Last weekend my mom and I were lucky to organize the bridal shower for my cousin Jeff’s bride Kate. A few years ago my extended family on that side really slowed down on our large group gatherings, and so this was a chance to get together with a bunch of women who we hadn’t seen in awhile and have folks over to our house.
My dad is the youngest of six kids, which means my sisters and I are also some of the youngest cousins. Whereas a lot of my cousins have been able to help their moms host showers as of late, the most recent couple have been for my sister Carmen, with her wedding and then baby. Despite the fact that it is a bit of work to put a shower together, it was so much fun.
I have been doing the games at showers since I was in high school. There have been a couple of exceptions over the past 15 years, but I think I’ve ended up doing a lot of them. I think it started as a way to get me involved when I was at that awkward not quite a grown up but significantly older than a lot of the young kids age. And, it just stuck. And, the reality is that it kind of was great training for my future job. As a student activities and student affairs professional, a lot of the team builders and programs/events mimic different parts of the bridal or baby shower. It’s part of what I do! I guess I have the Schimek side to thank for my future success as a professional on college campuses.
I think showers tend to be just as much about us getting to know each other and spend time together, share gifts, and be a little bit formal. We aren’t so formal that everything matches, but it’s a good time to join together. I think we had a few things that were good touches.
My mom found these great little jars that she filled with m&ms and tied ribbons around to set on the table. We also used a lot of fall colors with it being that time of year in Southern Minnesota. She had beautiful mums outside of her house and we found this great centerpiece for the main table at Gartzke’s Greenhouse. I absolutely love the fact that it was built around a pumpkin!
We decided to go with a salad buffet for the meal. Luckily, lots of people helped bring the food portion together. We had a meat and cheese tray, my cousins Jenn & Katie brought crackers and bread to snack on and add to the meal. My aunt Mary Helen brought a tomato, basil and pasta salad. My aunt Kathy brought a shrimp and pasta salad. I made an autumn harvest salad I got off of the Espresso and Cream blog. It was absolutely delicious. I’ll put the recipe at the bottom with some thoughts on how we would adjust it. We had fruit from my aunt Pat.
For desserts, I found a great groupon deal for Tidbits Bakery in Cedar Rapids. I ordered both spice and pumpkin cupcakes and brought them home, but then because it’s a shower, we needed to have a few other desserts as well. We went with Chocolate Revel Bars, Raspberry White Chocolate Bars, Kringle, and my cousin Kristine brought Banana Bars. Needless to say, there was lots of good food.
We went relatively simple with the games. We had the three little girls spend their time coloring pictures. Once the pictures were colored, we put them together in a binder to give to Kate after it was done. Then, for the adults in attendance, we played the fantastic game found over on Craftaholics Anonymous! Linda put together this great game that let us get to know Jeff and Kate as a couple and individually! I loved it. We printed off the giant cards and used them to have people choose him or her.
We also did a basket of gifts/cleaning supplies. With a few modifications, we had each girl take turns bringing one of the items in and placing it in the basket. It ended up being super cute! And, it helped the young ladies feel like they had a role in the shower!
We gather together with you to celebrate the DAWN of a new ERA. Marriage is a journey. Some days it will be pure JOY but let’s take a moment and talk about the others.
There may come a time when you realize your big BRAWNY guy isn’t necessarily MR. CLEAN. When this and other little glitches occur, don’t SHOUT or send up an SOS. Remember to DIAL things down when it’s necessary! Go EASY ON him. Hopefully the TIDE will change quickly, tensions will VANISH, and things will BOUNCE back to normal.
We think you and Jeff are a FANTASTIC couple with a ZEST for life and a sincere appreciation for each other. We think you have a GOLD BOND! We fully support you as you and Jeff PLEDGE to spend your lives as one.
We wish you all the best… Including love, happiness and lots of time to SNUGGLE.
The Schimek Family