Friday, September 29, 2017

"Love is Brewing" Coffee Themed Bachelorette Party

  I am one of five sisters, just in case you are new here. Back in the early "oughts" when my oldest sister had her wedding, and then a couple years later when I was married, blogging was practically non-existent, and Pinterest and Instagram hadn't even been thought of, so things were much simpler. 

    Fast forward to 2013. The third-in-line sister started planning her wedding. With blogs. And Pinterest. And Instagram. And a million "how-to-have-the-perfect-wedding" websites. I had already started decorating for parties for friends and family by then, so she recruited me to help out. I ended up throwing her a little bachelorette party, and doing much of the decor for her wedding and reception. 

   And the precedent was set. I threw a donut-themed bridal shower for the next sister, and did decor for her shabby chic pearls-and-lace themed wedding. (Which I realized somehow never made it on the blog, perhaps due to lack of photos, as being both a bridesmaid and coordinating reception set-up and decor can be pretty intense, and not leave much time for photography!)

    That just left the last of the sisters. We kind of had a "wedding-every-two-years" thing going, so why stop now? The youngest got married last week, and I helped put together a little bachelorette party for her. She *adores* coffee, so the sisters agreed (we just work better together!) that her love for the caffeine bean would make a cute theme.

 We debated a myriad of color schemes, ranging from hot pink (this sister loves bright colors, and it seemed "party" like) to dark brown and turquoise (she already had a bridal shower with those colors). We talked about using the wedding colors, but we finally settled on a neutrals color scheme, with a little black and gold thrown in. The wedding preparations had been hectic, and we thought having a soothing little laid back get-together was perfect.

   I loved the idea of using natural coffee filters in as many places as possible, and that ended up working so well. I put together the decor for this party in about six hours, the day before and the day of, so I needed it to be quick and easy. I needed to keep things on the frugal side, too, because if you've ever been in a wedding party, it's not cheap! I wanted to save without being stingy. The coffee filters were less than $2, and I have enough left I could do three more parties if I wanted! Score.

   I didn't have any particular idea in mind when I pulled out these white pom-poms I had bought at the Dollar Tree and not used for a different event. I decided to make five mini pom-poms out of the coffee filters. If anyone is interested I could post a little tutorial later on, but they were so simple. I decided to group all the poms together. Then I remembered seeing a cool chandelier of empty coffee cups in a shop in our mall, and I pulled out some to-go cups I had on hand.
     This is a better photo I took afterwards. I simply attached the lids with glue dots (I doubt they would have fallen off without it, but I wanted to be sure) after I poked a hole in the bottom and threaded twine through and tied a knot to keep the cup on. I used nine cups total, and I decided that hanging them from the center of the pom grouping would give me the look I wanted. I loved it! Having such a big centerpiece really pulled everything together. I hung it from a 3M hook I attached to my ceiling, and it really looked  cool. It's hard not to notice a chandelier of coffee cups!

  I also used the coffee filter to make this stupidly easy garland. I flattened filters and folded them in half and stapled them over a piece of twine. I placed this garland across the front of my table. I used a white plastic tablecloth from the Dollar Tree. I used brown kraft paper (also from the Dollar Tree) as a "runner" and to add some texture.

      I also made "flowers" out of the filters. I just twisted the filters in the center and attached them to lollipop sticks with scotch tape. This only took a couple of minutes and looked super cute! I added a coffee candle, some coffee beans, a mug with chocolate-covered espresso beans and a gold container to finish off the top of the microwave. The little owl is a passive speaker, but he looks artsy and matched the colors so he earned his spot. I put together the "first I drink the coffee" printable, after seeing that saying in a number of other places. I love it!

