How to throw a fun and retro school cafeteria wedding shower

Guestpost by Julia on Mar. 26th

Julia, of View Master wedding invitation fame, threw the rare and elusive AWESOME wedding shower with a retro school cafeteria theme. Here is Julia's step-by-step instructions on how she and her mom pulled this off.

The inspiration for this shower started from one simple principle: a desire for a centerpiece that was consumable.

In traditional Indiana wedding showers, the centerpieces are a BIG DEAL. When you're a little kid, you FREAK OUT if you "win" the centerpiece. When you're older, you hope and pray you don't have to make a spot in your house for some kind of fake plant/teacup/basket/candle combination. (Well, at least I did.) From that instant reaction of "let's spare our guests from having to bring home some contraption," my mom and I decided the centerpiece should be edible. Not the edible arrangements kind of edible, but something to get people excited.

Like a school lunchroom tray of fruit, twinkies, hostess cupcakes, juicy juice and fruit snacks. And to take it home, let's make them reusable lunch bags…

My mom cut and sewed 70+ of these lovelies, all from oilcloth and complete with velcro tabs. I still use mine, and it is super durable.

A theme quickly emerged from this brainstorm, School Cafeteria!

The invite nodded to what we had in store, without giving it away…

Once our invitees opened the card, they found a high school style folded note. I used a Gocco and a handwriting font for the note and printed it on notebook paper I found throughout our house. Being a pack rat came in handy, as I raided my old college notebooks for paper.

The note had all kinds of weird (and sometimes made up) slang like "off the heezy" which confused some of our older relatives, but my favorite was the end part of "do you think you can come? check yes or no."

As the shower approached, we finalized a menu of awesome foods like meatloaf, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, red jello with floating fruit, single-serving chocolate milk cartons and green beans all served onto lunch trays by fabulous lunchladies (Bobby and my dad and uncle Tod in hairnets and aprons.)

For games, something like a toilet paper bridal gown was (thankfully) not going to fit with our event. I made custom cootie catchers with fortunes like "your best friend is a werewolf" or "your favorite jeans will last forever" or my favorite, "you have a secret twin."

Another game we provided was a sheet to collect autographs, filled with questions about school days.

Our guestbook (a composition notebook) came with an assignment…

The yearbook pages placed throughout the tables, deserts and guestbook table were pages from actual yearbooks I bought at thrift stores and auctions.

Our shower was unlike anything our family had ever attended. Showers in Indiana are usually fairly predictable, and while there's comfort in knowing what you're showing up for, (a catered meal, watching the bride and groom open presents, etc.) it was so cool to see everyone having SO MUCH FUN and feeling like a kid again, eating on lunch trays, munching on twinkies, playing with cootie catchers and drinking milk out of tiny cartons.

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