This past weekend was absolute magic. I woke up on Saturday and walked out to my backyard into everything I ever dreamed of as a little girl. I almost couldn't contain it! It was the bridal shower of my dreams.
A little back story; bridal showers aren't that big down here. All people do are kitchen showers and its more like a small event a nice aunt throws together a few weeks before the wedding. The bride's friends throw the bachelorette party and put all of their attention towards that. But I LOVE bridal showers. Since my mom was raised in New York, she has passed on to us the love for a lot of american traditions that aren't popular down here. I love the idea of an event where the bride is truly showered with something more significant than alcohol (there's a time and place) like well-wishes, hugs and love. When Li got married I wanted her shower to be an amazing event, where women of all ages could come together, let out their girly girl and celebrate together. It turned out amazing, everyone had SO much fun, and most importantly, Li felt like the queen she is.
When I got engaged and plans started emerging for all the events, I came up with a pretty fitting theme for the shower. At risk of sounding like a total control freak, I asked Li if she would like me to suggest the theme and she was all for it. So here's the thing; I grew up believing in fairytales. Most of us did, but I don't think I ever grew out of it. I'm a hopeless romantic, I'm cheesy, I'm mushy, I'm compulsively girly and I'm not even sorry. Quite honestly, I needed an excuse to go all crazy and let out my inner child. I promise I'll tone it down for the wedding, but the shower was the one event where we could get away with going completely thematic. So the theme - Once Upon a Time - was decided upon, and pretty much the next day I found the perfect dress, at Urban Outfitters, of all places.
We wanted fairytale, but ABSOLUTELY NO PINK. No Disney, no cliches, nothing too infantile. Think enchanted forest, the Grimm brothers, vintage books and a medley of icons from all the different fairytales; red apples, hand held mirrors, candelabras, a tiny tree house, you get the picture.
Anything I could say to attempt to describe how it all turned out would be an understatement. Li and my mom went above and beyond anything I could've ever imagined. I thought I did a great job throwing Li's shower, but let me tell ya, Li absolutely BLEW IT OUT OF THE PARK. First and foremost, the food. She hired catering, THE brunch extraordinaire, Julio Sanchez, chef and owner of Chiringuitos. He met with us to discuss the menu, created our own brunch repertoire and even did a tasting for us. It was an amazing experience from the very beginning, he even suggested placing candied apples as escort cards before we even mentioned it. He literally read our minds. Julio was also the one who suggested using our old tree house as part of the decoration for the sweets table. Genius!
Three of my mom's best friends, my honorary aunties, were also very involved in the event, each one providing different things like the cakes, all of the sweets and the endless supply of champagne. My mom made sure the entire house and backyard looked picture perfect, she even had all of her childhood furniture relacquered, vintage with a modern twist, to use for the event. We hung two chandeliers that my grandparents passed on to me from the huge tree in the backyard, it looked so dreamy! And my mom had a swing made to hang from another tree and that in itself was a success.
There were tiaras for every guest to choose from two styles, the classic tiara and a chain crown for a more bohemian look. Oh and my crown? Pretty much the size of my head. DREAM. COME. TRUE.
For games, we did the engagement ring game where everyone gets one and you lose it to whoever catches you touching your hair. The person with most rings by the end of the brunch won a prize, a tiny Chloe "Love Story" perfume. We did the "Cinderella" game, where everyone places one of their shoes in the middle of the backyard and I, blindfolded, randomly chose one. Everyone was yelling directions at me to try and lead me to their shoe. It was so cute! Also, we played the classic wedding dress game, with a twist. We called it Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, and instead of toilet paper, everyone got white fabric, a pair of scissors and a sewing kit. They had 10 minutes to create the best bridal look. Then they walked the runway and a member of the team had to explain their design. Lastly, we did the Sleeping Beauty game, a sewing game, having each team sew two buttons on a piece of fabric in 3 minutes. Naturally, my grandma's team won, and my friends team all looked a little lost. I guess sewing is a lost art after all.
Camilo dropping by with a bouquet of white flowers was the cherry on top! He's so cute to have shown up at my sister's request and inspire a few sighs amidst all that estrogen.
I am so overwhelmed with love, the high has lasted for more than a few days. This is sure to be one of my favorite memories for many years to come, and a story I'll tell my children when they wonder if fairytales really do come true.
They really, really do.