We Threw a Harry Potter-Themed Bridal Shower for our Best Friend

No Gryffindors were harmed in the planning of this party.

All the way back in high school, my best friends and I (henceforth known as the Fingals) would always wonder who would get married first. We could never agree on an answer, but we knew that whoever it was going to be, would be special for all of us.

Fast forward to last year, Dani got down on one knee in Italy and proposed to our girl Sam. Having been together for seven years then, Dani and Sam have always been our OTP, sharing so much love, warmth, and creativity between them despite enduring long periods of time not seeing each other. Now they’re going to be canon, and we couldn’t be happier.

Everyone started getting in a frenzy thinking of the bachelorette: A wild weekend in Hong Kong? A girls’ beach trip to Bantayan Island? With Sam swept in a flurry of preparations for a big wedding, we couldn’t possibly get her away for more than a couple of hours. Also, she requested things to be innocent to accommodate younger family members, so we turned to the next best thing we could think of—one that has defined Sam’s fangirl identity, as well as our friendship from years and years back.

We threw her a Harry Potter-themed bridal shower.

Bridal Shower

Venue & Decor

Unlike Singapore, there is no Potter-themed establishment in Cebu, so we had to get creative.

Marisse Patisserie, a quaint and charming café tucked in one of Cebu’s quieter streets, has become a popular venue for intimate events, and is best known for its afternoon tea. While its ambiance is far from resembling anything in the Wizarding World, we were sold on the fact that it was just enough to accommodate all of us, and more importantly, they had butterbeer.

Initially, this gave us the impression they actually have a Harry Potter-themed tea party. Although they were quick to deny it, they were as helpful and eager as house elves to make one happen. We also tapped the services of artist Alan Bejec to craft us some set pieces.

In line with the theme, we asked the guests to wear white dress shirts, with neckties made by Carlo Damolo provided by us after the Sorting Ceremony. Our bride Sam was given her own robe, made by H&S Clothing.

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An honest-to-goodness Platform 9¾ entrance, made by Alan Bejec, imposed on one of Marisse Patisserie’s doors
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House banners (Gryffindor included, promise), and floating portraits of wizards, witches, and house elves set against the main buffet table. The occasional breeze from the air conditioning made it seem like these portraits were really “moving.”
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Our photobooth is a re-imagining of Sirius Black’s wanted poster from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
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A Muggle photo of the Golden Trio, the Triwizard Champions, and Cho Chang decorated the main buffet table as well.
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The Hogwarts acceptance letter from Professor McGonagall, along with some stray Chocolate Frogs, are just some of the details in the dessert buffet table.
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Owls on balloons, drawn by our friend Sherry. We tried to make more balloons happen, but helium ones weren’t allowed inside the café.
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Marisse Patisserie decorated our dessert buffet table with wands, owl statues, Chocolate Frogs, candles, wands, and other merchandise. They also used the Potter font for the labels on the goods.
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Our bride-to-be headed onwards to her next great adventure.

Sweets

If you ask me, where Marisse Patisserie really went all out with the theme was on their dessert buffet, and with good reason: They’re also known to make delicious pastries. We were really surprised and touched at the effort Marisse Patisserie made.

Additionally, the rest of the Head Girls and I also curated more Potter-related treats, a mix of official ones and stuff we DIY’d.

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Our bride-to-be checking out her dessert spread. Also, a closer look at her robe from H&S Clothing.
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These Sorting Cupcakes were a lot of fun. Bite into one, and you get a buttercream filling dyed accordingly by House colors.
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… and of course I’m a Ravenclaw through and through!
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Pumpkin Pastries
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Not sure I recall a Chocolate Truffle Mousse in the universe, but it sounds (and tastes!) like it could be.
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How cute are these Golden Snitch Pops?
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Two words: MANDRAKE. CUPCAKES.
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Welcome Kits for the students in their respective House colors, with feather quills DIY’d by our friend Kor. The House points are M&Ms sorted by color, with the brown ones designated to being Cockroach Clusters, and the orange ones to Puking Pastilles—well, half of them, anyway.
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Inspired by something my friend Charlene did for me for my birthday last year, I DIY’d these Golden Snitches out of Ferrero Rochers. The wings are from a template posted on Party Delights. 
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The full spread, featuring official Bertie Bott’s Every Flavoured Beans and Chocolate Frogs, Honeydukes-version Jelly Slugs from gummy worms, more Bertie Bott’s repackaged from Muggle jellybeans, and we even discovered this locally-produced Harry chocolate bars. Their logo also closely resembles the Wizarding World logo.

