Thursday, March 31, 2011

We showered on Saturday....


Do you know how it feels to be waiting for a party to arrive?
Gail's daughter Elizabeth waits by the door....the shower party is in her honor: she is going to be a bride!

Twenty four people have accepted an invitation to the bridal tea; Gail has been gathering tea cups to serve all the guest.
(And the tea cups will also serve as party favors; each guest is welcome to take home the tea cup of their own choice.)


Gail's friend Chris and Elizabeth's friend Crista are hostessing the party, Gail and I are assisting as needed.
Each guest has been instructed to bring a recipe card to get Elizabeth's cooking up to speed.


Elizabeth's wedding colors are green and blue....


So of course the service table and the dining tables are spread with cloths of blue.


Simple flowers floating in glass sherbet dishes keep the table looking festive yet do not block conversations by being tall.


The menu: Petite cakes...


Cucumber sandwiches (on both gluten and gluten free breads...so thoughtful!)


Gail had made mini chocolate bundt cakes with chocolate cinnamon frosting...yum!


A chocolate fountain flowed next to the gigantic strawberries...


Scones and devonshire cream, jams, and mini quiches rounded out the repast.


Doesn't that menu lead to a pretty plate full of goodies?


The chocolate fountain was a popular place to be...


And if one happened to get a bit of liquid chocolate on one's finger....well...of course it just makes sense to enjoy that bit of luck!


After all...if the Guest of Honor and her Mother indulge so, all guests are free to do the same.


Elizabeth wasn't shy about enjoying just plain strawberries either!


Gail and I were the only two people at the party who had known this bride to be as a baby.  It was Elizabeth's birth that brought us together as friends in the first place over thirty years ago. 
Gail had been part of the church we had just joined shortly before the birth of our daughter Laura.  I had joined the Young Mother's group, a group that had been friends with Gail before she and her husband had left the area.  Gail was expecting her first child; and was to return to San Diego shortly after the child's birth.
When Elizabeth was born, the Young Mother's decided to throw a baby shower for her, and send her all the gifts.
I had never met Gail, but being a first time mother of a little girl myself, I was happy to shop and include my gift in her shower gift box.
Gail was rather surprised to receive a gift with a card signed with a name she had never seen before.
A few weeks later she was back in San Diego, attending the Young Mother's group in person...and that is how we became friends.
I have vivid memories of watching Elizabeth toddle around in the church nursery, attending the Christian school with my daughter and various romps and adventures for several years.
Six years later Gail had her son Scott, and just over a year later she and her family moved to Colorado.  Letters keep us in touch with one another, and occasionally she flew back to San Diego to visit her parents and her husband's family as well. 
Over thirty years...so much has happened in our lives since then.  Wee Scott who was in diapers as the moving van drove off is now in his second year of medical school; Elizabeth has a Masters degree in Education and teaches Science. She is known as Commander Cameron to many children as she also teaches at a summer Space camp!


Her intended is a highway patrol officer; they met at church about two years ago.


She may be all grown up but she is still rather short...and wears killer heels to remedy that situations.
(I still tower over her, even when she is in heels and I am in  flats!)


People arrived and we made Elizabeth serve herself and be seated.


Fresh faced friends arrived and took turns eating near Elizabeth.


Gail has every reason to be a proud Mother of the Bride.


I busied myself shooting pictures and totally enjoyed seeing all the laughter and smiles on the guests.


As guest finished their meals, they refilled their tea cups and enjoyed visiting while other guests were seated at the table.
(Few are the dining room which comfortable seats 24 people these days!)


More tea?


Yes please!
(Although actually that is a chocolate pot, not a tea pot at all!  Few people know the difference, but I thought the pot was charming regardless of what it was serving.)


Wonder who chose that cup?  Quite pretty isn't it?


Happy...


Laughing...


Smiles and tea go together.


Outside the weather was quite blustery and the balloons signalling that this was the place bobbed about merrily in the wind.


The groom's mother, Lana....who also lives in town...


The gifts and flowers and recipes piled high...


Elizabeth was quite surprised to see how many gifts were waiting for her!


Fortified with cups of tea and chocolate covered berries, Elizabeth began to open her gifts.


A small speech was made by the hostess...


Then the ribbons and paper began to fly.
She seemed especially taken with the wooden salad servers...


For some reason a lot of the ribbons were purple, which happens to be Gail's favorite color.


I sat on the floor just on the other side of a low coffee table and took picture after picture of Elizabeth's expressive face.


Sometimes there are special meanings everywhere...


Gail had called her unborn first born Sweet Pea, and that was Elizabeth's family nickname.
Of course Gail had to wrap her gift in sweet pea embellished wrapping paper.


Then there were tender surprises:  A wedding garter from Elizabeth's paternal grandmother Anne, which had been made for Anne's wedding day by her own grandmother.  That would be Elizabeth's great, great grandmother's handiwork!


I missed the story of the embroidered handkerchief...


Sweet it is...


