Tag Archives: Friends

Wedding Friday: My Bridal Shower!

13 Dec

This week has been a cold one here in Indianapolis.  Cold weather AND I have a cold.  Just ridiculous.  I’ve been in full on sickness-hibernation mode between the two.  Send me some healing vibes as I get ready for the last 4 shows of White Christmas!  I’m on the up-swing for sure but my life has pretty much been sleeping, working, sleeping.  And a bit of wedding planning and thank you notes too.  Just for fun.

This past weekend was a happy, happy one for me.  I celebrated another wedding milestone with my bridal shower!  Woot!  My shower was thrown by my moms (my mother and my future mother-in-law) and they did such a fabulous job.  When bridal shower discussions first happened we decided on one joint shower.   I know that with many friend/family groups it can often be easier to throw multiple showers… but with the holidays, White Christmas, and general busy-ness of the season I just figured it might be easier on all parties to just have one joint shower.  It worked out perfectly!  And I must admit, one was the right amount for me!

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My sister and I at the shower.

The Moms split up tasks with my mom taking games and half the food and my MIL taking on decorations/favors and the other half of the food.  I’m glad the shower gave them an opportunity to work together on something before the wedding.  I know traditionally the shower is thrown by the bridal party, but with my two sisters spread across the country they didn’t even know if they’d be able to fly here, let alone be available to throw it.  Having Team Mom step in was perfect.  My sister was able to make it and she helped out once she arrived, but it allowed the two retired Moms (aka have a little time on their hands) to have a little fun project to work on together.

The Schedule:

  • 1-1:30: General mingling, getting a plate of food, everyone getting settled.
  • 1:30-2: Games! (with prizes, huzzah)
  • 2-2:30: Gifts
  • 2:30-3:00: Tear down and mingling

I loved the timeline because we had enough time on each activity, but we didn’t have a lot of dead time.  I’ve been to showers that really seem to drag on and I wanted to be respectful of peoples’ time. The Moms did a terrific job planning this out.

The Food!

Team Mom did a great job with a variety of sweet treats and finger food.  It was perfect. Yum, yum.

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With the whole spread!

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Wedding dress cookies! So cute :)

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My yummy cake (from Costco!)

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Mints and nuts on the table to munch on.

The group going to town.

The Games!

  • Memory: Adam made a special appearance for this bridal version of “Memory”.  We introduced it as ‘sharing the full story of how we met’  but it was really a game. :)  Adam and I have spent months working on “Our Story” which is a booklet a couple pages long and alternates between Adam and I telling the story of how we met.  We plan to have it in the pews for people to read if they are early to the wedding. At the shower Adam and I stood at the front of the group alternating reading our respective sections.  At the end my Mom announced it was a game and created a quiz based on some of the events in the story.  I couldn’t believe how well people paid attention, it was so cool.
  • Door Prize: All the chairs had an envelope taped to the back with one lucky prize winner.  It was fun seeing everyone open their envelopes looking for the winning ticket ;)
  • Bride Survey: My mom emailed me earlier in the week a basic ‘getting to know you’ survey.  Then we handed it out and whoever got the most points won.  Very fun, though lots of the questions were hard!
  • Bride Bingo: This one was great.  Your typical bingo except with words like “groom, rings, vows” etc.  Lots of fun and very themed.

The whole group!

Door prize envelopes on the backs of chairs.

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Reading “Our Story” together

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Apparently we had fun.

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I really don’t remember laughing this hard. Don’t tell Adam. I’m always trying to convince him that his corniness just isn’t funny. Apparently it is…

The Gifts!

Honestly, I tried to open my gifts as quickly as one reasonably could.  Two reasons… one, I felt a bit awkward.  It’s like a birthday party, except it’s not your birthday so I felt a bit weird getting all these gifts!  And two… is it really ever THAT fun watching someone open lots of presents?  I mean it’s fun for a little while, but it can get a bit tiring.  So I kept it snappy, but appropriate and had a great time.  I got some wonderful gifts from my registry and a few things that were a bit more rogue.  It was great.

