A Cheerful Poppy-Themed Shower in the Bride's New Jersey Backyard

bride holding leashes to her two small dogs outside
Jessa Schifilliti

Paige Lacina and her fiancé, Frankie Montecalvo, are high school sweethearts who started in dating in April 2006: "He asked me to be his girlfriend on my trampoline," says Paige. After 12 years of dating, Frankie had another question in mind. "He took me out for a boat ride and brought me under the Brooklyn Bridge and proposed," says Paige. "He knew my favorite place was the city and his being on the water, so it was the best of both worlds."

On July 19, 2020, Paige gathered with 50 of her female friends and family members to celebrate her upcoming wedding at a bridal shower organized by her mother-in-law, maid of honor, and future sister-in-law. "It was very classy and romantic with a modern twist," she says. A poppy-inspired theme created a "bright and cheery" atmosphere, as guests were served individually-plated meals, pre-poured drinks, and a vanilla sponge cake with lemon curd—followed by a sweet moment when Frankie, who races for the International Motor Sports Association, joined the party unexpectedly. "He came straight from a race," says Paige. "He is gone most weekends, so I was just happy to see him."

Though the details of the shower—from the location and date to the theme and menu— had to be tweaked to accommodate social distancing guidelines and event requirements, the bride took each new rule in stride. "You can't change the situation of the world," she says. "My idea of my wedding and bridal shower had to completely change. The person and the reason I was getting married didn't."

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Pretty Poppies

red poppy accented bridal shower invites
Jessa Schifilliti

Dramatic scripted text and bright poppy accents on the invitations from Design House of Moira set the tone for the shower's elegant, colorful aesthetic. "We had to change the date three times!" says Paige of the planning process. "In the end it was the best possible outcome and ended up being more beautiful than I could have imagined!"

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Home Sweet Home

black and white home exterior
Jessa Schifilliti

The original plan for the shower included transforming a "modern and sleek raw space" at a hotel, but when the state's COVID-19 safety procedures restricted gatherings, Paige offered to hold the shower at her home—which made it even more personal, she says.

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Simple and Chic

bride wearing short sleeve ankle length white bridal shower dress
Jessa Schifilliti

The bride wore a lace-trimmed white dress from Stone Cold Fox with floral sandals from Brock Collection.

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Bright and Beautiful

red planted poppies under large tree trunk
Jessa Schifilliti

Arrangements in shades of bold reds, hot pinks, and pale blush from the bride's floral company, Fleur la Fete, accented the home's outdoor stairs, large trees, and water features. "We utilized a ton of bright and cheery florals in every aspect that we could," says Paige. "We wanted the natural landscaping and hardscapes to feel part of the event décor."

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spiked watermelon lemonade drinks on bar cart
Jessa Schifilliti

As guests arrived, they sipped on pre-poured watermelon lemonade mixed with tequila or vodka—a cool summer cocktail ideal for combating July temperatures in the mid-90s.

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Vintage Bar

outdoor bridal shower bar with floral decor
Jessa Schifilliti

A selection of spirits was set up on a vintage table, creating a unique bar area. Colorful florals, arranged in bust urns, dressed up the station.

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Summer Love

large white tent for bridal shower outside
Jessa Schifilliti

Under the tent, a central reflecting pool anchored long wooden farm tables. "It was hot," says Paige. "Even though we had fans inside the tent, it was an extremely hot day so that wasn't so fun. Everyone made the best of it, though."

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Find Your Seat

bridal shower seating chart stand next to white tent
Jessa Schifilliti

Attendees found their assigned seats on a seating chart, which featured the print from the invitation suite.

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Table Talk

black tables outdoors under white bridal shower tent
Jessa Schifilliti

Trios of floral arrangements on each table incorporated the vivid colors and natural elements of the surrounding décor, while pre-set drinks helped minimize personal contact. "We served individual meals and eliminated all buffet and passed food options," says Paige. "The tables were spaced properly and we had each meal individually boxed for each guest."

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A Lavish Menu

floral bridal shower table centerpieces in glass boxes
Jessa Schifilliti

A floral design on the calligraphed table number matched the colorful blooms in each centerpiece.

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All Together

bridal shower guests sitting under white outdoor tent
Jessa Schifilliti

During the meal, the bride sat in a floral patterned chair, which differentiated her spot from the rest. The menu from Laurence Craig Catering included boxed meals of rice paper summer rolls, artichoke dip crostini, and charcuterie; mozzarella with olive oil and sea salt, chopped salad, and roasted chicken, salmon, or grilled vegetables; and dessert boxes containing blueberry oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry trifle, chocolate pot au crème, and fruit kebabs.

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Running Around

bride holding hand of small child and laughing outside
Jessa Schifilliti

Paige ran around with one of the littlest guests in attendance during the party.

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All in the Family

mother of the bride giving bridal shower speech next to bride crying
Jessa Schifilliti

The mothers of the bride and groom each spoke during the shower.

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bride wearing green gem ring
Jessa Schifilliti

"My future mother-in-law made a short toast, and then my mom read me a poem—which of course made me cry—and presented me with my grandmother's heirloom ring," says Paige.

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Flour Powered

three tiered white frosted bridal shower cake
Jessa Schifilliti

A vanilla sponge cake with lemon curd filling and marshmallow fluff buttercream from The Vintage Cake sported detailed floral accents in white and red.

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Found Her Groom

bride and groom to be kiss during bridal shower
Jessa Schifilliti

The bride's fiancé, Frankie Montecalvo, arrived unexpectedly with flowers in hand, ending the celebration on a sweet note.

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Hot Stuff

bridal shower escort candles on round table inside
Jessa Schifilliti

Guests took home Diptyque candles, which were displayed inside the house, on a large wooden pedestal table under a dramatic chandelier.

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bride and groom holding each other outside during bridal shower
Jessa Schifilliti

Photography, Jessa Schifilliti
Wedding Planning and Event Design, NE Occasion
Catering, Laurence Craig Catering
Flowers, Fleur La Fete
Stationery, Design House of Moira
Cake, The Vintage Cake
Rentals, Dovetail Vintage Rentals
Bride's Dress, Stone Cold Fox
Bride's Shoes, Brock Collection
Favors, Diptyque

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