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By: | Posted: 05/01/2012
It's here. The final month. A mere 30 days separates me and my fiance from officially being Mr. and Mrs. And yes, there's certainly a level of stress that comes along with that—but it also means it's time to celebrate.
And celebrate we did, with the help of the two B's: bachelorette/bachelor parties and bridal showers. Two extremely enjoyable and exciting events but in very different ways. Let's start with the parties.
Now, I'm not one to really go hog wild just because it's supposedly my "last night as a single lady," but the excuse for a girls' weekend getaway in the middle of wedding planning was about as appealing as I could imagine. My ladies and I opted for a staycation—a nice welcome to spring with a trip to Stillwater for the weekend. I've done the "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" experience twice now for bachelorette parities and for me, a nice, relaxing mini trip seemed a lot more appealing.
The day started with an afternoon shower at a local winery before moving into dinner and drinks—and a night out for the bachelorette party. It was a wonderful weekend—full of laughs, lots of fun, thoughtful gifts, and incredible friends from every stage of my life.
The thing about bachelorette parties is there can be a lot of so-called traditions and rites of passage (selling suckers, wearing phallic accessories, etc.) and just like aspects of the big day, it needs to be catered to what the bride wants. If you find yourself with the task of planning a bachelorette party, make sure you keep the bride in the loop—find out what she thinks would be fun, make sure she's happy with the decisions you're making, and you're bound to have a successful event.
I was in love with the details of my shower and bachelorette party—my maid of honor created wine charms for everyone with their initials for the wine tasting (except mine said "Mrs. P," hehe) and individual mason jars with a fruity cocktail for the bachelorette party. Little gestures like that can really make the event special and thoughtful.
Beyond Stillwater, I also had two other incredibly lovely bridal showers—one with family and one with my mother's closeknit church group. They were both so much fun and truly touching.
When it comes to bridal showers, sure, there is a slight element of awkwardness. I mean, you're sitting at the center of attention, opening gifts such as spatulas and bed sheets and everyone's expected to "ooh" and "ahh." But when you think about the fact that your friends and family are essentially helping you build a life and a home with your future hubby, it's almost overwhelming. Every piece of the puzzle of your future life together is put together from those you love most. It's incredibly special and I think it's important to remember that as you open each gift and thank each person.
The shower with my mother's closeknit church group was especially moving and special because of one big reason—my mother. Though she had just gotten out of the hospital that day after her mastectomy (and was scheduled to miss both of my upcoming showers) she showed up, much to my surprise. And yes, there were plenty of tears—which only increased over the night as I tried to thank everyone for their support for my mother and their many prayers. It was an evening I'll never forget.
No matter how you celebrate your parties or showers, it's important to take in every moment. Just like I imagine the big day will be—it all goes by so fast. We feel so in awe by everyone's generosity, and are currently running out of room for everything, but it's been such a blessing. I'm currently up to my eyeballs in thank you notes but it truly is such an incredible feeling to have —an overwhelming sense of thankfulness.
Kara is a communications manager at U.S. Bank. See her engagement story.
Taylor is a magazine editor at MSP Communications. See her engagement story.
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