Certified Coordinated Bride Oniki
Journal Entry #3
As I sit here surrounded by Thank You notes to write to my shower hostesses and attendees, I felt there was no better time than the present to write this journal entry and express my gratitude to the universe! I am simply overwhelmed with joy and humility during these last few weeks leading up to my wedding. To not only know that someone has chosen me as their partner in LIFE, but to know that so many of our family and friends are beyond supportive of our union and share in the same happiness and love that we feel for one another is a humbling feeling for Jamel and I.
We have been feeling it and seeing it for months via messages, conversations and words of advice or encouragement pouring in seemingly from everywhere, whether they be engagement cards and gifts or Facebook comments from people that I have never met and the same for him! But last weekend, was tangible. I could touch it. It was not until I was drenched in it, that I fully realized why it is called a shower.
To say my #baddies8 know me well is an understatement! If you recall from my 2nd journal entry, my 8 bridesmaids come from various seasons in my life and each of them are so dear to me in their own special way that I simply would not choose a Maid of Honor. But with that said, I do know each of their core competencies well as individuals and knew that those strengths would show through when it came time to plan, organize and execute a beautiful shower and a fun bachelorette party! The ONLY weekend that I did NOT know every detail of from “Start to Finish” although yes, I absolutely knew what I would wear “Head to Toe.”
Being a planner, I just have to put it out there that game recognizes game. One of my mottos in business is “let a type A handle your day” and that is just what happened here! I used to feel that there were negative connotations to the term “Type A” but years later, I have come to FULLY embrace it! A couple of the girls in my bridal party who have these same attributes spearheaded the organizing and left the creativity and ideas to others who simply specialize in fun; and that’s ok!
My fiancé was tasked with getting me to the shower on time which was perfect so that he could meet & greet some of the ladies whom he has not yet had a chance to meet! I figured out where we were going while in transit, but that did not at all take away from the surprise of who would be in attendance and especially not from the fact that I felt very special to be given a shower in the gorgeous West Orange, New Jersey home of dear family friends that I have known for a long time. Over the years I attended many parties for their family members there, but on this day, I truly felt like part of their family, too! It’s an awesome feeling.
Everything was a complete surprise to me except for the date that the shower would be held! All brides to be want to ensure that they show up looking extra cute for the occasion but in addition to this, I advised them that my main girl – my mom – HAD to be there! So not only did she fly up from Florida with one of my aunts, but some of my future in laws from Bermuda had the opportunity to come as well! Not to mention quite a bit of family and friends from out of town who were the icing on the cake! I truly felt honored knowing that they made a special journey just for me, especially when most will also be traveling down to Florida for our Labor Day Weekend Wedding!
The theme of the shower and the décor was so lovely and really spoke volumes about Jamel’s and my relationship, like receiving the perfect gift that I didn’t even know I wanted or needed! The girls know that I love all things related to the sea and since my husband to be is from Bermuda, pink sand is all he knows!
-The tables were decorated with starfish and vases of pale pink roses ‘cause after all, my name is Oniki Rose.
–They printed one of our Bermuda Engagement Photos on large posterboard for everyone to sign and also had Ten23Designs create photo props with our hashtags: #meetthehardtmans and #septembertilforever; I guess now we will have double because I ordered these for my wedding, also! It’s not an Oh Niki Occasions Event if there are not props and décor from Ten23 present!
The pink & white cupcake tower created by Goodie Box Bake Shop, another one of my favorite local vendors, translated the theme perfectly using fondant for the coral and various seashell motifs on chocolate, vanilla and red velvet cupcakes!
Another surprise island themed vendor was Vital Dining! They serve up healthy & delicious Jamaican food in nearby Montclair, NJ and I actually got to see the owner for a little bit to hug and thank her! The guests loved the Caribbean flavor for our luncheon and they made sure to have many of my favorites from their restaurant, including Jerk Chicken & Shrimp, Salad with mango slivers, Coconut rice, Ackee & Codfish cakes, black eyed pea hummus and MORE!
The food was perfectly complemented by all my favorite beverages: La Marca Prosecco as far as the eye could see and especially divine with a splash of mango-passion fruit juice to make it brunch friendly! Not to mention lots of Pellegrino for an especially hot but beautiful day! Favors were wine stoppers with a pink sparkly starfish on top…seriously, so “Me!”
The shower games were fun and a great chance for people to get to know Jamel and I better as a couple which also showed as I opened my gifts! Our home – and especially our bar – are going to be well stocked for entertaining & celebrating!! CHEERS!
Speaking of opening gifts, I chose to wear a tiara during that portion of the shower as a dear friend lent one to me as my “Something Borrowed” but I will not be wearing it on my wedding day since I already chose a different look. I felt like such a princess with all eyes on me so it was fun to revel in it during my shower because otherwise I don’t typically seek the spotlight. As a bride, however, this is YOUR time and I am beginning to let that sink in. It was awesome to take my “planner hat” off and rock the tiara! Again, grateful to my girls for just letting me be THE BRIDE!
I know that the Wedding Day always flies by, but the same was true for my shower! I wish I could have savored everyone at the shower a little bit more but keep in mind that your guests are all there prior to you as the bride so it is a different experience for them, who know some and not all, versus you, who needs to make time with everyone. Plus, we had another party to get to – one that is just a lil’ more ratchet!
As I knew that we would be transitioning from daytime fun to a more intimate group of friends that I like to party with in the evening, I packed my night-out attire accordingly! I love a good nude underlay for a sexy and feminine look without actually being reveling, so for my shower I chose a Byron Lars dress from Anthropologie and for evening, spiced things up with the same ivory with nude underlay look, but in a sexy, slinky silhouette for my last hurrah as a single lady!
The girls got us a suite at the W in Hoboken to kick off the party where more of my favorite treats and snacks awaited us upon arrival! We then Ubered into NYC for an incredible family-style Mexican feast at Bodega Negra in the Meatpacking Disctrict where the DJ had us partying from right at our table the entire time! From there, we went to shut the city down at a very fun spot in the East Village that friends and I frequent! Can’t give you too many details ‘cause Bach Parties are TOP SECRET!
Just know this, I am FULL of gratitude, even for the good, the bad and the ugly that a little too much tequila can be responsible for! 😉