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.


Anonymous said...

Mmm...the key lime pies...I dream about those at night.

A BBQ would have been a really neat idea! But what went down was perfectly excellent and wonderful just as it was. And the chocolate was tasty. I didn't share one bit of it with my family. :)

The Pissed Off Bride said...

Thanks for sharing about the open seating. We are having 66 people. That WOULD be a disaster. Especially after cocktail hour-lol.