Sunday, March 27, 2011

DC Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party!

Last weekend my sister (and maid of honor!), Katie, with help from my friend (and bridesmaid!) Stephanie, threw me a bridal shower and bachelorette party in DC with all of my friends from this area! They did an amazing job planning - it was such a fun day (and night)!

The day started around 9:30am, when Katie and I headed over to Stephanie's for brunch. (Actually, it started a bit earlier, since Katie put together an outfit for me and did my hair and make-up before we left.) We went a little bit early, so Katie could help set up. She had shopped for candies from all different parts of the world (round-the-world was the theme of the day), and tied them up in really cute little gift bags.

Stephanie had prepared all of the breakfast foods. She had a great looking spread - bagels and cream cheese, fruit, a coffee cake, quiche, and a really tasty egg bake (which she apparently semi-invented herself).

The girls arrived, and we all had food and mimosa's. I was so happy that so many people could make it - Stephanie and Katie, of course, but also Beth, Emma, Jaisha, Noelle, Lindsey, Liz, and even my friend Jackie (who lives in California, but happened to be visiting her family in Maryland that weekend). I've been to a few bridal showers before (and even co-hosted one for my sister-in-law, Emily), but it's such a crazy feeling to actually be the bride!

After we had some food and mimosa's, Stephanie and Katie gave each girl a cute little note card and had them write out their favorite story about Jeff and me, and then collected them all in a little box. The idea is that Jeff and I can open and read one whenever we are in the mood for a fun pick-me-up. Very cute!

After that we opened gifts - it's kind of crazy how much gift-giving there is related to weddings - it really seems like a lot to me, but I have to admit it is really fun to have a collection of brightly wrapped presents to open. And everybody gave really sweet things. There were a lot of really creative, cute things, and some really great things from the registry. It's funny, you'd think when you have a registry it'd be less exciting to open gifts, but actually it's so fun because it's sort of like getting the pieces that you're going to use to build your new life - and each one is so exciting to add in. (Yikes, that sounded really sappy, but it really is true!)

Beth gave me a card that was wrapped around a bottle of wine - so cute! The gift was a wok set from Crate and Barrel that Jeff and I were really excited about - that she had sent directly to our house (convenient!).

Stephanie got me a really cute hanger (from!) that says Mrs. Borowitz. I can use it to hang up my wedding dress before I wear it on my wedding day!

Noelle gave me a wine chiller with a bottle of champagne (which was still really chilly when I opened it, so I know it works!). Jaisha gave me some travel books for places we're going during the honeymoon - St. Petersburg, Istanbul, and Bangkok. Lindsey also gave me travel-related things - two types of travel power adapters (essential for our honeymoon trip!), a set of luggage tags - Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right, two eye-mask and earplug sets, and also a really sweet card and a print out of "Song of Solomon," which is a song she really likes and feels captures the feelings in marriage. Jackie's gift was dinner in Istanbul (from our Honeymoon registery!) - she's been there, and gave us some recommendations on what to try. Emma gave me a pair of pearl earrings - so pretty! And Liz gave me a really pretty pitcher from crate and barrel, and a cute "toast to the bride" coaster with a little poem on the back that says:

Here's to the bride
To her tears and her laughter
To the man whom she loves
And to happily ever after

After that we relaxed at Stephanie's for a while longer, sipping mimosas and chatting.

In the early afternoon, we headed out to Ivy Spa - a cute nail salon near Stephanie's house. I had my first-ever professional manicure and pedicure! I'm not sure how I missed out on this for so long - I really like the idea of it! And after actually trying it, I know I like it! Pedicures, especially, are really relaxing and nice - I feel like I could have stayed and soaked my feet and read magazines for hours. (Also, as a somewhat crazy aside, there were TV's in the salon, and as I was getting my nails done there was a special report on TV where the news anchor broke in to say that the U.S. was now involved in military action in Libya. Talk about crazy juxtaposition.)

After everyone had finished getting manicures and/or pedicures, we went for a little walk through Clarendon and stopped to do a little shoe shopping, and Katie and I got some really good coffee. Then it was back to Stephanie's house to change and get ready for the bachelorette party!

