As G mentioned, in our day late blog earlier in the week, we had a bridal shower at our home this past weekend for my oldest, Alex. She wanted to have a bridal tea, like we had hosted for her sister a couple of years ago, but she wanted it to be a little different. She asked if we could maybe do it outside, like a garden tea.
I had no idea what I was saying yes to in the moment, but I was determined to make it happen. My hubby, ever the logical, practical one began asking questions like, “what happens if it rains? What if it’s too hot? What if the sun is beating down on you and it’s miserable?” All good questions and things we needed to prepare for, so I decided to rent a tent. Upon calling for estimates, I quickly found out that renting a tent was out of the budget. I don’t know if tents are always expensive or if there is a post-pandemic premium on them, but either way it wasn’t going to happen. Then I decided perhaps I could purchase one for less of a cost. While purchasing a tent was more economical I couldn’t find one in the right size. We measured, re-measured, counted and recounted guests and continued to struggle with how to host a garden tea outside with the potential for rain. Alas, our smart college daughter suggested that we use our existing patio umbrellas and perhaps borrow some extras. Once again, we began the search for cover, now in the form of umbrellas. My hubby made quick work of this task and ordered two giant umbrellas from Amazon that we could use in our yard post bridal shower.
One week prior to the shower, the umbrellas arrived and we put everything together on the back patio to see if it would work. It was perfect! With the decorations that we had purchased we were going to make this garden-themed tea party come to life.The only hitch in our plans was that they were forecasting rain for our bridal shower. Everyday leading up to the shower we prayed for sunshine and dry weather and watched the radars and forecasts. We even removed all of the furniture from our family room just in case it rained. We were prepared for anything.
The day before the shower, friends and family from out of state arrived at various times to the Denver airport. I made one trip to pick up our guests and others rented cars. By Friday evening we had a houseful of family and friends. The laughter, joy, wine, food and love were abundant and it felt like everything was falling into place. We all went to bed happy and exhausted, but ready to celebrate our bride-to-be.
We woke Saturday morning to a beautiful day. The sun was shining and as the hours ticked by the forecast for rain went form 40% to 0%. Even her bridesmaids were texting me the newest forecast. It was game on; all hands on deck. This outdoor shower was happening.
As I said, we had a lot of family in town and if you don’t know this about me, my mother and mother-in-law have been best friends since as far back as I can remember; long before my hubby and I had any interest in one another for sure. Their bond has bred a long line of love and friendship among our two families and that love was in full swing on Saturday. My mom, two sisters, mother-in-law, and two of my sisters- in-law were all there cooking, decorating, moving tables and chairs, getting Starbucks, following any order that we threw their way with smiles on their faces.
After several hours of work, we sent them back to their hotel to get ready for the festivities and just before our guests arrived we let Alex come outside to see everything and I think it was safe to say she was happy with how it turned out.
Friends and family began arriving and almost simultaneously so did the thunder. There were storms forming to the north of us, but the china was set and the tea was hot. We were too far in to make changes at this point. So, with a hope and a prayer we moved forward. Everyone began getting their plates as we served the tea. After about half of our guests were seated and enjoying their food, the sky opened up and the monsoon arrived. The umbrellas were no match for the onslaught of rain. Almost instantly rain began to flood the tables, plates and tea cups. Alex kept saying, “I think it’s going to pass, let’s just wait a little longer.” G and I tried maneuvering umbrellas, but all we managed to do was get wetter and it quickly became obvious that no amount of moving around was going to save this tea party. It was like a scene from a movie. Not one that you actually want to happen, but it was. We ushered everyone inside and after about 10 minutes the rain stopped and the sun came out.
I’m not going to lie. I wanted to go have a long cry.
The family didn’t miss a beat. Before I even knew what happened, they had every towel in my house outside drying chairs, taking all of the wet linens into the laundry room and refilling all of the teacups. Slowly, everyone began to go back outside to our beat up, rented tables and start over. While nothing looked like it did before the party began, we were all outside enjoying our time together and celebrating our bride-to-be.
It wasn’t what we planned. No, it didn’t turn out better than we could have imagined, but we did rally and have a great time together. Alex still had all of her family and friends there to celebrate with her and truly that’s all she really cared about.
The real stars of the day though were the moms, sisters and the sisters-in-law. They didn’t ask questions, they just went to work to make the shower happen and I can’t thank them enough for stepping up. We truly couldn’t have done it without them.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G