Monday, August 16, 2010

Jane Austen bridal shower

After my last blog entry I felt I should write about something more positive and uplifting. Rainbows and puppies perhaps? I have nothing much to say about rainbows at the moment, and the only thing I can say about puppies is that I've always wanted one... The thought filled all of my childhood diaries, and every Christmas and birthday I held my breath, hoping... I even created a small black lab puppy out of my mom's old stockings, put eyes on him and gave him a tail. Then I'd carry it around with me, imagining I was holding a real puppy in my arms.

Ok, I'm feeling better now. You? Good.

My brother married an amazing woman this summer. I was fortunate enough to plan a bridal shower for her this spring, along with my other brother's (also amazing) wife. Knowing that the bride-to-be enjoys Jane Austen, we decided to do an English tea, complete with scones, sandwiches, cookies, and of course tea!

We served three different types of teas: black, green, and herbal. We also accumulated an eclectic collection of tea cups, so each person had their own unique cup and saucer.

Here is a portion of the "spread". Three types of tea sandwiches: egg salad, cucumber, and prosciutto with pesto (yum!). Some mixed fruit with dip.

And scones: cream, lemon, and currant. With lemon curd, clotted cream and raspberry preserves.

My sister-in-law made these beautiful chocolate dipped cookies. We also had petits fours that I can't say I made. I got them from a local bakery and they were delicious!

To make it easier for our guests to know what they were eating, I typed out the menu for each course and then put them in tiny picture frames that I found at a local craft store (for $0.99!). I didn't think to take pictures of them at the time, so here are some I took a few days ago:

Not only did they look ornate and Austen-like, but they freed me up to chat with guests, fill up the teapots, and be a more effective hostess. So I'd recommend this for any type of buffet-style party/event.

My sister came up with a tea-related quote from one of Austen's novels that I also typed up and framed and put next to the tea.

Thanks to my sister-in-law who took the rest of the pictures, including these of my beautiful niece who joined us for part of the tea party:

Isn't she adorable??

We had all of our guests wear hats and pearls. We quizzed everyone on their Jane Austen knowledge as well. I will have to write another post about Jane Austen since there is so much more I could write about!

Some more decorations:

We bound old books up with twine to add a literary touch.

Our party favors were little purses adorned with floral stickers and filled with dark chocolate and tea bags.

This shower was SO much fun to plan and participate in. I have to say I am more in love with Jane Austen's work now. If you've never read any of her work, read it! I suggest starting with Persuasion. It's shorter and gives you a good intro to her style of writing.

I'll leave you with a positive quote from Sense and Sensibility:

"It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do."
Marianne in Sense and Sensibility


  1. Wow, what a beautiful shower, Andrea! I love all the thoughtful touches! And your photos are great, too. (I just bought a DSLR but have no idea how to use it!) :) Love it! Looking forward to another Austen post!

  2. Quite a party! It looks like it was beautiful!

  3. Wow, that was at our house? Where was I? Oh right, with the boys far away from all of that china!

  4. Andrea, I love this! I just read it today. So fun to reminisce about such a special shower. I'm totally in Jane Austen mode after this past weekend of reading her, watching her, and now recalling this awesome time! - Jen

  5. Hi, this is Sonia, dear friend of your sister Cari. Just wanted to say how I loved reading your blog entries so far. Both you and Cari are baking Queens!! =) Love the Jane Austen's tea party pictures. Well done. I love pretty china!!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!