A Summer Couple's Wedding Shower

This weekend I hosted a couple's shower for my good friends who are getting married in two months!  Couple's showers and coed engagement celebrations are becoming more and more common as gender roles equalize, allowing the groom to join in on the celebration and providing both members of the couple with an opportunity take a part in collecting gifts to set up their household together.  Couple's showers are a great way to involve both the bride and groom's friends and family equally, and a fun idea for couples who wish to break away from tradition.

The bride and groom are having an out of state wedding and were excited to celebrate with their Santa Fe friends and coworkers who are unable to attend the wedding.  It was an afternoon event on a warm, sunny day.  The decor consisted of burlap table runners and bows, teal and fuchsia accents, and succulent center pieces, to parallel the couple's wedding theme.
I wanted to encourage mingling and socialization, so the menu revolved around easy appetizers that everyone could eat standing up without utensils.  I prepared mostly savory dishes -- quinoa stuffed mushrooms with balsamic glaze, tortilla wraps, chips and salsa, and avocado pesto crostini -- with a few sweet and fruity flavors in the apricot ricotta celery and warm dates with sea salt and lime.  There was also a balance between hot and cold dishes.  We served wine, beer, and a fruity strawberry/lime/pomegranate margaritas that was refreshing on the hot day and paired well with some of the New Mexican and lime-flavored dishes.  For dessert I made oak bars, which are light and always delicious in the summer, and a Hummingbird cake consisting of banana, pineapple and cinnamon.  (See recipes below.)

I wanted a balance of "unstructured" mingling time and a few group events to bring everyone together including two outdoor games, a trivia contest about the bride and groom, gift-opening as a group, a toast that was emailed to me by the mother of the groom.  We had a good turnout and it was a beautiful day!

My Menu:
Caprese Quinoa Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze
Avocado Prosciutto Crostini with Goat Cheese and Pesto
Veggie Tortilla Roll-ups
Apricot Ricotta Stuffed Celery
Warm Dates with Sea Salt and Lime
Hummingbird Cake
Oak Bars


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