I know how it is...you're going to *another* bridal shower, and your gift inspiration fairy is on vacation. What to do? What to give? Okay, so gift registries are alright, but not exactly creative, distinctive, or showing that selective forethought for your special friend on her special day. How to combat the gift-giving boredom? AND without going to Gump's or Tiffany? Just rely on your own instincts and what you know about the bride and groom...
My college roommate Emilie is marrying her one true love, Carlos, later this fall... The pair met at law school, and while Carlos had to return to his native Chile for a temporary stay after graduation, Emilie moved to San Francisco to start anew in a beautiful one-bedroom apartment on Russian Hill. Carlos soon returned from Chile, and the Russian Hill apartment became home for both. The first time I met Carlos, I was invited over for a Friday night dinner of Pizco Sours, Chilean Crab Casserole, and a desert of sauteed figs in port wine with vanilla ice cream. Suffice it to say, I was impressed beyond belief, and I knew Emilie was with the right guy.
Carlos loves to cook, and Emilie loves to entertain. With these factors in mind, I went to find them a shower gift. Here is what I came up with:
The distinctive feature of Emilie & Carlos's apartment is the original Edwardian dark hardwood paneling that covers the walls. There is also a stunning inlay of original pressed copper surrounding their fireplace. Picking up on these details, Emilie purchased a fantastic small sectional couch in a deep moss green suede, with copper-orange pillows. I got inspired by the richness of the interiors and their color scheme to create this special gift themed around "a romantic dinner for two."
I went to Cost Plus World Market to find everything I needed, however you could make something similar from items found at Pier 1 Imports, Crate and Barrell, or your local restaurant or party supply store.
The placemats are dark brown and woven into a square shape, while the chargers are a bright gold. I found napkins that incorporated the green, orange, and brown of the room, as well as some candles in orange and rusty red.
In looking for wine glasses, I found a few options: some golden, some green, some red. I wanted to choose something of a different color than plain glass so that the set would go together and be distinctive from the rest of Emilie & Carlos's glassware collection. As I browsed Cost Plus, I found some glasses within the color scheme - amber and green...I couldn't decide if I wanted to go with the wine goblets or the champagne flutes! Then, I noticed that they were discounted at 50% off, so I could purchase both! I also found some floral napkin rings as a finishing touch. To top it off, I created a special romantic music CD for the couple, personalizing it to their music tastes: a little latin, a little jazz, a little pop.
The next question was, how does one wrap this entire thing? I have given a gift similar to this one once before, however it was all presented on a three-tiered etagere for the kitchen - another option for this type of gift. I was unable to find such an etagere this time, so I thought that I would stack everything and present it tied in a ribbon. But how to secure it without breaking the glasses? The question was pressing, and so was time! I was on my way to the shower, and entrusted with the job of picking up the bride and having her there early... what to do, what to do?
I must admit, I am not the best person for keeping wrapping papers around. I love wrapping papers, any paper actually, but I suppose it is the artist in me that wants to use wrapping paper for purposes other than simply wrapping presents. Personally, I am more likely to reach for some fun fabric or basic brown package paper to wrap a gift, and then dress it up with a fantastic ribbon. But, the whole point of this gift is to have it be seen by everyone... I quickly dive into the fabric pile and come out with about a yard and a half of fiery glitter tulle that I had used in design school long ago. I knew instantly that this would be perfect!
I spread the fabric on the floor and carefully place the gift on top of it. I then gathered the sides and tied it all with a beautiful mustard-yellow silk fabric that I had cut into ribbons. The flowered napkin rings were tied into the bow for a final touch.
Out the door, grab the bride, get to the shower...and what do you know? The gift was the hit of the party!