P1000780

It’s been a bit of a wobbly week as far as matters of the heart go. But today I got to see why it’s all worth it in the end: My friend Bree grinning from ear to ear at her bridal shower – the first I’ve ever been to.

I met Bree, who’s from Chicago, when I landed in Edinburgh airport for my first year at St Andrews University nearly nine years ago. She was one of the many American students taking the shuttle bus and when she heard my non-American accent she eagerly introduced herself. By some bizarre coincidence, we ended up living across the hall from each other, and although she was only studying there for a semester, we became great friends.

Me and the bride-to-Bree

Me and the bride-to-Bree

Now she’s back living in Chicago and in July, she’s marrying her stud, Brad. Today was one of the many celebrations ahead of the wedding and I travelled to Brad’s family’s beautiful home in Chatham, New Jersey, not really knowing what to expect.

We don’t really do bridal showers in the UK, so my only experience comes from the Bridesmaids movie. It meant that I didn’t know the politics at all – who’d be there, what to buy, what to wear. I didn’t know if I was supposed to stick to the gift registry, so I opted for a personal gift instead.

P1000773 P1000832

But before she opened it, there was lots of eating and drinking to be had. And there was lots of chatting to lovely ladies, including family friends, Bree’s mum and her maid of honour, Lizzie.

Champagne cocktails

Champagne cocktails

A wedding cake appropriately made from Brie

A wedding cake appropriately made from Brie

P1000789
Lizzie and Bree

Lizzie and Bree

P1000795
Bree tucks into the champagne

Bree tucks into the champagne

Then we got to the piles of gifts. Most were gorgeous dishes or nifty kitchen gadgets. But Lizzie out-did us all with a box of candles for special occasions, each with a little poem attached.

P1000821 P1000824 P1000827 P1000814 P1000815 P1000818

Bree was grinning all day, and I am chuffed that she’s so happy. I do think the U.S. is in danger of having too many events around celebrations like weddings, and of course I faced the dreaded ‘When are you going to get married?’ questions, but none of that mattered. This was a great, positive day, and I’m so glad that Bree invited me to share it with her.

Bree with her mum and Brad's mum

Bree with her mum and Brad’s mum

P1000830