Last weekend I attended my hometown bridal shower.

In Los Angeles – and on the wedding blogs I’ve started to follow – bridal showers consist of perfectly coifed brides sipping mimosas in flowery dresses while very young and very beautiful women crowd around her feeding her compliments and caviar.

I knew that’s not what I was getting into.

Even though my aunts (the hosts of the shower) had kept most of the details a surprise from me I did know a few things.

I knew they had placed the invitation in my hometown newspaper. I knew the event was being held at the town community hall. I knew I was supposed to dress-up.

But when I walked into my bridal shower that morning I was instantly overwhelmed.

But when I walked into my bridal shower that morning I was instantly overwhelmed.

Everything from the decorations (an homage to my “I Love Lucy” collection in high school) to the food (homemade by my aunts) was filled with love and caring.

With every guest that started to arrive it felt like a little piece of my history was walking through the door. My high school English teacher who had fostered my love of literature, my great Aunt who taught me to play Old Maid and drink strawberry floats, my friend who had been my friend even before we learned to talk.

We played games, ate delicious food, and opened presents. I didn’t drink a mimosa and there was no caviar in sight but when I looked around the table I felt this was better than any bridal shower on a wedding blog could ever be. This was real. This was personal.

My cheeks ached from so much smiling and I looked around at the forty women gathered around the table and tried to string together thoughts, to grasp what this meant to me.

I have not lived in my hometown for thirteen years but you would not have known it from that bridal shower.

I still felt like one of those women – a part of that clan. And that day felt like a send off, ensuring that I stepped into the next big change in my life well equipped. Not just with gifts but with a reminder that I am not alone.

That I will never be alone

I will never be alone.

What an incredible thing, community. That feeling of having a very crowded heart – stuffed with the love of women who taught me to bake, to run fast, to be smart and strong and kind. To be a woman worthy of my roots.

Maybe that’s exactly what a bridal shower is supposed to be about – not presents or mimosas or even the marriage but about reminding you of the woman you are and the women you came from.

That you are walking into your new partnership with new pots and pans, a homemade quilt, and the very distinct knowledge that there are a lot ofwomen cheering for you.



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