Working Lunch

My husband is giving me “that look.” You know the one: the look that says, “Here we go again! Just shoot me now!” But I swear on a stack of pancakes I am NOT getting back into the wedding business!!! I am simply lending the benefit of my expertise to two three a few couples who have recently asked me for a little jump-start in their planning. And it’s not like I’m planning the entire wedding like I used to. Just the reception decor part. I mean, what’s the harm in that? 🙂

I had a lunch meeting a couple of weeks ago with a lovely couple and Mother-of-the-bride who are planning a May 2013 wedding. We spent nearly an entire day together, grinding our way through the details of their reception decor. I wanted to continue working right through the noon hour, so I set up a casual & fun lunch table that was pretty much in line with their chosen colors…and professions!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

Thanks to the sweltering heat (stick a fork in me…am I done yet??!?!!), we were relegated to the basement level of our home for the marathon meeting. We worked on the soft seating/big screen TV side of the room for most of the day, but lunch was set up in a little out-of-the-way corner on a marble top table.

Both the groom and the Mother-of-the-bride are elementary school teachers, so I thought it would be fun to use these lunch trays to make them feel right at home. (And to remind them that they’ll be right back in there with those screamin’ little demons in less than a month! :-)) I got an “A” for effort on that one!

I have been holding onto these really cool lunch boxes from Kirkland’s for another upcoming project, but the couple’s colors are turquoise, orange and white. How could I resist? Another “A” for effort!

I set it up so that we could just take the food from our lunch box and put it on our plate when ready to eat.

The chocolate and white luncheon-sized melamine plates (Target 2010) have just a touch of muted orange and turquoise in the simple design. I couldn’t believe how the plate colors nearly spot on matched those of the fun retro design lunch box!!! (The lunch box design reminds me of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In“. If you’re old enough to remember that show, take a little break and go fix yourself – and me! – a Metamucil cocktail with a Geritol chaser! ;-)) Fun white flatware from TJ Maxx lightens the look and stands out nicely against the deep color of the lunch tray. A bottle of refreshing Sioux City orange cream soda looks great with the setting and tastes great goin’ down…like a creamsicle!!!

Lunch was a quick and easy one: a piquant Southern fried chicken sandwich, a parchment paper cone filled with crispy thin Lay’s potato chips, and little Ziploc baggies of celery and carrot sticks. Just like in grade school…but without the stinky kid with the perpetually runny nose wanting to sit next to you! 🙂 I put a little ice pack in the bottom of each lunch box to keep the contents cold until time to eat.


The little wine table beneath the small screen TV was perfect for setting up munchies and dessert. (Yes….sadly, we have two televisions in the basement. My husband has grand delusions of this being a TGIFriday’s!)

We finally called it a day around 4:20. Sheesh….7 grueling hours of decision making!!! But guess what? The decor side of the wedding is now all but set in stone, and we won’t have to meet again until early April to finalize everything. Hallelujah! I love it when things work out like that!!! I hope you’ll check back next May to see the fruits of our labor!

Oh…I forgot the other thing: I got a glowing report card of straight A’s on my tablescape!!! 🙂 It would work really well for any kind of meeting including a teachers’ back to school planning session. This lunch and learn tablescape would also be something fun and different for a teen study group!

I’m linking up on Wednesday night with Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish! and on Thursday morning with Susan for Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch. You can also find me at BeBetsy.com. I hope you’ll join us!

44 thoughts on “Working Lunch

  1. Just as cute as can be Alycia. Love the colorful lunch boxes. how clever to make quick lunches and set a pretty table. The oraange cream looks yummy and refreshing. Target has some cute plates. I adore Home Goods.
    I feel for your hubby. I know my husband is probably rolling his eyes at me, because he is retiring the end of next month. I just posted our Barge trip through France today. It’s been quite awhile since we went, however the trip is worth re-posting. Enjoy your week…..

  2. A girl’s just got to keep her hand in, so she doesn’t get rusty….right? I do the same thing….a small party to plan the large party…sets the right tone every time. Remember how risqué we thought that Laugh In was? That’s one part of the good ole days that I wouldn’t mind reclaiming. Your table is darling…kept thinking that I’d see one of those orange glass chargers that we bought…but the cafeteria trays were a fun touch. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cold spell here today…it’s only 97º…I’d better get my sweatshirt on. Cherry Kay

  3. I love the idea of having lunch boxes all set up for lunch! How nice that there isn’t last minute scurrying around. Great thought there! Love the colors too. two tv’s in the basement,, well Alycia, he’s on his way to his dream!! Just a few more to go. And you know what they say.. one foot in is the fastest way to get back in the fire!
    Do love the sweet trays and plates. I would give you an a++ too. Great job and I cannot wait to see what the decor is next May!! Have a blessed weekend. xo marlis

  4. As always, you deliver “in a huge way” to show us how events should be managed and decorated ! You have so much talent, and I salute you for using your skills and expertise! Tell “hubby” to let your creative juices continue to flow so we can all learn from you!

