Tuesday, June 25, 2024

We Had a Shower...and It Didn't Rain!

This past weekend, Shanti's mom and I threw the bridal shower that we have been planning for weeks. It was a huge success; we even managed to pull off the surprise appearance of Queen B, who flew into town just for the party.

Because it had rained steadily throughout the two days leading up to the shower, we had our concerns about having an outdoor event. Luckily, the day dawned bright and sunny and we had gorgeous weather right up until the last present had been stowed away in the Man-Cub's truck. Of course, the Man-Cub wasn't invited to the shower, but his momma raised him right; he showed up with flowers in hand just as the last gift was opened, then pitched in to help with cleanup. 

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The theme for the shower was "Love is Timeless". The location was graciously loaned to us by Jeanne, who is the mother of Frankie, who is one of the bridesmaids. Jeanne, has known Shanti and her family since Shanti and Frankie were in junior soccer, and she was thrilled to be part of the planning. We very much appreciated her generosity and the space could not have been more perfect for our vision of the shower.

The invitations, which went out last month, were printed on handkerchiefs, and I used additional handkerchiefs in swags around the gift tent.

I purchased an old parlor chair at an antique store in Hooterville and we used it both for decoration and for Shanti's seat when she opened gifts.

The remaining decor in the gift tent included my grandmother's old ironing board, and a stack of old suitcases, adorned with a crocheted afghan that Shanti's mom picked up at Pickin' at the Pea this spring.

The drink station was set up near the gift tent; since we were serving brunch, we included typical brunch beverages, including mimosas, hot and iced coffee, water, and flavored iced teas. We ran out of champagne just as Shanti started to open gifts, but Jeanne saved the day by running to the liquor store for a few more bottles (funny story: she took one of the empty bottles with her so that she could duplicate the order; the clerk took one look at her and asked her if she bought it there and then drank it in the parking lot. I mean, I suppose there may be people who do that, but...).

The night before the shower, Queen B and I sat on my porch and put together the centerpieces for the guest tables, using a variety of flowers I purchased at the grocery store and vintage vessels that Shanti's mom and I had been collecting, including silver teapots and a silver gravy boat (the gravy boat was Mom's contribution, she bought it at Pickin' at the Pea just for this purpose).

Because we were doing a brunch, I started collecting mix-matched china plates from the local thrift stores, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity Restore, and other places. The plates were all incredibly inexpensive and featured some really well known marks, including Noritake and Spode. It's amazing to me what people give away.

Shanti had requested a donut wall, so, we served them on fine china and everyone loved it. They also loved the mini quiches, croissant sandwiches, fresh fruit, and pastries. I definitely over-purchased on food, yet we had very little left over.

In keeping with the 'Love is Timeless" theme, Shanti's mom and I put together a display of wedding china from family members throughout the years. She had several sets from her late Mother-in-Law and grandparents, and I had pieces from Mom, Emily, Hugh's grandmother, and a couple of sets that I have collected. The display turned out better than we could have hoped and our guests were intrigued by the different patterns.

We sent out just over forty invitations for the shower and we ended up with thirty-eight people attending; that is the best acceptance rate that I have had of any party that I have ever thrown. It just goes to show how much Shanti is loved and how excited our friends and family are about this wedding.

In order to accommodate that number of guests, Shanti's mom rented tables and chairs. The backyard was plenty large enough for the seating area, as well as for the gift tent, drink station, and buffet, and, because it was just naturally beautiful, there was little need for decorations. I covered the tables with vintage tablecloths from the 1950's that I sourced from antique stores in Hooterville and online on Mercari. That, and the centerpieces were everything we needed.

I mean, look at this view.

Since it wouldn't be a shower without games, we included Take a Ring, Musical Bouquet (to a playlist of love songs from the 30's through the 2000's, I mean, of course!), and True or False. The games were simple, but the competition was fierce!

Shanti's mom had the brilliant idea to purchase bookmarks as our party favor, and they were a big hit with the guests.

Of course, the best part of the day was getting to visit with all of the guests who showed up for our girl. There was a nice balance between those who knew us, those who knew Shanti's family, those who knew all of us, and those who just knew Shanti. By the end of the shower, everyone knew everyone, and we all parted with "Can't wait to see you at the wedding!"

That's the true sign of a successful shower.

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