This Bride-to-Be Turned Her Bridal Shower Into a Vintage European Escape

Whimsical flowers, antique rentals, and thematic cuisine brought the future bride’s vision to life.

Bride and groom standing in front of water

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Kate Anderson and Nick DePierro have a love story that transcends time and distance. In September 2010, the two of them first met as freshman in high school, and since they were in many of the same classes, they quickly developed a special bond. Even though they both had a crush on one another, it wasn’t until their junior year of high school that Nick mustered up the courage to ask Kate out. The next two years, up until graduation, the couple was inseparable, going on countless dates and having fun adventures. 

As college loomed, the duo made the decision to begin the next chapter of their lives on their own, but they continued to stay in touch. After they each received their undergraduate degrees, Kate and Nick eventually found their way back to one another. In January 2022, Nick sealed their fate by popping the question.

Before tying the knot, Kate threw a bridal shower where 60 of her closest friends and family members celebrated her upcoming wedding. For the event, Kate envisioned a vintage European soirée, which her planner, Amanda Scarpaci of Scarpaci Designs, executed. “My vision was to incorporate my love for European landscapes and bring in nods to each country that also celebrates Nick and my European heritage,” the future bride explains. “I wanted to bring in a little piece of Italy and France to allow my guests to feel like they were really celebrating my shower in the European countryside.” 

To pull off the European-inspired aesthetic, Kate sourced inspirational images from other events and showers, which Amanda used as a starting point to bring her vision to life. During the planning process, the bride-to-be also sought her sisters’ guidance and called upon her own expertise as an interior designer to make sure everything fell into place. She chose Charlie’s of Bay Head, a waterfront restaurant in Bay Head, New Jersey, for her venue, which offered a blank canvas for her vintage European escape to take shape. 

On April 16, 2023, Kate threw the bridal shower of her dreams, which Scarpaci Designs planned and Lauren Ashley Photography documented.

Portrait of Bride Wearing Two-Piece White Dress

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

For the pre-wedding party, the bride-to-be wore an all-white set from House of CB. On top, she sported a cropped blouse with organza balloon sleeves, a mock neck, and a silk crepe bandeau. She paired the bodice with a silk crepe maxi skirt featuring a fit-and-flare silhouette. “I fell in love with this set the minute I saw it,” Kate recalls. “It was so unique, and I’ve honestly never seen it done before. It perfectly complemented the Renaissance-inspired theme and truly offered the perfect blend of modern and vintage for me.”

For a sentimental touch, Kate slipped on her mother’s wedding shoes. “My mom was so excited to see that I fit into her shoes and how perfectly they paired with my outfit,” Kate recounts. “It was really important for me to celebrate her as well and to thank her for working so hard to celebrate me.”

Back of Brides White Dress

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Instead of hiring a professional stylist, Kate did her own hair and makeup. She stuck with a natural yet elevated look for glam, which she achieved using Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation and Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Encourage. Since the future bride wanted her outfit to steal the show, she pulled her hair back into a half-up, half-down style—secured with a gold clip—and curled a few loose strands. For a European edge, she doused herself in Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk.

Minimal Bridal Shower Welcome Sign

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Seating Cards at Bridal Shower

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Flower and Plant Decor Next to Chair

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Flower and Plant Decor

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

As soon as guests set foot in the event space, a welcome sign with the description, “Le Bridal Shower de Kate,” greeted them, hinting at the European aesthetic. Beneath the signage was an arrangement of flowers, composed of Spanish moss, willow branches, dried asparagus fern, jasmine vine, anemones, and ranunculus. Amanda used those same blooms to trim the escort card display and the chair installation, which created a cohesive look. Behind the piece of vintage furniture was a backdrop with a painting of a European countryside—which made for the ultimate photo op.

Portrait of Bride and Bridal Shower Guests

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Kate’s family was an integral part of her planning team. Her mom and sisters dressed for the occasion in floral prints, pastel colors, ruffles, puff sleeves, corset bodices, and flared skirts—all details that captured the essence of the theme.

White Barn Venue for Bridal Shower

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Plant and Candle Decor on Tabletops

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

A garland of asparagus fern, layered with white ranunculus, white anemones, gold candelabras, and muted taper candles, lined the center of the table, injecting a vintage, romantic touch. Paired with simple linens and plates, the runner took center stage.

Close Up of Dinner Menu at Bridal Shower

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Kate opted for Italian cuisine; guests chose salmon, chicken, or short rib for their main course, accompanied by roasted vegetables for the side dish. Attendees found the lineup on deckle-edge menus, which Kate made herself. “I am a huge fan of typography and vintage handmade paper, so I just had to incorporate these here,” she says.

Drink Bar at Bridal Shower

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Along with their meal, friends and family sipped on peach bellinis from the bar.

Couple Portraits in Frames

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Portraits from Kate and Nick’s engagement shoot, which her sister photographed, adorned the space “to truly fill the room with our love story,” according to the future bride. Each image was displayed in a gold frame, adding a retro yet opulent edge.

"Guess How Many Flower Petals" Game

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

In addition to dining and mingling, loved ones played a bridal shower game, which required everyone to guess the number of flower petals in a jar. “We put 96 flower petals in the jar because Nick and I were born in 1996,” Kate reveals. “It was funny because my friend who shares a birthday with Nick was one of the winners.”

Photo Booth Accessories at Bridal Shower

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Bride With Young Girl at Bridal Shower

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Kate also wanted her younger attendees to feel included in the festivities, so she made her flower girls “treasure chests.” “I filled old suitcases with games and dress-up items for them to enjoy throughout the four-hour event,” Kate explains. “It was such a great detail, and everyone adored them running around in their little fairy wings.”

Black and White Portrait of Bride Greeting Guests at Bridal Shower

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

White Bridal Shower Cake with Flower Details

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

For dessert, Kate served seasonal sorbet and cannoli cake, a nod to the bridal shower’s Italian inspiration. The latter was a two-tier confection embellished with the same greenery and flowers that filled the rest of the room.

Portrait of Couple at Bridal Shower

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

Near the end of the soirée, Nick made a surprise appearance and delivered a bouquet of flowers to his future wife—a gesture he’s consistently done for the past decade. “At any major event or birthday, I always know Nick will be there with flowers every time,” Kate says. 

As Kate and Nick gear up for their big day, the bride-to-be says she’s been managing the ensuing stress by coming back to the sole reason the duo is planning a wedding in the first place—their love. “Don’t let the chaos that comes with planning get in the way of your love for each other,” she recommends to other couples. “Make sure you are still going on dates and adventures together. Make sure you have patience with each other as you navigate the different trials. It’s such an incredible learning experience and truly prefaces how you both will take on life together.” 

Wedding Team

Venue, Catering, and Cake Charlie’s of Bay Head

Event Planning, Floral Design, and Favors Scarpaci Designs

Bride’s Attire House of CB

Jewelry Jennifer Fisher

Rentals Dovetail Vintage Rentals

Photography Lauren Ashley Photography

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