“Colin Firth in a wet shirt” has nothing on this gorgeous, surprise Austenland-themed bridal shower

Guest post by Yume Lee

As the quote from Austenland says “all I'd have to do is say ‘Colin Firth in a wet shirt' and you'd say ‘ah.'” Alternately, all I have to do is show you this bridal shower to make you say “AH!”

Photos by Shannon Cottrell and Lauren Elisabeth Photography
Photos by Shannon Cottrell and Lauren Elisabeth Photography

When Michelle and I first met, we bonded over our love of all things geeky: otaku culture, cosplay, comic books, video games, and of course… Jane Austen.

Naturally, when Austenland came out last year, we watched it. And when I say “watched it” I mean that there wasn't a single weekend in this year where we both didn't watch this movie together, or separately, and then quoted it back to each other.

When Michelle asked me to be her Maid of Honor, I knew that the one thing I had to do was throw her a surprise Austenland-themed bridal shower — re-creating an outdoor tea party like the one depicted in the movie, complete with its mashup of vintage and modern contraptions.  

For all of us geeks who romanticize period films, here how you can throw your own Austenland bridal shower…

The theme

Because Michelle's wedding is mahou-shoujo/magical girl-themed, I also added touches of magical girl whimsy in our decorations and gifts. I also chose theme colors that were specific to Michelle. Since she's most easily recognized by her peach sherbert hair, we went with pinks, peach, and oranges…

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The signs

Many of the signs had quotes and references to the funny and memorable lines from the film…

austenland themed bridal shower
sign gifts
sign you are my fantasy
sign what a talented little nut you are
sign tally ho

The surprise

Michelle didn't know very much about the entire theme of the shower. The only information I gave her was time, date, and that she should curl her hair for that day. I upcycled a dress for Michelle for the event, so I did tell her that she would be changing at the party. This white dress was inspired by the ball gown worn in the movie by Miss Erstwhile. Originally the dress was just a simple chiffon summer dress. Using my powers of Goodwill scouring, I found an amazing white blazer with incredible beading and embroidery. I took it apart and used a lot of it for Michelle's party dress…

michelles austenland dress
michelles austenland dress 1

The decor

Much of the furniture was pre-existing old furniture or patio furniture. These were all covered up with scrap fabric, or lace table cloths we all had lying around. This instantly made the items more vintage and less modern. Decorative frames, hat boxes, fake plants, throw pillows, props — the more clutter there was, the better the decorations looked:
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austenland bridal shower decor hatboxes
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austenland bridal shower decor mirror

The food

All of the talented guests brought delicious and beautifully made sweet and savory delights to the party…

austenland bridal shower food
austenland bridal shower decor tea
austenland bridal shower tea
austenland bridal shower lunch
austenland bridal shower drinks

The fashion

The guests were asked to dress up in some kind of vintage or period-inspired clothing. Regency clothing was great, but in the film there are plenty of in-jokes regarding items and materials being used from various time periods.

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The Photobooth

A DIY photobooth area was put together by the bridesmaids and friends using the pre-existing garden furniture, complete with a backdrop for guests. It's always nice to have a photo area especially for theme parties…

austenland bridal shower photo booth 2
austenland bridal shower photo booth 3
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Fess up: Who else is scheming up Jane Austen-themed bridal showers now?

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Comments on “Colin Firth in a wet shirt” has nothing on this gorgeous, surprise Austenland-themed bridal shower

  1. GORGEOUS!!!!!!

    I cannot love your decor skills enough!!!!

    And the dress you made for the bride … !!!!

    I am fiercely loving this. And swooning appropriately.

  2. That is so awesome, and well done. At Scrappy Seahorse Designs we LOVE Jane Austen!!!! In fact my daughter is planning her own Jane Austen wedding right now.

  3. OMG I don’t normally go for wedding showers, they’re just not my thing, but man I kind of want this so much… I will have to remember this theme for a party in the summer!

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