Shower the People You Love With Love

When you're in your late 20s, every spring and summer automatically becomes wedding season- am I right?! Since my husband is 5 years older than me, as soon as his friends were done getting married, all of my friends starting tying the knot. Therefore, every summer for the past 7 years have been wedding season for us and it doesn't look like it's letting up anytime soon. I personally don't mind all of the weddings, and one of my favorite parts (besides the open bar, new dresses and steaks) is getting creative, hosting showers and showering my girlfriends with gifts.

This winter we had our first Stock the Bar Party for one of my best friends who is getting married at the end of May. Have you been to or hosted a Stock the Bar party? It was a
fun and
different way to celebrate than a traditional shower or bachelorette party (thank you Pinterest and Etsy for all of the inspiration). Many people do Stock the Bars for housewarming parties or co-ed showers, but we made this a good old-fashioned girls' night.

Invitations from Wedding Paper Divas

I loved throwing a Stock the Bar party because a full bar is a great way to start a life together.

When it comes to bridal showers, bachelorettes and engagement parties, I love finding a theme to create a basket with (that must be the teacher in me!) Here are a couple of my favorite ways to shower my girlfriends on their special days.

An engagement gift themed around a favorite cookbook or culinary theme
This basket had Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (a personal favorite and a classic for any new kitchen), a framed Julia Child quote (just printed on my computer and framed), some olive oil, pasta, french bread, a bread board and an issue of a wedding planning magazine.

Dressing up a Kitchen Aid mixer 
....or another appliance (all wrapped up) with all the fixin's for a baking frenzy wrapped up in a bakery box. TJ Maxx and Home Goods are great places to get inexpensive sprinkles, cupcake liners and aprons to add on to a gift!

Making chalkboard signs for the bride and groom to use on their big day

Wine Basket of Firsts
I've done this as a stand-alone gift and with a group of friends. We've all chipped in and purchased the wine glasses or barware off a couple's registry and then added on a basket of wine. This is also the best gift to give at a Stock the Bar party!

I received one of these for my bridal shower and I loved it so much that I had to recreate it. This is one of the cutest ideas that ever came from the rise of Pinterest. You can get creative and personal with it. Instead of going to the store with a list of wines, I shop around and when I find a wine that would work I grab it and create tags to go along with it. For any "firsts" that you can't find a good bottle for, I either get champagne or a personal favorite wine.

Here is what I have used..

First Fight
  • Mad Housewife
  • Tempra Tantrum
  • Ringside Cabernet

First Anniversary, Wedding Night or First New Year

  • Any champagne!

Stressed by Wedding or Life
  • Relax Riesling

Girls' Night
  • Skinny Girl Margarita mix
  • Girls' Night Out wine


Starting a Family
  • Mommy's Time Out
  • Simply Naked

First Baby

For first baby it's fun to add a bottle of liquor, beer or wine that the husband will like, along with a bottle of sparkling cider.

You can find a ton of ideas for these baskets on Pinterest and you can order labels on Etsy if you don't feel like making your own. You can download my labels for free by clicking here!

Happy wedding season!

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