You can ask members of the bridal party to volunteer their china; going for variety of sizes, patterns and colors of plates adds to the party's whimsy and charm. Stack teacups as part of the tablescape (ack, I'm using Sandra Lee terms!) or use teapots for floral arrangements. Keep the colors bold and vibrant, such as fuchsia, teal, lime green or lemon yellow. Shop at Salvation Army or flea markets for vintage print tablecloths.
Skip the custom-made invitations and instead find free DIY templates (see Pash Weddings.com) and print from home. If you'd rather not print at all, you can easily use evite.com. Don't forget to tell guests to wear the most chic or wildest hats to the party!
See if someone is willing to host the bridal shower at their home/backyard garden. You can also leverage personal/business connections to a restaurant, art gallery, etc.
Food & Beverages
Enroll the bridesmaids to get together the day before to make tea sandwiches, salad, and cupcakes/cookies. Here's a few recipes from epicurious.com to get you started:
- Goat Cheese and Watercress Tea Sandwich
- Smoked Turkey Tea Sandwich with Arugula Mayo
- Smoked Salmon Wasabi Tea Sandwich