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This Story About A Bridal Shower Will Make You Want To Never Get Married

"Mason jars. Chalk menus. Social media tie-ins. I’m probably speaking another language to you, right!?" An excerpt from Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss's novel Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails.

Posted on April 2, 2018, at 11:11 a.m. ET

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To: Katie, Jen, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: Ali

Date: April 1 at 7:01 a.m.

Subject: Bridal ShowShow!!!

Hey Ladies!!

Rabbit rabbit! I was just thinking — what if we did a bridal shower for Jen super low-key at one of our apartments? We can all do a potluck, play some games, listen to music, and just be super chill. I was just thinking about how the wedding-industrial complex can divert us so much from what is really important — two people who love each other, and their friends and families gathering to support and nourish that love. Let me know if anyone would like to plan it! Down for whatever. :)

xo, Ali
“True love is the soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another.” —Owen Wilson, Wedding Crashers


To: Katie, Jen, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: Ali

Date: April 1 at 7:02 a.m.

Subject: Re: Bridal ShowShow!!!

JUST KIDDING APRIL FOOL’S BITCHES LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can everyone please join my #BJShower Slack channel. I’m thinking of a Marie Antoinette/ Louis XVI theme. Powdered wigs, court jesters, harps, etc. I’d like to hold the first planning meeting ASAP. Who is available tonight??

xo, Ali
“A woman only gets eight true loves in a lifetime” —A lesson I learned from the inimitable life of Elizabeth Taylor


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: Jen
Date: April 1 at 8:14 a.m.

Subject: Re: Bridal ShowShow!!!

Ahhhh! OMG! Not gonna lie, ladies, I was just about to reach into my computer screen and strangle Ali!!!! Fuck YOU for that, Ali! Jk! lol! But not really!!!!

Okay so basically I’m super excited by all of these ideas, and I think Ali’s onto a good start with a theme (we can wear waist trainers and do big curls!). BUT my mom is also really into planning this for me so maybe a few of you can join up with her to help plan????

I gave her all of your emails (work and personal) as well as your phone numbers (work and cell). Can everyone also pass along an emergency contact number in case either of your numbers go to voicemail? We just don’t have a ton of time to plan.

Expect to hear from my mom soon!!!!

Xoxo, #herecomesbradsbride


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: HeleneAndRobert.Carrington@gmail.com
Date: April 7 at 11:00 a.m.

Subject: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hi Ladies!
 This is Helene Carrington, Jen’s mom. You can call me Mrs. Carrington or #mamaofthebride.

Thanks for getting the ball rolling on the bridal shower, Ali! I’m impressed with your email skills. You girls will have to put up with my technological ineptitude haha -- don’t be surprised if I butt dial you at all hours of the night! But please pick up when I do.

So I’ll keep this as short as possible, as I know you all live busy lives. Since we all know
Jen has always loved flowers, I’m thinking we do a garden luncheon bridal shower at our country club in Virginia at the turn of the season. I know Virginia is a trek from New York City and Brooklyn, but I already checked Amtrak train tickets for the last weekend in April, and it looks like it will only be ~$450 per person round trip (a deal!).

Ali, since you’re the Maid of Honor I’ll let you handle dress code, but please, ladies, be prepared to wear a pastel or muted shade that goes well with your skin tone. If you’re 
not sure, google! Or go to a high-end luxury clothing store and make a consultation appointment with a stylist. As for shoes, just because this will be outside doesn’t mean
you should sacrifice looking good for being comfortable. I am going to have a photographer on site, so keep that in mind! As for hair and makeup, please call Meegan at Hair Today in VA for consecutive day-of appointments so we can have consistency in looks.

As for gifts, here is a link to Jen and Brad’s registry. Keep in mind that in addition to gifts, Jen is asking that everyone make a notable ($250+) donation to a charity of your choice.

Thank you, ladies. Any questions please ask Ali!

All best,


Helene “Mrs.” Carrington


To: Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole, Helene and Bob Carrington
From: Ali
Date: April 9 at 4:00 p.m.

Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hi Ladies,

First off, thanks so much, Helene, for getting the ball rolling! My mom barely knows how to text, so it’s amazing how e-savvy you are! Jealous.

