What a joy it was this past weekend to throw a bridal shower for my sister-in-law to be! As a boutique owner, I hear and see hundreds of ideas each year for themes, décor and the like, but so rarely get to put them to use! Carmen and George (my brother) are getting married January 5th, 2013 in Key West, FL. Carmen has selected a spectacular Jim Hjelm Couture Gown, and the bridesmaids are wearing two different Jim Hjelm Occassions dresses in French Blue. Exquisite! The theme of the wedding décor will be nautical, with lots of navy and white stripes, anchors, sea glass, nautical charts etc. I wanted to pull in some of the wedding themes while also working with the theme of the shower- Monogram! Wow- was that a tricky endeavor. Nautical items tend to be pretty casual, think drift wood. And don’t monograms always seem pretty formal? Like white Irish linens and heirloom silver formal! Yikes! What was I thinking?!?!? There was only one way to get my creative juices flowing- a trip to Hobby Lobby!
Thank goodness the party planning Gods were smiling on me (and my three year old in the front of the cart playing oh-so- temporarily with his Thomas the Tank Engine). Nautical themes are HUGE right now- have you seen the latest Pottery Barn catalogue? Omg! In forty five minutes flat we had three shopping carts full of anchors, hurricane glass vases, ships bells, and wooden letters! The shower was ready to set sail. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). I pulled the theme together with a menu of several seafood items- girly but hearty too. Crab Dip, Salmon Mousse in Cucumber Cups, Shrimp’n’Grits, Lobster Mac’n’Cheese, and more…yum. The finishing touch was the signature cocktail: “Anchors’A’Way Rum Punch”- Coconut Rum, pineapple juice, key lime juice, and Blue Curacao. ..It transported everyone immediately to The Keys in their minds! Except for us token pregnant bridesmaids…boo !
We kept the shower games to a minimum- the closest we came was asking everyone to write their marriage advice on a card to give Carmen. We then read the advice while we opened the gifts- it was meant to take some of the pressure off of our darling bride-to-be while she opened all those monogrammed gifts and oooohed and aaaahed. Seriously, how awkward is that tradition? That was far, far, far, from my favorite part of my bridal showers. What do you say after opening the twelfth flatware place setting from your registry? Anxiety! Carmen was graceful as could be, and she did really get some gorgeous gifts. What is it about being a woman that we get so darn excited about anything with our initials on it? Crazy, but I love it.
What a joy it was to have a chance to focus on non-bridal gown related wedding activities though! It has been so much fun to help plan this wedding so far. It always amazes me the knowledge I’ve gleaned over the years just from hearing from our brides- what works and what doesn’t, horror stories and success stories. Showers have to be one of my favorite parts of the planning process. Especially the girls-only showers (sigh…so old fashioned, I know). How powerful a feeling though, to be surrounded by 30 of the closest women in your life? Women who’ve been married for 37 years, 15 years, 4 years, or just got engaged, even divorced women- they always have insight aplenty. Mothers, sisters, friends, colleagues, all gathered to wish you well, and pass along the wisdom that paints upon the canvas of life. What a sacred and emotionally charged time to spend together. I felt so honored to be with the group of ladies who were celebrating my sister-in-law-to-be. There’s hardly a thing you could find impossible with a loving group of women like that in your life, as your sounding board, your safety net, your life coaches. Isn’t that the most fundamentally amazing thing about a wedding? Merging the family and friends from both sides, and forging your own ever-growing family out of all the new bonds? Beautiful.