Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ice-Cream Bar Bridal Bash

Every once in a while your little brother calls with news that he is getting married in three weeks. Upon asking questions about the general plans of the day, it will become clear that the planning phase is still very fresh and unknown, so you will offer up a generic, "Well. Let me know if I can help with anything!"

After a few laughs, you will realize with great conviction that there IS something you can help with -- a bridal shower! So with a forceful "I want to throw Haley a bridal shower," you may just find yourself neck deep in Woodland Bridal Shower Pinterest searches and your husband may find himself barraged with texts saying things like, "Can you pick up 30 pinecones on your way home from work? Like from a forest?" or "Can you get a 2" tree branch for me?" or "We're going to need to clear out all  the furniture in our living room."

The planning began in a hurry, came together in a hurry, and gave me added compassion for Ben and Haley who were managing to pull a wedding together in the amount of time that was stressing me out just to plan a shower!
My first order of business was to track down a bunch of pine cones so I could make a pine cone garland. Jeff jumped on board the Bridal Shower Party Train with a commendable positive attitude as he wisely met the requests of two weeks' worth of crazed texts -- asking questions only after he had gathered whatever woodland items I had sent him hunting for that day. 
I began setting up several days before the shower, starting with the pine cone garland, and then moving to the shelves in our kitchen where it felt a little out of place to eat dinner with a subtle shrine of Ben and Haley staring at us...
Before long a heart garland was added to the decor in the living room...
After watching me fidgeting with decorations all week, Eli got to crafting his own decorations for the party. He taped a bunch of decorations to our sliding glass door, beaming with each new decoration he added at the thought of all the ladies delighting in his efforts. My favorite decoration he made was his version of a heart garland:
The main stress of the event was hoping there would be enough room for everyone! I had control over the amount of food I had. I had control over how cute the decorations were. But I could not expand my house should we reach beyond maximum capacity! I was so nervous we would feel so cramped in my house, so Jeff and his friend cleared out our couches and living room as much as possible which helped open everything up.
On the day of, Jeff took the kids down to my parents' house and then my mom, sister, and Laurie all came up to help me pull the whole look together. I kept imagining them as my team of birds and squirrels like in Cinderella who swoop in and fix everything up cute for me while I spin around in a daze and just kind of watch them do their thing. 

Eeeeeek! I love it when a party comes together!
Jeff chopped a tree branch from my parents' back yard for those food tag holders. I think they were my favorite part of the whole party...that...and the cookie dough. 
We did an ice-cream bar with homemade ice-cream and oodles of toppings. 
"The trick to a good party is to make it look effortless." -said by me as I was a frantic, nervous mess just before the picture below was taken. 
The REAL key to a good party is to get your mom to splurge on her strict diet for a few bites of cookie dough. 
All my visions came to fruition as the guest-of-honor arrived and kicked off the party!
You're not fooling anyone with that bowl of fruit, Mom. I'll sneak you some more cookie dough later. 

After gifts, I had a video down in the basement of Ben and Haley answering a few questions so the guests could get to know them as a couple a little bit better.

Yay! The great news is -- we had plenty of food, plenty of people, and exactly the right number of chairs squeezed into my house! It really turned out to be a lot of fun and I loved that we had a chance to get to know Haley's side of the family before the wedding.
And I'm so glad Jacob worked to get Laurie out in time to help me get everything cute-sied up.
And I'm glad my mom and sister came along to bring us this moment? Maybe the cookie dough got to all of us? 

Welcome to the family, Haley! Thanks for giving me an excuse to steal my parents' ice-cream maker!


Kim said...

You DEFINITELY know how to throw a party!!! It was such fun. And the fun started way before the party...

I, too, am glad Laurie made the extra effort to arrive in town early enough to help out with and attend the party.

It was my privilege to help you carry out your vision for the event. I thought everything was wonderful and the guests were having a great time. I think it was a great way to welcome Haley into the family.

Nice job!!!

Melissa Smith said...

Congrats to Ben and Haley! I have to ask just because Jared knows Haley and I knew Ben, why a three week engagement? Was it to get married before your parents left for their mission maybe? Good job on the shower! It turned out super cute!

Rebecca said...

Super fun shower! You're a party-throwing wizard. I had almost forgotten about our couple picture so I'm glad that photo made the cut into the blog.

LC said...

So good. You're a good sister/sister in law.