Ideas wanted for "I Love Ireland" wedding shower

SunnyCottageFebruary 13, 2013

A close friend is getting married this summer, and I am her matron of honor. I will be hosting a small shower in my home for her, and am thinking of doing an "I Love Ireland" theme, as she is head-over-heels for anything Irish and that is also where she and her new husband will honeymoon. We have so many creative souls here, that I thought I'd see if you could provide any suggestions for decor, food, and/or games or other shower "diversions." The wedding itself is not themed, but the bride-to-be is totally on board with a themed shower. I think it will be fun too. I've captured a few photos below that I find appealing ... I realize it would be very easy to veer into St. Patrick's Day territory, so I will do my best to focus on the couple and their upcoming travel to Ireland.

Possible invitation:

Love this table setting ... I'd tweak it even more to be Ireland-specific:

Perhaps a chocolate-mint trifle:

A pretty green punch (or champagne-based drink?):

Shamrock-shaped cookies or decorated cupcakes:

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I remember seeing small pots of real shamrock clovers at grocery stores around this time- they might add freshness-

A white lace tablecloth- green and white are so pretty together!

I'm sure you'll do a great job! Can't wait to hear the other suggestions!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:35PM
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Oh, little pots of clovers would be so pretty! I should probably add that the shower will be in July, so I'm not sure if I could still find such a thing then - but it's definitely worth looking into! I agree ... a white lace tablecloth is a must!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:38PM
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If there is room on the table, maybe I could frame a couple of vintage-style Ireland travel posters and display them on easels.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:41PM
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I love those vintage posters!

If you really wanted to do the pots, I bet there are ground covers that look like (or are) clover at the home depot year around (?)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:47PM
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If she likes Belleek, why don't you get a vase or something in the shamrock pattern and use it for the centerpiece---then give it to her as your wedding gift.

Something like this:

or this:

You can get small Irish flags for $2 that can serve as party favors:

And I'll bet they are much less expensive at Oriental Trading or your local party store, especially the day after St. Patrick's Day!

Here is a link that might be useful: Irish Indeed

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:47PM
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The plant you want is called Oxalis - I have several pots of them around my house. They're easy to find and when they are happy in the right conditions, will flower with lovely white (or pink) flowers year round. They grow from corms which can be split and shared continually. My SIL gave me a pot of them 30 years ago and what I have now is still from the original - she called them friendship plants so I split and share regularly.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Food - Don't know how much alcohol is OK and the type of foods you are looking for, but here are some ideas that don't involve the usual St. Patrick's Day green.
Bailey's Chocolate Mousse in shot glasses, Guiness and Honey Glazed Pork Loin, Chocolate Stout Cupcakes, Irish Coffee, Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon, Bailey's trifles, Bailey's cocktails, Black Velvet (Guinness and Champagne).

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Could you do something with leprechauns or rainbows and pots of gold? Along the lines of "I found my true love at the end of the rainbow"? Or little pots of gold as favors? With those gold-wrapped chocolate coins?

A bit cheesy, I know, but still might be fun.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:21PM
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You could put a CD together of old Irish tunes for back ground music. We have shamrocks in our garden, the bulbs we got originally were from the village my grandfather grew up in. They have the prettiest purple flowers and make a lovely ground cover in flower beds.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Something with soda bread would be nice. Skip the haggis though!!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:58PM
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The oxalis would be lovely. Luckily you won't have to worry about the haggis since that's Scottish - but I would definitely avoid blood pudding. That was the only food I couldn't eat while we were there.

Here's a link to traditional toasts, blessings and greetings in both English and Gaelic. You might be able to incorporate them in your decorations or even have some of the guests read them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gaelic

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:58PM
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What a lovely idea-- wish I'd thought of it for my BFF oh so many years ago. They also went to Ireland for their honeymoon (and just returned from their third trip). In addition to the oxalis, I'd consider including lavender also. If either of them are irish themselves, you could use their family tartan-- some are absolutely lovely (some, not so much lol). You could also incorporate celtic knots, pint glasses, lace and linen.

Of course, you could lean a bit more to the irish tavern style-- drop the lace and make some sort of tavern sign incorporating their soon-to-be shared last name... something like O'Malley's Pig Snout Tavern.. Flannery's Black Sheep Tavern.. etc.

I've seen some great chocolate stout recipes.. and not sure where you'd get it but I found stout ice cream *very* rich and interesting. It would make a great adult sundae with chocolate or fudge sauce.

Champagne and green punch are good ideas-- but I'd be inclined to serve Shandy's and perhaps other irish cocktails.

Looking forward to seeing how you pull this together!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I tunes radio has an irish pub music station available for free under "adult contemporary".

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:30PM
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Such wonderful, inspirational ideas! Thank you all so very much - you've given me a more definite direction to go. And silly me, I actually have oxalis growing like crazy in my flowerbed ... maybe I'll just pull some up when the time comes!

I'm still undecided about serving alcohol, but will keep the ideas given here under consideration - particularly something using Bailey's Irish Cream (yum!). I'm sure I can figure out a way to incorporate a personalized "Irish pub" sign or something into the decor as well. Really cute idea for "pots of gold" -- I'll have to think about how I could put that together. Those Belleek pieces are so pretty and would make a gorgeous gift (if I could bear to part with the piece myself! ;-)).

Great thought to bring in traditional Irish tunes - I'll definitely do that.

Thanks again for the wonderful suggestions! I knew I would get some great input if I posted here! :-)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:08AM
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If you wanted to ease up on the shamrocks, you could find decorations with "Celtic" symbols, such as Celtic love knots.
Google Celtic symbols then select images for some inspiration.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Judiegal ... those are gorgeous!

I'll be in England before and after St. Patrick's Day, so I'm going to scour the charity shops (which is something I love to do over there anyway) and see if I can find Irish/Celtic-themed dishes or linens that would help complete the table. It'll be kind of a quest, but a fun one! You never know what those charity shops will yield ... lot of junk, but I've found quite a few real treasures too.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:36AM
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