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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dyani's Wedding Shower

Back on February 21 my mom and I threw Dyani and Brice a wedding shower. Our theme turned out to be "more is more" since we went a little overboard on the whole thing. But for your oldest friend who was like a sister for your entire childhood, I think that's an okay thing.

My mom was in charge of renting/buying all the stuff we needed--tables, table decorations and vases, buying flowers for me to put in the vases, etc. I was in charge of, well, everything else.
Her wedding was sort of like a destination wedding so lots of people couldn't make the trip all the way to France. Plus it was a small venue so the guest list was somewhat limited. Taking that into consideration, we decided to make the shower as much like a wedding reception as we could. The guest list for the shower was huge--almost 50 people! I think in the end only about 35-40 came, but still that's a lot of folks to cook for.

My friend John Marion has a winery in Livermore (Big White House Winery/John Evan Cellars) and he agreed to let me hold the shower there before they opened for wine tasting at noon. As long as I bought a good amount of wine (check!) the venue would be free of charge. He helped us pick out 4 wines to serve according to the menu I had planned.Having it at his winery was perfect because he also grew up with the Jones family, plus we knew we were helping his business. When people arrived I had sliced French bread and a variety of spreads--my homemade pesto and jams. John served his house Cabernet and his famous peach Champagne. People milled around and filled out little cards with a piece of advice for the couple. I asked them to put their names on each card so we could draw cards randomly later and award prizes.
For the meal I made 6 quiches--crab, ham/broccoli, and mushroom/spinach--and we served seafood trays and fruit salad. Turns out I should have made 8 quiches because apparently not everyone got as much as they wanted. (I'm taking that as a compliment that my quiches were good enough to eat!) John served a yummy white wine (I forget what it was) with the food. Ask Eddie if he liked it...After everyone ate their quiche we moved on to opening gifts. Watching Brice's face when he realized that the giant mound of gifts was for them was hilarious. He couldn't understand why people would be so generous to them. We explained that the whole point of a "wedding shower" is to "shower" the couple with gifts. (To be honest, I'm not sure how they'll fit all their new household goodies into the small house!)
Luckily for me, Eddie didn't yet have any separation anxiety from me (his newest developmental milestone...sigh...) so he was passed around the party from one person to the next. That meant I had two hands to get everything done!
Since they were to be married in France and would therefore have a traditional French cake (stacks of profiteroles) at their reception, I wanted to make sure that Brice would get a traditional American style cake, too. Did you know that Safeway sells affordable wedding cakes? I had no idea. I bought one and was pleasantly surprised with it's taste and appearance. It went perfectly with one of John's sweet dessert wines--it was one that Kateri and Dave really liked from one of his release parties back in the summer. (In my pre-baby days I'm sure I would have just made the cake myself...but life has changed.)

It was fun to watch them cut the cake together and then feed it to each other, too.
At the end of the shower I pulled 3 random advice cards, read them outloud, and awarded bottles of wine to each winner. I asked the guests to check the bottom of their cake plates for a crown sticker--that person won the big door prize: a big bottle of Jonh's pinot noir and two winery glasses. I also presented the couple with a magnum bottle of that wine and two "lover" wine glasses and Kateri with her own bottle of the dessert wine.

Dyani and Brice gave a quick speech to thank everyone for coming and being so generous (English and French, respectively...his was in French only because my mom insisted...not that she could even understand it!).

It was a great shower and I'm glad my mom and I could kick off their wedding celebrations for them. My only regrets are that I didn't take ANY pictures myself (I had to ask folks to share these photos with me) and the shower ran way later than expected and I knew we needed to clear out so we wouldn't hinder John's regular business operations. Luckily he called me that night to say that lots of folks from the shower bought lots of wine afterward so he ended up making a great profit from our tardiness. Sweet!


huntfamily said...

What a beautiful shower....she's so lucky/blessed to have you as her bff!

steph.kelley said...

what a production! great gifts and game/prize ideas, too, julie. you are a star.

mu rye uh said...

what a great party for you BFF and I love love and weddings so I love hearing about celebrations to celebrate people's love and companionship.

I have already planned our 10 year anniversary party (we will have one every five years).

ANd a french man (FANCY-said in sing song voice) oui oui