Tuesday, March 20, 2012

secret's out!

want to see what i was up to while the hubs was dutifully painting the kitchen this weekend? of course you do. because i've been dying to tell you about it.

Saturday was finally the day of my sister-in-law's surprise bridal shower!

you guys. i've been keeping this a secret since Christmas. and its been killing me not to be able to ask for ideas, or share any progress pictures, or even sneak peeks for three whole months! Victoria is one of the smartest people i know and it is next to impossible to surprise her. even the slightest slip-up in a conversation, or posting a picture of the spraypainted spot in my backyard, or even mentioning that i had a secret project going on would have tipped her off that something was up. she's just good like that.

since we were expecting a pretty good-sized group of ladies, and in order to keep Victoria from getting suspicous of any extra cleaning going on at her house, (especially during tax season!) we used the church as our location. it worked out really well because we were able to use their tables and chairs, which saved us from having to rent anything.

i was mostly in charge of the decorations for the shower, so of course the first place i went for inspiration was pinterest. (ps. dear pinterest: please look into making an option for private pin boards for planning surprise-type things. pleaseandthankyou.) after looking around a bit, i found a few images that i really liked, and decided that the main colors for the shower would be pink and orange, with a 'theme' for the decorations of burlap and lace. the tables were each decked out with a white plastic tablecloth, a burlap runner, and centerpieces compiled of various glass containers.

each individual centerpiece was different, because i wound up with a wide variety of glass bottles and jars to decorate and use. some jars were wrapped in just burlap, others with burlap and lace, still others with ribbon, and the smallest ones were accented with twine. some bottles were spraypainted pink, others were cool enough on their own to not need any embellishment at all. the flowers were orange tiger lilies from a local florist, because those are Vic's favorites.

the circle backdrop that i made for behind the food table was another idea that i found on pinterest. i was lucky enough to find a pack of cardstock in (close-enough-to) the right colors to work. i used the bottom of a large paint can to trace the circles, and then spent a few evenings punching all the holes and tying them all together with light pink ribbon. we hung it on the wall using command hooks, because they would come off of the walls easily after the shower, and because i already owned them.

the amazing food was a group effort by Vic's mom, her future mother-in-law Stacy, and her aunt Denise. everything that could be made pink was made pink, and i think i may have developed a slight addiction to the cake batter fruit dip.

and then there was the cake, which was the handiwork of Victoria's aunt Gail and cousin Lauren. this thing practically stole the show, as it was by far the most impressive thing any of us had ever seen. it had three layers. each layer was a different flavor. (lemon, chocolate, and strawberry... mmmm) the icing was better than i have seen from some professional bakers. and those flowers? they are made out of icing and are completely edible. absolutely mind-blowing. and did i mention delicious? because yeah, that too.

on the overflowing gift table there were three baskets: one for cards, one for people to write their address on envelopes for thank yous, and one for the recipe cards that were sent out with the invitations. i found the particular ones on etsy, because it was nearly impossible to find any cute ones in real stores. the best part about these is that they were delivered as a pdf, so we could just print as many as we needed, and Victoria can print even more if she wants all of her recipe cards for all time to match without having to pay for them again.

we got Victoria to the church under the ruse that her fiance, Russell, had volunteered them and a few other friends to do the church's weekly cleaning before going to another function later that evening. it was hard to keep track of all the stories we had to spin, and lies we had to tell, and false rabbit trails we had to concoct to keep her thrown off, but it was worth it to get her the whole way through the door before she figured out what was going on. she was completely surprised, stunned even, and kind of speechless for a few minutes. 

the other bridesmaids, Marlene, Sarah, Melissa, Kelli, and Lauren, did a wonderful job with the games and prizes. by far my favorite game (and the only one i have pictures of) was the toilet paper wedding dresses. everyone got involved and had a lot of fun, and some of those dresses were extremely detailed for being made out of nothing more than TP and some tape!

 and then my camera died. because of course it did. so sorry for my utter lack of any pictures of Vic opening any of her zillion presents, or of her wearing her fabulous bow hat/bouquet, or of all of the bridesmaids together with her, (oh wait, thats because we never took that one. oops!) or the fantastic clean-up crew that showed up to help us get the church back in order for Sunday morning.

this shower was truly a group effort, and it took hard work and cunning and even a few lies from everybody involved to pull it off. i can't thank everyone enough for all the efforts that went into this from so many different fronts. it was a ton of fun to put together and attend, but i am kind of very much glad that it is over. keeping secrets is some serious bidness, y'all!

anyone else have any secrets to share? i think if nothing else this whole experience proves my ability as a good secret-keeper...

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