On to the decor!! As I mentioned in The Very Beginning, inspiration boards play a large role in my event planning. One of the inspiration boards from Natalie's shower was this one:
When I began thinking about what decorating items would work for a Japanese theme, lanterns immediately came to mind and so the search for pretty yet affordable lanterns began. I ended up using a company online called Luna Bazaar. What I loved about their site... well, besides the fact that they have a wide selection of lanterns... they allow you to search by color. If you are looking for blue lanterns, you just select "blue lanterns" from the sidebar and tadah! Every blue paper lantern in every size they sell is right in front of you! It made ordering so simple. And as a side note, they shipped out really quick too.
So after playing with a bunch of color combos and figuring out what sizes to order, in the end I decided on the these lanterns:
23 lanterns to be exact. Now, the space we were in was not huge. It was cozy and intimate, but not large. And although we had plenty of tables, I didn't want to clog them up with a bunch of little deco items. Also, the more you have to buy to fill the space, the more it's going to cost. So instead, we used big pops of color throughout the space and centralized in the middle of the room.
One of the perks of merging the family shower between our two families was that Micheal's family had tons of authentic Japanese items like the banner you see above. They generously allowed us to decorate with their family heirlooms and it made this whole event really feel like a family celebration.
Look at how gorgeous this... uhh... I don't know what it's called... it's part of a kimono, the part that wraps around the torso... anyway, look how gorgeous it is! I think this was my favorite thing brought over from Grandma Uno's house.
This was Natalie's seat at the head table. Jill, Natalie's mother-in-law, decorated Natalie's place setting special from all the rest. She used items from the Uno treasure trove: special china, chopsticks, etc. It was perfect. The flowers you see on the plate are part of the DIY project, I will tell you more about that later this week.
This picture is also gives you a good look at the paper we used to decorate the tables. One day, months before the shower, I wandered into World Market (Cost Plus) to see if anything caught my eye. This turned out to be the best decision I made, no joke. I found rolls and rolls of that paper you see on the table and I bought every single one they had! There were about 4 different versions, some more pink, some more gold, but all very pretty and well within our theme. Every time I drove anywhere near a World Market, within a 50 mile radius, I stopped in and bought up all of their paper. We used almost every scrap of it on the tables in place of table cloths and once again it proved that you don't need a lot of "stuff" to decorate a room. As soon as the lanterns were up and the paper was down on the tables the room was transformed.
Here's another view of some of the other papers (and Auntie Martha):
Auntie Martha also let us borrow these to decorate with:
Here's another view of the head table:
I made another great discovery while at World Market:
This amazing piece is a shade screen! And it was only $15! It was a very fitting addition to the room.
I bought a bunch of those bags while at World Market, they were too cute to resist. At the time, I wasn't totally sure what we would do with them but they ended up being worth every penny because we not only used them for the flower arrangements at the head table, we scanned the bag to make the stamps.
There were so many other wonderful decor items:
I wish I could show you more of the decor, but it's nearing 11pm and I need to get some sleep!
Tomorrow, I will give you the story behind the flowers on the plates.... it should probably be entitled, "I Bet Amy Wishes She Hadn't Volunteered." Till then, my friends!