PLD Montage Vol. 2.3: Pre-Wedding Wedding Edition (Pt. Twinster)

To say my life has been taken over by weddings this year is a massive understatement. In the full volume of people that I hold dear to my heart, there are only two other single people, with everyone else now either engaged or married – and most of them are getting married this year. Though we planned an amazing weekend bachelorette/bridal shower combo for my partner-in-crime R back in June, this last weekend was a much bigger undertaking, wherein I needed to plan a bridal shower and bachelorette weekend for my twin sister. And truly, the weekend went better than I could have imagined, and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Well.. okay. Maybe I would have *tweaked* just a few moments….

I give you: PLD Montage, Vol. 2.3: Pre-Wedding Wedding Edition (Pt. Twinster)

  • We had a full house at my parents’ the night before the wedding, with myself, my lovely friend M, T, three of her friends, my parents and my sister’s almost-in-laws. The original plan for the night was for all of us to enjoy a nice, relaxing dinner together, and then M and I would head to a dear family friend’s house, where the shower was being held the next day, so we would each have a bed for the night and then could be there early for set-up. M and I both had stressful Fridays – she was coming in from NYC and her plans changed abruptly two hours before her train left, where I mismanaged my time and was somehow running errands from 9am till 430pm – so when the wine came out for dinner, we gratefully accepted. And accepted… and accepted….
    Lesson learned: If you don’t pace yourself with alcohol on a night you’re supposed to drive to sleep somewhere else, you end up sleeping on the floor of the house family room, where the calming noise of crashing dishes being washed at 5:30am will wake you from a Merlot-fueled restless sleep.
  • We all woke up bright and early the next morning (yours truly at the aforementioned 5:30am), shared coffee and breakfast on the deck in the beautiful weather, and planned to get to the shower location by around 10am for last minute set-up and to heat up the food. I was starting to get somewhat eager/anxious for the rest of the weekend, so my usual two-to-three cups of coffee somehow turned into four and a half. Then I had to get in a convertible and drive the 10 minutes to the shower location with my recently-done hair and flowers picked from the garden, all while in a black dress in the sunshine.
    Lesson learned: Coffee makes you sweaty and shaky, which doesn’t help when you’re driving a convertible with sun beating down on your black dress, which in turn makes you more sweaty, and also convertibles mess up hair. TL;DR: No part of my morning was well thought-out or planned.
  • Set-up actually went incredibly smoothly, and we had popped the first bottle of champagne by 11am, drinking slowly to savor the last few minutes of calm before the 40+ guests arrived. The main event of the shower, the CREPE TRUCK, was running late, but eventually made it, and I was really looking forward to a ham and cheese crepe, as I hadn’t eaten much that morning due to nerves and too much coffee. Then crepe truck man proceeds to tell us that he has: forgotten ice, forgotten all of the savory ingredients, brought one can of whipped cream for 40 people, informed us that setting up the stand was going to take 40 minutes, oh, and he let it slip that he may have been “a little hungover.”
    Lesson learned: Always trust and emulate your mother – not only had Mama B planned ahead and made enough quiche and salad to feed an army (“just in case people don’t want crepes!”), but after exchanging a few words Idiot Crepe Boy, she got them to waive the fee for the truck and send us an IOU for our next party. She’s the best.
  • A few weeks before the shower, T and I were texting and she sent the most bridezilla thing that’s come out of her mouth since getting engaged: “Dude, I’m at a shower and we’ve been sitting in the sun for almost two hours watching someone open presents. If we don’t set a record for gift-opening since you’ll be pre-opening everything for me, you’re fired as my maid of honor,.” Challenge accepted.
    Lesson learned: With a joint effort between the bridesmaids, we had every damn gift opened, cataloged and stored for the taking in under 45 minutes. BOOM.
  • I woke up the next morning after the Moulin Rouge themed bachelorette party that followed the shower, and sighed loudly. M and I had shared the futon in the office for the night, and as it was 7:30am, I inched my way out of the bed so as not to wake her so I could survey the damage in the house and start cleaning before everyone else woke up for breakfast. In walking into the kitchen, the sun was just starting to peek over the treetops in the backyard, calling us to the deck for a slow morning with good friends and laughs about the night before. The house was already clean, a joint effort from all the girls there, and as everyone slowly emerged from the various sleeping locations around the house, we all had laughs and good memories from the two parties the day before. The one thing that was missing? Almost no one took pictures from the bachelorette.
    Lesson learned: Maybe it sucks when you can’t Instagram all of the decorations and hard work that you put into a bachelorette party for your twin sister, but when everyone is having too much fun to stop and stare at a cell phone, you know it’s been a hell of a night.

