Rehearsal Rewind: Bridal Luncheon

I am a bad bride. I skipped right over the bridal luncheon that my God-mother threw for me the morning of the rehearsal... so pardon the rewind!

The restaurant at the hotel had some great private spaces, and thanks to my godmother, we claimed one of them! I also figured this was a good time to dispense the gifts for my bridesmaids and readers. Since mom and I got their first, I stuck their presents on all their chairs for them to open quietly as they like instead of shower "oohs and ahhs" style. I DIYed earrings, necklaces, and "shoes" for my girls, picture framed photos of me and the girls, and my mom sewed some beautiful fabric into shawls that matched the girls dresses. I really didn't want to give gifts at a big gathering to be reviewed by everyone present. They all appreciated the gifts, and appreciated not having to be on stage while opening.

They even made up a beautiful (shimmery!!) menu just for us.

Aren't we cute? :)

The whole gang after a very tasty and fun meal.
It was relaxing, tasty, fun, and filled with laughs. It was a great way to start the rehearsal day.


Rehearsal Dinner and Welcome Party

Now that we've practiced walking in a straight line, its on to dinner and party time!
Since a large portion of our guests were traveling in from out of town, holding a traditional rehearsal dinner where all OOT guests get invited wasn't exactly in budget. But at the same time, these people had just traveled all the way to Florida and we wanted to see and spend time with them. These are our friends and family and for a few days, we get to bring them all together... even if that means they will share all their embarrassing stories about us.... and they did. :)

So this meant we had two options, hold a backyard BBQ or a Welcome Party after the rehearsal dinner. I loved the idea of a BBQ. My parents live in a condo building that has a BBQ area and giant lawn on top of the parking garage. Perfect for some paper plates, beer in buckets, and frisbee tossing! Unfortunately, notsomuch with anyone else jumping on board this idea train. Everyone thought it would be alot of work to toss a BBQ themed dinner party. Well, on that point, I agree. But no one seemed to get that I was REALLY talking about a honest to goodness paper plate BBQ. Everyone wondered about centerpieces and who would serve the food etc. Oy.

So a small rehearsal dinner followed by a Welcome Party for all it was! When it came to deciding where to hold it, we tossed around a few ideas, but when we found out that one of our favorite resturants was perfect location and affordable, we were sold. A few minutes on Vistaprint later, we had a rehearsal dinner invite... a little photoshopping later, and we had Welcome Party version that we printed on our inkjet and stuff into the welcome bags.
For anyone who's going to be in the Panama City area around meal time, I HIGHLY recommend the BoatYard.

Just a clip of the view from the top deck, and as you can tell from the lighting, it was about to be a great sunset too. See the tall buildings just left in the distance? Yup, that's the Bay Point Marriott. Told ya it was close by!

Groomsman/violinist Dan and his girlfriend enjoying a drink and the sunset before we sit down for dinner.

Adam is from Amish country in Pennsylvania. But do you know what's nearby?
His parents brought 30 GIANT dark chocolate bars personalized for us with them.... that must have been an interesting conversation with the TSA. :)

The whole gang seated and ready for toasts and food. All I have to say for people who think "open seating" at their wedding is a good idea.... NOTSOMUCH! This was only 25 rather intelligent very friendly people and it took 10 minutes for everyone to figure out where to sit. YEESH!

And the toasts began! Knowing our family and friends, I was pretty sure this was going to turn into a roast. Much to my surprise, there were a few slightly embarrassing stories that came out, but all in all, they were all sweet and endearing.

Remember the Eel lure from the bachelorette party? Much to everyone's entertainment, it has joined our rehearsal dinner.

My eldest bro and Dad. You'd think they go to the same barber right?

Behold, your future, Adam. :)
They have such similar mannerisms and smiles its almost creepy.
Unfortunately, after this, we began the welcome party and started having so much fun, no one thought to be taking pictures! Darn us all for having so much fun meeting, talking and drinking!
Everyone who had made it in town in time was there and having a good time. We really got to hang out with a drink in hand catching up on each other's lives. We were the common factor with everyone, but it was all about visiting with THEM and finding out what had been going on in their lives. Our good friend and chef baked mini key lime pies, amazing cupcakes and other delectable desserts for everyone to nosh on. They were delicious!

Finally, it was getting late and knowing that we were going to have a full day and long night partying into the wee hours of the morning, I wanted a full night's sleep. So we called it a night and headed off to sleep.


My Foolish Family Practies Walking in a Straight Line

Say "Hi!" to my parents! Sorry - just thought that was a fun photo of the two of them from the rehearsal.
My lovely ladies above... (Sister in law Debbie rehearsing the color too! Glad to know that she actually does like the color I picked!!)
And the guys below.... (Obviously this was at the beginning since we hadn't figured out that we probably needed to move where the musician (AKA Guru) was sitting.)

Much to everyone's entertainment, Dad and Adam got in a elbow shoving match.

The sunglass crew practicing what to say when.

My siblings!

Everyone cutting up and taking pictures.

Ellie and me!

Adam's parents. Looking like the only mature people in this whole crew.

oops - Did I say mature? See the bunny ears on the shadow below!?

