This past weekend, I celebrated my friend Pam!
As the above photo suggests, Pam and I have been friends for a long time. We met in Industrial Engineering classes (Pam says I ignored her for the first year…), graduated together, took the same job post-college, and remain close friends today! You might recall from this post that my friends and I celebrated Pam and Reinhardt’s engagement New Year’s Eve. With the wedding not too far around the corner on August 29, this past weekend was dedicated to two major pre-wedding milestones: wedding shower and bachelorette party!
As Pam’s maid of honor, I’ve been planning April 18 for months, along with her matron-of-honor Debbie and the rest of the bridesmaids. It was truly a team effort that required everyone’s participation to pull off – and pull it off we did!
The festivities took place in Pam’s hometown of Coldwater, Ohio. Before college, I had never met anyone from “small-town Ohio”. Coldwater is definitely “small-town Ohio”. I had visited twice before – one in college and once post-college, but it has been over five years since I last made the trek to Mercer County. On Friday night, Pam, Jackie, Ash and I piled in Ash’s car and drove through winding country roads to Jackie’s parent’s house in Fort Laramie, Ohio, about 20 minutes from Coldwater, where Jackie, Ash and I spent the night (Pam stayed with her Mom).
Jackie’s parents had a super tasty and healthy meal of salmon with a mango salsa, roasted veggies, spinach salad, and hearty bread waiting for us when we arrived. Everything tasted amazing and was just the base of healthy food we needed to offset the junk that followed the next day!
After dinner, I created an epic playlist (with a whopping 161 songs…we did not listen to all of them) for the bachelorette party while Jackie & Ash made dessert:
No two are ever the same.
The next morning, Ash and I got up bright and early to squeeze in a run on the country roads. The weather was absolutely gorgeous – about 60 degrees and sunny at 8 AM – and running in the country was so peaceful.
After quick showers, it was time for the shower! The shower was a brunch hosted by the bridal party at a local rental space called “Moose Lodge”. This is where the Coldwater bridesmaids come in – not having been to a “small town” wedding shower before, I had no idea how it was done. And these girls did it up right! The shower was a Paris theme, and Debbie did a great job turning Moose Lodge into a romantic French getaway 🙂 There was an adorable mimosa bar, macaroons from Pistacia Vera in Columbus, croissants, and more.
The bridesmaids made all of the food (again – learning curve…) for over 50 people! We served chicken salad and croissants, six egg casseroles, fruit salad, green salad (my contribution), muffins, cookies, and cupcakes. It was quite the spread! The shower was short and sweet – just one fun “get to know Reinhardt” game (since many of the women there did not know him well), and brief gift opening (since Pam requested gift cards to avoid shipping gifts to her home in San Francisco cross-country). All-in-all, an excellent shower!
After a few hours of chill time at Pam’s Mom’s house, it was time for celebration #2: the Bachelorette Party!!! As long as I’ve known Pam (and that’s over a decade), I have been hearing about the infamous Mercer County Bachelorette Party: a bunch of girls riding around in a school bus (with the seats lining the sides of the bus so everyone can face eachother), stopping at country bar after country bar. Needless to say, I was excited to finally attend one! Following the international theme of the day, the suprise theme for Pam’s Bachelorette Party was none other than Oktoberfest! Reinhardt is German, so we had a great time with the theme. Pam wore a real dirndl, while the rest of the girls (all 40 of them!) wore these awesome t-shirts:
The above photo was taken pre-bus at the local bar, McSober’s. Full name: McSober’s Saloon. The night began and ended there, many hours and bars later. At one point, the bridal party made its way onto the bar – literally – for some dancing to Johnny Cash!
Everyone was given a pretzel necklace (tasty) and a plastic beer stein to play up the German theme. Again, props to the bridal party for remembering all the cute details!
By the time we made it back to McSober’s after 1 AM, the Columbus contingent of girls was exhausted. On the contrary, the Coldwater girls – some in their 50s and older – were still full of energy and rearing to keep the party going! Of course, Pam was in latter group – I’d expect nothing less. The bus driver took us non-Coldwater girls back to Pam’s Mom’s house, where we unleashed our late-night munchies and crashed.
Whew – what a day! By all accounts, Pam’s wedding shower and bachelorette party were a success! It was so great to see you, Pam, and all of the other girls. August 29 (and the 28th!) are going to be great days!