–by Libby Stupica
PUBLICATION DATE: 04.04.17
My sister and I were ecstatic when it was announced last summer that our cousin was finally engaged. There are few things in this world that we love more than a big fat Italian wedding. However, our joy was stifled when we heard that she wouldn’t be married for a year. May was simply too long to wait for the big celebration! So, when we received an invitation to her bridal shower in March, we were so excited. We were guaranteed to see all our beloved extended family twice before the year was even halfway through.
The invitation to the shower provided more than an opportunity to see my family all gathered together; I had never been to a bridal shower, and this would be my first. I had been looking forward to my first bridal shower for as long as I can remember. My hopelessly romantic self enjoys spending evenings binge watching movies like 27 Dresses and Bride Wars, where I first learned how a wedding gift registry worked. My grandmother, sister, and I have made Say Yes to the Dress a monthly ritual. Needless to say, I was more than prepared for a real bridal event with the women in my family, some of my favorite people on this earth.
When we arrived, my mom, sister, and I were greeted warmly by my cousin’s bridesmaids and given our table assignment. We walked into a Tuscan-themed room. Wine bottle centerpieces filled with sunflowers adorned every table. After grabbing some Italian appetizers of parmigiana and prosciutto, my cousin introduced us all to her matron of honor and her bridesmaids. They kindly gave us tickets for their raffle and directed us to some guessing games. One I especially liked contained six pictures of my cousin at various ages. We were instructed to guess her age in each picture and write it down. The winners would later receive extra raffle tickets for the gift baskets.
After I put all my tickets into a Coffee & Tea Lovers gift basket, we lined up to get our meal of salad, cooked vegetables, and gnocchi (which led to an intense discussion about the correct pronunciation of the word). As we finished our tiramisu desserts, one of my favorite moments began – my cousin started opening the gifts she received. I loved watching as she unwrapped each one, so many of them kitchen or household items that she and her fiancé would use as they began their married life together. I loved sitting there as she opened a brand new china set, or an Italian pasta serving dish, thinking about the family meals to come. I imagined the stories that would be told, and memories that would be made over these dishes. She was gracious and genuinely thankful. My heart was warmed thinking about how all of us would be with her as she and her husband began the next chapter of their lives together.
The whole afternoon ended on a special note. My cousin approached my sister, two of my cousins and me. She asked us all to be a part of the wedding. My cousin, Melissa, and I were asked to hand out the programs. She asked Schuyler to do the reading for the ceremony. I was touched. Of course, we gladly said yes. The shower was over, and I was reluctant to leave the family members I love so much. However, I was able to leave with a full belly, a full heart, and happy anticipation for May 13.