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Posts Tagged ‘wedding shower’

The tradition of watching a 3D movie (my first!)

I will be getting married in a dress that is not white and I am not changing my name.

Are we completely shunning tradition? As a family friend pointed out, I was wore a very shiny tiara at my wedding shower. Indeed, we are picking and choosing what makes sense for us while still laughing along the way. 

The tiara was fun – great fun, actually – and we feminists can all enjoy ourselves.

At the shower, I wore black – a fashion choice above all – and didn’t flinch when I was given a pizza cutter and high quality kitchen scissors. There are some traditions that don’t allow the bride to be to use scissors, cut anything with a sharp object or receive anything sharp. Frankly, the gifts are often related to the kitchen and it is hard to avoid all sharp objects. What good luck comes from missing the opportunity for a friend to share her favorite sharp kitchen tool?

Luck, as we know, is what we decide it is. We make things happen. My fiancé and I are making this wedding happen because we love each other and we want to be one, emotionally and legally. 

Do I look down on a more traditional wedding celebration, shower to honeymoon? Of course not. The true beauty of our diverse, contemporary nation is that we can all make our own choices, and those choices can all be celebrated.

What is a “traditional” marriage to me? It is one in which the gender roles are clearly defined. There is a religious aspect to the purpose of the union and the participants follow prescribed rules – clothing choice, names, roles, etc. 

Of course, there are some useful purposes to tradition. My fiancé wrote in the first part of his guest blog  on traditions that they , “help to build connections across time and place.” In the second part, he notes, “A lot of traditions help solve coordination and cooperation problems.” There are reasons to do things in a familiar way that accomplish a certain goal. We’ve thought a lot about this and I encourage you to read his musings.

We are putting a twist on the traditions that we find meaningful. We aren’t the first to do so and we certainly won’t be the last.

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I renamed the bridesmaids the “Wonderful Women of the Wedding,” since they are not “maids.” We could simply call these women, “WOW” for short. And that is exactly the word I kept saying during the shower.

The Mother of the Bride, The Chief Wonderful Woman and two other Wonderful Women went above and beyond, as did the guests with their thoughtful gifts. 

A few highlights… 

The Chief arranged for a platter to be made that everyone could sign:

 Wedding shower signed plate 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chief also arranged for a recipe box. Not just any recipe box, this one has a picture on the top that I took (the joys of sharing with Facebook!) and is filled with various family recipes, some of which match the wishing well items. Recipe box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wishing Well wasn’t your usual Well. Instead, it is a great reusable container. Here is a pic of it along with the great gift from Italy from Lisa, another Wonderful Woman:

 Wishing Well and present from Italia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mother of the Bride made the favors: candles wrapped in flowers that look like our invitations and flowers for the reception. Light one and make a wish for yourself and the couple, if you like.

Wedding shower favors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mother of the Bride scanned a part of the invitation and used it as the labels for the Greek food. The Shower had a Greek theme, as we are planning on going to Greece next summer for our honeymoon.

 Wedding shower food with labels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My cousin Peggy made this beautiful blanket for me. I cannot wait to snuggle under it during the quickly approaching Michigan winter:

Peggy's blanket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the Wonderful Women, Robin, knit this blanket entitled, “The Tree of Life” (by Nicky Epstein.) She wrote, “The Tree of Life is knit from the bottom up – as each tree has a solid foundation – they intertwine and join as one. Filled with flower gardens and joy – may you and Hans – the two strong trees – share a joyful, intertwined life ahead.”

Robin's blanket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Bachelorette gang. What a great tiara! Missing: pink boa was removed for better eating.Shower Day is here! I joked to the Mother of the Bride that I should show up with wet hair to help with the “shower effect.” Needless to say, I plan on drying it nicely. 

I look forward to it – and discovering what has been hidden in the dining room and refrigerator that I was banned from seeing before today.

A few things will be hidden from the guests – like my “dress of color” which I hand-carried on the airplane the other day from Michigan. The bridal salon, B. Ella,  said that they could fold it into a little package (wrapped in ribbons, of course) and I could have it pressed in New Jersey. It fit in a duffle bag and is now hanging up in my parents’ house waiting to be pressed at a local bridal gown store. 

