With my girls spread out all over the country and my mom living 2 hours away, I knew that a bridal shower was probably not a good possibility. Plus I didn't want to put that pressure on my girls, and I'm not big on parties where people are required to buy my gifts. So, I decided to combine a few things and kill two birds with one stone.
Another wedding tradition is the bridesmaid lunch and usually takes place the day before or the day of the wedding. Since I had only a maid of honor and a bridesmaid and a bunch of other very important women in my life I knew I wanted to have some sort of variation on this tradition. But I knew I didn't have the money to take everyone out to eat. :-(
So, I decided to do something alternative. You're totally surprised, I know! Hehe. I was inspired by the southern tradition of the charm cake. But I wasn't really keen on the idea of the whole "engagement ring charm = the next to get engaged" thing, and wanted to do something more meaningful. So, I bought charms that had inspirational words on them like "dream", "live", etc. I decided that I would tie each to a long ribbon (because we literally had hundreds of yards of ribbon laying around), and put them in a jar. Each girl would pull one and talk about why she thought the universe had chosen that word for her. Then they would all use the word back as a blessing for me and Jay.
Shifra is a good friend of mine who I met during a Feminine Divine class in Asheville. She has been a wonderful friend and help on my spiritual journey so I asked her to lead the ritual.
She lead us in a basic grounding ritual and then we all pulled our charm.
Mom ended up with Live and she talked about how much of my life had been an inspiration to her and how she wished me many more years to live with Jay.
Maria received “wisdom” and it was perfect. We talked about how much wisdom she had shared with me over the years and I told everyone how instrumental her wisdom had been when I was going through my divorce.
Jessica received “hope” and she talked about all the years that she had hoped we would reconnect and how she hoped that her husband would come back from Iraq. It was a powerful moment as one of my best friends and strongest women I know broke down and cried.
Then my friend, and our best man’s wife, Shannon received inspire. She talked about how things are coming together in her life in ways she never imagined. She then talked about how I had inspired her and how she wish us even more inspiration as we go through our lives together.
Then Erin received “laugh” and talked about how people talk about how her laugh is so loud and contagious and that the only person she knew with a laugh louder and more contagious was me.
Jennifer then received “joy”. She cracked a few jokes being the sarcastic person that she is and then talked about how I had always been a joy and a bright spot in her life. I then turned around and told her that despite her dark cynicism (and truthfully because of it) she had brought so much joy to my life.
Shifra then received “believe” and talked about how she had watched my belief system evolve since she had known me and what a joy it had been to watch that blossom. I then thanked her for all the help and support she had offered me through the years as I searched for my true path.
Shifra then pulled out her Angel Oracle deck and we each pulled a card. The “divine timing” card jumped out so that one had to be added to the pile. I then pulled the “soul mate” card which of course elicited a few giggles. Erin pulled the “forgiveness” card. That one seemed like a mystery to everyone but I knew the moment it was pulled that someone had heard my fears. I explained how I had had a hard time forgiving myself for the mistakes I had made over the years and allowing myself to fully enjoy this experience because of the guilt. It was awesome to hear all my friends tell me over and over again how much I deserved this.
Mom pulled the “focus” card. That one seemed to be a mystery too, but quite a few people had an answer. It was so cool to see the women in my life pulling together to figure out why the universe had given us this word. It was also apparent the next day when I was having trouble not setting up and helping that it was important that I focus on getting married and let my friends take care of me that day.
So, after that we regrounded and opened the circle. It was such an awesome experience and better then any shower I could have ever received.
I highly recommend considering having an alternative type event. Don't feel like you have to follow tradition to the letter. Takes what works for you and either throw the rest out or make it work for you. I also recommend planning the time around your wedding and not just the wedding itself so that you get all you can out of the time leading up to such a big event in your life. If your friends are coming from out of town then really chock the time they are in town full of quality time. And keep in mind that sometimes the intangible, makes for the best gifts.