Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Bustling Bridal Shower at Gusto's Trattoria

As I walked away from my tan Chevy cavalier to the doors of Gusto’s Trattoria, I tried to keep my clumsiness to a minimum or risk dropping the box of wine glasses nestled in a silver bag that dangled from my arm. The bright sun disappeared as the doors to Gusto’s closed behind me. I was greeted by a tall waitress dressed in black who must have seen many gifts and uncertain faces that day as she directed me towards the room where the bridal shower was being held.

Down the long, shaded hallway to the right was a large room filled with women chatting quietly. Small conversations were soon interrupted by a few loud “Oh my gosh’s” when my sorority sisters saw me enter the room. After hugs went all around my gift was placed on a long rectangular table in the front of the room. The table was overflowing with white wrapped gifts that had silver bows.

As the group waited for Jackie, the bride-to-be, to arrive, small baskets of warm bread were passed around each table. The bread was dunked into the small plates of oil dipping sauce, while the heads of roasted garlic lay untouched.

Jackie entered the room, she wore a black and white printed dress and an undeniable glow that stayed with her throughout the shower. Her mother, aunts, and soon to be mother-in-law surrounded her. She said her hello’s and she made her way over to our table. Giggles and stories were shared by a group of friends catching up.

The group eagerly hurried into the lobby area when it was announced that the food was ready. A long line formed in front of the steaming buffet table. Eyes were wide and appetites were large as the women went down the line and filled their plates with an delicious looking selection of Italian food.

Never one to be shy about eating, I took my slightly overstuffed plate back to the table. Food of all colors filled my plate, there was a green salad coated in light balsamic vinaigrette, tender beef tips with mushrooms on the side, rich cavatelli and broccoli with red peppers, fresh seasoned string beans, and rosemary roasted potatoes.

Pictures followed lunch, with cameras flashing from every direction trying to capture Jackie and her bridal party as they stood in front of the crowded gift table and large floral centerpiece.

Though the room was now bustling with women and children, the atmosphere in Gusto’s remained as calm as the wait staff. The golden hues of the wall had a Tuscan feel and the light breeze that circulated around the room felt refreshing. The high ceilings that were supported by dark beams could make even a crowded room feel large and open.

After the bride-to-be opened her gifts and the wait staff refilled glasses with water and plates with chocolate mouse cake, Jackie went out to all each guest offering a friendly hug and a thank you.

The table that was once filled with homemade Italian cookies began to clear and guests started to gather their belongings. A little girl with a tight curly brown hair and wearing a ruffled pink polka dot shirt, stumbled around the room as Jackie’s big Italian family said their good byes.

Once the car was loaded with enough gifts to stock a Bed Bath and Beyond, five friends hugged their good byes and bid Gusto’s and the bride-to-be farewell.

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