Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Ultimate Wedding Week: Rehearsal Dinner

I mentioned last week that I was going to participate in the "Ultimate Wedding Week" link-up over at Fresh & Fancy so today is the first installment!  Feel free to join up and link your post over at A Charmed Life today! 

Technically I missed the first topic, which was engagement photos, but that's because we actually had informal ones taken and I don't actually have any digital copies.  It's a long story. 

But anyway... back to the subject at hand.... the rehearsal dinner!  Somehow along the way the cowboy boot theme came up in the events surrounding our wedding.  Granted, Josh wears them constantly (and did want to get married in them!) and if we could have found one in the area, we probably would have had our ceremony in an old barn.  But alas, we lived in South Florida where old barns with character are few and far between.  But this cowboy boot theme popped up for my bachelorette party (at which we went line dancing... for the first, and probably last time!) and then again for our rehearsal dinner.  We had decided that we did not want to spend a ton of money, wanted it to be casual and fun, and wanted to invite not only the wedding party, but our extended families that were in from out of town, too.  Knowing that a restaurant would not provide all of that, my parents were nice enough to open their home for the occasion.  Looking back now, it's a bit bittersweet as that lovely house was just sold a couple of weeks ago and is being packed up as I type this.  It has an amazing backyard / pool / patio area for entertaining and we took full advantage!  We decided to keep it very simple and ordered barbeque from a local place down the street and decorated the tables ourselves using checkered table cloths, cowboy boots, and daisies.  Simple and fun:

My mom ordered the cake from the Publix bakery (which makes the best cakes... I so miss shopping there!) and in true mom fashion, kept with the theme of the party:
We kept the food inside to keep the bugs and humidity away and the weather was perfect for us all to stay outdoors to eat and hang out.  There was really no agenda, but we did take a few moments to thank our families and recognize our wedding parties.  Josh gave his groomsmen suspenders to wear under their jackets the next day, which were all different and picked out to fit their individual personalities, and aviator sunglasses.  My ladies all got pink fuzzy robes and slippers to lounge in while we got ready the next morning:

The Boys - Merritt, the Groom, Bud, Josh V., Michael, Kevin & Kyle

The girls - Abby (technically a grooms-gal), Christie, Elizabeth, Angie, me, Mindy, and Carmen
The big surprise to us, however, were the gifts given to us!  We did not expect anything (nor need any more love showered on us at this point) but my mom surprised us with an "Illinois survival kit" since we were moving the following week, complete with mittens, scarves, hand warmers, and other cute little items she picked out for us.  Then my bridesmaids gave us a scrapbook they made, each doing particular pages about growing up and times that we spent together.  It's still one of my most favorite gifts ever!

The rest of the evening was all about spending time with the people we love the most and don't get to see enough of.  And that's truly all we wanted out of that night:

Our entire wedding experience already feels like ages ago, especially now that we have two little ones in the house, but it really was one of the best weeks of my life.  To any future brides, my advice for everything would be to make it fit your personality.  Josh and I are not fancy people, nor are most of our families or friends (no offense, guys!).  So we planned this night to just fit who we are and picked an environment that would be conducive to let everyone get reacquainted and spend time together.  Marriage is not only about two people, but two families, coming together and it was important for us to create an opportunity for them to get to know each other, too, and I think that's what made that night so special.  People may not remember the food that was served or the decorations that were so carefully planned, but they'll remember the good time they had and the people they spent their time with.  I think that's what life is all about anyway. 

Oh, and one last thing.  If you do happen to choose a venue with a pool, don't wear white.  Chances are, the bride will end up being thrown in.  I pretty much expected it anyway:

That's it for today's link-up... link up with me tomorrow for our weekly Reflections and check back on Friday for another wedding week post!


  1. omg- how much cuter could that cake be!? i love it! thanks for linking up today :) can't wait to hear more about your wedding!

  2. I thought about participating in this series (and still might) but it really strikes me how unimportant all the wedding stuff we obsess over at the time feels once kids are in the picture. I don't know if I would have done anything differently now that I have this perspective--each stage of life is special and important in its own way!

    PS: if Josh didn't tell you, I've got a big article on about Turning Point and the power of partnerships.

  3. Thanks, Jill... this series is so fun!

    And I hear ya, Jess. When we work with brides now I have to remind myself how important that day really IS at that point in life. It only happens once. :) And I meant to tell you that I thought the article is great... I am going to post a link to it in a few days here.