A Genius Bridal Shower Theme: A Retro Ice Cream Parlor
Because Jaime Buerger, a Martha Stewart Weddings Senior Editor, is in the business of writing about love, who better than she to share that tale of how she and her now-husband Garrett Williams hit it off? “We met in October 2011 at a Halloween party in Brooklyn. He was dressed as Vincent Van Gogh—complete with a bloodied, bandaged ear—and I was the Bob Dylan song ‘Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat.’ As the two ‘artists’ at the party, we were naturally drawn to each other. He struck up a conversation, complimenting me on my costume, and we ended up going on our first date a few days later.”
That first date—nearly four years ago—was to bar trivia at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. Now a music venue, the establishment was first a local general store back in the ’20s—and it’s this original history that inspired the surprise retro ice cream parlor-themed bridal shower thrown for the pair at the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia offices. Two weeks prior to the couple’s wedding in Louisville, Kentucky (the bride’s hometown and where Garrett proposed nearly one year earlier), our team gathered to build boozy ice cream sundaes in honor of the soon-to-be newlyweds. Keep reading to go inside the party—and get inspired for your own pre-wedding celebration!
Over the Topping
Our managing editor, Lindsay Brown, coerced Jaime to join her on a walk to the far side of the office, and the bride-to-be was shocked by what she found. “I was so impressed with the level of detail that went into the shower,” she says, “from the Kentucky touches to the elaborate signage and personalized games.” As for seeing Garrett in attendance? “I was thrilled,” says Jaime. “I loved that he came a little bit early and helped my coworkers set up the party.” (We appreciated the extra hand, too!)
Pints a Plenty
Red Crate & Barrel picnic coolers and ice buckets held pints of more than 20 ice cream and sorbet flavors, including “Lemon Bar,” “Italian Chocolate,” “Dulche de Leche,” “Maraschino cherries cream,” and “Vanilla with Sabayon” (all from Washington-based MORA) and “Cap’n Crunch,” “Butter Pecan,” and “Peanut Butter Cup” (courtesy of NYC-based Sprinkles)—to name a few. Color-coordinating napkins from Shop Sweet Lulu and party picks from the online retailer were used to decorate the desserts.
Build Your Own Boozy Blend
An adult-friendly build-your-own sundae bar called for a step-by-step guide, to help guests focus on flavors and toppings, not logistics.
Bridal Shower Playlist
And with ’50s and ’60s hits on the party’s playlist, staffers got down to business.
Reimagined Root Beer Floats
With a wedding planned in a southern Mecca like Louisville, Kentucky, it was only fitting to toast the wedding to come with sweet tea (and Champagne, naturally). The Owl’s Brew in “Pink & Black,” “Coco-Lada,” and “The Classic” also doubled as cocktail mixers for the bourbon on offer.
And because boozy floats would be impossible without, well, booze, four chilled expressions of Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey stocked the bar. Known as “America’s Native Spirit,” bourbon hails mostly from Kentucky (more than 90 percent of the world’s stock is made in the Bluegrass State), so our Kentucky-bound VIPs clinked an extra glass for good measure.
Ice Cream Toppings
Garrett’s Tipsy Treat
Rather than a signature cocktail, a signature sundae was in order. The man of the hour’s incorporated root beer syrup, a mainstay of any vintage soda fountain.
The Cherry on Top
Like any classic bourbon drink—from a Manhattan to an Old Fashioned—the groom-to-be’s version was topped with a maraschino cherry.
Jaime’s Signature Sundae
Because Jaime tends to reach for salty snacks rather than sweet ones, her float called for “Fig Vanilla Black Pepper” syrup and mini pretzels.
A close up of Jaime’s signature sundae.
Bridal Shower Game
Jaime and Garrett played a round of “Taste Bud Trivia,” in which they answered questions (prompted by associations with the five taste buds) separately about one another. Then the pair attempted to guess the other’s responses in front of the group with only a few clues. The activity ended in a draw officially, though Jaime called Garrett the clear winner.
Bridal Shower Favors
Guests stirred floats with “Peppermint Spoons” from Melville Candy Company or took the lollipop to go.
Get the Scoop
Bridal Shower Gifts
Red Picnic Coolers: Crate & Barrel
Libbey 16 oz. Pub Glasses and Wrapped Red Spoon Straws: The Webstaurant Store
Extra-Long Soda Fountain Spoons: Prairie Moon Beverage Syrup
Paper Napkins and Cups: Shop Sweet Lulu
Syrups: Jo Snow Syrups
Tea: Owl’s Brew
Bourbon Whiskey: Knob Creek
Red Retro Ice Cream Scoops: Fishs Eddy