Monday, March 21, 2011

The Festivities Begin

Brides being a bit older and more established when they marry than in previous generations, they are opting for more authentic ways to bond and celebrate than the traditional bridal shower affords.

For Shannon Morris, her pre-wedding festivities began with a party in Las Vegas. The bride and groom's mothers were not invited. But as they say- what happens in Las Vegas goes on the Internet):-  That weekend, Shannon and her friends were 10's on the fashion Richter Scale. Bravo!

The official pre-wedding bonding family-style  ritual this weekend wasn't exactly as planned. 

Plan A was for us to segregate by gender. "The ladies" in Shannon Morris's inner circle were to tour the harbors around Huntington and Belmont Shore in a darling little electric "Duffy" boat. Do a bit of  toasting...
Plan A, the water was calm under clear skies

However, Mother Nature decided to make the temporary water restrictions more palatable for  some of us while major repairs to supply lines are made.

The morning of the get together- palm tree fronds pointed straight out in the direction the wind blew. Windshield wipers struggled to keep ahead of the rain's pace. Breakers crashed over the jetties. With weather like this, not a single woman complained when the plans for the first part of the party were changed to begin indoors.
I am surrounded by the love of my Mother- in-law, and groom- to- be,  Kenny
Shannon pulled together an amazing appetizer spread with tubs of refreshments.  You would never know meeting at her apartment was "plan B " or that she had less than a day to get her apartment company-ready.

Shannon Morris, front and center.
The men went out for round table discussions of business and politics over Kobe beef and beer. The women got down to the first part of celebrating the bride-to-be. 

Shannon with Memory Book

Oldest sister, Kelly Morris contacted us earlier. We e-mailed her the requested short memory of Shannon and a bit of marital advice. We were allowed to attach something representative of the advice- as long as we respected the $5.00 gift limit.  Kelly reset our submissions to a special type-face and set them in a custom memory book for Shannon.

Mom looks on as Middle sister, Tracy, tears up reading her entry.

Sitting by the warmth of the fire, we read our submissions out loud, presenting our tokens to the beautiful girl about to be our youngest son's wife.

This is what I wrote-

"My favorite memory of Shannon may be that I have not a bad memory of her. She came into our lives after Kenny admired her from afar - the girl wearing the baseball team's hat- which got her busted and him forever in her debt for speaking to him with such an inauspicious beginning. They were both very young- I would drive Kenny over to her house so he could watch football with her dad until she was old enough to date. Craig asked me more than once what did my son want with her? Well, Kenny did have "I love Shannon Morris" written all over his notebook.

When Shannon's parents moved from Diamond Bar, I hoped they weren't trying to move to get away from my son. They kept picking places with an association to the family. When her sister (Kelly) got a teaching job up the street from us at Maple Hill Elementary School- I told Kenny he should just give up. If there was ever a young couple destined to be married, it is Kenny and Shannon. "

My advice to Shannon

My advice is to live with the salt and pepper shakers handy. Take anything ornery or weird Kenny says with a grain of salt- a good sprinkling or the entire container if needed. And since God's blessings are required for a long and happy life together- sprinkle as much pepper as it takes for people to shout "God Bless You!" Then remember, He has.

This ritual touched my heart in a way I don't remember the traditional bridal shower ever did. Perhaps it was because this clearly wasn't an excuse to give presents. This portion of the celebration was about the person and the relationships she has forged.

This is however, not all of the day. Please come back. There is more to come.


Anonymous said...


I very much enjoyed your blog today! Most of all because there was an alternate plan to the canceled Mom's boat adventure!
One thing tho, I do wish you had named all the ladies in the photo.
Love the photo of you between mom-in-law and Kenny!
What a wonderful way to give advice to a soon to be d-i-l. Before Kev and Deb married I was about to give Debbie Dr. Laura's "Care and Feeding of Husbands" but decided against it. I called the Dr. Laura Show for advice and the screener suggested I give them BOTH "The Care and Feeding of Marriage"!
(I am thinking they both need to read it right now or reread it!!)
Anyway, I eagerly await the next blog about some guys smashing your plate of food! lol

Hugs, Trisha

Oregon Sue said...

Love it! Love it! Love it! The memory book, what a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing. xoxo

Lydia said...

Hello Early Bird Commenters.

Trish- There are a couple ladies I'm not certain of last names. Maybe if Shannon or Kelly is around, I can get those.

The memory book may be the best idea on keeping festivities intimate.

Next post- we went to Greek restaurant. Had as much fun as if we had been in the food's "homeland".

nikkipolani said...

Lovely. Maybe it should called a shower of blessings rather than a bridal shower! Your note and advice are lovely, too. Thank you for sharing this story.

Lydia said...

Dear Nikki-

A Shower of Blessings-

What a wonderful way to name this new tradition.

Thank you!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a lovely idea, Lydia....A Memory book that each person has supplied a loving entry...Now, that is a "keeper" as they say, that really touches the heart.