Two wedding shower/bachelorette weekends down, one to go – next up, H and R’s wedding!!

Eager Eager

It is AUGUST, which means I am BACK. Oh, it’s good to be writing again. A mini-vacation from a self-imposed responsibility to share my poor life decisions with the world was exactly what I needed before diving into yet another busy month in the life of LB.

A break, a break, I need a break. How often do we say those things? The city gets too overwhelming and too crazy, strangers pushing you in the subway: I need a break! Work is emails on meetings on phone calls on meetings, more hours, push harder, do better: I need a break! Life is weddings and parties before the weddings, clean that, decorate that, there are 40 people coming in 2 minutes: I need a break! It killed me to stop writing for a few weeks, but this was the one space in my life at that moment where I could actually, legitimately take a break, and honestly, it helped. I still checked in here, and I had all these great ideas for posts (“How Snapchat selfies saved my sanity on 4-hour client calls”; “Packing – how many feather boas are too many?”; “4 hours of sleep vs. my sister’s bridal shower”), but stepping away helped move everything along this past weekend, and this past weekend was perfect.

This past weekend was the bridal shower and bachelorette bash for Twinster, a Paris-themed fete complete with chocolate Eiffel Towers and wedding-themed drinking games (*at different parties). The weather was perfect, the crowd was perfect, and we had so many laughs that my cheeks still ache, months of nerves eased by obsessive planning on my part and a wonderful group of women. There was no feeling quite like spending 48 hours watching my sister smile and laugh and talk about her big day, which is so rapidly approaching it makes me eager and anxious and excited in a way I’ve never been before.

The weekend also kicked off bridal season for me, with weddings every month for the rest of the year. Speaking candidly, I’ve been so focused on T’s weekend that it only hit me this morning that we’re under a month before my partner-in-crime R and her Scot H make it official, the wedding I’ve been looking forward to since pretty much the day they met. The group has been so busy the past few weeks between weddings and work and other travel that it feels like we’ve barely seen each other since the springtime, so the prospect of a party to celebrate how much we love two of our own while they celebrate how much they love each other is such a delicious event to look forward to.

I’ve noticed lately that things feel like they’re on the verge of something, though I can’t tell you what that something is. Leading into last weekend things felt like they were teetering at the peak of the first drop of a roller coaster; there is anxiety and anticipation and some feeling you can’t describe, as you know things are about to tip and then the wild ride really begins. I can’t put my finger on what I’m feeling in that regard exactly – all I know is that a rush of calm came over me when I got back to my apartment last night, like things have officially been set in motion, and now everything is about to come to light. Where such a feeling might have scared me two years ago, the idea that change is a’coming whether I want it to or not has given me a steady calm, like I’ve never really felt before.

I realize this post has a lot of feelings and not a lot of substance, and a lot of crazy and very little sense, but after leaving the blog alone for two weeks, I think that’s what it needed: a boost from the cranky, whining posts of recent past, where I’m exasperated and exhausted; a new perspective after a few weeks to focus on everything calming down before everything else happens. So here’s to whatever is about to happen! Because I am b-a-c-k baby, and the only thing I can say to this crazy ride that’s getting ready to tip over is to bring. it. on.

PLD Montage Vol. 2.3: Surprise Edition

I love surprises. There’s something so fun about planning a surprise for a friend or family member, surprise visit, surprise party, surprise gift. I’m not great at secret-keeping necessarily, given my tendency to talk too much and too often, especially to fill an awkward silence, but when it comes to important things like first dates and surprise parties, I work really hard to keep details on the DL until it’s finally time to share. After the fantastic surprise party to celebrate the engagement of my lovely friend M and her N last month, most people would have toned down party-planning mode, but in fact, my fashionista C and I had another party in the works at the same time, which came to fruition this weekend, when we surprised our partner-in-crime R with a bachelorette drag brunch and a bridal shower on C’s roof. There were so many wonderful moments this past Sunday that I’ve been trying to chronicle in a succinct story, but the more I wrote, the more I realized there was only one way to memorialize the day.

