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Marissa’s Bridal Shower


After a long hiatus, as promised, the next week will be filled with photos, crafts, recipes and details from my daughter’s beautiful bridal shower. But before I begin, I want to let you know that I’ve missed creating and sharing recipes. I’ve really missed blogging. I’ve missed posting. I’ve missed you! It feels good to be back, even if only for a week.

window hearts

Today will be mostly a pictorial, giving an overview of the party. Tomorrow, the details will begin.

lined envelope

As any good invitation should do, this one set the theme.


Marissa is a voracious reader. She loves books. Her degree is Journalism with a Creative Writing minor, so a literary theme fit her to a tee.

book sleeves

Immediately upon entering, guests were greeted by a table filled with library bookplates with their names on them. The bridal party’s bookplates had a little bling tied to theirs.


A chalkboard sign instructed them what to do with their bookplate. Marissa’s maid-of-honor, Kaley, used her perfect penmanship and artistic flare to create all the chalkboard signs for the shower. Thank you, Kaley!

the table

When guests walked into Barbara Fenzl’s beautiful backyard, this is the table where they had their choice of seats.



Books and book page decor was everywhere.


Then they came back inside and poured themselves either a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa.


The banner above the bar says, “The Future Mrs. Sandell.” The letters are cut from book pages.

paper roses

On the bar, and inserted into the dozens of flower arrangements throughout the party, are book page roses, made by Julie. Julie is my nephew Race’s girlfriend. She painstakingly worked on this beauties for weeks!

burlap and pages

On the buffet table, a table runner made of book pages that is dotted with black & white photos of Marissa and Jeff. My sister and shower hostess, Sloane, and I made this and many other book-page crafts over a month of Sundays. More details on those to come.


The delicious menu! All dishes made by hostesses extraordinaire, Barbara Fenzl and Kim Howard. I’ll see if I can’t get some of their scrumptious recipes for you!

lunch plate

Once the guests filled their plates, they went back outside into what turned out to be a perfect 72 degree Arizona spring day!

game time

bridal party

The bridal party – Bridesmaid Petra, Maid-of Honor Kaley, Bride Marissa, Bridesmaid Lindsey and Bridesmaid Carly. Missing: out-of-state Bridesmaids, Paige and Jessica.


After lunch, we played a unique game suggested by Kim … details later.


Dessert was “Milk & Cookies.” My niece, Raina (Sloane’s daughter and Race’s big sister) is an amazing baker, so Sloane asked her to make the cookies. Everyone raved!


Cousins – Marissa and Raina!


As with many parties before, my vintage crate of milk-bottles was called into service. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of them filled, but not surprisingly, the iced chai and the iced Vietnamese coffee were the most popular choices.

press cold brew

Many thanks to Steve Kraus and Tram Mai for the gallon of Press Cold Brew coffee they gave me to make the Vietnamese coffee!


After dessert, we moved back inside for the opening of gifts.

gift basket

I served as the “gift-hander” and the wrapping paper cleanup/re-boxing person. Something I wasn’t expecting was for my daughter to do was give us all Bridesmaid Robes that were personalized when we had finished giving her gifts. After all, we were meant to be the ones giving her gifts! But it was a nice thing for her to do to show her appreciation. It was amazing to see all the wonderful bridal gifts given to her. Some of my favorite bridal gifts have always been personalized necklaces and other jewelry. There is just something about giving or receiving a pair of earrings, a necklace or even a bracelet, that makes a bride feel extra special, like royalty. And thankfully, there are a lot of jewelers, similar to jacobsthejewellers.com that could help every bride feel that way on their wedding day. Yes, it is true that when you have the right accessories, you tend to look your best at all times, and on your special day, when all eyes (and cameras) are on you and your significant other – you have to look your best! A professional photography team (similar to a Charlottesville wedding photographer) could be hired on such a day to give you the best photos of your loved ones, and with the beautiful jewelry on, you will glow for sure!

girls help

While Kaley was the rehearsal-ribbon-bouquet-maker and Lindsey was the gift-list writer.

gift list

Thank you both, and thank you for the loading and unloading during after-party cleanup too!


It was the perfect day, the perfect bridal shower, put on by the perfect trio of hostesses – Kim Howard on the far left along with Sloane Hansen and Barbara Fenzl on the far right. You three are the hostess dream-team! Marissa and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts! In this photo are my dear friends: Left of me – Kim, Anne and Peggy. Right of Marissa – Tram, Laura, Sloane and Barb.


Jeff’s mother and sister, Amy and Carly. So excited to officially call them family in a few months!




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1 Bonnie { 05.12.15 at 10:46 AM }

I saw the balloons at Barb’s on Saturday when I was coming from the farmers’ market. So fun to see the inside scoop! Enjoy every second of this wonderful wedding journey! Take LOTS of pictures for it is but a memory way too soon!!

2 Anne { 05.12.15 at 11:02 AM }

So happy to see your email come through today! It really was a perfectly beautiful shower!! The food was delicious, the decor unique and wonderful, and Marissa (and mom!) were gorgeous and glowing!! So enjoyed being a part of this very special celebration! Love you much.

3 Betsy { 05.12.15 at 2:27 PM }

such amazing talent ! And what a beautiful shower, Bride and Mother of the Bride

4 Amy Silverthorn { 05.12.15 at 5:23 PM }

Linda, Thanks for sharing! You have been missed!

5 Dagmar { 05.12.15 at 5:58 PM }

From what I see and read, what a wonderful shower for Marissa. The detail/decor designed for her love in reading and journalism was so inventive and gorgeous. I really loved those book page roses. The food looks amazing too. So glad you shared. Missed you!

6 Marissa { 05.13.15 at 6:36 AM }

It was the most perfect and beautiful shower!

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