And a close up of the lace and satin garter.


Then it was on to more practical things.


Lots and lots and lots of laughs...


Apparently Elizabeth already know about grated knuckles...


Bridal running socks??


The ribbons were being steadily handed to a friend who agreed to make the rehearsal bridal bouquet.


An hour had passed; it was time for a stretch and a party game called Wedding Gown.
Each team of four got four rolls of toilet paper, and 20 minutes to create a wedding gown of one's dreams.


The real bride headed back to the kitchen for a few more nibbles...


Then it was time for "Here comes the Brides!"
(I really thought this dress with a 20's vibe was quite charming.)


A 1910 style gown...or was it 1930's?


All the styles were quite remarkable!


There was even a naughty Vegas style bride!
(The blond girl seated behind the brides is another Jill, soon to be Elizabeth's sister in law.)


The bridal gown on the far left won Elizabeth's approval as the best gown in the bridal collection.


At one point Elizabeth joined her friend since second grade...seated on the floor for some really great story telling.


It was mostly a kitchen shower...but a bride must know be able to sizzle in other rooms too!



Gail had had a short burst of tears the night before as we set up for the shower; MOB are allowed to have a tearful moment every now and then.
At the shower however she was mostly found grinning  and laughing at the hijinks's of her sweet daughter.


We all got a good laugh at the complete gift: a whistling tea kettle...a nightie....


And two serving spoons.
I dare a romance writer to pen a love scene featuring all these items together!


(An aside: I was much relieved to find such delicate treatment of lingerie at this shower. Lately bridal showers have featured items that caused even an old married woman like myself blush in embarrassment.  This sort of  modern gifting has caused me to decline invitations to lingerie showers; I was glad that Elizabeth's friend has more proper standards.)


(Another aside: I found having a bouquet in front of the guest of honor allowed for much better picture framing.  No shots of knees and such to worry about!)


I was a bit surprised to learn that Elizabeth goes by Liz and of course as all those who go by Liz, she also has Lizard drawings in her life.


Have you heard of this wine?


The label is quite funny:

Somewhere near the cool shadows of the laundry room.
Pass the litter box and between the plastic yard toys
This is your time.
Time to enjoy a moment to yourself.
A moment without madness.
The dishes can wait.
Dinner be damned.


Little by little the cards were read, the gifts were all opened and the bridal bouquet was completed.


I think it is the prettiest one I have ever seen for a bride to carry at her wedding rehearsal.


I knew California Bridal Showers often included the "Quotes" game...


Apparently the game has found its way to Colorado as well.
Unbeknownst to the bride, someone is carefully writing down everything the Bride to Be says as she opens her gifts.


After the gifts are all opened, the script of quotes is read back to the bride, only now the phrases are re-framed as "WhatYou Will Be Saying On Your Wedding Night."

Quite an interesting night is ahead for Bryce and Elizabeth if those are the phrases that will be said!


I think she is destined for great happiness.


With somethings that are old and somethings that are new...


Fiance Bryce was quite surprised at just how much "new" had been added to their lives.


Another very special gift:  Gail's Grandmother's sterling silver set, acquired in the the 1930; Elizabeth was Elsie's only granddaughter and now she was quite amazed to have inherited the set.
Elizabeth had already picked out a stainless steel pattern, now she has both every day and special occasion flatware!


So now it is just a matter of counting down the days until the wedding on the 30th of June.
Three more months to go...
I hope the time will fly on by!

10 comments:

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

Mmmmmmmmmmm..........cucumber sandwiches. I salivate at the thought. Love 'em!!

ellen b. said...

Oh what fun. Now I have a great idea of what to do with all my teacups!!
What a lovely day to share...

Vee said...

What an exciting time for Elizabeth and her family. Love the idea of a bridal tea...so refined and altogether pleasant.

Kathie said...

A lovely shower and a beautiful bride to be!! A special thanks for all the details - I'm hosting a shower for a dear friend's daughter in May. I'll be using some of your ideas!

Lovella ♥ said...

Just delightful to share in the shower by way of bloggy world. It is clear to see that Gail is a very dear friend of yours and I love that you have kept your friendship amongst some of your most prize possesions.
The bride looks so happy.

Vicki said...

What a wonderful shower...so many great ideas, too! I am glad to see the family heirlooms being so generously shared with the bride, too...I think that's a beautiful tradition.

The "Things the Bride will say on her Wedding Night" game was played many years ago at my shower and my sisters' showers, as well as those of our friends. In fact, I think I still have that list of quotes...

4 Him said...

What wonderful memories to cherish when you are old and gray! Wish I had been there.

4 Him said...

What wonderful memories to cherish when you are old and gray:-) Wish I could have been there.

Ladygrande (Texas Marie) said...

Jill,
Have you thought any more about doing your own photograph book - with comments with permission from those in your photos?
You are an excellent "reporter/photographer".

running wildly ❀ said...

You had me at shoes. The pictures.....*frothing at mouth*