Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Showered with Love

Lilac and champagne fans to keep the guests cool.

I spent this past weekend at my parents' house on Long Island. The occasion: a lovely bridal shower, hosted by my family and bridesmaids.

Obviously, I've never had a bridal shower before, though I've attended my share. I'm one of those people that actually likes showers. I like wearing a dress, I like eating finger foods and desserts, I like punch bowls, I like playing games, I like watching someone open presents. It's a sweet tradition, a rite of passage, and I was looking forward to experiencing it for myself.

Sisterly love - from left to right, Ally, Me, and Susan.

Gorgeous vegan cake (and cupcakes) baked by bridesmaid Ella.

While I knew about the shower (I had to fly home for it, after all) the theme and details were kept secret. My sister Susan (my Maid of Honor and the person who took all the photos in this post) put a ton of work into organizing the event, and it was more than I expected or deserved. The theme was Southern Charm, the attendees all wore big, floppy hats, and the menu featured fried chicken, collard greens, vegan chili and cornbread, and champagne punch, among other delectable things. I ate more than my fair share (obviously I had to try all three flavors of cupcakes) and kept saying that I was carb loading for the wedding. I was only half kidding.

Centerpieces by bridesmaid Allie.

Crazy Carla.

Allie on the left, and Ally on the right.

Our "wedding colors" are dark purple and yellow. I use the term loosely, since I don't plan on everything matching perfectly at the wedding, but the bridesmaid dresses are dark purple and I hope to incorporate some sunflowers into the reception. My sisters and bridesmaids knew this, took that information, and ran with it. The decor at the shower (it took place under a big tent in my parents' backyard, which I loved) featured purple streamers and tablecloths, there were sunflowers in the centerpieces, and Ella handcrafted multiple purple and yellow edible flowers, which adorned all the desserts. (Ella is also doing the cake and cupcakes for the wedding, so the shower serves as my cake tasting as well. This whole bride thing is really hard work.) 


Cupcakes: red velvet, pumpkin chocolate, and lemon.

In addition to a car-load of gifts (literally - I rented a car and drove back to North Carolina with my youngest sister, Ally, and we struggled to fit everything in the trunk and backseat) there was also a camping themed Wishing Well. Apparently Wishing Wells are not the norm everywhere, so I will quickly explain how it works: on the shower invitation, guest are instructed to bring a small item for the wishing well, which is usually themed. Common themes include kitchenware, or honeymoon essentials. Since our kitchen is stocked and we're not going on a honeymoon, my wishing well theme was camping. So cute and totally fitting, and it was really funny to open things like a plastic egg container, biodegradable toilet paper, and stainless steel wine glasses. 

Wishing Well loot.

And of course I had to open a million presents in front of my friends and family, which was only slightly mortifying. I received many generous gifts, most of which I surely do not deserve, but will happily accept as graciously as I can. When it comes to gift giving and registries, I have chosen to take the outlook espoused in the great book A Practical Wedding. These gifts are a way for our loved ones to contribute to and support our future marriage, and to show that love in a tangible way. And who am I to argue with that?

From my sisters: silverware and lingerie. I'll let you guess which is which.

My deepest thanks and heartfelt love to everyone who helped make Sunday so special, and a bridal shower that I'll never forget: my mom and dad, my sisters Susan and Ally, my bridesmaids Ella and Allie, and my family and friends who showed up, drank too much punch, gave too nice gifts, and made me feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I can't wait to return the favor.