I think the Virginia shower idea is very interesting, but I’m wondering if it really makes the most sense from a friends-locale perspective? Since most of Jen’s girls are based in New York, I think logistically the shower should happen here. Also, it seems like you have a ton on your plate between your garden and those Daughters of the American Revolution teas and fundraisers for raising awareness about tennis elbow — I am happy to send my diagrams and color swatches for a shower in the tone of a northern wedding aesthetic (completely different than what you are probably accustomed to!). It will be fun!

Mason jars. Chalk menus. Social media tie-ins. I’m probably speaking another language to you, right!? LOL! So! I am happy to coordinate Jen’s bridal shower here in New York for her city friends. Since most of us have big careers, it’s hard for us to take off an entire weekend. Some of us work around the clock! (No offense, Nicole.) Maybe you can do a second shower in VA for you and Jen’s aunts and cousins that still live nearby? Can’t wait to see the photos!!

Sincerely, Ali


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: Helene and Bob Carrington

Date: April 10 at 6:32 a.m.
Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hi Ali and Ladies!

What a fun idea to try to coordinate a separate bridal shower in New York for Jen! I love that she will have a friends-leaning shower and a family-leaning shower, and that everyone is invited and expected to come to both! Thank you for making my Jen feel so special in the time leading up to her wedding.

We look forward to hosting you at our country club in Virginia, and my husband and I will make arrangements for our families to come to New York to celebrate in a...bar? A venue space? Museum? Sorry, dear, it wasn’t totally clear where you will be throwing this soiree, but I know it will be fabulous. Count us in!

All best, Helene


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Helene and Bob Carrington
From: Nicole
Date: April 10 at 6:54 p.m.

Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hi Helene,

I’m not sure if you know this, but I am an entrepreneur. Like Steve Jobs and Woz (spelling? not sure exactly who he is, I watched the Steve Jobs movie on a plane after taking half
 an Ambien, lol), but instead of building computers in a garage in Cupertino, I am building something from the ground up, and since my seed funding is just around the corner (fingers crossed!), it’s really important I pour all my energy and resources into my company!

Therefore I am asking you all to support me and for the time being I need to embrace self-care and not get further into debt. So unless you can *invest* in me and provide me with free transportation and accommodation, I respectfully decline the Virginia weekend.

Thank you for understanding.

Yours, 
Nicole

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you’ll ever make.” —me (TM)


To: Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole, Helene and Bob Carrington
From:
Ali

Date: April 10 at 8:30 p.m.

Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hi ladies and Mrs. Carrington,

Okay! I totally understand your email. Two parties sound fine, and we’ll make sure we show you a real New York soirée.

For your family gathering, just wanted to run some details by you:

Amtrak tickets run around ~$450 for the weekend we’re going. Is it correct to say the Carringtons will be providing transportation? Helene, you can just reply all to let us know here. To help keep costs down, I read on Caitlin’s blog that there is a social media tie-in that will allow us to enter for one free round-trip ticket! All you have to do is buy Caitlin’s e-book, Caitlin Rules, and post a photo on Instagram of you reading it with the hashtag #PulitzerPlease and #CaitlinRules, Snapchat story it to all of your friends, and post about it on Facebook and Twitter! SUPER easy! And if you win, Caitlin’s publisher’s PR team will reimburse you up to $450 for a ticket within 365 days of purchase.

LMACK (that’s “Let me and Caitlin know”) once you post your pics! Cannot wait!

Until then, please reply all to let Helene know that you are coming so she can purchase the tickets. (Helene, please do a status update on that soon so we can get this garden party started!)

THANKS!

Ali
“May the bodies of your enemies act as your escalator to the top.” —Ancient proverb


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: Helene and Bob Carrington

Date: April 11 at 8:30 a.m.

Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hi Ladies,

Nicole, are you threatening to not come unless I invest in your company? I believe 
Mr. Carrington’s investments and finances are squared away until EOQ3, but I will check, dear. In any case, we are happy to cover the cost of your Amtrak tickets if it will mean you can all be here for Jen’s first bridal party. It has always been a long-term resolution of mine to be more charitable towards the needy, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory of God, now and forever, and peace be with you.

Thank you all, 
Helene Carrington


“In God all things are possible.”


To: Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole, Helene and Bob Carrington
From: Ali
Date: April 11 at 8:37 a.m.

Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Thanks for the e-note, Helene!

Can everyone please save the month of May (entirely) for the New York shower? I am sourcing venues.

Best,
 Ali

“God is dead.” —Friedrich Nietzsche


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: Helene and Bob Carrington

Date: April 12 at 11:00 a.m.

Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hi Ladies,

I did a special bridal shower registry for Jen at Michael C. Fina and Tiffany & Co., so please feel free to buy your gifts now. You can use the money you saved on the train tickets we bought you! Additionally, Ali, the entire “Carrington Clan” is busy in May, so sorry about that. We try to celebrate spring’s renewal in our homeland. It might be too crazy to have two showers after all. Maybe we will just stick with the first one. I love Jen, but two showers might be extreme! Glad we worked this out.

Please dress “Southern Shower Chic.” (Some brands: Lilly Pulitzer. Or a more affordable option: J.Crew.) Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Warmest,


Helene

CEO of the Carrington family


To: Ali, Katie, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: Ashley

Date: April 12 at 2:45 p.m.

Subject: ???????? but also !!!!!!!!!!

Hi everyone!

So what’s the plan? Are we having two parties or one? Sort of confused! I don’t get service in Connecticut :( But looking forward to it either way! Can someone just let me know! Ready to do whatever! I’m flexible! So fun! Excited! So just email when there’s a for-sure plan! Can’t wait!!!!!

Love!!!! Ash


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: Helene and Bob Carrington

Date: April 13 at 10:30 a.m.

Subject: Transportation Details

Hi Ashley and fellow Ladies,

Small twist: Amtrak is out! I was just chatting with my friend Diana, and for her daughter Ambrose’s bridal shower, they sent a car to pick everyone up and bring them, so 
Mr. Carrington and I will do that! We’ll send a small bus to pick up all of you girls! It’s
our pleasure. I don’t quite know where most of you live in New York City (my knowledge of New York begins and ends with Bergdorf’s — haha), so I thought it would be easiest for you to meet in front of Jen’s apartment in New Jersey at 6:00 a.m. the day of the shower. How fun! Better than the train with all of the other train people, right?

Looking forward to it!

Warmest,
 Helene

CEO of the Carrington Family


To: Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole, Helene and Bob Carrington
From:
Ali
Date: April 14 at 10:00 a.m.
Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hi Ladies and Mrs. Carrington,

Thank you again for handling the details for the family shower! I’ve done a lot of soul searching and consulting Pinterest, and have decided it would be more fun to have one bridal shower down south. Thank you for hosting! Please let me know if I can help with any of the arrangements. For example, even though the venue may say country club, it might be fun to have on-trend barn details such as party favors of homemade jam, fresh-cut wild flowers, and twinkle lights (lighting is sooo important to our generation). Please let
me know if I can send a vision board to help your event planner with details.

~Day-of Logistics~
 I’ve arranged a car and driver to bring everyone to Helene’s car in Hoboken. We will meet in front of my apartment no later than 5:00 a.m. I will have a mimosa brunch spread (pre-party!) and will invoice everyone accordingly.

Also, I know it’s April, but I am experiencing SAD still! I haven’t bought an official SAD light box, but I’m staring at the overhead lighting at work...and it’s not changing my mood at all :(. I’m going to ask my therapist (i.e., Kayla at SoulCycle) about coloring-book therapy. I need like a Paris weekend or something to get me out of my doldrums. I miss Ben. I haven’t heard back from him in a few weeks, but it’s a completely mutual decision for us to consciously uncouple. That said, I’m thinking about texting him something like “Hey stranger” and then pretending like I meant to send it to someone else. Really torn.

xo, Ali


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Helene and Bob Carrington
From: Nicole
Date: April 17 at 1:24 p.m.

Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hi Helene and Ladies, 
Thank you again for providing transportation to Virginia! Can’t wait!!

Ali — no need to include me on the Uber/champagne brunch. Once again, I am in start-up mode over here. I’ll just go on a Tinder date the night before with a guy in Hoboken and sleep over at his place.

xx,
Nicole
---

Use the code “JENSHOWER” for 5% off at Nicole The Runway!


To: Ali, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole, Helene and Bob Carrington
From: Katie
Date: April 19 at 1:59 p.m.

Subject: Re: Jennifer’s Bridal Shower

Hey Ladies!

I’ll probably be staying over at Topher’s the night before. Helene — to catch you up: Topher is my boyfriend. He went to Villanova (Go Wildcats, lol!), MBA at Wharton, does something in finance — he’s told me, but it’s so boring so I just focused on his jawline (swoon) and nodded.

