As you probably already saw on facebook, the shower came together just as I had hoped! My goal was to keep all the expenses (invites, food, decorations, etc.) super low without sacrificing style or meaningfulness. It was Mal's first shower and I wanted it to be special, but just can't bare the thought of dropping loads of cash for a small window of time as important as it may be. So with a little creativity, blog research (people have done school themes before me!), and dollar store shopping, I was able to pull some ideas together and keep the cost just where I wanted it.
And as you can also probably tell, the theme was "school days." When people ask me where my brother and his fiance met, I often joke and respond, "the playground," but in their case it couldn't be closer to the truth. My brother and Mal met and became each other's first girlfriend and boyfriend in kindergarten (insert "sha" here). The relationship didn't last long (shocker), and ended with a pen to my brother's face in their elementary yearbook. :) Mal actually brought the yearbook to the shower to show how, at one point, she had scratched through and scribbled across sweet James' face. It was so great to have and people loved learning more about their history.
They began officially dating again in high school (even though I know James always had a crush on Mal!), and dated continuously from freshman year until now. And two years ago, he decided to ask her to marry him.
[engagement pic--how cute are they?!]
So as part of the decor, we displayed lots of pics of Mal when she was younger and her and James over their 5 year dating history. My favorite were their dance pics from every homecoming--hilarious!
One way we were able to keep the cost down was by making it a dessert shower. I worded the invite to where it wouldn't it be a complete shock walking in and made the time in the middle of the afternoon. Plus, who doesn't love a buffet of sweets anyway??
To make it more personal, I incorporated James and Mal's favorite desserts into the menu and made them front and center, complete with stickers saying "Bride's Favorite" and "Groom's Favorite."
[it kills me how blurry this pic is!]
And I kept the desserts simple with some that overlapped or didn't have many ingredients--but were still quite tasty!
[how cute are these coke cans?? I saw them on a blog and was so excited when I found some]
The other ways I kept things simple were by wrapping a bunch of our old college books with kraft paper, using letter stamps for the subjects and food labels, incorporating pencils and red ribbon for color, using the logo I made for them everywhere I could (cupcake toppers, water bottles, sign in book, etc.) and making my own cupcake tower with bulletin border from a local teacher supply store, canned goods as the bases, and cardboard baking rounds. I also borrowed servingware from family and used a lot from my milk glass collection to put things in. (I was so excited to use it!!)
I read marriage advice that Ms. Wanda (Kendra's mom and our old American History teacher) was able to gather from all her teacher friends who had either James or Mal in their classes over the years. It was so great to see what they put and to surprise Mal with a little something unexpected before she opened her presents.
And what shower is complete without advice opportunities and favors? :) For these, I just used index cards (from the food labels), sharpies, lunch bags, and labels with baskets I already had.
[photo op with the bride and soon-to-be Gautreaux]
Next, I'll be posting on all the behind-the-scene help I received because you know this was not something I could have carried out all by myself (and keep my sanity at least). Thankfully, I am surrounded by people who love me and want to make my life easier and who have great ideas and talents. :)