This Romantic Rooftop Bridal Shower Was Inspired by Marie Antoinette
When it came time to plan her bridal shower, Annie Atkinson, founder and editor-in-chief of She's in the Glow (left) knew exactly what she didn't want: the games, the public gift-opening—really anything typical or traditional, saying, "I just wanted a chic Saturday afternoon party in the city where everyone could sip Champagne, eat cake, and have fun."
Fitting, then, that the spring shower her friend best friend, Caitlin Kelly (fashion director at Alison Brod Public Relations), and sister, Kate Jennemann (owner of Garnish Salt and Le Cordon Bleu Chef) planned took cues from the iconic figure who coined the phrase "Let them eat cake."
"We were inspired by Marie Antoinette—the modern Sofia Coppola version," explained the bride-to-be. "There's this picture of Kirsten Dunst in a white nightgown, hair messy, minimal makeup, on her lavish bed, and we wanted to replicate that carefree attitude," Annie said.
This idea translated into a "Rococo explosion garden party" held at the private rooftop of Annie and her fiancé's West Village apartment in New York City, overlooking Washington Square Park with views of the Empire State Building. "I knew that I wanted that party to be at home, because it would feel so much more personal and intimate that way," Annie said. "And this way, the party could linger on well into the evening—which it did!"
For the fête, the venue was decked out in lanterns, lights, and "an explosion of flowers"—all perfectly in-palette for the whimsical theme.
The Flower Crowns
Pastel fans and custom napkins and a mix of flower crowns and fascinators doubled as table décor and reiterated the theme.
The guests, including Annie's mom, sister, bridesmaids, friends, and mother-in-law (who came all the way from Zurich!) were told to wear spring pastels. "The whole day I was surrounded by all the women who love me the most," Annie said. "It felt so special that way. A few hours into the party, Henry, my fiancé, and some of the other husbands and boyfriends surprised us and joined in on the festivities."
Naturally, the flower crowns, fans, and parasols encouraged photo snapping—both by guests and by the event photographer, Annie's friend Madeline Wolf, who takes photos for Annie's blog.
Custom Snapchat Filter
A friend of the bride's even designed a Marie Antoinette-themed Snapchat geofilter specifically for the bridal shower. "We all happen to really be into Snapchat at the moment, so this was something that all of us used nonstop throughout the event," Annie said.
"My sister, Kate Jennemann, hired Gabriel Royal, who is the most talented Brooklyn-based cello player," Annie said. "He played and sang modern music, and it was the most beautiful and unique thing ever. It really set the tone for the afternoon and played into the romantic and ethereal theme."
Annie's friend Amirah Kassem of Flour Shop surprised her with a four-tiered "Marie Antoinette-esque cake." "She's a sugar genius and has created something magical for many of the important occasions in my life," Annie said. "She even created a diamond cake when Henry proposed to me. This particular cake was the most insanely delicious thing ever, and even the cake inside was blue, purple, and pink ombré pastel." Also on offer were strawberry and coconut chocolate vegan cupcakes from The Little Cupcake Bakeshop to satisfy the bride's health-nut side ("My hosts wanted to make sure that there was something "healthy" amongst the sugar explosion.") and Momofuku Milk Bar cake balls, "because they are the best."
The groom's mother surprised the bride-to-be with chocolates from Switzerland that were custom-printed with the happy couple's photos. "She knows that Swiss chocolates are my favorites but these were something special," Annie said. "Yummy and hilarious."
The shower's signature drink? McFadden organic sparkling wine from Annie's friend's vineyard in California ("It just won Best in Show at the California State Fair," Annie said. "I basically drink this stuff like water all year round.") and Miraval rosé (pictured).
Annie's favorite part of the day, though, were the details. "I loved the heart and love that went into the planning, and all the little details from the cello players to the parasols," she said. "The whole vibe was about love and friendship, and although the party officially started at 3, it lasted until almost midnight. We didn't want the night to end. There's nothing better than feeling the love being surrounded by all the friends and family who love you most in this world."