How Influencer Dani Maiale Spotlighted Her Bridesmaids at Her Tropical-Paradise-Themed Shower
Just wait till you see the pillars created for her besties.
Like weddings, bridal showers can take many different forms depending on your personal style. In the case of fashion influencer and bride-to-be Danielle Maiale’s Pink Tropical Paradise-themed Union League Golf Club at Torresdale bridal shower, her soiree was dedicated to making all of the attendees — particularly the bridal party — feel loved. Dani, who will be getting hitched to John Dombroski in just a few days (October 9th!) after postponing their Big Day for a year due to the pandemic, incorporated bold twists to spotlight her bridesmaids. (Remember, she also staged a “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” brunch for her besties.) Du Soleil Photographie captured it all, and Dani shares her approach below.
My mother and family threw the shower, but I worked closely with them and the vendors on planning. I really wanted my shower to be a chance for all the attendees to get to know each other and have fun! It was about making everyone in the bridal party feel important and, of course, to celebrate a long-awaited countdown to the wedding.
The bridal shower invites included a QR code. It gave us the answer right away whether someone was attending. The QR code scanned to our The Knot wedding website and notified me via email when someone had responded. It made it easier for us to plan accordingly for the 75 guests who ultimately joined the lunch. We also included the attire on the invites (semiformal): This was just a fun way for all our guests to wear their Sunday best at the shower!
Of course, COVID guidelines had an impact. About a week before the shower, Philadelphia announced new masking and vaccination guidance for all businesses. The Union League of Philadelphia (where my wedding will be held) along with all of its properties opted to have guests and members provide proof of vaccine to even enter the property. With this new rule in place, we had to act swiftly. We notified all guests via phone calls and texts to bring their vaccine cards, which would be checked at the gate. If guests also wanted to wear masks while at the shower they were welcome to — whatever made them feel comfortable! We had masks and hand sanitizer readily available. And the venue itself was both indoor and outdoor on the terrace, which made for a safer environment.
It was important to me to highlight how special my bridesmaids are. We created large pillars on the terrace for each person — my designer, House of Catherine, thought up the idea. The columns had their names on them, along with a photo to match. They were staggered at different heights, all 10 of them, so each bridesmaid had a whole moment dedicated to her. I didn’t tell the girls I was doing this, so when I brought them out to surprise them, they were in shock and laughed.
Additionally, my bridesmaids all wore white because I thought it would be another little nod to make them feel special.
I wanted to make sure anyone coming alone felt included and comfortable. Some guests may not know many people, and to help with this I loved the idea of having a seating chart! This was simply meant to gather other people who may have come solo, so they can get to know others. We all may feel uncomfortable at times walking into a room when the only person we know is the bride or one or two people there, so I wanted everyone to feel included and make new friends who they will then see again at the wedding.
My dad, future father-in-law and John attended for the last half hour. It was important to me to have them all there because it was a chance for everyone to get to know one another more. Having my whole family there to share in these memories means absolutely everything. My dad couldn’t stop talking about the day, and even though it was a bridal shower for all women, I am glad they were a part of this moment leading up to the wedding.
Games were played! We kept this tradition: This is an amazing way to get your table talking and getting to know others within the room. We opted to play “Who Knows the Bride Best?” It consisted of fill-in-the-blank questions. We also played an easier game of “Would She Rather?” It was a simple this-or-that answer to the questions. Lastly, we played the “Shoe Game,” but instead of John and I holding up one another’s shoes, we held up printed faces of each other. My sister, Lauren, who is also my maid of honor, read questions for us aloud. I highly recommend playing this game at any shower: I was hysterical the whole time!
We had a dessert bar. It included a pink pearl cake, chocolate-covered strawberries, an ombré macaron tower, custom sugar cookies, chocolate bites and other sweets. Guests were also given goodie bags to take some treats home with them after the shower.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Photographer: Du Soleil Photographie | Venue, Catering & Desserts: The Union League of Philadelphia | Design: House of Catherine | Florals: Always Beautiful Floral | Hair: Lotus Salon | Makeup: Rita Marie | Videography: Visual Rose Films | Artist: Denise Fike Fashion Illustrator
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