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This time of year, particularly the weekend after Thanksgiving, always takes me back to one of the best celebrations I've ever attended - Shaun and my engagement party, which took place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving in 2007! Since we had decided to get married on a beach in Aruba, where surely many friends and family would not be able to attend, we were lucky enough to have a huge engagement party thrown by our parents at my parents house. With about 150 of our closest friends and family. Had we not gotten married in Aruba, I would have loved to get married in the fall. Rich, deep colors and breezy cool weather has always been my favorite time of the year! So instead of planning a fall wedding, we planned a fall engagement party! I thought it would be fun to relive this as the last weekend went by and share it with all of you!
Though it was long before the blog days - and pre-cupcake obsession days to boot - I knew that I wanted some fun and festive touches to mark the occasion. I wanted fall-themed cupcakes. After researching well-known Manhattan confectionaries, including Crumbs and Magnolia Bakery, I someone had the genius idea to simply make the cupcakes myself. Why?
In hindsight, I do not know.
I'm not going to lie to you (remember how I hate that?), it was a lot of work. And so I spent the week before the party baking cupcakes, freezing 'em and making lots and lots of frosting in deep, fall tones. I do know, however, that icing 150 cupcakes with a piping bag can injure your hands to borderline carpal tunnel syndrome. You were warned.
But aren't they pretty? My mom and I devised the entire tablescape and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome. Mom picked up Fall tableclothes and giant styrofoam pices that we covered with fabric. For the cupcakes themselves, we chose vanilla cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook along with both vanilla and chocolate buttercream.
In addition to the glorious cupcake display (which, by the way, only about 75 of them were eaten, so we had a veritable freezer's worth of cupcakes for months...), I thought I'd take you on a little tour of the party! The house was so jam packed with guests that at times it was tough to move! We had set up tables in the kitchen, dining room and family room.
So many friends and family joined us to celebrate and we considered ourselves the luckiest people in the world to have such wonderful people in our lives!
And you know it wouldn't be a party in the Cannon house without an overload of food! In addition to a catered buffet, we also had some hors d'oeuvres trays, veggie crudite and some other desserts, including cheesecake made by my mother-in-law!
We even set up a bar (with bartender...who I think we pushed out of the way so we could get in there at the end of the night) in the entryway between the living room and my dad's office. Here's a bunch of us toasting a great night with great friends!
It was also so wonderful to have all of my bridesmaids together. I was thrilled to have my sisters Christine and Kimberly, along with my long-time besties Jen, Catherine and Lindsey as part of the wedding. Now we all live so far apart and it's so nice to look back at a time when I could be with all of them together on this great evening!
And can we take a moment for this guy?
I just had to include this great photo of my dad and me (can you tell we're related?). I always regale you with tales of my mom here on the blog, and Dad usually doesn't make an appearance. But I have to tell you. My dad is the best ever. In fact, he was the first one rejoicing when we announced that we wanted to get married in Aruba (he loves travel, warm climates, and making his 3 daughters happy :)). Since I was a child, he has always told me that I could do and be anything I wanted and I doubt that I would have even had the guts to share this blog with the world if it weren't for him. And...oh alright. Now I need to share my favorite throwback photo of Dad and me...
I'm sure my mom would want me to mention that she has since removed the floral wallpaper in her kitchen.
But I digress. It really was the best party, and only the beginning of so many happy times to come in Shaun and my life together.
And as I sit on the couch typing this article, with my beloved playing Christmas music DJ and tickling my feet as I try to swat him away while giggling, I look back on that night as one of the best of my life - the night I celebrated with all of my friends and family, basking in happiness that I was about to embark on a new chapter with the man I loved.
Oh and I almost forgot the whole point of this article. The cupcakes were pretty good too.