Certified Coordinated Bride
Stephanie
Journal Entry # 3
Bro, Lets Chill

So…my Bride Tribe did an all-out amazing job planning and preparing for my bachelorette weekend! A night out on the town? Cute. But we came to party old-schooland kick-back sans children, hubbies, and responsibilities. My friend Alicia had a bachelorette weekend where we went to a cabin in the Poconos and partied like we were a bunch of fraternity knuckleheads. It was simple, fun, and we spent QUALITY time together. Like when we were kids. The best days were simple ones. And I wanted something just like that.

Being from New Jersey, we wanted to stay on the East Coast, and looked for something we could either drive to or take a train to, and that fit all our needs. While brainstorming for a location we couldn’t help but to geek-out when deciding on a place as fun and historic as Washington D.C.! I was left out of much of the planning, and for this one…I was TOTALLY okay with it! Normally I’m a control freak (type A personality) and hate big surprises. The girls only got my input for possible locations and what was definitely OFF the table. My hard NO?  Strippers! I’d have too many questions lol, and since I don’t think you can Lysol your skin, it just wouldn’t really work out for me. Other than that, everything was fair game to plan without me.

OMG The White House, Now Pass Me My Flask
We took an Amtrak train and the ride was about 3 hours. It flew by! When I first got to the platform to meet my girlies, they had surprised me with the CUTEST little gifts for the weekend. Personalized shirts, wine glasses, hangover kits, and an emoji flask!!!  I, of course, had gotten them a little something too. I got us matching sunglasses that said Bride and Bride Tribe on the side, Bride Tribe plastic cups, and a small hangover kit that read “In sickness and in health”, topped off with a heartfelt thank you note because, well, duh. Luckily, the flasks were filled with alcohol, because FUN FACT: you can drink on the train! There was even a bar on the train. I realized this about 1 hour into our train ride, when my friend pointed out I didn’t have to sink into my seat and hide my flask sips under my coat like a sketchy heathen. So we got to D.C. feeling pretttty niiice, and it was a great way to start off the weekend.

D.C. was full of moments that ranged from scenes out of the movie “The Hangover” acting like maniacs to scenes out of “National Treasure” all nerdy for the next cool historic monument to see. From having the worst service at some place called ‘The Unconventional Diner’ (BOOOOOO, you stink!) to having a VIP moment with secret service telling us to stick around for a White House helicopter transport. We spent the weekend like sisters in the most perfect Airbnb, having a blast! The people of D.C. were SO nice! My girls took great care of me, and really made me feel so special. I’m so lucky and I am indebted to them for putting together such a memorable weekend.

The Bridal Shower
Eat Well & Travel Often

Now, I know that most Bridal Showers are a surprise. The bride-to-be doesn’t know details and her bridesmaids, maid of honor, mother, and possibly mother-in-law plan it for her. Butttt, like I said earlier, I’m just not built for big surprises and I’m a control freak. So when it came time to get things in order for my shower, my sister deferred to me. I don’t really like “themes” very much, however, there was one so perfect and obviously fitting for me and Adrian, that I decided to go with it and ONLY for the Bridal Shower. The theme? Travel, of course! And wine! (Because wine is how classy people get sh*tfaced, right?) Remember, we met half way around the world in Egypt. And we both love wine!

Going forward with this in mind, we picked one of our FAVORITE restaurants called Sahara, that serves amazing Mediterranean food. It‘s reminiscent of the food we had while we were in Egypt, is something different/not typical, and is DELICIOUS! Also, when you first walk-in to the main dining area there is a huge mural on the ceiling that is a rustic-looking map of the world. They also have these hot air balloon lanterns made of bronzed iron that add such a whimsical/adventurey feel to your dining experience. Adrian and I took a hot air balloon ride in Egypt, and he also has a tattoo of one on his arm. We had a private party in the upstairs area of the restaurant where the ceiling there had vintage-styled post marks, and murals of scenic windows on multiple walls. This place was truly PERFECT in every way for us.