  5. Cwap, I hope you get paid by the hour! That’s a lot of time!
    I am so glad I am retired! 33 years of those trays was enough for me. Govt surplus peanut butter and cheese, yum!
    Now your chicken sandwich otoh, sounds good!
    The lunch boxes are very cute!
    Those are an interesting choice of colors for a May wedding, says me, a May bride. More Fallish to me, but then, it’s a different world.
    Sweet table!
    Now is your job done? You consult and then send them off to put it together?
    I am getting, “I back in the biz” vibes!
    Thanks for linking to Let’s Dish!

  6. This is really cute. I am new to event planning and I am so excited to discover your site. You have so many great ideas.

  7. Girl you must stay in the streets shopping you find the cutest things. I’ve seen the dot pattern somewhere else. Good job. I need a lunch box to carry my lunch to my pt which I haven’t worked in 2 weeks. Yahoooo

  8. this is so retro and I do remember Laugh-in (cocktail coming up :). You have so much expertise and so much so share, how could not help those who ask? Isn’t it nice to get straight A’s even when you are retired, semi-retired, used to be retired, retired, but just work when you want to? You pick what fits! Dianne

  9. Pretty awesome lunch design. Simple, fun, appealing to the eye, along with delicious food – what more can you ask for. A little creativity goes a long way – you’ve proven it once again. Who wouldn’t want to dine at that table. I’d be first in line!

  10. Hi Alycia,

    I LOVE, LOVE this idea!! I can see why you got “A’s” for effort. I wondered about the trays until you explained about the elementary school teachers, and then everything clicked. Too cool!! I had to laugh when you said they’ll soon be back with the “screaming little demons.” 😀

    I think the lunch boxes are so cute, and I love the way you put the chips into parchment paper cones. Also, I’m a big fan of orange cream sodas. We have Stewart’s around here, and they’re yummy.

    I do indeed remember “Laugh-In;” my husband and I kid about that show from time to time. Of course, my favorite character was Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann in the giant rocking chair and as the switchboard operator (“One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies…)

    I’m sorry I haven’t visited in forever; I keep meaning to, and then I get pulled away to something else. I’m glad to see you’re still as creative and funny as ever. 🙂 I bet hubby has a hard time keeping up with you; I don’t know where you get all your energy.

    This is such a cute table, Alycia, and I’m glad you shared with all of us. Have a wonderful week!!

    Denise at Forest Manor

  11. You get an A on this one for “A”dorable!! I love how you tied the colors together…orange beverage coordinates with the orange in the lunch bucket, and carrots and…cute, Cute, CUTE! And cheerful too!! xoxo

  12. What a cute table! I love the lunch room trays…just precious! I am sure that they appreciated all of your expertise that you gave them in planning their special day. You truly have a gift for entertaining and doing things up right. Can’t wait to see what spectacular ideas you came up with. Have a great week!

  13. Hi Alycia!

    I love how you tied in all the elements for this luncheon. Orange, turquoise and white are very popular now… I hope the bride feels the same way come next spring! I would hate for you to spend another 7 hours getting the details just right all over again.

    I never like my lunch out of a lunchbox but yours are the curtest things ever… and the sandwich is much better than peanut butter and jelly!

    You are so talented and I I love all your beautiful tablescapes.

    xoxo Bunny Jean

  14. Just plain perfect! I love the way you made an entire whimsical table using the school theme but giving it a little deco flair to amp up the volume. The little vases of flowers were so much better than a big centerpiece in the middle. On that topic, I laughed right out loud at your comment on my recent post. I feel the exact same way about flowers for a table. Note that I didn’t DO a table this week, at least yet. Last week, we canabalized some pots full of geraniums. I just like fresh flowers on a table don’tcha know…
    7 days left…

  15. Alycia~ Your working lunch is as delightful as it is colorful! I love your lunch boxes and Orange Cream Soda~ Brilliant! Using the school trays is inspired and should put you on the Dean’s List!! You never cease to entertain or inspire me. A+ for effort indeed 🙂

  16. What a great idea, Alycia! I’ll give you an A+ on the tablescape, too! I hope you’re not giving away your expertise as I usually end up doing. (I know, I know…) Working with brides and their mothers is lots of fun — but I would never have done it as a profession like you did for so long. Too much craziness! I admire you, but I shake my head along with your hubby… Don’t go (back) there!