I still don't have most of my clothes back, and I don't have any dresses in my closet at all, but luckily for me, Katie had made me a dress! It was really cute - black and white with yellow accents - which is sort of like the wedding!

After getting ready, Jackie drove Stephanie, Liz, Katie, and I into DC (the other girls had headed home to change). We went to Vinotecca for dinner. Some of the girls from Baltimore - Jen, Cara, Sam Sydney, and Sam Armacost - met up with us there. We started out with wine (since the restaurant is sort-of known for that) - I had a flight of sparking wines that was really good. Then we ordered food - Katie, Jaisha, Noelle, and I shared a bunch of tapas, which were all very good. The flatbread and the potato gnocci was especially great. Stephanie and the girls bought me a champagne cocktail for with dessert.

During dinner, Katie explained the first game. Everyone got two bead necklaces, and anytime you heard someone say the word "Jeff," you can take a necklace from them. The Baltimore girls were not very good at the game - but it was a bit unfair that three out of four of them are dating or married to a Jeff. :) I wasn't very good at the game either. :)

After dinner, we headed to Chi Cha Lounge on U Street. Chi Cha Lounge is a great after-dinner place - trendy but relaxed, busy but not overly crowded or loud - we could all relax and chat. We got a strawberry-flavored hookah and some really great cocktails. Beth ordered the one with St. Germain for me before I even got there, since she knew I love anything with St. Germain - I'm so predictable. :) Katie also got me a really tasty mango mojito - another drink favorite of mine.

While we were at Chi Cha Lounge, Katie gave me the veil that she had made for me to wear - pretty cute. I had a few people come up and congratulate me, which was really nice. It was really cool that the bars we went to were really fun, but a little trendy/ upscale, so even though it was exciting and really fun, it wasn't like we were constantly being bothered by creepy guys.

At Chi Cha Lounge, Katie also explained and passed out cards for the "That Guy" game - which was the main side-activity for the rest of the night. We had three teams, and each team had about six or eight pieces of paper with a description of a guy - like "Bald Guy" or "Harry Potter Look-Alike Guy." The idea was to find the guy, snap a picture with him, and then the first team to have all the photos would win. (Jaisha's team won, which I have to say in retrospect is not surprising at all - she's the least shy person I know!)

After a while at Chi Cha Lounge, we headed to Policy, where Stephanie had arranged to get us the VIP treatment. We skipped the line, had our names on a list, and just headed upstairs to a private area in the corner of the dance floor with benches and tables and room to dance. There was champagne (which was brought over with sparklers attached) and other drinks. Having our own area was so great, because it wasn't crowded, we could dance or sit, and we didn't have to go to the bar for drinks.

The area was called the "Obama" area, I'm assuming because it had pictures of Obama and other presidents painted on the walls. We took tons of fun photos!

It seemed like everyone had a really good time at Policy - the Baltimore girls stayed until about 1am (when Todd came to pick them up - super nice of them to drive out to DC just for the night!). The rest of stayed until the lights came on (which was around 2 or 2:30am). From there, we mostly parted ways as people grabbed cabs. Since Policy is really close to my house, Stephanie, Katie, Liz, and I decided to just walk back and all stay at my place. We made a pit-stop at Yum's for some late-night Chinese food, and then went to my apartment, only to find that I had left my keys in my other purse at Stephanie's house. We called the lock-out line and hung out in the hallway, eventually giving up and having our Chinese food there. After about 30 or 40 minutes, we decided waiting may not be that productive (the lock-out people still hadn't gotten in touch with the guy in our building with the keys). So instead, we caught a cab and went back to Stephanie's to stay there.

It was actually ok, partly because I think it's fun to have some unexpected adventure, and also because when we woke up at Stephanie's, we had tons of left-over bagels and cream cheese to eat!

Overall, the party (which if you count having bagels at Stephanie's the next day really lasted more than 24 hours) was really amazing! It had all of the fun and girl-y elements that I imagine when I think of bridal showers and bachelorette parties! Thanks so much to Katie and to Stephanie for all their work putting everything together!

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