Shower Planning 101

Miss Lioness here! I really wanted to write a post about planning my shower, but I’m not the one planning it! I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for a guest post. Allow me to introduce you to someone much more qualified to talk about the Lioness shower: Sister Lioness!

Why hello there, Hive! I’m a long-time lurker, and I’m beyond happy to be here!

I’ve always loved event planning (I’ve been throwing themed birthday parties since middle school), so you would think planning this shower would be a snap. But when Miss Lioness got engaged and I actually had to think about this kind of stuff, I realized I had nothing up my sleeve. I sort of panicked. All of the fun, modern, themed showers sounded really fun to plan, but they were NOT Miss Lioness. She is traditional and classic, but she has her quirks. She needed something that suited her personality.

The Lioness Shower will be an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea party, but it will be nothing like either of the movies (for once we are shunning our Disney roots). It will be literary, whimsical, and vintage”¦but most of all, it will be fun.

Mad Tea Parties seem to be all over the wedding world right now. Finding pretty pictures was the easy part.


Sources {clockwise from top left}

faeryspellcreations, Wedding Chicks, Style Me Pretty, Not Quite Nigella, Style Me Pretty, A Man Called Old Fashioned, myrecipes, Hostess With the Mostess, Lenny’s Alice in Wonderland Site, Jessica Claire Photography

You’ll notice that these parties all have a few things in common. These were the things I tried to recreate—kind of like a wedding, on a much, much smaller scale.

Mismatched Vintage Tea Cups & Stacks of Books

This was the first thing I knew I wanted to do. Mama Lioness has a wonderful vintage children’s book collection, but I’m terrified of ruining one of her classics. Between thrift stores and library sales, I found enough books to make some pretty stacks without worrying about destroying an heirloom if someone gets a little sloppy with their tea.

I absolutely loved all of the teacups in these pictures, but I knew I was on a budget that would not allow for antique china. Luckily, the Goodwill near my apartment at the time had one of the most extensive and organized houseware collections I had ever seen. I became a frequent visitor, snatching up as many $1 teacups as I could find, along with the occasional teapot or water pitcher. Unlike the ones in the inspiration photos, they are not all intricate, fine china patterns; that was a pretty early compromise. But I have big plans for these teacups, and I have learned to embrace their differences.



Color & Whimsy

I was initially drawn to faded, vintage color schemes in some of the inspiration pieces, but I wanted the Lioness Shower to be brighter. I’ve always been obsessed with color—whether I’m designing stationery or dying my hair, the brighter the better. Lucky for me, Miss Lioness embraces this quirk and often uses me as an excuse to be a little more daring with color herself. Unfortunately, a lot of the teacups I found are more along the lines of the vintage fades than the whimsical brights. But with the help of some fresh flowers (and some well-dressed guests), the shower will rock this color palette:


(Has Miss Lioness told y’all that I love fonts? Because I really really love fonts.)

Garden Party

It’s only natural for an Alice fan like me to expect to throw a backyard tea party…not at all considering the fact that this shower was to be held in January. I realized this around the time I realized just how much space 25 people take up and just how much work it would take to feed them. I needed a venue: a real tea room that wouldn’t break the bank. Hive, meet the Vineyard Café in Marietta, Georgia.



Their catering manager has been nothing but wonderful to Mama Lioness and me, and when Miss Lioness and I went to try out their tea service, we were speechless. Great food, great service, great price? This lion is totally in. Did I mention they have a big beautiful sunroom overlooking Marietta square and a cute shop downstairs filled with goodies?



Once we booked the venue, everything has been pretty easy. The mismatched teacups are serving as both our favors and an icebreaker activity. I’m still working out how exactly I want to arrange everything. I have a feeling I’m just going to show up with all of my supplies a few hours early and just deck the halls in whatever way feels right at the time (excessive planner brides, forgive me!).

So for any bridesmaids out there (or for those brides looking to drop a few hints!), here are my rules to live by for planning the perfect shower:

Know your bride. Does you bride even want a big, themed shower? Or would a small, friends and family get-together be more her speed? Find out what she wants to have before you start thinking about what you want to plan. Chances are if you’re throwing the shower, you have a lot in common with the bride. Find something you can both relate to, like your inner child/bookworm.

Know your budget. Like all things in life, you’re going to have to make concessions. Personally, I would have loved to have every book on the table be a vintage copy of Alice in Wonderland, but 50-cent bargain books were a lot cheaper and easier to find. When making big budget decisions, like whether to use a venue or go DIY, ask yourself how much your time is worth. For us, it was well worth paying for the tea room!

Have fun! This isn’t a wedding; no one is going to blog about it or iconize it like it’s a wedding. When in doubt, keep it simple. Just do what feels right and have a good time. That’s the best way to guarantee that everyone else will too!

Have you ever planned a shower? How did you find your inspiration? Any tips for other shower planners?



I Think I Might Need This Shirt
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  1. Member
    Lexsy 537 posts, Busy bee @ 5:30 pm

    How beautiful and thoughtful, sounds like an amazing shower!

  2. lioness Bee
    lioness 819 posts, Busy bee @ 5:37 pm

    I freeking love you.

  3. lioness Bee
    lioness 819 posts, Busy bee @ 8:47 pm

    @cloverdaIe: @Miss Jam: Ain’t that the truth!

    @MissMedic: I love this comment 🙂

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Walter, Guest @ 9:12 pm

    This is Sister Lioness’s boyfriend saying great work, babe! And I was there for the obtaining of some of those teacups. I WAS THERE!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Sister Lioness, Guest @ 7:18 am

    Thanks everyone! I’m so glad I could help those of you with Alice parties in your future!

    @mclove: Good eye! Honey Script is my all-time favorite font. I may be obsessed.
    @Mrs. Trail Mix: I moved to NYC a few months ago and I’ve been dying to try out Alice’s Tea Cup! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂
    @Miss Lioness: I freeking love you back.

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Sister of Mama Lioness, Guest @ 8:02 am

    As the youngest sister of Mama Lioness, I so appreciated the fact that you spared our beautiful childhood heirloom books. Many thanks to Mama Lioness for hanging on to them!

    The shower sounds absolutely fabulous! Such a creative streak, with such whirlwind energy behind it! Can’t wait to see you and everyone at the wedding…

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    A Very Important Date | Weddingbee, Guest @ 11:30 am

    […] an invitation to my bridal shower! Squeeeee! You may remember from Sister Lioness’ fabulous guest post that my shower is going to be “mad tea party” themed. I knew that she had that theme […]

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Didi, Guest @ 8:32 pm

    As best friend of Sister Lioness, just wanted to say great job! I’ll tell my sister to take notes from you when the time comes 🙂

  9. Member
    TarheelCouple 3 posts, Wannabee @ 12:18 pm

    Gorgeous! What is the font over the blue swatch?

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Sister Lioness, Guest @ 10:36 am

    @TarheelCouple: Thank you! It’s called West Balaio, and it’s available for free from (

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