Bachelorette Party, Parfait-Style

For my bachelorette party, I thought we were having a cozy, stay-at-home slumber party.  I was excited but also felt a little guilty that my girls wouldn’t have the typical bachelorette’s night out with me.  You see, I’m more High School Musical than Gossip Girl, so anything having to do with drinking and scandalousness was out.  But my girls, being the creative geniuses they are, planned the perfect surprise for me!

The day started at my BFF’s house.  Ever the thoughtful hostess, she decorated her place in pink and white.

I asked nicely, but my bridesmaids refused to tell me what we were doing that night!  From left to right, there’s me, Mr. Parfait’s sister-in-law, Mr. Parfait’s sister, and my friend-since-forever.  Each girl chose a Parfait nickname so I could blog about them, so I’ll be referring to them as Snickerdoodle Parfait, Strawberry Parfait, and Pumpkin Parfait!

After a flurry of snacking, changing clothes, and opening presents (everyone got a tiara!), we hopped on a train to downtown Chicago.  Here’s our best friend sandwich—that’s Pi Parfait, moi, and Pumpkin Parfait.

When we got to Union Station, a black limo pulled up and the driver opened the door to let us in!  Finally, Pi Parfait revealed the main event: a Cupcake Crawl!!!  AHHHH, amazing!  She whipped out a list of famous cupcake bakeries and directed our chauffeur to the first one!

We hopped out of the limo and into our first cupcake shop.  Pi and I were especially excited, because we always talk about opening a cupcake bakery together!  Seeing all the different styles and flavors was totally inspiring.

There were plenty of sweets behind glass to admire:

And we brought them into the limo to devour:

We studied the ambience of each bakery we invaded.  We gave this place high marks for using swings as bar seats.

There were pink glow sticks involved, thanks to Pumpkin Parfait.  They were hilariously random, and the words on it were the raciest part of the whole night!  We still don’t know why they said, “X-Rated.”  They were just normal glow sticks!

After dinner and an impromptu photoshoot in Millenium Park, we said goodbye to our cushy limo and headed home for the slumber party.  Gigantic thanks to Pi Parfait for hosting us all weekend!  Check out her hostessing skillz below:

We made it to eight cupcake bakeries in one night, and, um, it was amazing.  My tummy is still smiling.  It was fun being “the bride” all night and receiving good wishes and congratulations from complete strangers!  And my favorite part of it all?  I love how the bridal showers and bachelorette party are bringing all of my favorite people together.  Yay. 🙂

Are you hoping for a sweet and girlie bachelorette like mine, or are you hoping for something a little more racy?

April 8, 2010. Bridesmaids, Chicago, Foodies, Sweets. 1 comment.

Laughing in the Shower

Last Saturday, I attended the most beautiful, delectable, joyful shower ever!  It was so much fun, and to my amazement, it was all for me!  My mom’s dear friend (Auntie J) and my bridesmaids planned every perfectly pink detail.

When I walked in, my SIL greeted me with a smile and placed a flower in my hair.  She did this for everyone who entered and collected recipe cards in a box for me to take home.  You can see all the hair flowers below!

The girls ushered me into the kitchen to see the display of mini cheesecakes, cream puffs, cookies, and chocolate-covered strawberries.  Auntie J placed a gorgeous corsage on my wrist.  I loved it!

Each treat had something to do with my life experiences.  I fell in love with black and white cookies when I lived in NYC, so my dear friend made pink and white cookies.  They were amazingly soft and were gone in a flash!  My BFF and I worked at TCBY together for years, so she placed a common froyo topping on the table—M&Ms, all pink and white, of course.

There was a table of sweets, a table of savories, and plenty of tasty drinks to wash them down.  I could eat berries all day, so this punch was straight out of my dreams.  See the pink ribbons on the paper cups?  These girls thought of everything!

We played three games, and all of them had us laughing for hours!  The best was Bridal Bingo.  The rules were simple:

  1. Fill out a blank Bingo card by writing a common shower gift in each box.
  2. If the bride opens a present that you wrote down, mark it on your card.
  3. The first person to mark five in a row (Bingo!) will receive a prize.

