A Cheerful Poppy-Themed Shower in the Bride's New Jersey Backyard
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."
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!"
Home Sweet Home
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.
Simple and Chic
Bright and Beautiful
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."
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.
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.
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."
Find Your Seat
Attendees found their assigned seats on a seating chart, which featured the print from the invitation suite.
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."
A Lavish Menu
A floral design on the calligraphed table number matched the colorful blooms in each centerpiece.
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.
Paige ran around with one of the littlest guests in attendance during the party.
All in the Family
The mothers of the bride and groom each spoke during the shower.
"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.
A vanilla sponge cake with lemon curd filling and marshmallow fluff buttercream from The Vintage Cake sported detailed floral accents in white and red.
Found Her Groom
The bride's fiancé, Frankie Montecalvo, arrived unexpectedly with flowers in hand, ending the celebration on a sweet note.
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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