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Friday, January 16, 2015

{Not So} Single Girl's Weddings in Review: Kelsey's Under the Sea Bridal Shower

Kelsey's DIY Under the Sea Bridal Shower

If you recall, I was Maid of Honor in two wedding's one week apart in August of 2013. While it was certainly a busy time for me, it was one of the best experiences I have had as a bridesmaid. Kelsey and I are the biological sisters neither of us ever had. We've been best friends since the third grade and I was more than excited to plan a DIY Under the Sea Themed Bridal Shower at her home in Iowa City.

I first got the inspiration for the shower because of her love of tropical and vibrant colors. You can see the official inspirations for her shower here.

The Blushing Bride and Maid of Honor (why am I so tall? GAH!)

With about 20 ladies in attendance, I had my work cut out for me. Because I was literally a fish out of water planning this shower from Phoenix, I decided that going the DIY route would be a fun way to get the entire bridal party involved in the day. This included food and drinks, decor and entertainment for our guests. Kelsey and her (now) husband, Matt, share my love of food and drinks so I wanted to be sure we had plenty of it and everything delicious.

Brunch is Queen for Bridal Showers

Because who doesn't love brunch? Its the perfect opportunity for finger food, meal items, desserts and most importantly, CHAMPAGNE.

I'm a huge advocate of the more food, the better. I never want anyone to feel hungry at events that I'm organizing.

Our tasting menu included:
  • Bacon, Egg and Cheese "cupcakes"
  • Zucchini Quiche
  • Fruit Salad
  • "Octopus" in a Blanket (made with little weiners)
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Veggies with Garden Dip in a Bread Bowl
  • Italian Meat, Cheese & Tortellini Skewers
  • Hashbrown Casserole
  • Deli Sandwiches
  • Fresh Strawberries in Champagne and Cream
  • Olive Tampanade
  • Mini French Toast and Pancake Skewers
  • Candy Sushi
  • Cake
I wish I had a better photo of all the details of the spread, but I was super busy cooking.

The cake was absolutely incredible. I had it b
aked by a local business in Iowa City, who captured my vision of brightly colored goldfish swimming perfectly! The cake was delicious even with a fondant base, which can make cakes taste absolutely horrific. Her price was also quite reasonable.

But how cute are those fishies?

Some of the desserts we crafted beyond the cake came out far better than expected. I'm really not huge on DIY from Pinterest because I most always fail at it. However, two of our DIY dessert creations came out swimmingly, so I have to share. 

DIY Candy Sushi


1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
12 regular marshmallows
2 cups puffed rice cereal (recommended: Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal)
4 fruit roll-ups (pressed dried fruit rounds, 8 inches) any brand, any flavor
8 strips licorice candy (recommended: Twizzler's brand), any flavor – pieces should be 6 to 7 inches long, trim to match width of roll-ups


Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir marshmallows until completely melted. Remove mixture from heat and add cereal. Stir to coat cereal evenly in melted marshmallows.

Roll out the fruit roll-ups. Place 1/4 of the coated cereal onto each fruit roll up and spread and gather toward 1 side of roll up. Place 2 licorice twists onto the center of the spread out cereal mix. Wrap and roll the candy and fruit, maneuvering the licorice to the center of the roll, so that the finished product resembles a sushi roll. Repeat with remaining rolls.

Place a sharp knife into a bowl of very warm water. Cut candy sushi with warm knife and arrange on a plate then serve.

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

DIY Beachside Pudding Cups


6 cinnamon shortbread cookies
3 packages instant pudding, you choose the flavor
24 teddy graham snacks
12 drink umbrellas
1 Box of Fruit Roll ups
Assorted fish or seashell gummies


Place cookies in small resealable food-storage plastic bag. With hand or rolling pin, crush cookies. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon crushed cookies on top of each cup of pudding.
Cut chewy fruit snack into 12 (1-inch) pieces. Peel each piece of fruit snack from plastic backing; place over crushed cookies on pudding for "beach towel." Top each "towel" with teddy bear and umbrella. Scatter assorted seashell gummies in each cup.

No Bridal Shower is complete without champagne and punch.

And we had plenty. We offered mimosas to our guests as well as a full size fish bowl punch for the Bride. I used scrap booking materials, crystals and rubber cement to decorate the bowl itself.

The Ultimate Fish Bowl Punch


½ cup Nerds candy
½ gallon goldfish bowl
5 oz. vodka
5 oz. Malibu rum
3 oz. blue Curacao
6 oz. sweet-and-sour mix
16 oz. pineapple juice
16 oz. Sprite
3 slices each: lemon, lime, orange
4 Swedish gummy fish

Sprinkle Nerds on bottom of bowl as “gravel.” Fill bowl with ice. Add remaining ingredients. Serve with 18-inch party straws.

Myself, sampling the goods.

Bridal Shower Entertainment

I would not say I am generally a fan of games at any sort of shower, but in a group of people who do not know each other very well, come from all parts of the country and have mostly never met before, games can be a great way to get everyone socializing. Drinking also helps get everyone socializing, but to each their own...Here's a couple of my favorites.

Toilet Paper Wedding Dresses

Pretty self explanatory. Break into teams. Create the best dresses you can from rolls of toilet paper. Award prizes for most beautiful, most creative, trainwreck dress, etc. 

Marriage Advice Treasure Chest

Sticking to the Under the Sea theme, we set up a treasure chest display with the request that each guest submit a bit of marital advice for the happy couple and place it in the chest for them to read later.

I would say Kelsey's Bridal Shower was the most DIY shower I have ever done, but I loved the theme and how many of theme elements we got to incorporate. It was such a fun day of delicious food, extra strong drinks and so much laughter.

If you'd like any of the recipes or further directions on how to recreate something seem here, please comment below!


  1. What a fun day! I still have that bridal fish bowl. I filled it with blue tulle and put it with other weddin/honeymoon keepsakes in the living room.

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  3. Really the cake looks incredible. Cute fishes on that!! I can’t imagine how someone can cook so much for a day. Earlier I was also thinking to cook at my end, but then I thought it will be a tiring task for me and selected Chicago Wedding Venues where they provided us catering services too.

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