A Surprise Party For a Bride Who Hates Surprises

What do you do when a great friend of yours is getting married soon but does not want to be showered or celebrated or surprised? You throw her a surprise brunch shower to celebrate her pending nuptials.

Elizabeth and I pulled off the impossible a few weeks ago — we surprised Devon with a brunch in her honor without her disowning us. We had egg casserole, pimento cheese, hummus, fruits & veggies, homemade bloody mary mix, and of course a mimosa bar. And the six guests showered the bride with booze instead of bed linens.

I think she liked it.

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Throwing a Bridal Shower in the Age of Pinterest

For the last two years, Pinterest has been improving our crock pot recipes, filling our imaginations with decor plans for our future homes, promising that we can DIY this and that, and flaunting inspirational exercise mantras next to pictures of tan, six-packed women. It has also been making it more and more difficult to pull off an impressive party without feeling completely inadequate. Thanks to Pinterest, a successful party now requires mason jars, pretty straws, impeccably decorated miniature foods, handmade decorations, and lush, themed tablescapes.

Daunting, no?

I’ll admit that since Jessie got engaged (maybe even before) I’ve been compiling a ‘secret’ board of pins to help fulfill my Maid Matron of Honor duties. I browsed for inspiration for bridal shower invitations, recipe cards, flowers, and favors but I always ended up more overwhelmed than when I began. The Pinterest pressure was just too much.

Eventually I just walked away from the pin boards and began planning a bridal shower based on what my best friend would enjoy: something simple, not too fussy, with good food, some beverages, and a few surprises for good measure. It didn’t have to be any more elaborate than that.

So on Saturday I threw Jessie a bridal shower. I made some food I knew she’d like and a punch she’d enjoyed in Charleston, we ate a leisurely lunch outside in the long-awaited sunshine, played some games, and opened some gifts.

Jessie looked beautiful and happy, and even though there was a distinct lack of themed tablescapes, I think she had fun.

Super Fast Recap: A Girls Trip to Charleston

Last Thursday, eight of us ladyfriends packed ourselves into two cars and traveled down to Charleston, SC, for a girls weekend celebrating Jessie’s upcoming wedding. We stayed in a beautiful home on Folly Beach with the two most important amenities: a big couch and bathroom space for all of us.

In Folly, we ate dinner at Taco Boy and grabbed rainy day carry-out from Woody’s. I had a pimento grilled cheese (which I intend to perfect) at Blind Tiger, we entertained collegiate nostalgia at The Brick, and rounded out the weekend with an amazing southern meal at Poogan’s Porch where I attacked a bowl of shrimp and grits the size of my head.

We visited the Bourbon selection and tasted classic cocktails at The Bar at Husk. We stuck our toes in the sand, took a historical walking tour of Charleston, wandered through the  Charleston City Market, hunted for the best ice cream, sampled some fudge, judged several versions of pimento cheese, spent a rainy day on the couch, played some games, danced the night away in our matching t-shirts, and sufficiently toasted the bride.

I recommend everything. The whole trip from pre-dawn Thursday to unpacking the car Sunday — perhaps with the exception of some bad weather — was perfect.

[click on a photo in the gallery to view in a slideshow]

A Hometown Bridal Shower for Jessie Lynn

This weekend, Jessie’s mom and Aunt Missy threw her a bridal shower at the historic Allam House in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Mom and I embarked on a little road trip North of the Mason-Dixon to join the party.

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The house, built in 1710, was beautiful and quaint and well-maintained. I mean, check out the old stove in the back of the living room.

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When Jessie’s mom brought the cake out, I nearly cried. Not sure why — I promise I’m excited for April 27!IMG_1599

Jessie is clearly happiest when filling a plate of food.

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I made these recipe cards for Jessie’s friends and family to start filling her recipe collection.IMG_1610

I searched for months for the perfect recipe box, and voila! I’m not telling you where I got it though because they didn’t have many and I need to go get myself one.

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Watching Jessie struggle with Crate & Barrel’s expert wrapping was so fun.IMG_1626

It’s a pitcher!

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And a homemade toilet paper cover.

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I was working hard to write the most illegible list of gifts for thank-you notes while Momma Reynolds attempted to fill her Gift Bingo card.

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Jessie’s cousins constructed the ribbon bouquet for her rehearsal.

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A hand made blanket from Mommom.IMG_1707

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I’m including this sad blurry picture of us to encourage Mom to send the non-blurry one she took!IMG_1720

After the shower, the light was SO pretty. But of course Jessie was being a jerk about letting me take her picture, so these were my best efforts.

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