Fiesta, Siesta, Repeat

I had been super excited for this past weekend because over the past month or so, I have been watching my co-worker, Brenda, put together the most adorable bridal shower for her best friend. Brenda and I share a love for Mexican food, so when she was throwing around ideas for a Mexican-themed bridal shower, I was already in love.

She totally took the idea and ran with it, and I had fun making some suggestions for a few details here and there, When I saw the photos, I was so impressed! To top it all off, Brenda and the other girls there did all of this without the bride, Kirsten, knowing. How fun is that? Take a look at some of her cute ideas:

Check out all this color! It was the perfect contrast to Kirsten’s contemporary loft in KC, and a huge component of that was these beautiful blankets that Brenda found on Amazon.

She coupled these with a collection of bright, summery flowers and succulents for the middle of the table. Then, she used galvanized chargers and bright yellow plates to create a place setting. And to add a little bit of personalization, she found matching galvanized place card holders, so guests knew exactly where to sit.

No fiesta can be complete without a margarita, and to take it up a notch, Brenda created a margarita bar. She offered lime, mango and strawberry margaritas, which were served in adorable cactus margarita glasses. The Dollar Tree is the perfect place to look for festive little adds to your party, such as glassware, that you don’t want to spend tons of money on.

After noshing on tacos, chips, salsa and, of course, queso, the menu was rounded out with this adorable “Señora Conley” cake. How cute!

As party favors, custom tanks were made for the girls and the bride. The best part? The bachelor and bachelorette party are taking place in Mexico, so the tanks can be dual purposed for both celebrations.

Buen trabajo, Brenda!

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These Are A Few of Molly’s Favorite Things

Most likely, I will be singing that “Sound of Music” song in my head all evening now! But how cute is that for a bridal shower theme? As a bridesmaid in my friend, Molly’s, wedding we were enlisted by her Maid of Honor to help put on a shower including all of Molly’s favorites eats and treats.

The menu selections included a vast array of options:
-Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
-Cheesy Gordita Crunches (yes, I was super pumped about this one!)
-Red Vines
-Swedish Fish
-Cheese, Crackers & Meats
-Popcorn
-Yogurt Parfaits
-Chicken Salad Sandwiches
-Etc.

And let me tell you, this preggo girl really appreciated the green smoothie shot in Molly’s honor instead of the typical alcoholic toast…celebratory and healthy!

Yes, it was a little random but totally Molly, and I loved each and every item. Since we used to be roommates, I had a great time looking through all the options and remembering Molly enjoying all of the food and drink selections at various times.

In addition to the cute theme, I have to give our girl Kaitlin a huge shout out because invitations and signage for the shower were beautiful. She’s a graphic designer by trade and even has her own side gig (check her gorgeous designs out at Flan De Vida Designs).

Molly and Chad’s wedding is incorporating lots of lush greenery and a neutral color palette, which is a trend I am so on board with! Kaitlin incorporated that as well as threw in a fun pop of pink to add to the shower color scheme.

It was such a fun afternoon getting to celebrate with girlfriends, enjoy delicious food and see an abundance of monograms (because what St. Louis girl doesn’t love a good monogram?). Getting excited for the wedding in October! #younglove

Photos compliments of Kaitlin Carratero & Morgan Flannery. 

 

Cheers to Creativity!

Photograph above compliments of B. B. Photography

When you’re in that phase of your life wheen everyone under the sun is getting married, sometimes the wedding celebrations do get a little repetitive, or I hate to say it, stale. But a good friend of mine has made it very clear how easy it is to add a little creativity and spunk to a bridal shower to create an unforgettable event.

Her sister’s bridal shower was not only a surprise, but she incorporated it into the bachelorette party weekend, so guests only had to travel one time. So smart, right? Especially when you have girlfriends flying or driving long distances, why not kill two birds with one stone?

And in addition to the surprise, the theme was not only unique but absolutely adorable! Her sister is a big runner and was actually proposed to by her fiance during a run. So, Nancy and her other sister decided to do a marathon theme for the shower. They used punny wording, including the “race to the altar” and even created these adorable race number invitations.

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And what sparked this blog post was the theme for my own bridal shower this past weekend. She and a few of my girlfriends got together to plan not only a thoughtful but hilarious bridal shower. The theme? McDonald’s. Ok, the back story helps a bit. My fiance and his family are franchise owner of McDonald’s, so the theme was awfully fitting. Byy tag-teaming with Brenda, a co-worker of mine, they were able to throw me the shower at my workplace without knowing a single detail.