I have also been gathering together a number of gifts – from the presents for the bridesmaids to favors for the hotel welcome bags. Phew! Lots of planning and lots of my parents hauling boxes up to my old room. They have been good sports about everything. It is not easy to coordinate a wedding from another state.

Last night was the Bachelorette Party! What a wonderful dinner of tapas, sangria and laughs… just amazing. See how much fun you can have without strippers and penis straws? Thank you, Chief, for spearheading all of the planning.

I keep being surprised by how special all of these pre-wedding festivities have been (from a facial with my step-mother-in-law-to-be to last night.) As anyone less cynical than me would have realized more quickly, it feels good to be surrounded by loved ones, even for a historically traditional celebration which I might have shunned in the past. 

Thanks again to so many people – the Chief, Wonderful Women and Mother of the Bride – for helping with the festivities. We each live in a modern community that we’ve constructed (one that goes beyond family and an office) and I feel so loved in this very generous one.

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How many of you have been to a wedding shower where you were asked embarrassing questions about where the couple first made out? Or forced to listen to the bride gloat about “her” china? A girl could go crazy wrapped up in an afternoon of tulle.

You might think I lack all romance. Maybe, but I prefer to think that I am drawn to more sincere, unique events. 

First, let me share some fond memories of bridal showers. I remember my friend Robin’s bridal shower was in her parents’ living room. All of the guests were comfortable on the couches and got swept up into Robin’s larger than life smile. She was marrying her true love.

Remembering that beautiful day, Robin writes, “I really loved my shower because it was so very relaxed. Being in my parents home, and ensuring that everyone was comfortable and having discussions really made it more enjoyable for me.  I didn’t really want to open up gift after gift. I’ve sat through it so many times and thought it was quite boring because the bride can tend to go on and on about how they picked each present. However, as I was opening the presents, realized that I could make it about the people who were giving me the gifts. For example, I mentioned how we met, why I thought that they are so wonderful, etc.  That really made it a celebration of our love and friendships, versus an opening of a bunch of stuff that we had picked out ourselves!”

My friend Christa’s bridal shower was in a lovely restaurant. In a small, private room, we gathered around a large table and shared stories. I was happy to be reunited with some graduate school friends and we had a great time. Besides sharing the bride’s happy day, weddings and wedding events are a time to get together with friends. 

Planning a bridal shower can be daunting. I asked around and found some solid advice to share with you.

Hila, a recent maid of honor, writes, “The two games that I planned were nice but not too cheesy: a trivia game where you ask the bride and groom questions about each other in advance and then compare their answers at the shower and see how they did. The other was to have everyone at the shower write advice for the bride, but each piece of advice started with a letter of the bride and groom’s names– I compiled the advice into a hand-made little book shaped like a heart, with each letter glued on in yarn—‘cause the bride was a knitter! Then we had the bride read the advice (both heartwarming and embarrassing) out loud at the shower. Also, I refused to make her wear that horrible hat. I think she appreciated it.” Great ideas, Hila! 

Another unique way to incorporate your own thoughts and words comes from Marni, the owner and artist from Creative Custom Cardboxes  (and a member of the Weddings by Artists Network) is a custom card box filled with wishes. A “Shower Her With Wishes” box is handmade and could be filled with personalized sentiments from the guests and bridal party alike. You might enjoy reading posts on her blog about wedding showers for some more ideas.

My friend Yasmin, who is leading my “bridesmaids” (I have renamed them “Wonderful Women of The Wedding”, since I think having “maids” sounds a bit outdated) recommends this book: Bridesmaid Guide by Kate Chynoweth. She adds, “probably none of the guides are perfect since taste is so variable, but they touch on lots of ideas.” the bridesmaid guide

I know it is tradition to cover a hat with ribbons from the presents that the bride opens. I’ve always found this endearing. Maybe this sentiment is a bit contradictory, since I usually bristle when faced with more traditional aspects of weddings, but this handmade object is always overflowing with love. As long as the bridesmaid in charge of tying, stapling or gluing the ribbons isn’t being yelled at by family members and start to cry (which I’ve seen), I think this is a sweet tradition.

If you are planning a bridal shower, I hope these few ideas help to get you started. Feel free to share great ideas you’ve experienced or are planning below in the comments section. 

 

PS: Hats off to Yasmin for all of her hard work!

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