Thursday, April 15

Wedding Week Series: Surprise Bridal Shower!

The Upbeat Bride is back and better than ever! Joe and I really accomplished a lot during our one-week trip to St. Louis. Between ordering the bridesmaid dresses and guys’ tuxes, designing our wedding cake, taking engagement photos, piecing together our centerpieces, and picking out stationery, no wedding detail was left behind. We visited our venue and tasted the menu. I had my makeup trial and chose a hairstyle. But the trip certainly wasn’t done without some Bridal Shower fun!! Stay tuned for a series of blogs that cover everything from my wedding planning week from start to finish, beginning with today’s blog covering the surprise bridal shower…
I actually wasn’t sure if my friends and family would find the opportunity to have a Bridal Shower. Nearly every one of our wedding guests live in St. Louis (including the entire bridal party) and considering Joe and I won’t be in St. Louis again until just one week before the wedding takes place, I just didn’t think there’d be a time or place to have a shower. So imagine my surprise on Sunday when I thought I was entering a low-key dinner party at my grandparent’s house and instead walked into a room full of people shouting “Surpriiise!” I’ve never had any kind of surprise party thrown for me before so it was a little bit intimidating but also very amusing.
The day had begun with Joe and I spending some time with the groomsmen and my fathers and brother at the mall for tux try-ons. We met at 11 am but didn’t walk out of the store until 12:45, just in time to grab sit-down lunch at a restaurant in the mall. Afterward we visited Victoria’s Secret because I just HAD to check out the new St. Louis Cardinals clothing line introduced at VS where naturally I took my time shopping and trying things on. Then we headed over to the Archiver’s scrapbook store to tackle the task of choosing our wedding stationery. I’d been waiting for months to visit that one specific store that carries a unique line of wedding paper and I’d always forewarned Joe that it would take a long time to finalize our selections so I was a little irritated that he wanted to leave the store so quickly. “Can we just pick out this paper tomorrow?” he pleaded (which really should have served as clue number one that he was rushing me for a reason). “No, this is what we came here to do and we’re not going to put it off!” I answered sternly. Besides, it was only 2:30 pm and in my mind, we had plenty of time to make it back to the house to change into something nice before the get-together at my grandparents’ house. Feeling a little frustrated that the store didn’t have everything we were looking for, I finally let Joe convince me to just purchase a few sample packages and then head straight to my grandparent’s house. After all, my dad kept calling to say they were all waiting for our arrival before starting the BBQ pit. The fact that the whole party would be waiting on Joe and I should have been clue number two for me, but I was oblivious.
The drive to my grandparents’ was short and when we pulled up near the driveway, I noticed about a dozen cars lined up outside. “I didn’t know there would be so many people here!” I told Joe. “If I’d have known it was this big of a party I would have dressed up!” Joe didn’t really say anything. With cars all over the place and Joe acting strangely, that should have been clue numbers three and four, but still I suspected nothing. As Joe and I approached the house I saw my grandpa outside playing catch with my brother and cousins and we all said hello. Then we made our way down the stairs to the basement area where house guests are typically entertained, and I do remember thinking it was strange that there were so many cars outside but there wasn’t a lot of chatter from inside the house. Maybe they are all in the backyard? I thought. And just as soon as I’d begun wondering where the party was, I saw Joe’s mom and sisters and aunts sitting in chairs near the bottom of the steps. Confused, I stopped dead in my tracks and began peering around the corner to glance at all the people in the room who were staring back at me. “SURPRISE!!!”
I’m not entirely sure what my first reaction was, but it was probably a mixture of embarrassment and shock. It’s definitely not easy to have an entire room of people watching you and waiting for your reaction, particularly when it’s a brand new experience and especially if you are wearing just a t-shirt and jeans with very little makeup. Initially I made a few comments that I wish I’d dressed up more and said thank you to everyone as I made my way around the room. It was so nice to think that everyone was there for me and the awesome turnout of people was evidence of what terrific family and friends I have. Immediately I was told I was supposed to have been there at 2 pm so technically I was 45 minutes late. Apparently the entire time we were at the mall, my mom and stepdad had been harassing Joe’s phone with calls and text messages to get me there pronto. No wonder he’d been rushing me along! Since we had been running so late, the party had already gotten started and everyone had enjoyed the nice spread of punch and snacks before I got there, which was fine by me since I’d had a large lunch anyway and wasn’t at all hungry. Next it was time for games and first on the list was the toilet paper wedding gown game. Groups of 4-5 girls dressed up a contestant from their team in a toilet paper dress and I was to judge which TP gown was the best. It was seriously a very hard decision! The dresses were all so different in style and honestly looked adorable, I almost forgot it was toilet paper! I finally chose the gown on the far left for its coordination between the veil, dress, and bouquet flowers. I think even Amsale would have been impressed with that ensemble!
Next we played a game show where my Maid of Honor and I both sat at the front of the room. She asked me several questions that had already previously been asked of Joe and the object of the game was to see how closely our answers matched up. It was a little embarrassing because I didn’t get a chance to prepare my answers and I easily get stage fright where I forget what to say. You know the kid that would forget their lines in a play even though they practiced a million times? Yeah, that was me. When I feel like I’m on the spot, my mind just goes blank. Even the silliest things like, What’s your favorite color? and What famous person would you like to be? was a majorly indecisive moment. The funniest part was when my answer didn’t match up to Joe’s in regard to where we shared our first kiss. How do you mess something like that up?!! His answer was totally different from mine and I didn’t even know what his answer meant. It turns out that he misunderstood the question and thought my MOH had asked where his first kiss was (when he was a young kid) and not necessarily the first kiss we shared. So that was kind of hilarious… no wonder I’d been baffled about why he answered that question wrong!!
After the games were over I opened gifts to find many wonderful items from our registries. It’s a good thing we registered earlier than we’d planned to! One of my favorite non-registry items was a set of beach towels with our shared last name, his saying Mr. and mine saying Mrs., complete with a beach bag embroidered with “Honeymoon 2010”, all in our wedding colors. I even got a huge box of wedding scrapbook supplies with everything I could possibly need for creating our wedding scrapbook after the big day! I received so many wonderful gifts that I really look forward to using.
The Bridal Shower was SO much fun and is a day I’ll never forget. It truly made the whole wedding seem very real, like things are finally happening and the big day will be here before we know it. My friends and family really put together an amazing party than everyone enjoyed and I feel so lucky to have such amazing people as a part of my life!
Have you had your Bridal Shower yet? Was it a surprise or did you know about it in advance?
(Arch photo from Google Images. All others are Personal Photos.)

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