Anyway, gotta run! Have a conf call now! We’re updating the tag categories at the New York Times. All the news that’s fit to tag! Ha!

xo, Katie


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Nicole, Helene and Bob Carrington
From: Caitlin

Date: April 21 at 2:02 a.m.

Subject: Healthy and Mindful Shower!

Hi ladies!

I’m so looking forward to the shower! I can’t wait to get some air and embrace nature on the grounds at your country club.

Not sure if you received my rider that Gennie sent over — she said you haven’t confirmed for some reason? Did you not receive it? Should she send you a hardcopy? We can FedEx overnight.

Anyway, I’ve embraced a clean-eating lifestyle change. Here are the foods that jibe with the CaitlinLifestyleYouAreWhatGoesInYourMouthTM plan:

Acceptable foods:

• Kale 

• Dandelion root 

• Locally sourced millet 

• Farm-raised (preferably where the animal is raised on an organic diet as well) duck 

• Truffles 

• Kombucha (made within hours of consuming it) 

• Arame (a sea vegetable collected off the coast of Japan — should be easy to find at your local market) 

• Hemp milk 


List of UNACCEPTABLE/POISONOUS FOODS!!!! 


• Anything WHITE 

• Olive oil 

• Iodized salt (causes inflammation!) 

• Nightshades 

• Dairy 

• ANY kind of non-duck meat (btw — if I made a documentary on why eating meat is bad, would that be helpful? It seems no one’s done that before!) 

• 99% of vegetables that are in a Western diet 

• Fruit (sugar ughhhhhh) 


Hope this isn’t a pain! Can’t wait!! 


Caitlin
CEO & Founder of CaitlinYourLifeTM

“I am emboldened to live with courage.” —Caitlin, CEO & Founder of CaitlinYourLifeTM


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Helene and Bob Carrington
From: Nicole

Date: April 21 at 11:15 a.m.

Subject: Re: Healthy and Mindful Shower!

Caitlin and I eat the same diet pretty much, so that goes ditto for me!

xo,
 Nicole
Use the code “JENSHOWER” for 6% off at Nicole The Runway!


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Caitlin, Nicole
From: Helene and Bob Carrington

Date: April 22 at 2:30 p.m.

Subject: Re: Healthy and Mindful Shower!

The menu has been decided, ladies. Please choose salmon, chicken, or a garden salad.

Warmest,
 Helene

CEO of the Carrington Family


To: Ali, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Nicole, Helene and Bob Carrington
From: Caitlin

Date: April 23 at 9:07 a.m.

Subject: Re: Healthy and Mindful Shower!

Hi Helene and fellow women in my tribe,

No need to change the menu. I’ll be bringing my own juice with me anyway. I’m strongly considering a Juicetarian lifestyle.

Best, 
Caitlin

Founder & CEO, CaitlinYourLifeTM

Ask me about my line of CaitlinVitamins!

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To: Caitlin, Katie, Ashley, Morgan, Gracie, Nicole, Helene and Bob Carrington
From: Ali

Date: April 29 at 9:00 a.m.
Subject: Re: Healthy and Mindful Shower!

Hi Helene and Ladies!

I wanted to personally thank Helene for throwing such a lovely bridal shower. I thought the garden salad and hard dinner rolls were a fun throwback to American foods before the culinary arts began to embrace locally sourced artisanal foods, and it really made me grateful to return to the food capital of the world! I thought your speech was lovely, and since you said that there “wasn’t enough time” for me to do my prepared speech, I’ll be modifying a version of it for my wedding speech. Get ready to laugh and cry — it’s going to be beautiful! I hired a grad student who studies with Zadie Smith to ghostwrite it for me.

Thank you again for sending transportation to pick us up. On the return trip home, I had the driver drop us all off in Manhattan after he dropped Jen in Hoboken since it isn’t safe to travel on transportation from New Jersey after 7 p.m. Thank you again for your hospitality.

Just to confirm, any and all details regarding Jen’s wedding should go through me first. This is a peaceful transfer of power. I’m running point on this now.

xo,
 Ali

“Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy good taste.” —Me, Ali, April 29th, 8:59 a.m. ●



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Michelle Markowitz has written for the Toast, Fast Company, New York magazine, the New York Times, and the Hairpin, and her videos have been featured on Today, MTV, Jezebel, and more. She lives in New York.

Caroline Moss has written for New York magazine, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Racked, the Hairpin, Business Insider, and more. She lives in New York.

Learn more here about Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails.

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