Thursday, April 22, 2010

Scenes from a Retro Housewife Bridal Shower: A Vintage Garden Tea Party

a time of greening grass,
sunshine and blue skies,
buds on trees...
and brides!

Last weekend was the bridal shower of my niece, Melissa, given by her mom's four sisters: Brenda, me, Mary and Anne. Melissa's mom helped out a ton, and several of her mom's friends, Denise and Diane and I'm sure many others.

It was a work of love, for a beautiful bride-to-be and thanks to the skills of many, it turned out very pretty, picture perfect in fact!

In no small part, it was gorgeous due to the fact that Melissa's mom is a florist and party decorator extraordinaire, has been for about thirty years. And, grandma had a huge collection of vintage hats, purses, and gloves. What fun it was to decorate using them.

(click any photo in this post to enlarge)

To welcome guests, my sister put this photo frame together and it stood just inside the door. A gal named Melissa (a friend of the bride) decorated it with a nosegay Pam (bride's mom) had made and a vintage hat on the top right corner with a "veil" underneath it.

In the frame are photos from a session by the bride's friend and bridesmaid, Leah for Melissa's invitations, taken with Grandma's vintage hats and gloves.

The bride's mom also made this cake, decorated with fresh mini roses, perfectly matching the vintage wedding shower card I brought (and she hadn't seen!).
She placed the cake on a lacy milk glass pedestal cake plate.

The cake table was decorated with pieces of china from the bride's great great grandmother--azalea pattern! It is placed on a vintage piece of linen that belongs to Pam.

It's embroidered with an umbrella and little flowers...perfect for a springtime bridal shower. On the piece are two more of my vintage bridal shower cards or gift tags...part of a Ziploc bag full of them purchased at a garage sale last summer for twenty-five cents.

Pam brought these little parasols to decorate with and placed them on the dessert tables.

All the tables were decorated with vintage milk glass vases full of take-with bouquets, which were door prizes for guests to take home with them when they left. We drew names for all of them.

My mom sent along a box of vintage hats, purses, and gloves and the groupings were all unique and beautiful, with strings of pearls scattered around. I tried to take photos of each grouping so you can feast your eyes on these gorgeous beauties. What glamor.

Aren't the gloves with seeded pearls gorgeous? And the lilac headband hat...!

I love the sassy little straw hat in the top corner here, reminds me of something in the movie "The Magic Of Ordinary Days", a Hallmark movie that was a story told from the 1940's.
The beaded purse on the left was made by my mom.

Can you just hear that purse snapping shut? As kids, all us girls loved that sound...

A table full of blue...

This hat is decorated with stunning replicas of apple blossoms. Still in great condition, my mom said she thought it was from the 1960's, as she wore one that Easter that was almost identical.

All the flowers were done by my talented sister, and were gorgeous, don't you think?

A lovely beaded handbag.


The cup and saucer here are part of a set of china that belonged to the bride's grandmother, a family heirloom!

The bride's mom brought all the tea cup sets to use for nuts and mints. They're just gorgeous to look at!

And this...oh. My.

Aqua again!

This rosy pink confection is a new hat, one my mom brought home from her trip to England recently (my youngest brother is there with his wife). All the ladies still wear hats to church services in England so they're still easy to find in stores.

How perfectly smashing this black number with the brooch is!

This was the display on the bridal party's table.

And now...the GOOD FOOD!

My sister Mary put together this beautiful Olive Garden salad....easy to make, beautiful to look at, and delicious too!

Here's all you do:
Toss romaine with tomato wedges, red onion rings, black olives, hot pepper slices,
with croutons and fresh Parmesan cheese for the topping.

This is how you replicate Olive Garden's delicious dressing for it:
Use Italian dressing and use a whisk to mix it with real mayo (to get the cloudiness) and a bit of sugar to take the sour off the Italian dressing. HEAVENLY!

There were delicious chicken salad sandwiches mixed up by Pam, and I want the recipe, I heard her say it called for red and yellow pepper for crunch and a Vidalia onion dressing was all that was needed for the dressing, they were light and crunchy and just right.

Two kinds of soups: homemade chicken noodle and baked potato with toppings of cheddar cheese, green onion, and bacon bits. YUM!