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Hello! I am the queen of gifts!

My sister taking record of all the goodies!

The Unexpected

There was only one sort of strange aspect to the shower…I was a little caught off guard by the couple of comments about me needing to cook or pop out babies (Adam and I want to eventually have 3 or 4 kids, so I got plenty of “You better get going!”  Wait… are you not only asking me about my sex life and uterus plans, but you’re also calling me old??  All in one comment.  Lovely).  I had to remind myself several times to just smile and laugh along with it… people really mean well.  But inside I was thinking “PEOPLE YOU ARE NOT GONNA SEE ANY BABIES IN AT LEAST 5 YEARS!!  AND IF YOU DON’T BEHAVE, MAKE THAT 10!!!”  Okay maybe I’m being a little dramatic.  Just not used to people wanting the happenings on my uterus. And the kitchen slave comments were almost more unsettling… “Adam also knows how to cook.  Why is this my sole, lone responsibility??”  Adam and I are a great equal team when it comes to household things, so it was a bit disgruntling to hear those ‘expectations’ thrown down on me.  Especially expectations that aren’t even from Adam!! I had a mini freak out that night asking Adam if things like that were going to change once we got married.  His response? “Kelly, who do you think I am??  We’ve already discussed all of this and we’re an equal team. Getting married isn’t going to change this at all.” I felt a bit better :)  But definitely be prepared that you may get some well-meaning comments from older women if you have a few outspoken ones in the group!

Overall

All in all, it was a pretty fantastic shower.  Great friends and family, awesome food, fun games.  Just terrific!  I even managed to walk away with a pretty awesome bow bouquet (which we almost forgot to do!).

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Smiling with some family.

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The cute favors and decorations (that will also be at the wedding…resourceful :))

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The whole room!

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With my dear friend Katie!

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Little wedding dress favors full of candy.

My bouquet for the rehearsal!

I had a lovely shower and it makes me that much more excited to marry Adam.  Hard to believe just 37 days.  Not that I’m counting,  or that I’m out of my mind excited.  But maybe I am.  Gush gush mush mush gross.. you get the idea.

Happy Friday!

-Kelly

The Best Weekend Ever: NOLA 2013

1 Nov

Sometimes you have those weekends that are great.  Sometimes you even have those weekends that are amazing.  Then a weekend comes along that is the best weekend ever.  This past weekend was my best weekend ever.  11 of my closest friends and I ventured on down to New Orleans for a Bachelorette party in style.  It. Was. Incredible.  Initially when my sister suggested New Orleans, I thought she was crazy. “Julie, everyone and their mother is doing these extravagant bachelorette parties!  I really, really don’t want to inconvenience my friends or pressure them into something they don’t want to do.”  Julie’s response? “Kelly, your friends are all over, they aren’t all in the same state… 80% of them will have to buy a plane ticket anyways, why not go to a tourist destination and make a weekend of it?  You can provide your friends with an experience.  We’re all adults, they won’t go unless they want to!”  And my goodness, an experience we had.  I hate to say Julie was right… but wow, Julie was right.  The weekend was perfection.  It was a great blend of “bachelorette” activities, but also some downtime of just strolling around the city and people doing their own thing.  It couldn’t have been a more perfect time.

My sister and I fly stand-by (my brother works for an airline) and managed to squeak onto the same flight from ATL to New Orleans (yay for flying together)!  We got in super late Friday night and crashed at our airport hotel. The official activities kicked off with lunch on Saturday, so we were able to sleep in and relax a bit before heading down to the French Quarter.

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Ready at the hotel before heading off!

With 12 gals, we squeezed 4 in a room and it worked out perfectly!  Before lunch we all managed to put our things in our rooms and settle in.  My close friend Jessica (who was the co-planner in this endeavor) created welcome bags for everyone.  It was so thoughtful and each bag had a mask, along with candy (yum) and a few other goodies (um, advil).  How cute is she??  Once the whole group was assembled (hello a million reunion hugs!), we ventured off to lunch.  Jess picked out a New Orleans favorite and we lunched right in the French Quarter.

