Typically, you see purse themes hand-in-hand with vintage, shabby chic, garden-type items. You see it with silken fringe and dripping chandelier crystals, little satin pillows, funky patterns and small tabletop lamps.
Purse cakes are one of those things that the artsy bakers really excel at, from sinuous shapes to exacting patterns (see some of our most fabulous finds below). For a three-tiered approach, have your baker stack a confectionery purse on the top of two graduated gift boxes.
For centerpieces, try thrift or consignment stores. Snatch up the funkiest bags you can find: look for things like drawstring design, velvets and satin (preferably both), ribbons, patchwork, appliquéd flowers, buttons and fringe. Once you’ve got the perfect collection, stuff them with anything you’ve got on hand — like packing peanuts or crumpled newspaper. Tuck a water-bearing container in the center, and fill each purse with a glorious no-fuss bouquet of summertime blooms: peonies, sweet peas, ranunculus, sunflowers, pink tea roses.Now add a few finishing touches: a scattering of votive holders or tiny shaded lamps trimmed in fringe or chandelier beads. Even add a few Moroccan lanterns, for romance. Or buy a small collection of glossy, inexpensive pumps. Really vamp them up … use puff paint to apply adorable polka dots (puff paint needs heat to expand — use a hairdryer to puff it up), then plunk in a shoeful of moistened Oasis floral foam, bristling with bright chrysanthemums. If you want a little “scatter”, toss your tables with rose petals, a handful of ornamental butterflies … or shiny vintage buttons.
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Below all this, you want fabric with texture: for example, combine dusty rose table linens with a shimmering bronze satin overlay. If you can whip these up yourself, add some braided copper fringe. Don’t be afraid to go over-the-top, because this theme can handle it. Use plenty of fabric, bunch it up, and pool it generously at the corners.
As for the gifty things, the purse theme pretty much begs to go wild. You can gift your best maids with monogrammed silk purses, or mini purse-shaped manicure kits, or one of our hot new entries, the handbag caddy, which lets you hang your purse from the table when you go out. Personally, I find this ingenius. I’m one of those people who takes “out of sight, out of mind” to crazy lengths. And in addition to having left my purse at a truly embarrassing number of locations, I hate putting it on the floor (yuck) when the cozy table-for-two I’m at leaves no other options.
A few more ideas? Try this: flower-filled clutches (instead of cones, or organza bows) to dress up the aisle chairs of a casual outdoor ceremony. Finally, don’t send your flower girl down the aisle with an ordinary basket. Instead, give her a funky fat purse that’s stuffed to the max with bright Gerber heads, and have her scatter those.
Then, lend the same concept your bridesmaids, since alternatives to the usual bridal bouquet-knockoff-but-smaller are legion (we’re seeing single stems, fur muffs, holly wreaths, lanterns, galvanized buckets, ostrich feathers, crystal bouquets and so on, so feel free to make this your own). Silver clutches filled with bright and hardy blooms would be adorable.
Fellow Fashionistas (Fetishists?), Fill Us In
What other ideas you have for the purse theme? We have a wedding SOS here, so it’s time to share your inspirations …
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