Showering the bride

I cannot tell you how excited I am that my gorgeous best friend Lucie is getting married in January (less than six months – yey!) and I am going to be her Maid of Honour. Technically, I should be her Matron of Honour as I’m an old married, but we’re ignoring that, for obvious reasons. Lucie and the wonderful George (seriously, we love that guy. I will even say that he is probably just about good enough for my BFF) have been engaged for, ahem, a while, so it’s really exciting that the preparations are now officially in full swing and we have started celebrating their impending nuptials.

The first event was this weekend – a sunny Bridal Shower in Cambridge. Lu has a big family that she’s very close to, but didn’t necessarily feel it was appropriate to invite to her Hen Party in October, so we suggested that she have a separate Shower to give female family and family friends the opportunity to make her feel special. As MoH I offered to plan the celebrations, providing that her Mum and sister (fellow bridesmaid, Harriet) would help me (a lot). And I am happy to say that it was a complete success!

The fun started with some mini-makeovers for the Bride, bridesmaid and Grandmother of the Bride at the Bobbi Brown counter at John Lewis. Lu had already had a full bridal make-up trial at Channel earlier in the year so we smugly thought that this would just be a nice bit of pampering. Happily, though, she liked the Bobbi Brown make-up even more than the Channel look, so it turns out it was an even better idea than we had planned! Bridesmaid and sister, Harriet, was also particularly thrilled with her subtle make-up, so thumbs-up all round and a thorough recommendation  for Bobbi Brown from us.

Make-up was followed by a much needed coffee and some quick sorting out of the afternoon’s activities by me and before we knew it, it was time for lunch.

As an ex-Cambridge inhabitant and frequent visitor throughout my life, I knew straight away that the best place for the Bridal Shower lunch would be Browns restaurant. I will admit that I am a little biased when it comes to Browns in Cambridge, as it is my favourite restaurant possibly in the world. This is partly because I just think it’s great: good value, yummy food, a large range, always excellent service and a good atmosphere; but also because my family has celebrated many a happy occasion at that particular branch. Luckily Browns proved itself again and it really was the perfect venue.

Lu was decked out in typical Bridal Shower regalia (the tiara and feather boa were actually from my Bridal Shower that Lucie threw me last year, so I was happy to pass them on), wine glasses were filled and the games began. Lucie’s Mum, Nicola, and Harriet had done a fantastic job putting together an excellent caption competition, a ‘Do you know Lucie like I know Lucie’ quiz (which, luckily, was won by her fiance who had completed the quiz the day before!), along with lovely table decorations and cute prizes for all. The food was excellent (as always) and our waitress instantly clocked that there was a Bride in the group (the ‘Bridal Shower’ balloon may have given it away) and joined in with our giggles and kept the wine topped-up.

After lunch we headed down to the river – along with everyone else in Cambridge that day – to go punting. We had kept our fingers crossed that it would be dry enough to punt as we knew a relaxing trip sipping champagne and swapping stories would be the ideal end to the celebrations. I had managed to convince my lovely brother-in-law (a medical student at Cambridge) to bring along a friend and take us down the river and they did an amazing job, despite the fact that I may have led him to believe that there would be plenty of tipsy attractive single 20-somethings women, rather than two Grandmothers, some aunts and happily-married family friends… Sorry, Sam. As it was the first sunny day in ages, along with it being Graduation day, it was pretty packed. But the boys did a sterling job of navigating between the tourists and working against the strong currents – well done, boys!

Whilst we were lying back and enjoying the sun, I gave Lu my gift. We had instructed everyone that if they wanted to give gifts they should be based around the idea of things that will help her in her new role as a soon-to-be-wife. My take on this was to give her a collection of items that would help Lu to ‘entertain’ – some candles, a pack of balloons and an icing set. And, of course, something that she could use to entertain her new husband… I am the Maid of Honour, after all! (Hope I didn’t embarrass you too much, Lucie!)

Once back on dry land, tired but happy, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Now we can look forward to the slightly less calm and high-brow Hen Do in October. Can’t wait!

Photographs taken by Nicola Hill and me.

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