All of us girls and our mom brought our dessert sets...most gleaned from thrift stores. It works out great because you use the cups for the hot soup!

Diane's fruit salad and fruit pizza on the dessert table...yummy and beautiful!

We used vintage scrabble letters for fun and for labeling the food items.

The punch was delicious: one each of two liter Sprite and 7up and one can of frozen fruit punch by Minute Maid.

We had Texas chocolate and peanut butter sheet cakes, coconut and banana cake to serve.

Yumm....let's dig in!

From left to right, my sister Brenda, the groom's mother, the bride's mom who is my sister, Pam, her daughter Amy who will be a bridesmaid, the bride-to-be, Melissa, the maid of honor, Stephanie is also the bride's sister, the bridesmaid Leah, and then in front is one of the flower girls.

Opening a gigantic pile of gifts. She got a lot of great stuff for their apartment and I even saw a couple aprons!

And afterward, while we cleaned up, there was some hat modeling going on...

Stephanie and Leah.
(Leah's the talented one who took the photos for the shower invitation.)

The bridal party.

Some people just look so cute in hats! This is my niece, Stephanie.

All of my nieces loved to play "dress up" at grandma's house with her hats and gloves and purses and collection of old dresses.

And...the bride, Melissa! So cute, loved her dress for that day!

And, we couldn't leave the shower without a cute McKenzie shot!
(She's my great niece! Cute as a button and sassy, too!)

We sure all wish Melissa and Benjamin the best of luck in their new marriage and their new home!


Anonymous said...

I love the theme. I think this is the most gorgeous bridal shower I have ever seen. I like the wedding card on the table and the dishes are superb.

Bloggin bout my Boys said...

This truly was a LABOR of LOVE,Joni. One photo more impressive than the last and I am starving for that p.butter sheetcake now and a big bowl of that salad and a cup of that soup,well you can figure out you made me HUNGRY for all the good cookin' you and your crew served up! I am sure your niece will always remember it with great pride. It makes me think of some wedding photos in my Mom's albums from the mid 60's. They were all dressed in hats and carrying snap clutches that coordinated very similar to the ones displayed in your post. I can hear and FEEL the I closed my fingers in it once...only once,I learned!! Thanks for sharing your outstanding work with us!!

Cousin B said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! This idea! I happen to have a beautiful purple hat that has been tucked safely in a drawer for years from a loved aunt who passed. And tea cups from my mom, if you dont mind, may I steal some pics. from here? I am so inspired to put together a tea for my friends and family?

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

Cousin B: I was unable to respond via email, but you can use pics of the table decorations if you'd like, that's fine. Thanks for asking permission first! Hope you post pics of your tea party!

Kathie Truitt said...

What fun and how pretty.

Jeanette said...

Wow! Nice shower! I love the idea of using scrabble letters! Will file that away for future reference!

Laura said...

What a wonderful shower! The food looks lucious and I love the idea of the scrabble words for your food names. GREAT!

Lucy said...

Joni, I so love your shower posts -always so much eye candy and wonderful food. Great ideas galore, I could not honestly pick out a favorite:-)

FHCS said...

Too sweet Joni.....I loved all the pictures. It reminded me of my girls dress-up clothes they played with when they were little. We picked up vintage hats and gloves at a yard sale for a song, I still have some of them and was actually thinking of selling them until I saw this post, thanks! I know the Hallmark movie you are talking about too, it is one of my favorites. I love olive gardens salad so I can't wait to make that, TFS. I wish your niece best wishes it looks like she is already off to a good start surrounded by a loving family!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!! What a great idea for a bridal shower-loved it:)

Katie said...! Love the Scrabble letter labels! Just found your blog from Anna's glad I stopped by...lovely blog! I love farmhouses! And a big Reagan fan too! I think I'll have to look around some more!


PBKISSES said...

So pretty! My niece (Backyard Chic)is getting married in June and is using a retro garden theme. She will love these pics. Thank you for sharing and I too would love the recipe for Peanut butter sheet cake!

mary your sis said...

It was a lovely day and you worked so hard to coordinate it! Beautiful!