Its a way cute idea. We started out by giving everyone an invitation that looked like a little purse. We told them they were purse-onaly" invited. I will attach a copy of the pattern. (see below) Its a little rough because I just drew it up here at my desk. We used different colors of card stock for the purse and then printed out on the computer the invitation information and glued it inside, you could also use some fancy designer patterned paper too. For the purse "clasp" we used a little fabric flower or button and for the purse strap we used a little pearl ribbon or regular ribbon. I will have to try to make one of these this weekend so I can post a real picture, but this will at least give you an idea on the pattern. You can fit 3 on one 8.5X11 sheet. You can make them larger if you think they are too small. The ladies in our ward thought these were so pretty...it really intrigued them to come and we had a great turnout. I always believe that you should make the invitations to an event look very nice....if the invitation looks like it was rushed and corner were cut, then people may believe that the activity will be that way and may not come.
(click to enlarge)
Anyway, we had a dinner, something very girlie like soup, salad, and quiche, I think, with rolls. After dinner, we had our program. We had asked some women in advance to take 3-5 minutes each and talk about a different purse they have carried in their life. They were asked to bring the actual purse or bag as a visual aid. These are the purses we asked people to talk about: a fancy after 5 purse, a scripture bag, a temple bag, a diaper bag, a Sunday bag (like for a calling), a backpack (for students), and a regular purse. We wanted variety, so we asked women who were in all these different stages, like a young mother for the diaper bag and a Temple worker for the Temple bag or a young bride. It was so fun and entertaining. These women did such a great job and they pulled things out of their purse and talked about them and how they help them get through life.
I started out with a fancy purse because I thought some of the just out of high school sisters could relate it to a purse they took to prom. My particular fancy purse was from prom and it had been my great aunt's. It is a beautiful small pearl beaded type purse and I talked about how I think of my great aunt when I use it and I love that it is so fancy and special. Then I turned it over to the next purse lady.
One lady was so funny because she talked about things you need to have in your purse...like purse-everance, purse-suasion, and our favorite...purse-scriptions!
I believe the Relief Society President was the final speaker who talked about all the purses we carry in our life and tied it all together.
The centerpieces were different kinds of purses from all eras and styles.
It was such a lovely and fun night. We laughed a lot.
We also played a game. Our game required everyone to pull out their purse (We put on the invitation for everyone to bring their purse). I would call out a certain item and the first person who was able to pull out that item and hold it over their head won a point for the table. You will need helpers to see who is first because this can get competitive and these ladies were fast! The winning table all got some sort of little prize. I think we had gotten some purses from the dollar store and put something in them.
Here are some of the items that we called out for the game:
A piece of gum
a fruit or vegetable (you would be surprised what some people carry!)
a head cover for when it rains
a driver's license
an old church program
a receipt from a store
scriptures (of any sort)
a cell phone
a package of Kleenex
a grocery card (like a Kroger card)
a relief society newsletter
You would be surprised how funny this game is....it was so funny to see what people carried around and who carried what.
If you have any specific questions, please ask. I am sure I am forgetting some of the details. I will think about it and see what else I can jog out of my memory.