So without further ado: PLD Montage, Vol 2.3: Surprise Edition

  • As mentioned above, C and I were planning the parties for R at the same time we were planning the party for M. We had group texts going with both of the girls talking about two different parties which were the primary forms of communicating details among ourselves.
    Lesson learned: ALWAYS, always, ALWAYS confirm you’re sending the correct group text when simultaneously planning surprise parties. Literally, always.
  • We’d decided that C would handle most of the decorations etc. for the bridal shower, while I’d handle plans/decorations for the bachelorette brunch. Losing my wallet on Memorial Day continued to enhance my life by completely screwing my budget, which meant I couldn’t actually order anything for brunch until five days before the big event. Not wanting to deal with the inevitable screw-up of the Washington Heights post office, I decided to have the decorations shipped to my office, where they thankfully arrived just in time on Friday for me to spill the beans to my coworkers about the plans for the weekend, and have them insist to see the decorations that I’d ordered.
    Lesson learned: Maybe don’t take out penis-shaped memorabilia during office hours.
  • The day before the party, C, M and I met at C’s place to bake the treats for the bridal shower, including R’s favorite banana pudding and a paleo cupcake recipe because we’re all a little crazy. M and I had a *few* drinks at happy hour the night before and had spent the morning eating and relaxing at her apartment, trying to balance our blood sugar after too much wine. Though we spent literally the whole morning eating, upon arriving to the Financial District to bake, we decided we needed a smoothie to chase all of the hangover food just before getting to C’s place. Oh, and then we brought chips and salsa to C’s place as an accompanying baking snack. And also ate some of the Nilla wafers while making the pudding. Also sampled a cupcake. Oh, and some of the frosting.
    Lesson learned: Eating everything in sight does not make your hangover feel better and actually might leave you on the couch at home on a Saturday night with stomach cramps that make it impossible to move.
  • The plan for the day was simple: M, C, R and I would meet for drag brunch at noon, which was actually R’s surprise bachelorette party, and then head to C’s rooftop where more friends would be waiting for a surprise bridal shower. When party day finally arrived, M and I went down to the restaurant early so we could decorate the table with the aforementioned silly bachelorette decorations, like a chair ribbon and uber-classy penis centerpiece. After setting everything up, we went to the bar to wait for R and C to arrive, bouncing with a nervous excitement. And then another bachelorette party came in and the poor girl got really excited when she saw a decorated table.
    Lesson learned: There’s no better way to put a damper on someone else’s bachelorette party than running to the table where she’s trying to sit down screaming “THAT IS NOT FOR YOU.”
  • Brunch was wonderful and just as drunk as brunch should be, and there is even a video of R lip-syncing on “stage” to a song that she hates (which I am not allowed to share but FYI it’s amazing). We got in a cab on the way home and took awkward photos together, trying to distract R from the slowly-rebuilding nervous energy, as the rest of us knew that the surprises for the day weren’t over yet. We confirmed everyone had finally arrived to the surprise party and I distracted R in her apartment for a few minutes before we walked to C’s rooftop; I tried to keep it cool but I was a little too tipsy and kept bouncing around while we walked to the roof. We made it to the roof and I let R lead the way, looking for M and C, until she stopped and said “Are. You. Serious.” while smiling, as she saw the pink tablecloth and a big group waiting with surprise smiles. The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying perfect weather on the rooftop, drinking champagne and eating treats, watching R open presents and ending with big hugs all around, since the next time we’ll all be together in the not-so-distant future is at the wedding.
    Lesson learned: Maybe it’s difficult and stressful to plan two surprises on one day for your best friend, but watching R surrounded by love and friends (and presents, of course) was worth every freaking second of it.

It’s bittersweet sometimes, looking towards the end of the summer when my one-time single partner-in-crime will become someone else’s other half. I don’t think I could have survived the first few months as Single LB in the city if it weren’t for her pushing me out of my comfort zone and into a lot of vodka. And yet I’m looking forward to that wedding, probably not quite as much as she is but definitely a lot. She brought H the Scot into my life, our lives, and in his crazy, Scottish way, he makes the group feel complete. It’s definitely been a wild year of surprises as they’ve fallen in love and planned a wedding, and I have memories (and sort-of memories) that will last me (mostly) forever. Throwing her a day of surprises leading into the next few months was the least I could do to pay her back for all of the memories, lessons and love she’s brought into my life in the past year.

