I arrived early to get accustomed to the layout. As I peered out the window, I recalled weddings I photographed here before, and how I never tire of the gorgeous view of the river, with its’ glistening ripples meandering by caverns that have been carved out over the centuries, adorned with stalactite icicles.

Just a couple of months earlier, I photographed Bill and Linda’s Anniversary Party,

recorded the surprised look on their faces as they entered the room, being warmly greeted by friends and family, and sharing their memories of happy years together.

And here I was again, this time to photograph the bridal shower…

This was a long anticipated party for their daughter Katie, and soon to be son in law, Jeremy. I sympathized with Jeremy, explaining that I had “gone through this” a couple of years earlier when I found myself the lone male in a room full of estrogen!

Watkins_02012014_0153Photographs mean a lot to Linda. She has albums filled with pictures she has taken at all the family gatherings, photos of her grandkids with various food items stuck to their smiles. But she really didn’t want to “wear too many hats” at this occasion, so she wisely delegated that responsibility to an experienced professional photographer (that would be me!).

The people at Sheraton Suites really know how to throw a party.

I was impressed with how they treat their guests, going from table to table, pouring wine and offering hors d’oeuvres, while smiling the whole time! So, being relieved of hosting and photography duties meant that she could spend this most precious time arm in arm with Bill, watching the young couple’s faces light up while the grandkids proudly handed them their presents; kitchen utensils, a toaster, bake ware, pots and pans, and even a picnic cooler!

Katie designated one of her friends to announce the first game. It involved guessing details about Katie. There was a lot of pencil biting and hands scratching chins on this one!

Is this a legal bridal gown?

Is this a legal bridal gown?

But the highlight of the evening was a contest of who could design the best bridal gown

with a certain material—toilet paper! And they had a truckload of it on hand, ready to be unrolled and spun into fantastic creations. Jeremy had fun tossing extra rolls and watching them unfurl over the girls’ heads.