I was hanging out by the food while everyone filled out their cards and, apparently, cheated with abandon!  (See photo below for evidence.)  After a few gifts, everyone was laughing hysterically and shouting BINGO at the same time.  I can’t blame them for cheating—check out the adorable prizes!  Cookie mix in flower-topped containers.

I wish we had a photo with everyone who attended.  Here’s a pic with everyone who stuck around to help clean and take the next set of ridiculous pictures.

Soooo, let me explain.  Long before shower planning even started, my BFF and I talked about how much we love Disney movies and how fun a Disney princess-themed event would be.  We’d never subject our mothers and other normal adults to such a kiddie theme, but my BFF convinced the other bridesmaids to dress as Disney princesses for the shower!  It wasn’t the theme of the shower; we just enjoy dressing up. 🙂

We took photos to illustrate each girl’s character.  Can you guess which princesses we were representing?

I’m so touched and humbled by how much thought went into planning the shower.  It was beautiful, and it was a barrel of laughs that I’ll never forget.  Thank you, friends and sisters!  Love!

March 17, 2010. Bridesmaids, Decor, Favors, Flowers, Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

The Parfait ‘Maids

“If you were a parfait, what flavor would you (predominantly) be?” I asked my bridesmaids in an email.  Their responses ranged from delicious to ridiculous, and from them, I chose their anonymous bloggy names. 🙂  So now, I am honored to introduce you to my five beautiful bridesmaids!

Pi Pie Parfait is my maid of honor.  If you’re a High School Musical fan (there ain’t no shame!), you know that the Wildcat boys gave the girls a cake right before their Academic Decathlon.  And on the cake was…the Pi symbol!  They called it a Pi Pie, although it was clearly a cake.  She’s a self-proclaimed math nerd, so her moniker is perfect for her!  We’ve been BFFs since high school, roomies all four years of college, and the closest thing to sisters that two girls without sisters could ever have.

Pumpkin Parfait is my other BFF!  We’ve been friends since fifth grade, so she’s been an important part of all the important parts of my life.  She’s the artistic one, while I have two left hands (that needs to be a real phrase); and she’s adventurous, while I’m a little more ‘fraidy cat.  It’s a good balance—who else could convince me that a thunderstorm is the perfect time for a leisurely stroll?  Here she is in a Pi Pie Parfait and Miss Parfait sandwich:

Sunshine Parfait is my sis-in-law (my brother’s wife).  We know, it’s not a flavor, but it’s so fitting for her “I Love Sunshine” personality!  We live together, as she and my brother took me into their home when I finished school.  Probably the last thing a young married couple needs is a long-term house guest, but she’s been so gracious and sweet.  Here she is in sunny Florida with her son, my one and only nephew.  He picked that baby grapefruit right off our neighbor’s tree—with permission, of course!

Papaya Parfait is Mr. P’s little sis.  She loves animals, is super smart, and has the most contagious laugh—what’s not to love? She is too cute for words, so I’ll just stop talking. 🙂

Snickerdoodle Parfait is Mr. P’s sister-in-law (his brother’s wife).  We’ve bonded quickly over our love for good deals, great food, and our awesome last names (well, my soon-to-be last name!).  She wore a cottontail at her wedding to celebrate her new last name, and I’m tempted to do the same. 🙂  I really wish I had a better pic of us, but this blurry one is the best I have:

I wanted to choose bridesmaids who would still be in my life when I’m old and gray.  My SIL and future SILs definitely fit that description, and I wanted to start our lifelong relationships on a positive note by inviting them into my bridal party.  My two dear friends have stayed close to me even when we’ve lived on different sides of the country—this is the first year since high school that we’ve all lived in the same state!  I’m thankful I can say that wherever these five girls are, we’ll always be a part of each others lives.

How did you choose your bridesmaids?

January 20, 2010. Bridesmaids. Leave a comment.

