Warning: Explosion of photos ahead!
But when you throw a fun bridal shower for your best friend of 23 years and the weather holds out and the sangria is plentiful and the finger foods are delicious and the bridal mad libs have everyone in stitches and you realize you’re maybe not so bad at throwing parties, an explosion of pictures is totally acceptable. And so I’m just going to jump right in!
I hosted alongside Hannah’s mom, Tracey, who graciously offered up her lovely home — and her backyard, complete with the most amazing garden! — and we were a great team. I’m sure it comes as no shock to anyone who knows me, but I was overly organized and had list upon list to keep us on track. Set up started a few hours before the party and went off without a hitch.
Let’s break down the activity station, shall we? Please ignore my reflection in this sign I made. Only 28 days (well 26 now) until Hannah’s married. This is craziness!
So, I’m a graphic designer now. Just kidding, but I was pretty impressed with myself for making these bridal mad lib cards from scratch. I found a bunch of pre-made ones online but none that I liked as much as what I could come up with on my own. These turned out to be such a hit and I was mega happy with them!
I also set out a “Date Night Jar” so all the guests could contribute a fun date idea for the soon to be newlyweds. And I stole those pens from my office… but I’m totally returning them. Also, how adorable are those mini chalkboard easels. I think I accidentally squealed in delight when I found them at Michael’s last week!
We repurposed some of the decorations from Hannah’s first shower (so nice of Josh’s family to pass them on to us!) and set up all the food. Mmmm, food.
We split the food duties and ended up with a perfect spread. I made these deviled eggs into buffalo deviled eggs by topping them with blue cheese crumbles and hot sauce. Let’s not even talk about how catastrophic it was to pipe the filling into the eggs on Saturday morning 😛 Oh and Joey made that bowl of “Cowboy Salsa” and I’m pretty sure people were just eating it by the spoonful by the end of the party.
And no shower is complete without a dessert station, of course! Mini shortcakes! Look at all those beautiful fruits Tracey chopped up. I’m just now realizing I never even ate dessert. Wah wah!
And don’t think we forgot drinks. Tracey bought these cute little carafes and all those fun drinks and I wrote labels and designated Hannah’s cousin Stephanie to keep those drinks full. Designating is fun!
So.Much.Sangria. I made these on Friday night and they may or may not have had 6 bottles of wine, a whole bottle of Tequila and a whole bottle of Triple Sec in them… But they were so delicious! The Cherry-Peach is a tried and true favorite but it was my first time trying out the Margarita version and although it was STRONG, it was also amazingly good!
After everyone had some time to eat, drink and mingle, we gathered outside to listen to Hannah read the mad lib cards out loud. Seriously so much fun! There was a line that read, “When you first told me you and Josh were engaged, I (verb), then said, “(movie quote).” and those quotes turned out to be so funny! I think my favorite was a line from Die Hard. I’ll let you figure out what it was.
Hannah got some seriously thoughtful gifts — including this personalized wedding dress hanger from Josh’s mom, sister and aunt — and there were many tears. She got some family heirlooms handed down to her and it was so sweet to see.
Us bridesmaids put a little gift together behind her back and it was really exciting — and tearful — to watch her finally open it. One of her bridesmaids suggested we put together a “Letters to the Bride” book with a letter from each of us + Tracey + Karla (Josh’s mom) and lastly, one from Josh. I assembled the book before the shower and I could not even look at Josh’s page or we were going to have a Niagra Falls situation.
Bridal party candids, natch!
Hannah and her sister, Jen, who used to babysit us when we were younger. The best part was when we all reminisced about a “wedding” we had during one such babysitting adventure. Beanie married ketchup (“like a true American”), I married a polenta roll (don’t ask…) and Hannah married a honey bear. Jen officiated all three weddings as any good babysitter would. So yeah, that’s the kind of stuff I did as a child…
At the end of the day, when it was just Hannah, Jen, Tracey and I left, we decided to get another plate of food (or was that just me?) and “sit outside and reflect on the day.” My reflections were that the day could not have been more perfect, that I could not be more happy for my best friend and Josh and that these next 26 days are going to be the best!
Bridal Shower: Check!