Thursday, April 25, 2013

retro bridal shower: the beginning of the outdoor parties

The first party outdoors of course happened a day when the weather could have been a little warmer... but at least it didn't rain which it did the next day. Whew. Nothing like rain on an outdoor event, am I right Matt? 

This was the first event I've done where things were done as a "group". We had a conference call about what the shower theme would be and who would do what in terms of food, favors, and decorations. I volunteered our house thinking no one would take me up on the offer but they did which put a lot of responsibility on me since it's my house and I volunteered to make the food. One girl bought the cokes, tater tots and root beer for floats, one lived out of state so she couldn't do anything, one had to work and couldn't come help us so me and another one did all of the setting up the night before and the day of. It's weird working with a group of girls and arranging things with girls because girls try to be so f****** polite and don't just take the bull by the horns. I am type A so I just tell people what to do when I see that things have to be done. So things got done. 

The outdoor bar thing was a hit in my mind and I was very happy with how dang adorable it looked and it really is so perfectly made to be a bar I can't believe it's supposed to be a potting bench.
And here's where living 1 mile from an Ikea came in handy. In addition to furniture, Ikea sells things that are not just furniture. They sell cute trays. And juicers. And napkins. Ikea does not unfortunately sell plastic champagne flutes so I decided to bite the bullet and bought 24 non-breakable flutes from World Market since obviously I'll be throwing lots of outdoor parties and will need a set of two dozen flutes in my arsenal. You know I call my hosting supplies my arsenal right? I think I should catalog and inventory them onto a digital document so I know what stuff I have since in the kitchen right now they're in various places and I forget I have them.
Anyway... back to the party. For drinks we did a bellini bar and since our guest of honor is allergic to oranges we had everything but orange juice. I bought another drink dispenser at World Market.
And the potting tub that's supposed to catch dirt was a perfect ice bucket for the champagne flutes.
Call me a bloggy stereotype but striped straws and striped napkins, always a winner.
The retro coke bottles, gosh nothing like it. And they didn't drink all of them so we had a lot of coke left over.
Another new purchase for the arsenal were two coffee carafes at Ikea. Oh and those striped tablecloths, remember how I posted that I needed an excuse to buy them? Woo-hoo. 
I had a bunch of little skewers so I made berry skewers and caprese skewers. Also a watermelon and arugula salad.
Here's my cleverest thing I thought of. For the retro housewife theme I went with "TV dinner trays" for the plates and just wrapped empty trays with tin foil. 
I made a sign for the menu and stole that whole TV dinner template off the internet. You can do so much with retro style fonts.
If these foods look familiar it's because I've done them for other parties. If it's not broke...
The girls were all too scared to make any kind of baked desert for our bride so we did root beer floats instead. That's what the little root beers are.
One thing though about having trays instead of plates... the girls PILED the food on. Luckily there was just the right amount of food for everyone.
For favors we did those little captions and some spices. I didn't make them.
I didn't take pics of the frittata and the french toast thing. The french toast looked more like bread pudding but whatever. They ate it.
Oh here's the tray with food. Again, webstaurant store is your place, the trays were economical.
We made a photobooth backdrop but no one really used it. I even set up props.
This was also my first large sized event so I had a vendor loan me some folding tables and chairs for free. I'd love to buy a few folding tables and chairs to add to my arsenal eventually. We used Miri's bunting again and it just took the whole thing up a notch.
The tables were very understated but adorable. A striped table cloth. Mason jars with gerber daisies.
It also helped distract from the fact that the party was in our driveway. Nobody seemed to mind and when we bought the house I imagined throwing parties out here and setting tables out just like this.
We had a happy bride so I guess our job was done.
Mozel Tov Bitches.
Now to plan the bachelorette.