Ashley and Justin are set to tie the knot on October 13, 2017 in New Jersey.  Ashley is the epitome of a Coordinated Bride and we just love her to pieces.   She recently had a rustic chic bridal shower at the Lake Valhalla Club in Montville, NJ.

We are excited to have Ashley on the blog today sharing all of the details about her shower!

From bride to be, Ashley (@aplusjsayyay)

It took me 3 months of venue hunting to find the perfect venue for my shower. There were specific things I was looking for: a lakefront, fireplaces, and an overall rustic appeal. Lake Valhalla Club in Montville, New Jersey offered all of these things, and more! I asked for a rustic’esque Bridal Shower because I wanted it to be the complete opposite of what guests will experience on our wedding day.  In our relationship, my fiancé is the rustic type, and I’m more of the romantic-chic type — as we celebrate the union of our love, both of our personalities will be vivid throughout! So, that’s right, expect a super romantic and chic wedding!

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My mom planned all of the details of my shower with the assistance of my maid of honor. The “theme” was lovebirds, since all of our family and friends always refer to us as “lovebirds”.  It was a unique, romantic, and rustic theme — exactly what I wished for!  My mom designed all of the specialty tables, decorations and centerpieces, while my maid of honor put together all of the games and took over the hosting responsibilities. My favorite flowers (ranunculus roses, hydrangeas, peonies, and garden roses, with eucalyptus accents), and little lovebirds were everywhere!

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As favors we included little 3oz oatmeal soap bars, wrapped and tied with a strip of twine that were labeled “From Ashley’s Shower to Yours, Thank you!”

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Even the guestbook was a huge set of lovebirds of which guests signed little wooden hearts and dropped them inside!

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We decided to put the “photo booth” outdoors.  There was a canopy decorated by Dkoran2 and team.   The canopy has beautiful pink fabric draped on it along with a few of my favorite flowers, ranunculus roses, hydrangeas, peonies and garden roses; accented with eucalyptus, lovebirds, and bird cages.   Everything was so detailed, so romantic, and so sweet! My mom and maid of honor worked closely with the creative hands of Ana from DKoran2 to execute everything, and do the set-ups to create the Bridal Shower of my Pinterest dreams!

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Bridal Shower Fun!

Live music was provided by Sami Eldebs (@samieldebs) a “one-man-band,” a super talented artist! He did a phenomenal job singing, playing, DJ’ing, and entertaining the guests!  In addition to planning the shower, my mom also made the cutest little prizes for guests who won games.  Mini 187mL Moet bottles, were wrapped in cellophane, tied with a cute laced burlap ribbon and a personalized “Ashley’s Bridal Shower” tag. She also made gift bags that contained a 7-oz candle, a To-Do notepad, and a matching stationary set.

Each guest’s place setting had a bundle of 3 games: He Said She Said, What’s In Your Purse?, and Would They Rather? I designed, and printed all of the games, as well as other aspects of my Bridal Shower listed at the end of this post. It was great to have personal touches throughout!

My mom, maid of honor, and I put a lot of thought into what games we would play at the shower. Here are some tips I put together that I thought were essential when thinking of what types of games you want at your Bridal Shower.

Tips for Games at Bridal Showers:

  1. Give your Groom some spotlight – After all, he’s the reason you’re a bride-to-be! My maid of honor gave my Groom-to-Be a list of 15 questions of which he recorded himself answering. At the Bridal Shower, she placed me in the middle of the dance floor, asked me the questions, and then after each question the video played on the television screens of him answering them. It was so special, fun, and sweet! The guests loved it! And I loved seeing my handsome Groom on the screens! I also had a life sized 5-ft cardboard cut-out of my Groom down on one knee with a ring box. All of the guests LOVED this, and was the perfect photo prop!
  2. Interact with the Guests: Guests love to be given some love and attention! The DKoran2 team set up a “Who Am I?” table where cards were displayed for guests to fill out a memory they had with the bride. Memories were then read out loud, and I had to guess who the memory was with! A lot of laughs, some tears, and even more laughs! Family and friends loved it!
  3. Bride and Groom Couple Game: Is your Groom attending or coming to your Bridal Shower? Play a game that involves the both of you! My bridesmaids set up two chairs, back-to-back, on the dance floor. We took off our shoes: he held one of his and one of mine, and I did the same. My maid of honor asked us questions like, “Who is the better cook?” He raised his shoe up, while I raised mine. The guests’ reactions were priceless, especially when we disagreed!
  4. Guests giving Advice: There were two tables set up for guests to give me and my fiancé advice. One table was about Naughty and Nice advice, which my aunts loved a little too much! And another table for date night ideas. I still have not read them, but definitely am looking forward to read these — a little scared to read some, but excited!

My gift table was travel themed (set up by @anagnydilone). It was decorated with globes, airplanes, vintage suitcases, maps, and two special string-art pieces I made of Greece and Italy (where we will be honeymooning!) Since my fiancé and I bought a home a year ago, we already had all the home-goods essentials. So, we decided to go with a Honeymoon Registry. We used  to host Wanderable our registry, and we highly recommend it! It was well-organized, beautifully designed, and guests loved gifting us memories rather than the usual appliances, and dust collecting chinaware.

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In addition to the favors guests were also able to partake in our luxe dessert table.   The goodies included were a multi-layered Dominican cake with Dulce de Leche filling made by @thereshouldalwaysbecake.   Macaroon towers, donut and cookies tower, macaroons galore; Lovebirds themed cupcakes, cake-pops, and cookies made by @lacuchara_dulcetta.  In addition, we had a candy table with all different types of candies, and Lindt chocolates courtesy of @lindt_chocolate themselves!

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Bridal Shower Surprises

My mom, maid of honor, and bridesmaids surprised me at the end with a Henri Bendel luggage set, and a basket full of honeymoon essentials! A lavish surprise, indeed!


But the highlight of my shower was when my mum put an eye mask on me, and walked me outside to the lakefront. Minutes later she took off the eye mask and through the canopy I saw my Groom-to-Be rowing a little green boat on the lake! It wasn’t until he reached the shoreline, that I noticed the massive bouquet of long-stem red roses! One of the guests asked, “WHY SO MANY ROSES!?” And he replied, “132 roses, one for each day that’s left until you become my wife!” It was a fairytale!  Every bride knows the Groom shows up at some point, but this was extraordinary, and so well thought out!

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We are getting married on Friday, October 13th. Yes! Friday the 13th! We purposely picked out this date because we love autumn, October, and gory Halloween activities — it’s perfect! Our ceremony is taking place at the beautiful Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, followed by a reception at The Rockleigh, which will also be followed by an after party!

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Vendor Collaboration

Set-up, Decor, Centerpieces, Flowers, and Floral Crown: Anagny Dilone of @anagnydilone with @hunts_point_flowers and @past_decor || Venue: Lake Valhalla Club Montville, New Jersey || Photography: @sueannettephotography photographed all of the decor, and @_blackefron photographed all of the moments, candids, and portraits || Entertainment: @samieldebs || Ashley’s Bridal Shower Sign: @ten23designs || Desserts: @thereshouldalwaysbecake || Sweets: @lacuchara_dulcetta || Groom Cardboard: || DIY Bride Touches: Game Cards, Soap favors, Signs, Lovebirds Place Cards, Photo Booth Props ||  Bride-to-Be Sash: SashieChicBoutique (Etsy) || Dress: Custom Made by a Family Friend || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Engagement Ring: Tacori via @gerald_peters