Here are a few of my favorite events that happened before the wedding:
Bachelorette Party –
When I was in college, I played Alice in a play adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Since then, I’ve had a great fascination and admiration for the character. I adore her innocence, and how it evolves and almost disappears by the end of the two-book series. I love her initial stubbornness, that later transforms to sheer passion and drive. That said, my bridesmaid Katie took my interest and turned it into the bachelorette party theme. She and my other bridesmaid Shannon planned it, and honestly, it couldn’t have gone better.
We stayed downtown in a super nice hotel suite for all five of us. There was red, black, and white confetti on the tables, next to “Eat Me” cupcakes and “Drink Me” beverages. Stirrers and napkins had the familiar playing card patterns. Even their gifts for me – which I shall not reveal – were red, black, and white (however, that wasn’t intentional).
We ate dinner at a tapas restaurant I’d wanted to go to called Ceviche. It was both fun and incredibly delicious. Then, we visited the clubs and bars downtown until the doors were shutting and our eyes couldn’t stay open any longer. We learned something important, though: even as a bachelorette party, when going to the fancier clubs, you’re just a statistic, nothing special. Yet, when going to the more hole-in-the-wall places, you’re royalty. We payed for one drink the entire night. (Incidentally, I’ve always been one to prefer the hole-in-the-wall places, and not just for that reason. They’re more comfortable to me.) The next morning we had breakfast and left happy (albeit, slightly hung over).
Taco Night –
Due to work, my bachelorette party was the Saturday before my wedding. Many friends weren’t able to come, considering they lived out of state. To remedy this, the Wednesday night prior to the wedding (the same night Samir had his bachelor party), we had a mini girls night out. Eleven of us met at my favorite cheap Mexican restaurant near my apartment and – quite simply – caught up. Friends from high school and college met one another and got along as if they were old friends. It was easy and relaxed. After, we went back to my apartment and continued to the night. It wasn’t big and crazy, it was cozy and fun. It was exactly what I wanted. It gave me a moment to relax and actually catch up with some people before the real craziness began.
Work Party –
The following day, that Thursday, was my last day of work. Remember, I’m still new there, barely two months in, so it was incredibly nice of them to hire me knowing i’d need a decent amount of time off for the wedding and honeymoon. To me, that was all I could ask for. But they did even more. I came to to see raised eyebrows and hidden smiles from my co-workers. Confused, I walked to my door to find a giant balloon display. It was amazing! They also left me a card and gift certificate. I felt so…loved. And included.
Since the majority of our friends were in town by then, many decided to stop by. First were my bridesmaids Shannon and Sarah, who sat in my office for a bit to chat. It was so nice having them there, considering the three of us hadn’t been reunited in quite some time. (We were roommates in college, as well as fellow circus performers.) Then, Samir came by with three of the groomsmen. They’d been caught in a quick Florida down poor, so for the rest of the day, my office smelled like wet boy. Still, it was great seeing them. We had some hilarious conversations, and I was (for the most part) filled in on the bachelor party. (Samir and I had the luxury that we were friends with our entire bridal party. That is, I was close with his guys as well as he with my girls. It was so much better that way.)
I was let off work early that day (surprise!), so I walked across campus (with the balloons) excited to start my wedding weekend. At home, we played “Keep the balloon up” for about an hour with the groomsmen.
Running Charades –
There are no pictures of this night, and I’ll be forever sad about the fact. Samir had to go to the airport to pick up his sister, her fiance, and his friend from London, so I “babysat” the three groomsmen. Two friends in town, as well as two other bridesmaids decided to join us, and we went out for pizza at Mellow Mushroom. There, everyone got to know one another (as many hadn’t met the groomsmen before), and joked about the upcoming days. After dinner, we had two options: go out to a bar to hang out, or go back to my place to play running charades (a game we loved in college – I’ll explain later). Tom answered for all of us: “So, we’ll hit up Publix [supermarket] first to get drinks for the night first?” And so, our plan was made.
Back at our apartment, we hung out for a bit, and then engaged in the Best Game Ever. One person, the list-maker, is in charge, while everyone else breaks into two groups. The list-maker creates a charades list, usually with a theme (for instance, Lane’s first list featured jokes from that night). The two groups going to into two separate rooms. One person from each team goes to the list-maker to get the first clue, then runs back to his/her group to charade. Whoever from the team gets the answer, runs out to get the next clue and so on until the list is complete and one team is the winner. There’s a lot of running, and a lot of yelling (albeit quietly).
Samir and co. eventually joined us, adding a THIRD Tom to the mix (not confusing at all). Lists included “things from Lauren and Samir’s apartment,” “Things I think are awesome,” “Things from the 90s,” “Things from London.” Now, are clues aren’t as simple as “Puppies!” Oh no, they’re full-on sentences sometimes, or words you’d never heard of before. That’s what makes it more fun.
We got to bed around 2 a.m., with Tom #3 on our couch. It was, hands down, one of the most fun nights I’d had in a while. Samir and I fell asleep smiling, confident in the fact that the next few days would be epic.