Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This was definitely the fanciest bridal shower I have ever been involved in. Of course, if you knew the bride, you would understand why. Ruby is a girly girl who loves pink and earned the nickname "princess" back in the early days of our friendship when we were new lawyers at a large law firm living in NYC for the first time. A couple of co-workers even inter-office mailed her a tiara once.
The bride's sisters and I threw the shower together and while it did take quite a bit of coordination and advanced planning, it was well worth the effort because it all came together so beautifully. The planning did not move forward without some bumps in the road - some fairly signifcant even, including a what felt at the time catastrophic fight among the sisters. Luckily I am pretty much an expert on seemingly catstrophic fights with sisters so I was well equipped to listen and counsel and do my best to help smooth it all over.
We held the shower at a beautiful tea house called Lady Mendl's near Union Square. If you want to experience a five-course high tea in elegant Victorian surroundings, please make a reservation next time you are in town - you will not be disappointed. The food is pretty and dainty and tasty and includes a miniature quiche to start, a variety of crustless, triangle tea sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam followed by delicious slice of cake and a variety of cookies and chocolate dipped strawberries. Oh, and of course there is the tea. A wide array of teas, including a great herbal selection.
The private room was beautifully decorated when we arrived and all we had to do was add a homemade cupcake to each place setting and arrange a side-table with the favor boxes - more cupcakes to take home. Yes, this was definitely a sweet-tooth satisfying event. The sisters and I made the cupcakes the night before - red velvet (the bride's favorite) and lemon with lemon curd filling and chocolate ganache frosting. The cupcakes were topped with a smattering of edible pearls I purchased online that one of the sisters took it upon herself to carefully arrange atop each cupcake. The original intent was for the cupcakes to simply occupy the favor boxes for take-home consumption but we made so many and they were so pretty we decided they couldn't all be hidden away in boxes so we decorated enough for each guest to have one at her seat and one for later. The favor boxes turned out even better than I imagined as well tied with an organza ribbon and a silken sachet of "wedding" tea I found online.
Other than the sisters, none of the guests have met the groom since he currently resides across the country in San Francisco until post-nuptials. So the highlight of the shower was when we surprised Ruby and all her guests with a video featuring her fiance. Several weeks earlier we had emailed him a list of questions and he obliged us by having his sister video tape his responses. He earned bonus points from me right there by so easily complying with our request. Of course, when I pre-screened his answers the night before in the seclusion of my own apartment with just the sisters as witnesses I will admit that in addition to laughing at his fun sense of humor and smiling upon confirming his much talked about laid back California-ness, there were a few moments when I felt the sting of tears upon hearing such tender words of love spoken about my dear friend. At the shower, his responses were met with laughter and a large number of girly "aaaaahhh"s. God and Fate and each of the couple's families (who set them up!) did a remarkable job in bringing these two together despite being separated by a continent.
After the fun of seeing how well this couple knows each other, we played a shower game that I think generally gets a bad rap - the toilet paper bridal gown. We put everyone in teams of three and gave them a few rolls of toilet paper and these women got creative. I guess Project Runway has inspired a few people because we had some admirable efforts.
The gift opening ended the afternoon with Ruby pulling off a hat made out of a mess of bows that she tolerated me tying haphazardly around her head. Once we had all of the gifts packed up and finished saying goodbye to most of the guests Ruby suggested we go somewhere for drinks with the small group of us that was left lingering on the sidewalk in front of the brownstone. One of the sisters and I were a little wary of walking around the City with armfuls of giftbags tottering on stilettos that were ready to be kicked off but with a little coaxing we were talked into walking a block over to the W hotel where we laughed at some of the events from the shower and everyone swapped wedding stories.
It was such a fun shower that it made me want to fast forward to the wedding weekend. Luckily, I get to leave in two days!