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Photograph compliments of B. B. Photography.

They went all out making sure the golden arches were well-represented in the space, and they not only included the McDonald’s classics but also made sure to add Kristi touches.

For our menu, we noshed on mini burger sliders, french fries and chicken tenders. And of course, you can’t forget the sauces!

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Photograph compliments of B. B. Photography.
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Photograph compliments of B. B. Photography.

And since I am a lover of ice cream, we finished off the meal with a Make Your Own McFlurry complete with the original cups and those infamous McFlurry spoons.

I must say, however, my favorite part of the event was the take-home gift they sent with all the guests. They created “Happily Ever After Meals” in adorable little boxes that contained bath salts and a candle “from Kristi’s shower to yours.”

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Every aspect of the shower was carefully thought out, and I truly appreciated all the hard work, creativity and planning that went into the shower. I truly cannot wait to celebrate with all of these ladies at the wedding in a few short weeks. Cheers to being on Instagram with a bunch of cheeseburgers #imlovingit #McRuprecht

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Showering Alyssa With Love

You guys! It’s officially here. Not just wedding season at work, but wedding season for my family! Aside from my bridal shower earlier this spring, my sister and I have been quietly working away on our big days. And this past weekend, we were able to celebrate Alyssa with a shower to kick-off her wedding festivities.

The greatest thing about it all was that it was truly a joint effort. Alyssa’s best friend and Maid of Honor was the hostess with the mostest (yes, that’s really the best way to describe her). I helped with the decorations and prizes, my cousin put together the games, my sister created the invitations….you get the idea.

And this shower is proof that thanks to technology, you can have multiple people collaborating on a shower using email, text messages and photos to develop a theme, create decorations and execute a menu and timeline. Here are a couple pics from the day’s event.

The venue my younger sister, Katie, and Gina selected was perfect. It was a hotel that had recently been renovated and had a gorgeous venue space that was both modern yet simplistic. It really complimented the color scheme of the shower, which was purples, pinks and greens with black and silver accents. image2 (1)

Although originally we wanted the shower to take place outside to really enhance our garden tea party feel, with the number of guests we had, it really wasn’t suitable. And we lucked out big time since there was a short down pour right as the reception was starting…dodged that bullet…phew!

Instead, we decided to use a mixture of florals displayed in tin pails and lanterns for centerpieces. Gina also learned the important difference between dry and wet floral foams!

Each table also displayed a different fun fact about the couple, so any guests that had met Tony and Alyssa later on in their relationship knew some fun things about their early relationship.

image3Since the menu was pretty simple and consisted of some delicious appetizers, including melon prosciutto skewers, mini BLTs and a cheese board, and a garden salad for lunch, we opted out of a printed menu at each place. Instead, Katie created a “Get To Know the Bridal Party” card with information about Alyssa and Tony’s wedding since it is a destination wedding. They matched the invitation perfectly. Also, we included edible take home gifts that were floral cookies created by Gina’s super talented friend, Kristen, created.

image1Now can we talk about the cakes? As if we didn’t already have a slew of talented people working on the event, Alyssa and Gina’s friend Lauren came swooping in with the most adorable cakes. I didn’t event want to eat them, but I also know how delicious Lauren’s cakes. That definitely helped when we had to slice through these works of art. 13315654_10105344608523557_8656146683298319189_n

13332902_10153768927775914_6423902342586706344_nAnd of course our cousin Mandy did a fabulous job with the games. Although her school year with her kiddos had ended just days before, she was back to teacher mode giving instructions. And my favorite part was my Aunt Sue who decided to play the game using lipstick since we were down a pen…how innovative!

It was such a fun afternoon celebrating with friends and family. I can’t wait until July when the bachelorette party and California wedding take place! Until then, I will keep you posted on my Instagram: @kristi_uncorked.

 

 

Bed, Bad and Beyond

As I sat there blankly staring at the invitation, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My friend Molly and I burst into laughter after we realized what I had done. At first, I was so angry with myself as I reviewed the list of people who had looked over the invitation in my head.