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Eating lunch with the whole group. Yum!

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Exploring the city!

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Wandering around the French Quarter

I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed this part of the city.  It was so quaint and really did have a European flair to it!  The weather was perfection and I kept wanting to pinch myself: I was here with 11 of my favorite people… how did this happen!??  I didn’t think that I would ever have such a gathering, I was just overwhelmed by the love and support.  I know bachelorette parties are all about celebrating and maybe a bit of partying, but honestly I felt somewhat emotional and sentimental the whole time.  It was so touching to have so many of my friends there, just a beautiful thing!

After lunch and a quick roam around the center square, we split up into smaller groups with some of the gals heading back to the hotel for a quick nap, and others venturing into more of the French Quarter.  My little group ended up going to the French Market and picked up some fabulous masks (a cheap and fabulous souvenir!).  We were delighted with our finds.

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Our little group bought some fabulous masks :)

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More roaming!

After a few hours exploring we went back to the hotel to get ready for some ‘official festivities!’ Our goal was to be ready, dressed, and back in our room for the night to begin.  My sisters (Julie and my two sister in-laws) set out to decorate the room with lots of candy, streamers, decorations, and even a pumpkin.

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Yep, this really happened. My friend Jess is the best.

We were in the Halloween spirit!  The plan was for all of my ladies to wear black and for me to wear white – when they arrived it was awesome.  We looked like such a coordinated group ready to hit NOLA!  Also the outfit selection was  fun and pretty painless for the rest of the girls.  They didn’t have to agonize over what to wear too much, and black looks amazing! I’ve been to bachelorette parties before where I really agonized over what to wear, I didn’t want to be too flashy or casual.  I’m a fan of dress codes in this situation!

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The whole gang in our coordinated outfits!

At 7 we started with a few games, drinks, and snacks in the hotel room.  We played something similar to the Newlywed Game- Julie emailed Adam earlier in the week and I had to guess his responses.  Every answer I got correct, the girls had to drink, and for every wrong answer, I had to take a drink.  It was pretty hilarious, and I did a decent job…though some of the questions were pretty ridiculous.  We also opened gifts (hilarious side note: all my gifts were super practical nighties and such.  One of my friends even gave me flannels.  Do my friends know me or what??!).  Afterwards I gave each of the girls a hand written card thanking them for coming and for their friendship over the years.  It was pretty special moment.  I really wanted to find some way to express my gratitude to my ladies, and well… writing worked for me! :)

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Pumpkins, cards, candy, and silly straws…what more could you need?

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My former roomie, Katie!

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My sister and sister-in-laws (Well Katie will be my sister-in-law in June!).

Toward the end of game time my sister started tying pink ribbons on each of the girls’ wrists.  I was confused at first, but she explained that every time I wanted a drink throughout the night all I had to do was untie the ribbon to claim my drink from that friend.  It was BRILLIANT.  1. It allowed me to be in control of how much I was drinking.  Honestly I don’t drink super often and I have a pretty low tolerance.  I really didn’t want to get sloppy, and this brilliant strategy worked perfectly.  2. It spread out the burden over the girls – it allowed them to each buy me a drink without one girl buying a million. I can’t recommend this strategy enough if you’re planning a bachelorette party in the future.

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The whole outfit! I rented my dress from Rent the Runway and found my little veil at Charlotte Russe for 8 bucks. And my sister in law got my sash on Etsy!

We also played a scavenger hunt throughout the night, taking various pictures for each of the requirements.  When Julie asked if I had any preferences about the party months ago, I just told her I didn’t want to get really drunk and I also didn’t want to do anything that would make me feel uncomfortable with other guys.  I picked Adam as my man; I personally didn’t really feel the need to spend time with guys – I was there with my girls!  This scavenger hunt was great because it wasn’t focused on other guys, mainly just doing silly fun things as a group.  Some highlights?  “Dance the Macarena as a group” (which we did to some random rap song in a club.. hilarious) and “take a picture with a police man” (thank goodness it was Halloween, a ‘cop’ jumped right in one of our pictures without us even asking.)  My sister did a perfect job finding fun activities that everyone thoroughly enjoyed without making me feel uncomfortable.

