. Ehem...Bourbon street!

changed the alligators up a bit with glasses this time

We were going to do a bride's drink (French 75) and a groom's drink (Sazerac) but decided to save that for the rehearsal dinner instead and just let everyone make their own drinks to keep it more casual. I found some cute beverage napkins while in New Orleans with the St. Charles street car on them so they set the tone for the bar.

Now to music and entertainment. Being one of the musical capitols in the world, (in my opinion) we had to have some jazz. My friend found a great band in New Orleans that sells their CD called The Shotgun Jazz Band. Check them out here. No microphone needed for this chick. She can belt out a tune. Unfortunately, we only had a CD and not the real thing.

The minute I knew the theme for the party, I wanted to have a tarot card reader for entertainment. If you have been to New Orleans, you might have noticed that you can't walk through Jackson Square without seeing one. Luckily, I found one right here in San Antonio, Ms. Cassandra. She even dressed the part. It was so much fun! You can find her here.

Lastly, in the entertainment department, I decided that we had to do a selfie station. It seems the thing to do these days and finding New Orleans styled fashion accessories was easy and cheap!

NOLA bound banner for the selfie station

Last but not least, decorations. After everything else is planned out, this is the simple part. I knew that I wanted to use things found in New Orleans but you always have to have some decorating party staples such as flowers.

I found the empty Cafe Du Monde cans on Ebay

22 Days to I Do Banner with masks, flowers and candles

When decorating for a party, have an idea of the areas that need to be decorated first. This seems obvious, but you might be tempted to just go to Party City and start loading up on balloons and streamers when you might not need those things at all. Above, I used masks, flowers and candles.

When planning locations to be decorated, I started with the exterior because I wanted guests to be greeted with a sign welcoming them to come in. I also wanted the house to be clearly located from the street so we threw beads up on a light pole lantern that we have in the front yard which is reminiscent of the ones that you see in New Orleans. We also tied some gold and white balloons to the pole to show the way.

The frame was one from my wall that I repurposed (originally Hobby Lobby)

The other areas that I thought needed to be decorated were the tarot card area, the dining room table and dessert table, the area for the couple to open presents along with a gift table, the bar, the kitchen and the back patio. I used beads, masks, frames, banners, feathers, flowers, ribbon, moss and candles to give a traditional New Orleans feel along with some silver serving pieces and ceramic alligators.

I made the cutest lanterns with hanging ribbon that were hung in the rafters of the covered patio but because I waited until it got dark to take a picture and then forgot to take the picture after too many French 75's, you will just have to see them in your imagination. Sorry! Bad Blogger!!!

Well, that just means that the party was too much fun. That's all. I hope this was some inspiration if you're having a shower of your own. Whether it is New Orleans inspired or not, the principles of party planning are all the same. Just have fun with it and make sure there is a lot of booze if everything else goes wrong.

sharing with ~French Country Cottage

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