There it was staring back at me: a well-designed, already printed, already addressed invitation that steered guests to purchase shower gifts at Bed, Bad and Byound, had I just created a new sex shop? I was mortified about my mistake and briefly contemplated sending them out anyways, but I couldn’t get the thought out of my head of ladies my mother’s age receiving my mistake in the mail.

imageYup, I had officially screwed up invitations that were already purchased and barely a month out for the event, so we were anxious to get them to the guests. But instead of panicking, Molly and I decided to roll with the punches and make these invitations work. Luckily, the registry information was located at the very bottom of the invite, which allowed me to trim each invitation by about 1/8 of an inch to eliminate the mess up. From there, I designed a separate enclosure card that conmunicatd to guests where the couple was registered.

Now, the story is funny….entertaining if you wish, but at that moment, it was anything but comical. The moral of this blog is everyone makes mistakes, event detail-oriented me. And sometimes you just have to roll with the punches to make everything work.

Royal Flush

My sisters definitely aced my bridal shower. And I don’t just mean a cute, memorable afternoon that was enjoyed with close friends and family. I mean a royal flush of spades….Kate Spade that is.

hostsTogether with my aunts and Mom, they perfectly crafted a bridal shower that matched all my wishes and pins on Pinterest. They chose a spot in Wauwatosa that I would have never chosen for a bridal shower, but everything worked so perfectly. The shower took place at a cozy wine bar called The Ruby Tap, and the space and staff were wonderful. From the décor to the games to the guests, everything was exactly how I imagined it. Check out some of the details below:

quotesDécor:
Just as Kate Spade is inspired by clean lines and neutrals with a pop of something fun, so was the decorations for the day. Tables were adorned with black linens and long black and white striped runners that spanned the tables. Everywhere you turned, there were quotes on decorative cardstock quoting Kate Spade herself, Coco Chancel and various other girly and funny quotes.

But I would have to say my favorite part about the décor was the adorable dessert bar they created. I always encourage people to double food and decorations because it’s so easy to create a statement with a beautiful, yet edible, spread. And this one they nailed. They turned a high-stop bar table into the dessert buffet by adorning it with a white and gold polka-dot linen. In front, they draped a fringed banner (found here at Target), added a few quotes and let the real statement pieces shine: the cake pops (but we’ll get tot those later).

dessert bar

kissesGames:
I know not everyone enjoys playing bridal shower games because let’s be real, they can be a bit cheesy. But if you happen to know me personally, you know I am a fan of a little cheese. My cousin Mandy had planned out the “He said, she said game” by emailing Ryan and I questions prior to the bridal shower. She made adorable lips and mustache props. Since Ryan and I live so far away, it was a nice way for some of my family and friends to get to know him who have not had ample time to be able to spend with him.

They also played the “Guess How Many Kisses” game, and I have to admit my favorite guess was from my cousin’s adorable daughter, Brynley (she also happens to be one of our flower girls). Her guess was “fifty ninty-nine.” If only I could rock that cuteness onw.

flower girls

And finally, we wrapped up the games with a little prize for the person who drove the longest. My bridesmaid and friend since fifth grade wasn’t able to make it in town from Minneapolis, but her mom made the two and a half hour trek from her house to be there with me. It was not only touching, but the small gesture allowed her to know how much I appreciated her being there.

Food & Beverage:
Ahh, the best part of almost every party: the fare. The shower began at 11:00 in the morning, so it was only customary to serve mimosas. Since the venue is a wine bar at night, they had a complete spread of individually sized champagne bottles, so guests could make their choices based on preference of sweet or brut and which brand they wanted to drink. In addition to that, wine and espresso was offered, along with lemonades for the kiddos and soon-to-be mommy, all complete with black and white and gold and white striped paper straws. I’m tell you, they thought of everything.

As guests were arriving, we munched on cheese boards (it is Wisconsin after all…) and truffle flavored popcorn. And after games, the guests and I enjoyed a light lunch of chicken salad croissant sandwiches and a delicious chopped salad.

cake popsBut as I mentioned before, my absolute favorite thing about the shower was the “Kate Pops,” which were crated by my sister’s co-worker, Jen. I mean, can a a cake pop get any cuter? They were decorated with blacks, golds, pinks and whites, stripes, sprinkles and edible bows. They varied between white cake, chocolate cake and my favorite, red velvet. And I definitely learned not to eat a cake pop covered in black icing prior to gift opening and pictures….whoops!

Not only was the theme absolutely perfect, but being able to spend so much time with friends and family that live far away made my heart full. For someone who is usually behind the scenes on all of this, it was refreshing to be the guest of honor for a change. And to top it off, I can now make my own cake pops using my very own gold Kitchen Aid mixer (thanks, Mom, Alyssa and Katie)!