   I made another garland with the filters, but changed it up by crushing them in the center and tied them with ribbon to look like bows. I put that across the front of the kitchen counter that extends into my dining area. I topped that off with my chalkboard sandwich sign (my art isn't the best, but it's free!) and a little dish filled with coffee beans and a hazelnut candle.
      I used coffee beans as "confetti" to scatter across the table top. I put together  the "perfect blend" printable with the bride and groom's names. I loved this color scheme because I could print things in black and white so easily! We served coffee, of course, so I put out more cups, and filled pitchers with cold brew coffee and half-and-half. I offered guests a variety of k-cups to suit, and I also had several different Torani syrups to flavor them with. I thought that was more "coffee house" style than having flavored creamers, but that would work in a pinch. I bought white hydrangeas from Trader Joe's  and put them in a Dollar Tree vase that I wrapped with polka dot burlap ribbon, also from Dollar Tree.

   Fortunately, the color scheme lent itself well to coordinating munchies. I wanted things that were easy, and since the maid of honor was bringing a homemade cheesecake (it was absolutely delicious!) I didn't feel compelled to go overboard in the snacks department. We had crackers and pretzel thins, with Babybel goudas, and there was also Laughing Cow wedges for those. I picked up mini biscotti from Trader Joe's and delicious Caramel Toffee scones from WinCo. I made these amazing coffee truffles-ganache with espresso added? Yes, please! I will add, perhaps because my house was warm (It was HOT that day, over 95 degrees!) that I needed to pop them in the freezer to firm up for about 30 minutes after I scooped them and before I rolled them cocoa, but they were a big hit and very delicious.

   I put together the "My cup overflows" printable, and I really love the way it turned out. Incorporating Scripture into any event I do is not only part of my "signature" but in my mind, a necessity. The Word is appropriate in every situation and season, and I am always thrilled when the Lord brings the perfect verse to mind for something. This print is extra-special, as it will grace my sister's new kitchen.
   Wrapped coffee chocolates from Trader Joe's and espresso beans in two flavors from Walmart finished off the food. I picked up white plates and napkins from Dollar Tree and black plastic cutlery from Walmart. Putting it in a little gold basket upped the cute a little. I really like to buy plain paper goods when I can as they are more versatile, as I often have leftovers. It makes it easier to use up the remainder for a different event.

    I followed my own advice when setting up the display on my Expedit. I pulled things from around my house that coordinated with the color scheme and theme and put them together. I "borrowed" this cute ribbon garland in advance of its use at the wedding reception, I like to make these, but I actually bought this one from Michael's, because with a sale and coupon it was pretty much cheaper than I could have purchased the supplies. I gathered all the white coffee cups I had (I had more than I realized, I must I admit!) along with some brown books, a gorgeous sepia photograph one of my talented sisters took and a cool vintage voting district map that was a gift from another sister.. I also used this as an opportunity to play with my new felt letter board. I hope to get a lot of use from that!
   Stacking the cups inside one another gave the kind of casual feel that I wanted, I used the trick of stacking a small container inside some of them to elevate the second cup. I put coffee scented candles around the room, too.

   I would say I was pretty pleased with how it all came together. My oldest sister was a huge help with the food, that isn't my strong suite, and she really handled most of that. My mom came over to help me clean, so don't think that I just threw up decorations in my already immaculate apartment! Haha, NO! Truly, after all these years, I still follow my own tips and tricks from my "31 Days of Perfect Party Planning": I found my buddy, I did it for someone I loved, I kept my theme tight, and made a bunch of garlands!
     In some ways, putting a little event like this together is cathartic for me, especially since I was in the throes of planning for the reception. Huge events like that *still* overwhelm me, and I know it sounds counterproductive, but doing a small party like this helped me to gather my focus, and was a "win" that reminded me that I could push through and manage to pull the reception decor together. That may make the blog someday, we shall see-it was a lovely autumn boho/barn wedding, and it came together SO much better than I could have hoped.

   But seriously, I cannot say this enough: I don't do anything that anybody can't do. Creativity isn't innate for some of us, but just like a muscle it gets stronger the more you use it. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, just keep changing things until it feels right. It gets easier!


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