Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Bridal Showers

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Bridal Showers

Stephanie, her sister, and friends at her bridal shower.

Wedding showers have never quite been my favorite way to spend a weekend afternoon. I’m not a huge fan of the shower games, the excitement over bakeware, the no-guys-allowed policy. So I was a bit leery when we started discussing my own shower. But my family knows me, and my showers were a total blast.

My in-laws-to-be first hosted a couples shower for us: a huge gathering of our friends and family that went until two in the morning! Held at Pat’s parents’ house, we started the evening outside mingling, sipping champagne, and munching on hors d’oeuvres. We moved inside for dinner, which, among other delicious items, featured awesome cheesesteaks. And then we danced, drank, and chatted our way into the night—well, early morning. Guests left with favors Pat’s mom had thought up: rally towels with our names and the date of the wedding on it!

The following morning we opened the gifts that our guests were far too generous in giving. On the invitation, Pat’s mom had written. “No big gifts please—may we suggest a tool or kitchen gadget.” Never have I seen such clever, imaginative, funny gifts. One of my favorites was an all-purpose bucket filled with a flashlight, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, a variety of pain relievers, work gloves, and a book titled “Home Improvement 1-2-3.” The card read, “Some things don’t go according to plan.” Everything we received was so practical and fun to open.

Shower number two, thrown by my mom and sister, was a bit more of the traditional all-girls shower—with a twist. Held on a Sunday night at the Manor House at Commonwealth, we cocktailed first out on the patio. Unfortunately, as with the couples shower, it was a tad chilly (hoping we’re getting all of the bad weather out of our systems before the wedding—fingers crossed!). Knowing we were going to have two showers, we had first thought that maybe one shower should be for Pat’s side of the family, and the other for my side. But I knew I didn’t want any separation. I wanted everyone to get to know each other. During cocktail hour, it was so nice to look around and see Pat’s grandmother chatting with my grandmother and my aunts chatting with his aunts. It’s exactly what I was hoping for. It’s hard to articulate, but seeing our families literally blend together brings me so much happiness.

Next up was dinner: a pasta station, a stir-fry station, a sliders station, and a salad station. Absolutely delectable. And fun: my word of choice for conveying to my mom what I want for everything wedding-related. It applies to both the quest for fun in the midst of the all-consuming wedding stress and the desire for fun rather than something ultra-formal and traditional. When she had showed me the venue food options and said she was thinking of a sit-down dinner with multiple courses, I mentioned that I thought stations would be much more fun and less stuffy and rigid. So I was thrilled with the stations, went for two rounds, and was about to go for Round 3 before my sister got everyone’s attention.

She explained that while I didn’t like shower games, this might be the exception. She had asked Pat questions about himself and our relationship prior to the shower, and it was my turn to try to guess his answers. And he had to answer questions about me. Rather conveniently yet not purposefully, Pat walked in right at that moment to the applause of all the ladies in the room. He came and sat down beside me, and the questions began. Both of us actually didn’t do so hot. The important things we nailed, the more difficult we missed. Pat couldn’t remember the color of my prom dress, and I couldn’t name the 4th and 5th people on his dream dinner guest list. (Abraham Lincoln. Really?) I didn’t know we were going there. But I got Larry David and Sinbad—yep, those are two of his favorites. It was a lot fun.

Then came the gift opening. So as not to bore the audience, I tried to unwrap as quickly as possible, and my twin sister Vicki and my two bridesmaids Emily and Chrissy had an incredibly efficient system going—gift hand-off, thank-you note list writing, and bow hat making. Very impressive. And wow, I received some beautiful, beautiful things. We are so very lucky. As we look at the overwhelming expenses of buying a property in DC, we are so utterly thankful for what our friends and family are helping us with.

One of the most special gifts I received, and the list could go on for quite a while, is a scrapbook that my bridesmaids put together. They each designed a page with photos of us through the years and a letter to me. I am so, so lucky.

We concluded the evening with the customary crazy bow hat picture, dessert, and then everyone said their goodbyes. Two showers, two opportunities to celebrate with the most important people in my life, two perfect nights.

What are some of the special ways your friends and family are celebrating with you before your wedding?

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