Monday, July 8, 2013

Bridal Shower Boardwalk Style!!

This post is long overdue.  One would think that being a teacher and having the summers off would free up a lot of time for blogging.  Unfortunately, I have been planning countless parties and yet another bridal shower, which has left little time for my writing desires.

Anyway, this shower I am presenting to you now was for my cousin, Heather, who is actually getting married in a little less than two weeks (in Florida, which will be wonderful!).  She got engaged to her fiance, Jake, in Cape May, which is a boardwalk town.  Lisa, one of the matrons of honor, (the other being me) came up with the idea to use the boardwalk as a theme for the bridal shower.  GENIUS!! Or so we thought.  I went to Pinterest to find some cool boardwalk ideas.  I suppose some think that "boardwalk" is synonymous with "carnival," so needless to say, I got a lot of carnival ideas that were less than fancy enough for a bridal shower.  So, needless to say, we have to start from scratch.  Heather, the bride-to-be, is not a particularly traditional bride.  She is fun-loving and playful, so I wanted to use those elements in the shower.

The Food:

The food was the easiest part of the shower.  Thinking about the boardwalks I have been to (Ocean City, Rehobeth, Virginia Beach), I imagined the store fronts that line the wooden walkway, usually selling popcorn, sweets, barbeque, sandwiches, and french fries.  Inspired by those store fronts, I create fake store names and printables, which I put in frames and placed around each "store's" food.

The first was Lisa's Sweet Shoppe.  I named it that because Lisa was inspired to make some delicious custard cupcakes for the shower.  In Lisa's Sweet Shoppe, we had the custard cupcakes, peanuts, apothecary jars filled with gumdrops, homemade mini pretzels, and little triangles of kettle corn (a BIG hit with our smaller guests).  My aunt found the small plastic beach bins at her local Christmas store, which I have been told is "like the Dollar Tree on steroids" (her words exactly).  They were extremely cheap and could be reusable.

Next, we had Surfer Sammy's Sub Shop.  In the interest of time, we decided to buy $5 foot longs from Subway and just cut them into small finger sandwiches.  This turned out to be very helpful and easy.

Another shop was Sweet Baby's BBQ.  We wanted something really authentically boardwalk, yet something with a large quantity, since we were feeding 30 people.  We decided on BBQ.  We picked up BBQ pulled chicken and coleslaw from our local Red, Hot, and Blue and bought our own buns, since we wanted a smaller size than the ones provided by the restaurant.  Heather's aunt from her mother's side made an excellent Three Bean Baked Beans, which were amazing!

We had a lot of hearty food and we wanted to do something a little lighter.  We wanted to incorporate a salad and some fruit, so I decided to make a store front printable for a Farmer's Market.  We made a delicious BLT salad and had two fruit trays from Whole Foods.

The Drinks:

I was kind of at a stand-still when it came to the drinks.  I knew that we would have the typical bottled water and soda, but I wanted to incorporate something that was uniquely Boardwalk as a signature drink.  I thought, "How about lemonade?"  Who has ever been to a boardwalk that doesn't have a lemonade stand somewhere?  So I made a store front printable for Rascal's Lemonade and Corn Dog Stand.  Lemonade and Corn Dogs, you may wonder.  Well, to me, the boardwalk is always filled with restaurants and stores that always have a random mix of things, so I concocted Rascal's.  For the non-drinkers, we had raspberry and regular lemonade, which we simply made using Crystal Light Powder packets.  For the adventurous drinks, we had Spiked Arnold Palmer, which is a concoction of half a handle of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, a pint of fresh brewed tea, two containers of Simply Lemonade, and a lot of ice.  I had many people asking me for the recipe before they left.  It is a good choice, especially for those who don't like the "alcohol" taste.  Of course, we also had to make pigs in a blanket to represent our "corn dogs."  Those acted as an appetizer of sorts.

The Decor:

The decor was the hardest part to do.  How does one incorporate boardwalk without spending an arm and a leg?  I thought out incorporating the wood from the boardwalk.  I used that as a centerpiece.  I purchased two fencing boards from my local Lowe's for a whopping total of $3.42.  I had one of the workers cut the board into thirds, so they would be a good centerpiece size.  They were typical fresh wood yellow and I wanted them to look more aged and weathered, like wood from a boardwalk.  When I got home, I put some steel wool in vinegar overnight.  The next day, I brushed the vinegar substance on my planks and let them sit outside for a day.  That night, I let some tea seep all night long. The next morning, I took my tea and brushed it on the wood.  That process allowed me to achieve the weathered look I wanted.  Since we were only using three tables for seating, I only needed three centerpiece planks.  I decided to write words on the planks, which, when all three planks are put together, state a love quote  (SSSShhhh, I am giving them the wooden planks put together as a wedding present that they can put on their wall).  

I knew I wanted to put a mason jar filled with oranges and white flowers on each the planks, but I felt they needed something else.  While at my local AC Moore, I found some mini Adirondack chairs.  I thought they would be perfect.  I bought six (two per table) and spray painted them teal, since the colors of our shower were teal and orange.  It ended up working perfectly.  

Lisa also added a beautiful touch to the shower by purchasing this pennant banner for the wall.  

The shower turned out to be so wonderful and everything I expected.  I can't wait to see how this wedding will turn out.  I know it will be beautiful, and I must admit I am looking forward to the mini vacation.  Until next time...

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