Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A shower for Debbie

It's been quite a while since I last posted. But I have very good reason. Over the last week (and more) I've been finalizing my planning for my best friend, Debbie's, Bridal Shower. As seems to happen when I do something for someone I love - I went a little over-the-top with my planning. But ideas just started coming to me and I couldn't get them out of my head. So, if I think up 2 different favors and I really like both ideas... I do 2 favors!
Lunch was mandarin orange, avocado salad with
poppyseed dressing and Quiche Lorraine

Debbie and I have been best friends since we met on our P.E. numbers on the first day of Junior High, something-teen years ago. She is basically my sister. And while she herself has two sisters, I was granted the incredible privilege of being her Maid of Honor when she became engaged to Nick last year.

6 bunches of flowers became 10 vases

Not one to shirk my duties - especially when event planning is involved - I was brainstorming ideas for her bridal shower over a year ago. I knew I wanted to have it in my parents backyard - a BEAUTIFUL location for entertaining. I knew I wanted (and needed) to rent tables and chairs and umbrellas. I knew I needed to include potatoes (Deb's favorite food!) as much as possible. I knew I'd have to worry about [hot] weather in the summer months. I knew I'd make macarons as favors and most likely pistachio since they're Deb's favorite flavor. I knew I'd do all the cooking myself but that I'd also get a little of Mom's help - after all, I did learn most of my skills from her! So I'd essentially been planning this in my head for the last year.
Pineapple in chocolate is actually fabulous! -- I overdid it a little on the tarts,
made 4 for 20 people! -- Mashed potatoes in the rolls make them incredibly soft

Gotta drop a plug here - Stacey at California Chocolate Fountains is not only amazing, professional and completely sweet - she's also my cousin. How can you NOT have a chocolate fountain at an event when your cousin generously offers?
Did I mention Debbie loves potatoes?
Linens, china and silver immediately turn an outdoor party classy

It came together perfectly. Weather was a little hot (high 80's) - but with umbrellas and tents and lots of ice water and punch, I think I was the only one who actually had sweat running down her face!
I joke that this is about what I looked like the entire day!

I really don't like games at showers since I'd rather be visiting with friends (or heck, the guest of honor!) but I decided to include one simple game for the guests and one funny game for Debbie. First was Debbie Trivia of which her sisters and other bridesmaid present were the winners! (Apropos!) But much funnier was "How Well Does Debbie Know Nick?" Fortunately Debbie knows Nick rather well, but when I was able to stump her with a question I'd gradually dress her in a "sexy outfit" (over her clothes). Once fully dressed we took plenty of pictures of her to show Nick just how sexy she did indeed look:

Really, only Debbie would still look amazing in all that junk!

The final "shower element" I actually can't wait to assemble is Deb's scrapbook. I had something of an all-day craft project going during the shower. A table set with paper, stickers, glue, scissors, pens etc. I asked everyone to write their favorite Debbie story, advice or a thought onto a note then attach it to a scrapbook page they decorated. Throughout the day I had my trusty photographer (thanks again Mic!!) snap a picture of Debbie with each guest and I'll be printing them and affixing it to the appropriate scrapbook page.

Creative minds at work - SUCH fun!

This shower was my wedding gift to Debbie. How does one select a wedding gift for their very best friend? This is one wedding for which I could not merely purchase off the registry or write a check. My gift had to be from the heart. I perhaps selfishly rejected assistance from bridesmaids and friends. I held this gift close to my soul and refused to give any part of it away. At the last minute - upon insistence from them; I let a few friends help me during the shower (thanks again Ames, Andrea, Liz, Ali and Connie!). And of course my family helped, both immediate and extended (Mom, Dad, Mark, Auntie Betty, Stacey). But overall I am still bursting with pride that I basically pulled it off all on my own.
And you might be wondering - how does one "gift" a bridal shower? She will most definitely have my neck for the photo I am about to post, but it is a Classic and captures the true longevity of our friendship. There is a photo taken of Debbie and I roughly 17 years ago. Debbie looks like a different person while I just look - younger (this is why I love that photo - it's only really embarrassing for her!) I wrote up the poem I'll be posting below, printed it on the back of this photo and cut it into 6 smaller pieces. I then bought her 6 small gifts and wrapped a piece of the poem with each gift. Over dinner last week Debbie had to unwrap each gift and tape the photo together; only to then flip it over and read what her gift actually was.
Your wedding gift by now, may seem anti-climactic
but blame it on me, and how I go spastic,
And yes, I realize that creative, it's not
but from my heart and mind it was completely thought,
Cuz Deb you're truly like a sister to me
without you I don't know what life would be,
I wanted to give you the absolute tops
nothing was too good or too fancy; no stops,
As usual I needed total control
in order to give you a gift that was whole,
So finally I've come to the point of this rhyme
I can't wait for you to have a fabulous time,
Therefore, your wedding gift is - to the best of my power
the absolute entirety of your bridal shower!!

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