The cherry blossoms are poking through the grime and grit left over from winter, restaurants are starting to open their windows, and our calendars are starting to fill up with back-to-back wedding events. It’s that time of year. If you’re one of the lucky brides out there, you’re also juggling your own bridal events in a sea of your friends’ and families’ parties. Yay!
I just got married in NYC and can’t wait to impart my bridal wisdom on all of you to-bes. After a flawless shower (thanks Mom!) and the most perfect wedding I could have ever imagined, I’m filled with vendor love and recommendations for helping you plan your best bridal event. I’m even throwing in some tips for the token friend who has no idea what’s appropriate or what to do at a bridal shower (we’ve all been there). Happy planning.
Where to host your bridal shower in NYC
A Tea Party Fit For Royalty
Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon – My bridal shower was hosted here during Blizzard Jonas, so I am 100 percent biased because it was the best ever. Yes, while the rest of NYC was hunkering down and getting aggressive “do not travel” alerts on their phones, 30 of my closest friends and family were sipping on English tea and eating finger sandwiches. Not only did the entire Lady Mendl’s staff show up despite the storm with smiles on their faces, the quality of service we received during the entire day/weekend at the Inn at Irving Place was unprecedented and our guests are still talking about it.
The food was fantastic (check out our regular Bitches Who Brunch review of the afternoon tea, here), the tea was top notch, and the champagne was plentiful. The rooms at the Inn are so beautiful that it didn’t require much additional decor, but they set up the parlour perfectly for a group of our size.
Lady Mendl’s is also housed in a beautiful old brownstone on Irving in Gramercy which adds to the overall New York appeal, and the connection to the Inn makes this venue totally ideal for out-of-town guests. My grandmother, who has trouble walking more than a block, stayed upstairs and was able to get to the shower safely and comfortably. Better yet, our guests who stayed had a beautiful place to congregate all evening to continue the celebrations.
A Garden Party
Gallow Green – Not only is this a buzzing place for brunch, it’s also a perfect place to host your rooftop garden party. The location is covered in beautiful greenery, so it requires little decor, and the food is delicious. Plus, your out-of-town guests can stay below in the McKittrick Hotel. 542 West 27th Street
A Rooftop Soiree
The Blue Room at the Ides Rooftop – There is no better view of Manhattan than from the rooftop at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. It’s a perfect space for an indoor/outdoor cocktail and canape style shower, and all of the food comes from Reynard, one of our Bitches Who Brunch favorites. 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY
A Formal Brunch + A Private Room
Lafayette – We are totally obsessed with Lafayette’s brunch. Couple that with its amazing private dining room options downstairs and a dedicated events person to work with you on your special day, and you’ve got yourself a fancy schmancy shindig. 380 Lafayette St.
For the Bride Who Bakes
Momofuku Milk Bar – Did you know that Milk Bar offers private classes in their snazzy new event space, which allows you to not only make the cakes, cookies, and truffles we all know and love, but also offers catering options with everything from their cereal milk to their bagel bombs? 55 Hope St, Brooklyn
Because Everyone Loves Cupcakes
Butter Lane Cupcakes – This delightful spot in the East Village is a perfect place for an activity-based shower. You can bring your own decorations, playlist, and booze, and your guests leave with delicious custom cupcakes. #winwin 123 E 7th St
Because Everyone Loves Wine
Corkbuzz Wine Studio – Corkbuzz is an amazing wine bar with an equally amazing food program, and they have the perfect space for private parties. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about wine, and you have the option of hosting anything from a formal wine class for your friends and family, or a fun party with exceptional wine offerings. 13 E 13th St
Hosting in? Check out our vendor love below for the best shower at home.
Cake/Favors – A double whammy, thanks to Milk Bar! We are totally obsessed with their individually packaged compost cookies as favors for any special event, and their naked cakes are taking New York by storm. For a true city staple without sacrificing flavor, check out their dessert options here.
Calligraphy – For watercolor menus, adorable escort cards, glitter cake toppers, welcome signage, and any other beautifully written materials, look no further than Quinn Luu. I originally stumbled upon her gorgeous Instagram and knew we had to work together.
Caterer – Cobblestone Catering. If you haven’t had the pleasure of a veggie burger at their Brooklyn storefront, you’re missing out. If you have, you know their food is amazing. The catering options are just as special, with options from breakfast to dinner and an attentive, warm staff.
Photographer – Want to document your special event? Look no further than Alicia Swedenborg Photography, who will leave with not only rolls of film but also your true friendship. She’s a creative genius!
Flowers – Manhattan florists have Manhattan prices. I ventured to Queens for my wedding florist and it was the best decision I could have made. I received good service, unlimited consultation, and the most beautiful arrangements at a fraction of the cost. Do your flower business at Cress Florists, you won’t be sorry.
New York Knick Knacks – If you’re looking for cheap(ish) decor with New York icons, look no further than Fish Eddys. I discovered cheap, fun NYC coasters, mugs, and napkins that didn’t scream “classless tourist” and it didn’t break the bank. They also have an abundance of mason jars that serve as perfect flower bouquet holders!
First time attending a shower? Bitch Tips and Tricks.
Off the Registry
If you insist on purchasing something unique that isn’t found on your bride’s registry (risky move, Bitches!), we strongly encourage you to check out the Mrs Box, heirloom-worthy vintage velvet ring boxes with custom colors and monogram options. This is a personal, perfect gift for your bride friends and it will likely resurface in their wedding pictures!
Another more personal option is bridal lingerie. Avoid the scantily clad number and check out Show Me Your Mumu for tasteful lace rompers and robes that can also double as perfect getting-ready attire on the big day.