A year ago, when Andrew and I were first engaged, I remember talking to my mother about bridal showers and how funny it felt to have them before weddings. Don’t get me wrong—I’m never one to turn down a present—but considering there’s an expectation for guests to bring presents to the wedding just a few weeks away, it made me feel a bit strange to have another celebration where the focus is to bring even more gifts for our future life together. I decided long ago that my Virginia bridal shower would be focused entirely on charity, but Andrew’s mother asked if she could throw me a traditional shower for our New England guests. I always welcome a reason to make a trip up to Rhode Island to see the future in-laws and my college friends, so this past weekend I made a whirlwind trip to the tiny state to celebrate the upcoming nuptials.
The guest list for the Rhode Island shower included many people I didn’t know very well, plus future family members I’ve never visited without Andrew by my side. I’m usually very comfortable meeting new people and starting conversations with strangers, but as I got ready for the shower in our hotel room, I became nervous. It’s one thing to interact with people at a party, but it’s entirely different when you’re the focus of an entire event. To rattle my nerves even further, the GPS couldn’t find the venue, so I arrived 20 minutes late for my own shower! So when I walked through the door with 40 pairs of eyes focused on me, I was a bit overwhelmed.
After realizing no one was too upset that I was so late, I got to appreciate the beauty of this room decorated just for me. Andrew’s mother is incredible in many ways, one of which is her innate craftiness. When I first saw the shower invitations that she clearly spent hours working on, I knew that her creativity would be in full effect at the shower, and that was absolutely the case. Each guest had a hand-constructed paper flower to write wedding advice on, and the cake was personally made with intricate designs and flowers. Every element of the shower incorporated daisies—my favorite flower—and there were personalized games that we played to help folks get to know me better. There were vegetarian options on the buffet line, my favorite beverages, and of course lots of presents! Once the initial nerves vanished, I had such an amazing time bouncing from table to table, thanking everyone for attending and telling anecdotes about my relationship with Andrew. My three bridesmaids who live in New England were there as well, which helped keep a lighter edge to the event and helped keep me calm throughout the day. The two hours flew by, and I left truly in awe at how wonderful his mother had made this event.
As we headed back to the hotel, it occurred to me just how little you know about yourself until you’re placed in unfamiliar situations. I’ve always enjoyed being the center of attention, so becoming so overwhelmingly nervous really took me by surprise. But spending the afternoon with my future family and so many friends made me realize how lucky I am to be joining such a great group of people. Besides, the shower served as a good test run for the 150 pairs of eyes focused on us at our wedding.
Lisa Marie, a local bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Washington in July. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.
To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.