Games

It wouldn’t be a bridal shower without some games, and naturally, we also went a little extra on the Potter theme here.

In order to come up with teams, we Sorted each Hogwarts student into Houses, with us organizers serving as Head Girls. As much as we tried to even the playing field, some guests couldn’t make it at the last minute, resulting in a greater number of Hufflepuffs and Slytherins over Ravenclaws and Gryffindors. The minority were game to practice some inter-House unity and joined the bigger groups for some activities.

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The Sorting Ceremony
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… really, its Muggle counterpart: Picking Houses from a bowl.
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Starting off the afternoon with an icebreaker: Representatives from each house had to compete which one could hold their Wingardium Leviosa the longest.
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Pin the nose on the Voldie
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We used a nose from an actual Ralph Fiennes photo, because we believe Voldemort deserves his nose back.
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Dementor piñata. Here, the student needs to yell Expecto Patronum while feeling up for the string to break the piñata loose.
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Inside were galleons. Chocolate galleons. House that collects most coins gets points.
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While we were outside, we also did a pabitin. Pabitin is a staple in kiddie parties in the Philippines, in which children try to grab as many sweets hanging from a wooden grid. Our version involved Hogwarts letters instead, evoking that scene in Philosopher’s Stone in which Harry tries to catch one of his letters.
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Our letters, of course, were addressed to the bride.
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Inside were trivia questions about the bride and her soon-to-be husband.
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While Sam requested for a more innocent bridal shower, we couldn’t resist giving her a little twist.
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Enter Potter or Porn. Styled like Ordinary Wizarding Levels and Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests, students were asked to identify whether chapter titles and book excerpts really came from the books, or made up.
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Students were able to answer these exams using Ministry-standard feather quills, DIY’d by Kor. Like Gryffindors, no chickens were harmed in this party.

… and of course, we couldn’t have a Harry Potter-themed party without

Quidditch

That’s right, guys and gals: We made Quidditch happen.

Marisse Patisserie graciously allowed us to use the grounds right next to the café, so we asked our artist Alan to make Quidditch hoops. Rules for Muggle Quidditch already exist (we used this for reference), so besides the hoops, we bought balls downtown for our Quaffles and Bludgers, and brooms from all the way in Consolacion for the players. Our Golden Snitch was our friend Sherry; Seekers had to nab a tennis ball wrapped in a yellow sock from her to win the game.

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Host

A stripper may have been out of the question, although we delighted in Sam squirming when she thought she got one. Really, though, as we were throwing her a Harry Potter-themed bridal shower anyway, it was only fitting we got her dream guy from the universe to host it.

Since Cedric Diggory has long been gone, and we couldn’t slide into Robert Pattinson’s DMs, we went with Gabriel Miko Gomez of Dreamcatchers Live. His group provides performances depending on an event’s theme—Disney, Marvel, Greatest Showman, name it, they’ve likely done it.

What Gab lacked for not being Robert Pattinson, he made up for in charisma and energy (not to mention looking good in a Hufflepuff uniform), bringing the party from one activity to another seamlessly.

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Cedric Diggory’s entrance. If anyone’s asking, yes, we made him “fall from a tree.” As you should.
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Our flustered bride-to-be, still unsure whether we really got her a stripper. In public. In broad daylight. In a space with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. 😛
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Just like the true Quidditch player that he is, this Cedric was game to serve as referee for our game.
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In this universe, Cedric lives and is also teaching at Hogwarts.
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Head of House Cedric Diggory with his Hufflepuffs.

Moments with our Bride

Even with all the attention to our detail, the center of the afternoon’s festivities was our bride-to-be, Sam. This ray of sunshine is our true north, the one person who holds so many people together.

All of us are excited for your next great adventure—with Dani. Best wishes, Sam!

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Bridal Shower
VENUE: MARISSE PATISSERIE, 32 Sanson Road, Lahug (032) 406 3099 | HOST: Gabrielle Miko Gomez of DREAMCATCHERS LIVE +63 917 308 6981 | BRIDAL ROBE: H&S Clothing +63 917 761 0716 | HOUSE NECK TIES: Carlo Damolo | SET DESIGN: Alan Bejec | SPECIAL THANKS TO Marisse and Ria Sy, Issa Perez, Genevieve Aliño, Sherry Corominas, Fiona Escandor, and Kor Estrada.

Mischief Managed!

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