One of the cool things about the shower date, in my opinion, was that it was on mine and Mike's 11th anniversary, so 11 years since Katherine and I "officially" became family. I dug up this cute picture of Katherine and Mike from our wedding.
They both look so young, don't they?!
Katherine's almost-sister-in-law (married to Sam's brother) helped me with the shower. Here's a shot of almost the whole group shortly after everyone arrived. I think we had about 15 people in all.
I have never hosted a bridal shower before, and it's been many years since I've been to one, so I wasn't sure how many games to play or how the timeline of event should look. As people arrived, I told them to cut a piece of ribbon, and I was pretty coy about how long it should be, saying, "Just however much you think you'll need." I also asked people to take a recipe card that matched the invitations and to think up their "Recipe for a Good Marriage" for Katherine and Sam, and to write it on the card at some point. Once everyone was there and seated, we used the ribbon for a sort of introductory game. The idea was that each guest had to tell how she knew Katherine or Sam and had to talk for as long as it took to wrap the ribbon around her little finger. It worked well and was a good way to get everyone introduced.
Here's Katherine telling how she met Sam.
This picture is (from L-R) of Alicia, a family friend; the mother-of-the-groom, Tracy; Kelsey, Katherine's soon-to-be sister-in-law, and Sam's grandma.
These are a couple of Katherine's high school friends, Lindsay and Julia.
These are Mike and Katherine's aunts, Auntie Bonita and Aunt Zann, and in the background you can see Sam's other grandma.
I think the only person I didn't get in a picture was Katherine's cousin Christy. She must have been at just the wrong angle for all the pictures. Shoot!
It's all a little fuzzy in my memory now, but I think that after the introductions, we played a "How Well do the Bride and Groom Know Each Other" game. I had emailed Sam with a list of 20 questions relating to him, Katherine, and their relationship. These are the questions I asked:
1. Where did you and Katherine first meet?
2. When did you first officially start dating? Be as specific as possible.
3. Where did you go on your first date?
4. What is the first movie you guys saw together?
5. Where and when was your first kiss?
6. Who was Katherine's best friend before going to college?
7. What is Katherine's most annoying habit?
8. What does Katherine think is your most annoying habit?
9. What is your favorite thing about Katherine?
10. What is Katherine's favorite thing about you?
11. What day did you guys get engaged?
12. How many kids do you guys want to have?
13. Where is Katherine's favorite place to shop?
14. What is Katherine's most embarrassing moment?
15. What is your favorite thing to do together?
16. What is Katherine's favorite kind of ice cream?
17. What is your favorite kind of ice cream?
18. What is Katherine's favorite restaurant?
19. What is your favorite restaurant?
20. What are you looking forward to most about being married to Katherine?
Sam emailed me answers, and then at the shower, I asked Katherine the questions one at a time, and she answered them honestly and we compared her answer to Sam's answer. They had quite a few matching answers! I can't remember exactly how many, but I think it was better than 15. It was a lot of fun, and only mildly embarrassing for Katherine, I think. The best answer was probably the last one. As an answer for what he's most looking forward to about being married to Katherine, Sam said, "Starting, living, and ending every day with her." Awww, how sweet.
Somehow that game amazingly ended just as the last of the food was ready. It was a brunch shower, and we had a pretty big spread, which included blueberry coffeecake, orange-glaze poppyseed muffins, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, quiche, chicken salad and preztels, soufflé, and petit fours, and of course coffee, water, and punch.
While people ate we just allowed them time to visit, and then we got to the gift opening. First, though, I collected the "Recipe for a Good Marriage" cards. Then, I read one person's recipe, and Katherine got 2 or 3 guesses as to who wrote that piece of advice. Once the author was revealed, Katherine then opened that person's gift. Because it was specifically a kitchen-themed shower, she got lots of great stuff for her kitchen. I also had mailed out matching recipe cards with the invitations so that guests would come with one of their favorite recipes for Katherine and Sam's recipe collection, as that's something Katherine is wanting to build up.
This was the towel and kitchen tool cake I made as my gift to Katherine. It took some work figuring out how to make it look decent, but thanks to Pinterest and Google, I finally got it figured out!
The party was supposed to go from 10-12, and again, amazingly, Katherine finished opening gifts at about 11:58. I passed out party favors (various dip mixes with little whisks tied on with ribbon), people chatted a bit longer, took a few pictures, and then everyone left. It was perfect.
Here are my mother-in-law Cynthia, Katherine, and me. I feel like I look like a giant next to these two. I think I had big shoes on.
Kelsey, Katherine, and me.
Katherine with her two high school friends, Lindsay and Julia.
Mike and the boys were downtown at the Heart Association's Heart Walk that day, and they got home right as the party was ending. So the boys got in for a picture in their colorful tie-dyes with Aunt Katherine.
And, finally, Katherine with her mom and her almost mother-in-law, Tracy.
I was nervous about how things would come together (just ask my mom and sister Becky, who both helped me with planning stuff while they were in town and with phone support the night before), but I was so happy with how everything ended up. It was great to see all these people that love Katherine and Sam together in one room, showering Katherine (and therefore Sam) with gifts to start their new life.
Now, on to the wedding!!!