The COVID-19 pandemic has ruined many things in 2020 but Stephanie’s floral inspired bridal shower wasn’t one of them. Thanks to a little ingenuity from an amazing vendor team, this bride-to-be still had a stylishly savvy yet socially distanced wedding shower that celebrated her now-postponed-to-2021 nuptials. Upon arriving at The Oaklander, guests’ spirits were immediately uplifted thanks to a theme of “Love Is In Bloom”, a cheerful color palette of lavender and blush pink, and whimsical balloon displays courtesy of Veronica’s Balloon Design. While the drool-worthy details were plenty, safety was the top priority. Guests were given floral masks, which were custom made by Mosaic and matched the table napkins. Meanwhile, Tasty Bakery whipped up a gorgeous dessert spread consisting of individual grab-and-go servings. With a little help from The Farmer’s Daughter, one by one, each guest was able to make their own bouquet of fresh flowers to take home and enjoy. If there ever was an example of making lemonade out of lemons, this is it! Despite the constantly changing restrictions, Stephanie’s bridal shower was executed safely and beautifully, thanks in part to Alexis Allen of Shayla Hawkins Events. Absolutely nothing can stop love, not even a global pandemic, and these images Michael Will Photography are proof!
About the Shower
As we all navigate challenging times, the shower brought great joy and fun for many as they were able to go out and safely celebrate. Restrictions are constantly changing and at times, it can feel hard to keep up or know how to adapt an event based on current guidelines. But the best recommendation I can give is to lean on your vendors, and in particular, your wedding planner if you have one, as they are the experts and can come up with creative ways to celebrate.
Alexis Allen, our wedding planner, was invaluable in helping us navigate these constantly changing regulations. One of the biggest things we did was provide all guests with masks from Mosaic’s own Made by Mosaic line. We made them unique by branding them to the shower theme “Love is in Bloom,” as well as having them match the napkins. It was the first thing guests saw at the door, along with mini hand sanitizers to ensure that everyone knew we had their safety as our highest priority.
The Oaklander upgraded the room size to ensure that all tables were 6 feet apart to maintain social distancing and guests sat with family or friends they had seen since moving to the green phase. The hotel was amazing and constantly adapted to all new guidelines as we approached the date of the event.
They also helped us create a menu in a way that allowed guests to eat without having to leave their table. Many may think that it automatically means a plated meal with a higher cost, but The Oaklander provided brunch options that were all individual portions. This allowed guests to choose their selection from a variety of choices at each table. This ensured reduced time the wait staff had to be at each table interacting with others and guests raved about the food.
We also had individually-portioned desserts by Tasty Bakery, including mini cakes, cookies, cake pops, and macarons. The desserts even provided gorgeous decorations in the room to admire prior to eating.
We were looking for a fun activity, but we needed to create something that supported social distancing. Many showers have games for guests to partake in, but when we thought about this time and everyone being home, it sparked the idea of guests leaving with things they could fill their homes with later. To stay with our theme “Love is in Bloom,” The Farmer’s Daughter flower cart was the perfect fit as guests could make a bouquet from the flowers they selected themselves. It created the perfect decor as it mixed with Veronica’s Balloons, as well as functioning as an activity for guests to do in a socially distanced manner as everyone went to the cart individually. Everyone left with fresh flower bouquets to brighten their homes, as we wanted everyone to feel our love and “bloom” during these quarantine days. We also provided hand-crafted, scented candles as the perfect mix to go with everyone’s flowers at home.
I am very fortunate that my mom and I had the opportunity to work with Alexis Allen of Shayla Hawkins Events to help plan these events. I encourage others to lean on their planner or vendor team as they offer incredible guidance and are more than willing to support their clients. Although we had to make many modifications including rescheduling the shower to ensure the environment would meet the guidelines set forth, I was amazed to see the responses of every vendor as they accommodated the new date and worked to make sure we felt comfortable with the safety procedures they were following. I look back now and think about the shower and how I had a wonderful event that I wouldn’t change at all. Without being challenged to be extra creative, I may have never had done things certain ways. I am especially fortunate to have all of these memories captured by Michael Williams, our photographer.
As we all live through a historic pandemic and constantly changing situations, the door is open for many opportunities. It has shown us how to be flexible as we hosted the shower in June of 2020 with the hopes of our wedding being in the fall. We have since decided to postpone to August of 2021. Many people ask how we feel with the shower and wedding taking place a year apart now, but we look at the blessing of being able to still celebrate this year and next. We have amazing memories from that day and it provided tremendous joy as we create a new countdown for our wedding.
Times are unconventional and the normal timelines may be different than previously planned, which is alright. As everyone navigates these times, the biggest thing I have seen is the unending support from the Pittsburgh wedding community. Our vendors for both the shower and the wedding have been absolutely amazing and truly have helped us in more ways than we can ever say. I never thought I would have three wedding dates (LOL! – this will be a great story in 20 years), but it is Alexis and others who have made this process as stress free as possible for my fiancé and me!