  17. Hey Girl! LOVE those cute little lunch pails and how you had everything set up. You are such a genius!! LOVE the colors as well!! Thanks so much for stopping by!
    (hugs)

  18. Alycia, you are too much! The cafeteria trays with those cute little lunchboxes in the fun colors were perfect. The lunch sounds great, too. How sweet of you to give so generously of your time and talents. You are amazing!!

  19. Oh sweet friend, you are so darn talented, it kills me!! The lunch box centerpiece is genius, so totally clever and beautiful too, as is the entire tablescape. Yeah, what does Ramon want? ..all your attention?, but yes, he’s right, it must be hard work and he probably doesn’t even see you when you’re planning a wedding..I can just imagine!!..so don’t go there again, girl friend!!! lol.. You just can’t let such talent go to waste and rusting away too, you need to go on creating so all your followers and fans , (like me) can get inspired and feast our eyes with your amazing table creations!! You are the tablescape champion, lovely Alycia! What a fun tablescape!Have a great weekend coming up.
    FABBY

  20. Oh, how fun for them! I can’t imagine wedding planners going through the trouble you went through with this. I think you were (maybe still are?) the best of the best in wedding planners. I love your table and all the little accessories that work with it!

  21. A girls gotta do what she’s gotta do. LOL With your talent and expertise it’s a shame not to be helping these young couples. This is a darling idea for the tables. Love the orange and turquoise details.

  22. SO adorable, Alycia! Those lunchboxes were the perfect jumping-off spot for your table. I suspect many of your followers remember Laugh-In! Hey, Goldie Hawn isn’t THAT old! I really love the colors the couple chose for their wedding and can’t wait to see what you’ll do for their reception!

    Oh, and have a blast when you visit CTS! Shall I warn your spouse you’ll need extra baggage for the trip home?

  23. Well, Alycia, you certainly topped the class this week, didn’t you!!! I’m still convinced that you never, ever sleep!! I’m sure when you are in bed you are still dreaming tablescapes!
    Just fabulous,
    Suzyq
    PS My woven mats were actually square, not rectangular – from Target bargain bin a couple of years ago!

  24. You simply amaze me with your creativity. I’d like to know how that brain of yours works……you are truly one of the most creative people I have ever known, (Bueller!)………

  25. Hello Lady A!
    Drooling with you again! That’s an incredible gorgeous boxes. So retro and the color is one of a dear fave this summer.

    Ur a 4evah creative Directress in TS land, aren’t u? §:-)
    God Bless U.

    Happy TS,
    /Chie from Stockholm

  26. You get an A++ in my book!! Such a cute idea, I love the lunch boxes, adorable! If you love it, then you may as well go for it. You sure do have the talent. As long as the bridezillas don’t cause you stress, it’s a sure thing!! Can’t wait to see what you came up with. Sock it to us, baby!!

  27. Love the retro colors in this setting! As for me selling my house and living in the cardboard box – well who would come for dinner and see my lovely dishes? Haha – cute idea!

  28. I LOVE your attention to detail! And the fact that everything appears to be in order. That’s what I’m lacking in my home – ORDER! Great ideas, great job, I love it all!

  29. Alycia you amazing! Your ideas just keep coming!
    I bet they got a kick out of it! Such a cute way to present the food and so colorful! Love the “tray” look! Funny!
    I think Ramon needs to share you since you still have a lot of input for the world out there!
    I think everyone that knows you and has had the pleasure of sitting down to one of your tablescapes must feel totally spoiled!
    A+

  30. Oh I remember laugh in! 😉 Your table is too cute. I bet they just were so tickled with the box lunch you prepared. So glad you worked out most of all the details. They are a very lucky couple to have you, it will be a beautiful wedding for sure!

  31. You have no idea how spot on this table is. I’ve had something similar up my sleeve for a while and I appreciate the visual. Is it OK if I chase my Metamucil cocktail with a Nehi grape soda? And please oh please may I have a Black Cow and a Mallowcup for dessert? Looking forward to seeing the fruits of your labor next year.

  32. Alycia, what a great table! I love the lunch box idea and orange and brown are my new favorite colors! Keep up the great work love!

    Zatina

  33. Pingback: Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

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