The shower was held at The Oaklands, an oddly placed building on Western Michigan's modern campus. (This outside photo is from WMU archives.) I had always been curious about this Italianate "villa" and it did not let me down. Although the spring crocus were popping, it was still snowy that day.
The original builder of the home was Robert Babcock. He started a successful dry goods business in Kalamazoo and eventually became President of the First National Bank here. In 1869 he bought 16 acres in the area and built this 13-room structure named for the oaks in his front yard. It was such a prominent site that later the railroad stopped in a spot just down the hill from the home.
The property passed through a number of owners. It was used as a breeding farm for harness horses, including the famous (if you are a horsey person) Peter the Great, as well as a golf course. It was finally purchased and restored by Western Michigan University in the 1940's. The inside was refurbished through a Designer Showcase event. It is lovely and elegant...just like the bride to be...and a perfect venue for this special event. For more history, go to: https://wmich.edu/oaklands/history.
In the main parlor, we gathered and shared intros around the room. We all got a pen with a silk purple iris attached at the top to use in writing our bridal game answers. (I use mine everyday, as it is so easy to find on my desk.)
Next we passed through the dining room for a tasty brunch buffet. There were lots of veggie items as my friend is a vegetarian. That suited me fine.
Desserts were served in a small windowed "gazebo." The sun was streaming in and outside looked like a white crystal carpet.
Here's a photo of Riley and her mom Carla. I'm sure Carla is remembering when Riley sat on her lap as a little one. Two sweeties!
Next read about the wedding.