I wish someone had a video camera running this whole time. It was so much fun as we were all being complete goofballs... a la when practicing walking down the aisle to our spots, every one had their own unique take on what "Walk with presence" meant. Some people were dancing or staggering or jumping or clicking their heels, and everyone was having a good time.... though from the look on the wedding coordinator' face, we were much more entertained than she was. Of course, being the 5 year olds that we are....errr... act like... her scornful looks just made us laugh harder and goof off more. I'm guessing it only added to her chagrin that it wasn't just the "kids" - my Dad tends to join (or lead) us in the goofing off. Have I mentioned that while Mom sits with the choir in church, Dad and I have been known to be scolded from the pulpit? :)
Yeah, we are that family.
But we always have a good time, and usually accomplish whatever we set out to do.

YEA!!!! :)
On to the rehearsal dinner and welcome party!


Bedazzled Bride

Remember before I blogged about trying to make decisions on jewelry?
Here and here and here.
Well, its now a few days prior to the wedding, and I still haven't decided on anything - oh, and I've added two hair flowers to the mix from Lauren Lee Designs.
(Click on the flowers for links.)
Oh, I've also added a necklace that I got from a great Etsy seller:
And my sisters-in-law have brought along their collections to see if there is anything out of it that I should wear. Too many options!
So it ended up being me, my mom, and newest sister-in-law trying to figure out what combination of hair thing, earrings, bracelet, hair flower, and necklace would work best. I wanted to wear something of my mothers, but as you saw before, we have very different tastes, and her necklaces end up being chokers for me. I wanted to be beautiful bridal, but I still wanted to be me.

So I donned my dress and veil and let mom and Ang play dress up with me. They came up with some very beautiful combinations.
Feather + Etsy Necklace +Mom's Pearl Bracelet +Sentimental Sapphire earrings

Feather + Mom's diamond solitare necklace + Sentimental Sapphire earrings + Mom's diamond tennis bracelet. Obviously, I'm feeling dramatic and silly.
Those combination (and a few other elegant ones I don't have photos of), looked beautiful and put together and elegant. But for the most part, I just kept thinking, can I take this off now?
So then we decided to see how things did with the orchid flower instead.
Orchid + Etsy necklace + Sentimental Sapphires + Mom's pearl bracelet + Sparkly veil comb

Same as above but without the sparkly veil comb thingy.

And then we started trying a few to see what would go best with Mom's wedding dress that would become my after-party dress.
So we left it with the options narrowed down to fancy and well put together, or mishmashed combination of things I like. Little did we know, Adam would make that decision easier for me!
Stay tuned!


Salutations to Single Shennanigans: Part 3 - Partying at Pier Park

Welcome back to the pre-wedding craziness!
When we left off, we were all dressed up and ready to go!

The front side of the shirt was the classy airbrushing, and the backside was a "to-do" list for the night.

So in true tropical, beach tourist ready to drink style - we headed to Margaritaville!

First up on the to-do list - take a photo with a man in uniform - DONE!

Wearing two veils tend to get people's attention.
(You'd be surprised how many people asked if it was my BIRTHDAY.... really? Do you wear a VEIL on your birthday? Am I missing out on some bday tradition?)
A young party girl came over and wanted to buy me a Washington Apple shot. She was going to do a shot with me until she got carded. Turned out, only 20 years old. And as it turns out, is was the SWEETEST, most disgusting shot ever... my reaction below says it all.

And, of course, what a bachelorette party without a blow-job shot?
When Ang got married to my bro, we did them at her bachelorette too. So I made her join me.
Ang!! You aren't supposed to use your hands!!!!

Another shirt to-do: Guy in a hawaiian shirt! Glad we went to margaritaville!

Guy wearing blue underwear. He couldn't have been happier to show it off.

Ready to close down the Margaritaville bar and move on.

So we headed over to Tootsies where there was a live band and dancing on the bar!

According to my shirt, I had to be serenaded. Nothing said I couldn't sing too!

Had to get a condom from a guy. There were VERY excited to be a part of the shennanigans.

And I had to kiss a guy named Adam.

Find a guy from California... I think he was wearing blue underwear too.

Getting less and less sober by the photograph.

I am a happy drinker. The more I drink, the louder I get and the more I laugh.
This is how much I love my readers. Enter, the terrible terrible talking/yelling photo.

Nothing better than dancing with the band.

Me and my MOH.

I have no idea what we are doing, but it sure is cute!

After quite a while of drinking and dancing - I was toasty! And while not toasted, definitely not-so-sober... so we went out to get some fresh air.

I really liked this guys hat. And he really liked dancing with Debbie.

This guy was VERY entertained with the flashing necklace.

And Lord only knows why, but he had an eel fishing lure with him.
But wait, it gets better.
His drunken logic meant that because it was my bachelorette party, and because I had a flashy necklace, I needed the fishing lure. So enter into the wedding weekend "Steve" the eel.

Only in the South does your bachelorette party mean that people must give you fishing lures.

And in true Panama City style, now that we had closed one bar, and out danced the band, we had to go to Corams!! (It's like a Waffle House, but local.)
mmmmm - hashbrowns!!
At this point, we got the messages from the boys that they were all down for the count and calling it a night. HA! We outlasted the boys and weren't hammered! We did, however, have a DAMN good time that I wouldn't have traded for anything.
We Win!

Anyone else have any fishing lure or underage shot type of quirks for their party?