Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Martha Book

I need to preface this post by telling you a little about the people who I am lucky enough to call my best friends. Adjectives fail to describe to how amazing they are. They are smart and spirited. They are kind, generous and oh-so-funny. They are the kind of friends who you know will always be there. We were fortunate enough to all cross paths at the beginning of college and together have shared an unforgettable collegiate experience, the bumpy road to "real life," cross-country moves, trips abroad, break-ups and new beaus and now three weddings. While none of us live in the same city, we are as close now as we were when we spent our entire days and college nights together.

Three years ago, Jenn's darling Adam asked her to marry him. The phone call chain started and the five of us were over the moon ("we're going to have a wedding!!").

Jenn and Adam had recently moved to the west coast, where she was going to graduate school. We were sad that we couldn't immediately see Jenn to celebrate, so we decided to send a package from all of us. A bouquet of parrot tulips were sent to the bride-to-be and a copy of the Best of Martha Stewart Weddings book (we all have a deep appreciation of "good things" a la Martha). Becca, the party planner of the group, bought the book and put little Post-its throughout, with suggestions and opinions on different things. She also wrote a letter to Jenn at the front of the book from all of us.

Here we are all at Jenn and Adam's beautiful wedding in August of 2006. L to R: Ms. Bliss, Christa, Emily, Becca and Jenn.

Fast forward two years later. We were all in California, visiting the happily married Jenn & Adam. Our dear Christa had just gotten engaged a week prior to the trip and the first item on our agenda was to celebrate with her. We enjoyed mimosas and endless chatter our first morning there and Jenn presented Christa with her copy of the Martha book. Instead of buying a new one, Jenn wanted us all to share the tradition of this book. She wrote a letter to the bride at the front of the book and peppered her own Post-it notes throughout its pages.

A girlie trip to Disneyland, just after Christa got engaged, May 2007. L to R: Ms. Bliss, Becca, Emily, Christa and Jenn.

Fast forward six months later. Mr. Bliss had asked the big question and I had said yes! I was happily planning and of course wishing that my best friends were nearby to celebrate with. And then the FedEx package came. The travelling Martha book - I couldn't believe that it was my turn. I opened it up and saw Christa's letter to me, which started "Dear Ms. Bliss, Congratulations! We could not be happier for you. You are going to marry your best friend!" I flipped the pages and heard the voices of my girls in their Post-its - Becca's expertise about logistics, Jenn's unmatchable sense of humor and Christa's sweet commentary on details.

letters to the brides.

I sat on the couch and I flipped and flipped. Mr. Bliss knew that I was having a moment with the girls and with Martha and he let me enjoy it.

I heeded Jenn's advice and went with buttercream for our cake.

A few weeks later, Becca visited for New Year's and we enjoyed some time with Martha over peppermint hot cocoa.

You know you are kindred spirits when you unknowingly have the same pajamas.

Two months later, Christa visited for a ski weekend. Our fiancees (now husbands!) laughed when we snuggled up on the couch with Martha one night.

Last night I was cleaning our condo (something I have been obsessed with post-wedding) and I came across the Martha book in a pile of wedding stuff. I flipped through again, taking in the beautiful photos and remembering the sweet details that I loved about our wedding day. I found the perfect spot on our bookshelf and tucked Martha away. I don't know when I will get her out again. But I do know that I will be absolutely thrilled that one of my best friends is about to experience the joy that we have this past year. I will write her a letter - "Congratulations! We couldn't be happier for you. You are going to marry your best friend!" - and send Martha along with love.


Alicia said...

That is one of the most precious ideas I've ever heard of! I love it! You guys really are fantastic!

Kristin said...

What a sweet tradition to keep going with your best girl friends. It sounds like you all are very genuine!

Orchard Cove Photography said...

That is TOO cute! I also have that Martha book and gave it to my friend who got married a few months after me. (I found you through Daria's Blog...I am a photographer and also one of her July 2008 brides!)

Anonymous said...

I'm soo late to this post (I just found you!). This is SUCH a great tradition! I love all the notes at the front of the book- very touching.