A Dress for Each Lady

My bridesmaids and I started our dress-search with some dreamy ideas about floor-length, flattering, altogether fabulous gowns. We went to a shop and tried on three hours’ worth of dresses.  We pondered our choices for weeks, and I started to feel like we’d never come to a final decision.  Just as time was running out, we made a last-minute trip to my bridal shop.  We started another round of dress-up (and pass-the-dress), and much to our relief, everyone found The One for them!  Which means I can finally show you The Look for my bridesmaids!

The Dresses: I wanted the girls to choose dresses they liked, within the “pink and floor-length” parameters. We ended up with four different styles in five shades of pink.  I can totally see each lady’s personality in her dress—my BFFs loved the same strapless ruched dress, but my more outgoing bud chose a brighter hue, while my strawberry-blond bud tried on a million pink dresses before we found a shade that looked perfect against her skin tone and hair.  My always-elegant SIL chose the goddess-like, one-shoulder gown in the middle.  My future SIL is the youngest, and her dress actually looks the most innocent and sweet.  The last dress is sassy and bright, exactly what Adam’s tomboyish SIL wanted for a night of dress-up!  All of the colors look different in person, but this gives you a general idea:

Fourth dress; All other dresses

The Shoes: Early on, a few of the girls suggested silver shoes, which sounded good to me. There are tons of options in stores, online, and hopefully in their own closets! I put together some cute examples for a visual:

Shoes

The Hair and Makeup: While chatting with my bridesmaids today, I realized that no one in my bridal party knows the first thing about styling hair or applying makeup. I’ll attribute that to low maintenance and natural beauty. 🙂 We might enlist the help of a friendor for our updos and formal-but-fresh makeup looks.

The Accessories: You all know I’m not much of a jewelry person, so I have no requests in this area. If they already own something they want to wear, they’re welcome to wear it. And if they want to use this as an excuse to buy some new baubles, they can feel free!

The Look:  Fancy.  Feminine. And a little saucy, thanks to the heels!

How would you describe The Look for your bridesmaids?

January 19, 2010. Bridesmaids, Dresses. Leave a comment.

B-Partay Day

I am very wary of non-re-wearable, uncomfortable bridesmaid dresses.  I wouldn’t want to wear them, and I don’t want my bridal party to wear them!

Thus far, I haven’t decided on who’s going to be in my bridal party.  That probably needs to get done in the next few months!  As for dresses, I don’t have a preference for b-maid dresses as far as style, length, or color…but I do have some basic guidelines for what they’ll wear.  I hope their dresses will be:

  1. Flattering:  All my girls should feel like they look their best!
  2. Dance-friendly:  Adam and I want to see our troops getting loose on the dance floor  😉
  3. Feminine:  They should wear the kind of dresses that make women, young and old, exclaim, “Ooh, that’s so pretty!” and “Oh, how lovely!” 

Here’s some bridal party inspiration to get me and my ladies started:

Long and lovely

Long and lovely

I always say no to green clothing, but these earthy green dresses may be the only exception. The wedding dress is so romantic, and the b-maid dresses echo the romance a bit more softly.

Light as air

Light as air

 Gray for a bridal party?  That sounds so blah.  But these dresses are très adorable, and the details make them feel fresh and fun!

Okay, green and gray.  You won some points with me today.  I’m impressed by how feminine and sweet you colors can look.  However…….I’d still love to see all of the above dresses in shades of pink!

Picture sources:  Instyle Weddings, Perfect Bound

July 2, 2009. Bridesmaids, Dresses. Leave a comment.

Beautiful Day

I just discovered this picture on a shoe store’s website…….and  I am so inspired to start dress-shopping now.

"Bright Young Hollywood" photo from Vanity Fair

"Bright Young Hollywood" photo from Vanity Fair

Holy schmogorgeousness.  I love the bride+bridesmaids idea and the soft ruffles and layers everywhere.  How do I go about finding, buying, or making these dresses?

Picture’s original source: Vanity Fair

June 29, 2009. Bridesmaids, Dresses, Wedding dresses. 2 comments.