So here’s to the next chapter for my partner-in-crime and her Scot! I foresee a follow-up to this post after their wedding, where I’ve already had to swear “no vodka” and am only mostly positive my bridesmaid’s dress won’t lead to everyone’s favorite game of “If you see something, say something” with my boobs. But until then, the above lessons in love, surprises and PLDs should keep us grounded for the busy summer ahead.

Penis Cakes Need Not Apply

Oh, bachelorette parties. These fetes of female revelry are supposed to be the quintessential “last night out” as an unmarried woman, a chance to get real drunk and party with your girlfriends before entering the sanctity of marriage, where apparently getting inappropriately tanked and dancing on tables is frowned upon. As the token single friend in most of my groups, it’s also a chance for them to convince me to fulfill their last single-girl fantasies, dancing with strangers and encouraging a drunken makeout, just one more time. Say those two words to anyone and their first image is women in matching t-shirts and someone in a bad veil, a bunch of penis-shaped memorabilia and woo girls trying to creep into gay bars, screeching how much they love each other and demanding photos all night. For some, it sounds like hell. For me, it sounds like a damn good weekend for some PLDs.

This weekend was the bachelorette party for the first of my childhood friends getting married, a lead-in to what I’m affectionately referring to as Hell Week at work (though is more accurately Hell 12 Days Because I’m Working This Weekend Ugh). I went into the party weekend with a solid plan: get into Philly on Saturday, bachelorette activities with said childhood friend during the day, breaking off for a bit to meet my soul sister E for dinner, and meet up with the bachelorette crew for dancing all night. Gorgeous weather and an easy bus ride into Philly set the bar for the weekend, which spoiler alert: didn’t disappoint.

Seems legit.

Seems legit.

After a few days of being mopey and cranky, the chance to hang out with old and new friends, riding a Pedicycle around Philadelphia while people cheered and offered congratulations, wearing these fantastic matching t-shirts the bride had made herself, was perfect. I complained, admittedly, about the t-shirts to my lovely friend M before the weekend, annoyed at being forced into something so stereotypically bachelorette, but in the end it was perfect. The shirts made the party absolutely bachelorette without being obnoxious, a way to identify ourselves to strangers and bartenders without the need for a giant dick drawn somewhere on the bride-to-be. Bachelorette parties leave the wedding stress behind to celebrate girlfriends, no boy drama, no any drama. Just matching tshirts and lots of fun.

However, planning for a long day and night of drinking which would be followed by a last-minute flight to Indianapolis on Sunday for work meant I had two main goals: stick to beer (fail) and remember to drink water (epic fail). Sunday morning brought a miserable hangover of legendary proportions for both E and I as we woke up disoriented in the hotel, remnants of 2 a.m. room service littering the duvet. Bless her heart that she still had the stamina to drive me to the airport, where she only had to pull over once on the highway so I could vomit the small amount of hydration I was able to ingest prior to leaving the hotel. As the hours ticked, ticked on, waiting in the airport for my flight which was delayed once, twice and then again, I felt a migraine creeping in, a final middle finger to my day drinking extravaganza. I’ve never felt so miserable on a plane before, turbulence mixed with hangover mixed with migraine, cursing WHY WHY WHY did I have that last beer, WHY didn’t I drink more water, and WHY did I ever start drinking alcohol in the first place?!

There’s nothing like a hell of a hangover to remind you that you aren’t, in fact, 21 years old anymore, something that should have been more obvious by the fact that I was drinking to commemorate the impending wedding of a friend. That may even be the real point of the bachelorette fiesta, a reminder that as much as we loved to party back in the day, growing up changes things. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to comport myself with a bit more dignity at her wedding later this summer, which I think should be easy. After all, I’ve had my years drinking with her and making PLDs. Despite the lack of penis-shaped anything, this last hurrah was the send off that a lifetime of an incredible friendship deserves, one to remember as she gets ready to start her life as a Missus.