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Loaded up and ready to go to eat a late dinner.

After our “game time” we all loaded up into a 12 passenger taxi to Emeril’s restaurant.  Talk about FANCY!  I was in shock we were somewhere so classy.  This kind of thing just happens on pinterest or  in the movies or to other girls! I was just on cloud nine; I don’t think I’ve ever felt so special in my life. When we walked in, we made quite the splash with our coordinated outfits.  The food was divine and it was SO special being there with my ladies. A few of the toasts brought tears to my eyes, but I was proud I managed to keep it together (success!).  At one point, a little boy came over to our table asking if I was getting married.  I smiled yes and  asked his name (Noah) and age (9) and we took a picture together.  He was so cute and gave his friend a high five when he got back to his table, talk about adorable.  10 minutes later our waiter arrived with 12 fancy shots on a tray… from the two little guys at the table next to us!  Talk about learning how to be smooth with the ladies early on!!  Though, they were there with their Dads and we could tell their whole table was getting a kick out of the whole thing. We eventually reciprocated with 2 Rory Rogers (coke and grenadine… I used to have them as kid).  The whole thing was pretty hilarious and got our night started on the right foot!  After they left, we learned that one of the Dads was the founder of Jimmy John’s!  So the rest of the night we were feeling famous after getting a round from Jimmy John (that was not subs).

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Fancy ladies dining.

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My amazing friend Jess who helped pull this amazingness off. She carved three pumpkins, that’s dedication.

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Our fun masks! With my friend Allie.

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“Uh, did a 9 year old just buy us shots?!”

Once our delicious, fun, and wonderful beyond wonderful dinner ended, we loaded back up and went out to Bourbon Street to experience it in all its glory!  Because it was Halloween weekend it was madness.  People EVERYWHERE.  Costumes EVERYWHERE.  It was just surreal being there.  I LOVE dancing (pretty much nothing I love more, it’s a sick obsession) so we went to dance clubs, karaoke places, and danced some more.  Eventually we headed home around 4 am with some hilarious memories and everyone really in pretty good shape (myself included: success!).  I couldn’t BELIEVE we stayed out til 4 – I struggle to stay up til 11pm normally… this was shocking.  But just goes to show how time flies when you’re having fun.

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All the ladies out on Bourbon!

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The bride says we must dance!

The next day we woke up for a delicious breakfast at the Ruby Slipper, which really hit the spot (hello French Toast!). We wandered back to the hotel and packed up to say goodbye.  Everyone kept saying how amazing the weekend was and how happy they were that they came.  My little heart just wanted to explode.  I am so happy that everyone had such a good time.  I mean it was pretty amazing for me – but I wanted to make sure others had a great time too.

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Brunch the next day… so yummy.

Because I fly standby I had to try for a couple flights (major bummer) and eventually made it out of New Orleans on a flight to Memphis (success.. I thought I’d be in NOLA til Monday). I thought my troubles were behind me, but shocker…eventually got stuck in Memphis overnight.  I looked up how far Nashville was… my wheels were turning, maybe I could make lemonade out of lemons and see Adam!  It was just 3 hours.  I found a car rental for $35 and made the drive to overnight in Nashville.  After such a magical weekend it was AWESOME to get to see Adam, if only for about 2 waking hours!

I made it home late Monday thanks to some flight delays…but all of the hassle has been entirely worth it.  I’m so happy I have all my memories and pictures from such a treasured weekend.  I know I’ll remember this one for a long, long, LONG time.  This week has been a bit sleepier and hectic than usual, but a fair tradeoff for the best weekend ever, don’t you think??