In planning our proposal weekend, B thought of everything, including how excited I would be to celebrate with all of our friends. That’s why his proposal timing was perfect- it was the weekend before my 25th birthday party weekend. A little background before I go into the details…every few weeks, my friends from college and I get together in one of our current homes. A few months ago, we decided to celebrate my birthday and Cee’s birthday (the day after mine) in Arlington. B knew all about the birthday plans of course, and planned the proposal so that I would get to see all my friends the next weekend to celebrate our engagement along with Cee and my birthdays.
So last weekend, all the girls and Cee’s boyfriend came down for a visit. We had a busy weekend planned- an all day wine tour in Virginia, plus a birthday party that evening. Friday night everyone arrived in town and we spent the evening prepping the food and catching up. We got up early Saturday morning and kicked off the day with mimosas before heading out to Ballston, where our wine tour bus picked us up. We took the Boomerang bus, which was fairly cheap and, though not the most comfortable, a lot of fun. We visited two wineries in Loudon County, the Bluemont Vineyard and Veramar. They were both beautiful, but the view from Bluemont was breathtaking. It was set into the side of a hill, with an altitude 951 feet you could see the entire valley below. It was a gorgeous day, though roasting at 95 degrees! We had a lot of fun at both wineries doing tastings and enjoying a picnic we packed. I highly recommend taking a picnic (if the winery allows it), buying a bottle of wine or two and sitting outside to enjoy the scenery.
After the wine tour, we came home and got ready for the party, hosted generously by our friend E who lives in the same building (talk about convenient!). We made all the food and drinks ourselves of course, prepping everything the night before since we knew we’d be back late from the wine tour. It definitely made life easier to have everything made ahead of time and just finish off that evening. Our menu was simple, we stuck with two specialty cocktails named after the birthday girls- the JM was a cucumber mint martini, and the Cee was a pomegranate martini. For appetizers, we served ham and cheese puff pastry sandwiches (a Barefoot Contessa recipe), roasted red peppers and mozzarella, spinach and artichoke dip, marinated olives, spicy mini meatballs, and cupcakes made by one of the girls. B did a wonderful job creating the spicy meatballs. We couldn’t find any recipes that we wanted to try, so he started from scratch and made something really yummy (though a little too spicy for some of our guests!). B will post more about them later.
Overall the birthday/engagement celebration weekend was a blast, and it was so wonderful to get to see so many of my closest friends at once and share our engagement story in person! The girls all seem really excited to help me plan the wedding, which made me really happy. I love all the creativity that goes into planning a party, and our wedding will by far be the biggest and most important party we’ll ever throw. Having all of our friends be excited and want to help will make planning our wedding fun, and surely will help balance out the stress that I’m sure we will experience as well. I can’t wait!