Shower of love: Paris in New Jersey
Last Sunday was a day I’ll always remember, a day full of love and happiness, the day of the most beautiful bridal shower for the most beautiful bride-to-be, Caitlin.
All credit and thanks go to Tracy, mother of the bride, who had a vision for this special occasion and brought it to fruition with her usual elegance and style. One morning last May, as we walked around Washington, DC, Tracy shared her ideas for surprising Caitlin with a Paris theme, since Caitlin loves Paris and she and my son will honeymoon there — naturally I was extremely excited! – including a bicycle with a baguette; flowers and favours; champagne and crèpes; a ladies’ luncheon and most of all, a time for family and friends to gather together and celebrate the beautiful bride-to-be and her upcoming marriage to my son.
To say Tracy exceeded all expectations is an understatement. Guests were greeted with champagne and the welcoming ‘She Said Oui’ entry table (thank you CL and PT for several of these photos!).
Bicycle, baguette and ‘She Said Oui’
Colourful macarons with mini-flags containing names and table seating guided everyone into the main room.
Personalised macaron for each guest
Apologies I don’t have a photo with all the tables full. The room was buzzing non-stop with women talking, laughing, and having a wonderful time.
Half of the main room, before the shower began
Once everyone was seated, one of the day’s emotional moments occurred when Tracy and Caitlin stood side-by-side. Tracy welcomed everyone and we all got teary-eyed as she and Caitlin put their arms around each other and Tracy spoke of what a blessing it has been to have Caitlin as her daughter.
A special mother-daughter moment
Each table was graced by a gorgeous bouquet whose vase was modelled after a Chanel perfume bottle; each place setting included the most fabulous favour: a small bottle of champagne whose pink-and-white striped label (matching the shower invitations) says, ‘Bridal Shower Bubbly, celebrating the future Mrs. Barnabo, August 9, 2015’. Tied to each bottle was a hand-dipped (thanks to Caitlin’s cousin) white chocolate Eiffel Tower.
Flowers, Bridal Shower Bubbly and a white chocolate Eiffel Tower
After a delicious lunch, including crèpes for dessert, the bride-to-be, assisted by her lovely bridesmaids, opened her gifts. What fun it was to watch the proceedings, admire how the young women all helped the process keep moving, and join in the general ooh-ing and ahh-ing as each item was held up for all to see.
Just a few gifts to open
One of my favourite photos – the sweet, smart, sensational young woman who will soon be my belle-fille
The day’s other most emotional moment occurred at the end of the shower. As a surprise for her mom, Caitlin opened a laptop, projected it onto a large screen and presented a touching slide show of photographs of them together, from Caitlin’s birth to the present (with an amusing ‘skipping the awkward years’), including several with her father, brother, and most recently, my son – all set to the heart-tugging lyrics of Carrie Underwood’s ‘Mama’s Song’.
Love you, Mom
This post is but one person’s perspective; I know Caitlin, her mom, family, and all the other guests will carry their own delightful memories from the day.
For me there were so many highlights, starting from the morning, when I was thrilled to be included at the bride’s parents’ home with the family and bridesmaids before the shower. I loved being around so many vibrant young women, meeting and learning a little bit more about each of them and sharing in their fun and laughter as they all got ready for the shower. Even driving over in the same car with them was a joy, just to be part of their circle of friendship and support for Caitlin.
Bride-to-be with her groom and gorgeous bridesmaids
Once at the venue, of course I adored the Paris theme and the magnificent way Tracy brought her vision to reality with so many loving, perfect details.
Oh la la – ‘Best wishes for the soon-to-be Mrs’ very yummy cake
Most of all I was so pleased to meet Caitlin’s grandmother, aunts, cousins, and family friends and I’ll be eternally grateful to my family and friends whose presence made the day extra-special for me. Thank you so much, Cathleen, Debbie, Sandy, Sharon, Suzanne Y. and Wendy.
I’m so happy for my son and his fiancée, thankful for their families and friends and all the loving support they have received.
And I’m thankful I was able to spend precious time with them and help them celebrate this very special occasion. Thanks again, Tracy, for your love and devotion to make it all happen.
with two of my favourite people in the whole wide world
We spent a great evening back at the bride’s parents’ home. Then I soaked up my final hugs with everyone there for this trip and returned to my hotel in northern New Jersey. Before emailing Clive, packing for the next day’s departure and organising for the last visit with my own dear mom, I poured my Bridal Shower Bubbly into the bathroom glass (saving the bottle which now sits on my desk in England), ate my white chocolate Eiffel Tower and toasted these two. I’ll never forget this day with them and the magical bridal shower of Paris in New Jersey.
After the shower, now need to figure out where to put all those gifts …
Cheers and thanks for reading my lengthy post, and for sharing my happiness for my son and his fiancée. Next week’s letter will be from Felixstowe.