Pinterest is an Adventure All by Itself

I had gotten there early with my sister and helped her set up the cutest table, with my favorite item on display: Our Adventure Book. Our favorite movie is Disney Pixar’s UP, and for those of you who may or may not know there is a “My Adventure Book” in it with things the young character has done, and stuff she’s “going to do”. Part of wanting guests to know more about us was including our version of this with “HerAdventures, HisAdventures, and TheirAdventures” sections in the book. Before Adrian and I met, we had been to several countries before, sometimes traveling alone, and of course once we met we just kept traveling to places together. So to tie it all together in the cutest way, we had our very own adventure book.

For décor, I went full-blown Pinterest and spray painted empty wine bottles in metallic gold and vintage rose (mauve) and placed baby’s breath in all of them. Those are the colors in the wedding and matched perfect with the small favors of Rosé. Natalie, my sister/Maid of Honor, did everything else. She made the menus, got the banner and signs from my Pinterest board on Etsy, and made my dreams a reality with just how perfect everything looked.

The food was a HIT and we are still getting complimented on just how delicious and differentthe cuisine was. We played two bridal shower games: Bridal Emoji Pictionary and What Did the Groom Say? We had lotion and shower gel from Bath and Body Works as the prizes.

Garlic Presses and Bow Hats

Once we started opening the gifts my Bride Tribe sprung into action and sat in a line to my left. Mona was told by my friends to make a hat out of bows (unbeknownst to me), Alicia decorated a wine bottle with bows, Heather wrote down the names and gifts from guests, and Andreina grabbed the big camera and took pictures. My sister and her BFF stayed to my right passing me gifts and handling wrapping paper/garbage. Without much direction they handled EVERYTHING.

I worked up the biggest sweat trying to keep up with Adrian tearing open presents left and right like the Tasmanian Devil! I couldn’t keep up; he was so excited. The running joke (and reality) is that I don’t cook and Adrian does, but he cooks well. He loveshis kitchen tools. So all the ladies were laughing at his priceless reactions opening the kitchen items. I opened a garlic press and someone goes, “Do you even know what that is?” Truthfully, I only did because I read what it was on the label, otherwise, NO, I would NOT have known what that really heavy clampy thing was used for. I can order pizza, that’s about it.

I didn’t know they assigned Mona to make a hat for me, so when I’m done and turn around she hands it to me, but I was struggling because I swore I would never wear this thing. I look to Adrian and said, “You wear it”, and he obliged without batting an eye. He is such a good sport and I can count on him for anything, including saving me from wearing the dreaded bow hat!

My face hurt so much from smiling that by the later photos I looked sleepy because I couldn’t really smile anymore! The best part was having his parents, who flew all the way from Miami, there with us. I was really happy to see themhappy and able to partake in these exciting moments of the wedding experience. Our friend Cait, flew out from Boston, Massachusetts just to be there for our Shower. I burst into tears when I saw her. She was standing there, a perfect representation of what it means to have a committed friendship, no matter the distance. HOW did we get so lucky knowing these amazing people?!?!?!

XOXO

The funny feeling is after, when you reflect. You realize just how true the old adage is that “it takes a village.” I could not have done it without all the help from everybody involved! It happened so fast for me, that I think I got a real preview of what the day of the wedding will feel like, only faster. Our friends and families were incredibly generous and we can’t say thank you enough!

Best Tips:

  1. When people ask if they can help you with something, let them. Designate one job per person and be ready to give it to them when they ask. What I mean is, don’t dump 5 things on one person, give 5 people different things that you might need to get done.
  2. Anticipate all the little things you will need and even if you don’t think you’ll need it, just bring it (tape, scissors, chalk marker, etc.)
  3. Make a point to talk to everybody who came out for your bridal shower. They’re there for you, drove and/or flew in an airplane for YOU. Not to mention, got something that you requested, for you.
  4. Take a bathroom break if you need to catch your breath/get some air. If you’re like me you can get easily overwhelmed by crowds of people, especially if the crowd is there for you and you’re the center of attention. I don’t like being the center of attention, I get really anxious and nervous. Sometimes you need a quick minute to recollect yourself.
  5. Enjoy it! Take in this beautiful moment and recognize it for what it is: a celebration of you and your beloved, of your marriage.

Wishing all future brides a fun Bachelorette and a beautiful Bridal Shower!

xoxo Stephanie