Soda + Candy + Cookies + ICE CREAM SUNDAES
= Sweetest Shower Ever

August 10, 2009

My super sweet sundae bridal shower was yesterday and OMG I am still recovering from the sugar intake! It will be a couple days until i have “photos with people” since I was banned from taking pictures in order to socialize, but I wanted to share some details I designed and planned. (click on pictures for a larger view)

With a backdrop as beautiful as Sweet Republic‘s ice cream shop and its earth-friendly, fun details, I didn’t focus too much energy on decor. It is such a sleek and cheerful space!

The table centerpieces were thrifted ice cream glasses with candy from Bashas. My sister Patty and I were inspired by Local First Arizona to only patronize local, independent businesses for the shower.

Sweet Republic Artisan Ice Cream was named one of bon appetit magazine’s top 10 ice cream shops in the country. It uses locally-sourced and organic ingredients to make small batches of the best ice cream you’ll EVER taste. To kick off the event, we took part in their “Ice Cream 101” class. Chef Helen Yung entertained us with a behind-the-scenes peek into the ice cream process and shared details behind their fascinating flavors like sweet corn, salted butter caramel and bacon while co-owner Jan Wichayanuparp readied our tastings of Lychee Mint Mojito sorbet, Rasberry Pomegrante yougurt, their signature Salted Butter Caramel and Belgian Chocolate. They taught us how to analyze the texture, taste and scent of the ice cream- SO much cooler than a wine tasting! 🙂

After the tasting, we all had two-scoop sundaes with their toppings and sauces (which are all made in house!) I went traditional with a peanut butter chip and chocolate sundae with carmel and hot fudge, topped with whipped cream and a giant made-from-scratch marshmallow. Jan toasted the marshmallow on the top with a blowtorch until it was perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft inside. I snagged a bite of Patty’s sundae that had a BALSAMIC sauce on top of their cheese course duo and ahhhhhhhh! I am still dreaming about it!

Once the present-opening subsided (among the lovely, wonderful, generous gifts from friends, we got a DINOSAUR MUFFIN PAN that blew my mind!) It was my favorite part of all parties… THE FAVORS.

I provided the favors and used the opportunity to SHOP LOCAL and help keep money in Arizona and support independent businesses! I bought half gallon take-out buckets from Mary Coyle ice cream (Phoenix) and labeled them with guests’ names. They had their pick of two flavors from organic Urban Cookies (Phoenix) and two bowls brimming with candy from Smeeks (Phoenix).

They then chose from a table of retro sodas from Pop The Soda Shop (Scottsdale) which we also had available cold to sip during the party.

After guests filled their buckets, I gave them a custom lid created in my craft workshop (aka spare room). We topped the bottles with a string of business cards from all the local vendors to encourage the local movement to continue beyond the afternoon.

Shopping exclusively local was the BIGGEST challenge I’ve had to date in wedding planning. It’s so much easier to run to Michael’s or Target to pick up something quick instead of running all over the valley trying to find something from an independently-owned store. It was a rewarding experience to put my money in the hands of arizona residents instead of giant corporations! On a bittersweet note, the thank-notes were local from M&Co Papery (Mesa) which has sadly gone out of business. All the more reason to try to get friends onto the local first wavelength!

In the end, I had so much fun designing the signage and even MORE fun sharing the day with friends and ice cream! I will update with some photos of actual people soon!

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