When I added “host an event at my place” on my 30 Before 30 list, I was thinking of a small dinner party or a casual BBQ. Little did I know that I would check this off the list by hosting quite the elaborate shindig. My sister and I began planning for my younger sister’s bridal shower and looked into tons of venues, but kept running into roadblocks. Some were too big, others too small, some didn’t have our date available, and so on. Natasha was the one who finally suggested we host the bridal shower in the backyard of our new place. I had several reservations about this, including the risk of having terrible weather, but mostly, because it would be so much more work than just showing up at a pretty venue that would cater to our every need and serve them on a silver platter. To host it in our backyard meant we would have to do it ALL from SCRATCH. And so with a little over a month to plan and execute, we got to planning! We received help from the great DIY minds on Pinterest, and the label-making, flower-arranging, set-up queen at Embellished Events. It took tons of visits to BJs, and HomeGoods, and Ikea, and Michaels, and tons of brainstorming, and phone calls, and renting, and catering, and budgeting, and delivering, and shopping, and cutting, and pasting, and cleaning, and arranging, and envisioning, and day-dreaming. We had to plan every single element (colors, prints, chairs, tables, silverware, linens, flowers, serving platters, glassware, food, dessert, fruit, drinks, music, games, prizes, favors, you name it). Although it felt like having another full time job at the time, it was also incredibly fun and exhilarating to get my creative juices flowing. Hosting it ourselves gave us the freedom to really customize the event, which would not have been possible if we went with a venue. I'm so happy we made the decision we did.
Despite forecast freak-outs (every weather man claimed it would rain for the entire week leading up to Sunday), the day was bright with the sunniest of suns and clearest of skies. Alhamdulillah! After hours of frantic running around and last minute arrangements, the great girls at Embelished Events took over to set up, while we got dolled up. Nicky had a makeup artist come in as a gesture of gratitude, which was very sweet and a perfect time to get pampered right before the event.
Everything turned out...Perfect! It was amazing seeing our vision finally become a reality. The cake design we chose fit our theme perfectly, the mimosa bar was a huge hit (Pinterest worthy! Hah), Tasha’s Sangria was the biggest crowd pleaser, the red velvet cake pops were moist and delicious, Cristina’s Orio treats were amazing! McKenna’s did not disappoint with its incredible brunch, inclusive of their famous pancakes, french toast, eggs, homefries, and two types of bacon and sausages. The games we chose were cheesy and silly, and all of the girls were great sports and made each game a blast! Nicky was smiling the whole time (ok, the guava mimosa in her system may have been partly responsible for that), which made it all worthwhile.
I personally loved the party favors me and Tasha came up with. A lucky bamboo stick with the words: “May your love always grow”. I loved sending people off with a piece of nature. A token of good fortune. With a reminder to LOVE.
My only regret was that my mom couldn't make it. She had been in the hospital all week, and although she was dying to come, her doctor’s would not release her as a precaution. She was on our mind and in our hearts all day.
Close to the end of the shower, the most important men in Nicky’s life made a cameo: Ruddys (our brother), Victor (her fiance) and Dyami (our nephew). Victor came with flowers and a special present from Gucci (what a classy guy).
It all truly was straight out of a magazine.
I must say, Tasha and I made a great team, and successfully executed one of the prettiest and most thoughtful bridal showers I have ever seen (yes, that’s me tooting our own horn, TOOT TOOT).