10 Off-The-Registry Bridal Gifts

Today’s post was inspired by my Groupon repost on Instagram promoting 50% off personalized return address labels! From the showers I have attended and the adorable ideas I see on Pinterest and Etsy, I have compiled a list of 10 great gifts that brides won’t even expect!

101. Personalized Return Address Stamp
Brides and grooms are most likely sending out more mail than they ever have before between Save The Dates, invitations and thank you notes. Tip: Only include the couple’s first names, so they can use it prior to the wedding and continue using it afterward. 

02. Christmas Tree Ornament
After the last dance comes to a close, all the gifts have been opened and the tans from the honeymoon have faded, give the couple something to commemorate their special day as they set-up their Christmas tree each year. Plus, it will be a fun ornament for their kids to see one day too!

03. Door Mat
Especially if couples haven’t lived together prior to a marriage, this is really when the two start building a home together. Help them welcome guests into their house even before the door opens.

04. Cocktail Napkins
These ones are even cooler than wedding-day themed cocktail napkins. Does the future Mr. and Mrs. have a favorite sports team they cheer on? Theme them with team colors and a team chant for watch parties. Or, how about a festive holiday theme for when they host their first Thanksgiving or Christmas Mr. and Mrs?

05. Honeymoon-Themed Gifts
Lots of couples go straight from planning and celebrating into a relaxing honeymoon vacation. Gift a personalized beach bag stuffed with towels or monogrammed luggage tags or passport covers to help them jet off on their once-in-a-lifetime trip.

1 (1)06. Recipe Book
Ask each of the shower guests to send you their favorite recipe. Compile them into a cookbook, so the bride can make delicious recipes starting the very first night in the couples’ new home. Make sure to leave blank pages for the family recipes the bride collects.

07. Teamwork Towels

Monograms and Mr. and Mrs. items can be super cute, but can also seem dated after a few anniversaries. These cute kitchen accessories give a sustainable newlywed feel.

08. A Year of Firsts Basket
Collect bottles of wine and label each of them with a cute tag that describes each instance when the couple should enjoy the bottle of wine together. Package in a cute basket.

09. Something Blue
Order a customized “Something Blue” label to be sewn into the inside of the bride’s dress…nothing is better than tradition!

10. Hanging Keepsake
This one is great for any couples who have spent time apart during their relationship. It’s a special memory of how their time apart made their love grow strong.

Kristi Uncorked.

When I got home from work today, I had a stack of boxes outside my front door. This sight instantly raised my excitement level for the day because who doesn’t love getting mail? Inside the boxes were not just one but two bridesmaid dresses, which makes a total of three dresses delivered to my doorstep so far this year. Mind you, it’s the beginning of February. My mailman probably thinks I am taping my own rendition of “27 Dresses” at my house for the number of David’s Bridal and Brideside boxes I have received in a few short weeks.

I had always wanted to start a blog. With a journalism degree and experience in the magazine world, I had dabbled in blogging for various publications. But I have always oohed and ahhed over women who have blogs that express their personal brand. I never took the leap of faith because my life was not that exciting, at least not enough to keep the attention of a reader.

But today as I pulled these dresses out of the boxes and tried each of them on, I couldn’t help but to think that I was unwrapping the subject to my very own personal blog. Let’s do some math here. In the year 2016, I am in four separate weddings (well, five if you count my sister who is having both a destination wedding as well as a cocktail reception back home). Oh yeah, and did I mention one of those is my own? That’s four plus bridal showers, four bachelorette parties, four rehearsals and dinners, four ceremonies and four receptions. In addition to that, I am currently aware of three additional weddings that I will be receiving invitations to, which includes a couple additional showers and potentially another bachelorette weekend invite. That’s just the festivities for the friends and family.

I am also in the process of assisting 26 other couples plan their big days as an event specialist for a country club.  Now add all of those champagne-drinking, love honoring, well-wishing days together, and I have more than 64 days of this year that I will be celebrating marriage. And then there’s the planning. You get the gist, right?

So, hence the creation of Kristi Uncorked. Here is where I will share with you all of the knowledge I have acquired thus far and plan to while frolicking through the fabulous world of wedding planning. You will get to read my professional, real-life, “oh $%*^” situations, holding up my friend’s dress while peeing, wedding-attendee advice. Now you might not agree with everything, but I feel I have a pretty good handle on Midwest weddings. So hold on, friends. It’s going to be a wild year, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Cheers!

Kristi