My bridal shower was on Saturday and I must say, it was an absolutely perfect day. I think by now we have established that I am not the typical bride. I don’t require a lot of fanfare, especially for my bridal shower. Assigned seating, forced participation in party games and 3 hours of sitting in the same uncomfortable chair have never had much appeal to me. And then there is the painfully long ordeal of watching the bride unwrap every single gift she is given. It takes forever and the entire event often feels so impersonal. So when my mom suggested that she host an “open house” shower at my parents’ home, I was overjoyed.
When people received the invitation, I received many questions asking, “What exactly IS an open house shower?” Most likely, you also have the same question. Grab a cup of coffee or a cocktail (I won’t judge!) and settle in as I take you through the memories of my out-of-the-ordinary bridal shower.
The basic plan for the day was simple. The open house went from 1-4 pm and guests could come and go as they please. Instead of waiting until the very end to open all the gifts, I would leisurely open them whenever it was convenient for myself and the guest. My mother and Rob’s mom prepared most of the food themselves, a personal gesture in itself!
When the shower started, it was just my bridesmaids and immediate family with a few gifts on the table. I began opening them before everyone else started to arrive. The opened gifts were then displayed on the table for guests to see (if they wanted, of course).
It wasn’t a couple’s shower, but there were a few men in attendance. Rob, for one. My Dad was also there (since the event was hosted at his house) and my brother came, too. It was our extended family’s first opportunity to meet Mark’s son, Maximus. It was wonderful to have the most important men in my life present (and also nice not to obligate any other men to be present for the occasion!)
Once more people started to arrive, things got really busy. I am so thankful that Rob’s sister asked to take a photo of us during a quiet moment!
Once the family began pouring in, I was a busy girl. My godmother lives out of state and she asked my Aunt Theresa to wrap her gift to Rob and I. She insisted that it needed to look nice. Aunt Theresa is definitely the matriarch on my father’s side and she made a point to snap a photo of me with the beautiful box before I opened it.
It was all of the wonderful moments like this that warmed my heart and made me so happy to have a less formal bridal shower. We took several photos to make sure we had the best shot to share with Aunt Phillie. Nobody minded because people were spread out around the first floor of the house and were busy enjoying a chance to visit with each other.
At some point in the afternoon, I moved out into my parents’ covered porch area to open the gift from Rob’s grandmother. Moving to her was more convenient so she didn’t have to move. Once I was outside, I started opening the gifts from everyone in that part of the house so I could personally interact with them while I opened their gifts.
For the rest of the time, I pretty much just opened …
and opened …
and opened more and more gifts.
And in the midst of all the gifts, our guests had a chance to sit down, visit and truly enjoy themselves.
Rob played the role of photographer on Saturday and he did SUCH a wonderful job. The day was so hectic, it occurred to me several hours after the shower was over that I never had a photo taken with my bridal party. He did, however, manage to get a candid shot of me with my three closest childhood friends. My heart melted as soon as I saw this photo.
There are a few other photos from the day that I know I will treasure forever. Like this one with Rob’s sister, Krissy, and Sarah, who is celebrating her upcoming wedding to Rob’s brother. In just a few months time, I will gain two sisters.
I also love how Rob, his mom and my BFF Kristy all dressed in the same color. I just love these 3 people so much.
I’m also so happy to have a generational photo with my mom and grandma. Once again my heart is so full, I feel as though it just might burst.
I wish I could show you more photos from the details of the day; things were so busy, the thought of capturing the details didn’t even cross my mind until after the guests were gone and we were beginning to clean up. I can tell you that there were mason jars. Lots of beautifully simple mason jars, some of which were used as vases for fresh tulips. My mom also wrapped hand soap with gold tulle and dressed each one up with a decorative flower and gold ribbon. It was so simple and beautiful.
The engagement process is such an magical time and a bridal shower is certainly a special occasion. Rob and I are deeply appreciative of the generosity that we were showered with on Saturday. But the day was so much more than the gifts we received or the dress I wore (I pulled an old standby out of my closet instead of buying a new dress for the occasion). It was a day to share with family and friends and I was happy to have a more personal celebration with each of them.