Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lindsay's Retro 1950's Bridal Shower

It's been one celebration after another around here! On Saturday, I hosted a bridal shower for my sister-in-law, Lindsay.

Lindsay is such a calm and relaxed bride-to-be. She makes wedding planning look easy and seems to have everything organized to the tee. She and her fiancĂ©, Kyle, have several throwback touches planned for their wedding (bars in lieu of a wedding cake!), so my mother-in-law Janie had the idea to host a 1950's retro-style bridal shower for her. I thought it seemed like a fun idea and fits Lindsay's taste perfectly. When hosting a party, I usually head straight to Pinterest for inspiration, but I couldn't find much online for this theme. So, Janie and I brainstormed ideas together and consulted a few ladies who lived the era including Lindsay's Aunt Judy and family friend Mary Lou.

First, I purchased this retro-style invitation on Etsy which determined my color scheme for the party -- turquoise blue and red. I made a CELEBRATE banner for the party in red, turquoise and green (download my banner here) and decorated the party with vintage 1950's advertisements I found online and printed at home (download ad images here). I thought the retro advertisements were the perfect tie-in for the shower as they showcased 1950's housewives back in the day. And, they were racey! Everyone at the party had a good laugh reading them.

"Successful marriages start with Pyrex"

Here's adorable Mia and a guy in the background ad reprimanding his wife for not buying the correct coffee brand!

My mother-in-law Janie found some mini Coca-Cola bottles which were (surprisingly!) a big hit at the party. We displayed the Coke bottles along with bottled water and ice, and a pretty red and blue apron I picked up for Lindsay to take home as a gift.

Speaking of aprons, family-friend Mary Lou let us borrow several of her vintage aprons for the party. During the shower, she told us about the occasions she used to wear the aprons as a young 1950's housewife -- for "Club," on Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve and her "working aprons" while preparing food in the kitchen. It was so fun wearing the aprons as we imagined what life was like for her back then.

Also - a note about Janie's dress ... Mary Lou said she had the perfect "mother-of-the-bride" bridal shower dress for Janie to wear to the party, as this is exactly what the MOTB would wear back in the 1950's.

Lindsay, Janie and I

L to R: Me, Janie, Lindsay, Kiera (Lindsay's cousin), Judy (Lindsay's aunt) and Mia (Lindsay's cousin) all wearing half-aprons from the 1950's 

Mia and Kiera with Tory, who were THE BEST little kid entertainers at the party.
The big star of the bridal shower (aside from Lindsay, of course!) was the food. I Googled "1950's party food" and came up with a list to serve meatballs, cucumber tea sandwiches, shrimp cocktail, veggies and dip, Jell-O salad, pigs in a blanket and a 1950's Canadian Dry punch recipe. Many of Lindsay's aunts and cousins offered to help with the food, so Janie assigned menu items accordingly and the food just showed up at party time! It's exactly how I'll host parties from now on - ha ha! Seriously though, help with the food made hosting this bridal shower so easy for me. I always think food is one of the most challenging (and expensive!) aspects of throwing a party and I didn't have to do much of it for this one. It was fantastic.

Mini red velvet cupcakes and assorted desserts

As Janie and I researched the retro party theme, we came along a 1955 excerpt from Housekeeping Monthly illustrating how to be the perfect housewife. We were shocked (and giggled non-stop!) about the ridiculous duties for housewives back in the day. Even though this side of the family aren't big fans of shower games, we knew we had to incorporate the "Good Wife's Guide" somehow. I saw some quiz and Mad Libs ideas online, but decided to take the simpler route of reading the article to the group and asking guests to write down some of their own "today's advice" for the bride-to-be.

While Lindsay opened her gifts, I assembled a bow bouquet for her using the bows and ribbons from the packages. I loosely followed an online tutorial, and it turned out so cute! The idea is for Lindsay to use the bow bouquet as her "practice bouquet" during the wedding rehearsal or if nothing else, keep it as a keepsake from the shower.

The completed bow bouquet

And finally, I gave wooden spoons tied with baker's twine to guests as a thank-you for attending the party. I had such a lovely time hosting Lindsay's bridal shower, and I hope she felt equally blessed. Now, the countdown's on for her wedding just over a month away!


  1. What a cute idea, I especially love the food! I am a little in shock that she's not doing a wedding cake (my absolute favorite part of all weddings, including my own!) - but so cute to do something different that completely suits her!

    1. They're doing a little wedding cake for themselves, and bars for everyone else. I think it's fun! Very midwestern. :)

  2. What a great theme!! It looked like so much fun : )

  3. I LOVED this wedding shower, Heather, and I've told so many people about it! Every little touch showed how much you care. From the invites (the colors match our wedding decor), to the decorations, to the food and fun - I loved every minute! My food favs were the shrimp cocktail and jello salad. And you're right, we are having a Surly beer chocolate cake at the wedding.

  4. oh I love it! What a sweet shower! I love anything theme. I particularly love the food and ads from the past. Those are always so funny.

  5. Great job on this...I love all of the details!! So Mad Men!