We were ready to shake off the stressful rehearsal at the church and kick back with our wedding party. We booked a private room at Pane Rustica, a cute little restaurant in South Tampa. The service was impeccable and the food delicious. We wanted to save money and opted for a buffet with only wine and beer. Now admittedly, I am a bit of a buffet snob. (I think I was at the end of the line at a few too many weddings and missed out on the good potatoes.) This was one swanky buffet…I mean the salad bar had fresh mozzarella balls and grilled artichoke. The wine and beer were high end and our guests had no idea we were saving money.
My mom had the idea to give everyone a name tag to wear at the dinner since so many people from different points in our lives would be there. No party of mine was going to have ugly white stickers, so I made a quick last minute trip to Hobby Lobby to get a few pins and sparkle paper.
My MIL and BM A went to the restaurant early and set these at each plate (and it ended up being a quick and easy way to assign seats!).
The bridal party also had their gifts sitting on their chairs. I had a hard time picking out gifts, because I wanted to give something the girls would actually use, but also respect their personal style. My ladies got a little assortment of wonderful:
1. Stackable mugs:
I had been eyeing these guys for a while. There were about four different varieties I found, and all were bright and colorful.
2. Grown Under Glass Bubble Bath from Anthropologie
What woman doesn’t love a lovely scented bubble bath? I wish I would have bought myself one because the glass bottle itself is gorgeous and can take an apartment bathroom to a whole new level.
3. Embrodered button down shirts
Sorry, I’m not sorry.
I jumped on the oversized button down bandwagon and loved every second of it. My mom embroidered the names and it was affordable and adorable! I wish I was lying when I say I still wear mine all the time…
My mom surprised me with a little secret on the cuff.
A little squirrel action BUT enough sneak peaks of the morning, the rest will follow soon!
The men’s gifts were perhaps the biggest source of frustration for me during the planning process. This is because I was determined to have Mr. Squirrel pick out the gift and Mr. S had two things going against him:
1. He didn’t really understand what to give
2. In the midst of so many other wedding decisions, Mr. S was becoming terribly indecisive.
Finally after many wrong, out of stock, or poor quality orders, he finally settled on the perfect gift:
1. Dopp Kit
He decided it was a nice manly option. Sure honey. Mr. S looked at hundreds of these and the one he picked turned out to truly be a quality bag. It was by far the most affordable leather option ($35) and he received a nice discount when he ordered in bulk. My dad made so many not-so-discrete comments at the rehearsal dinner about how nice these bags were that we ended up getting him one for Father’s Day. Now Mr. Squirrel is the only one left who needs one.
2. Big Ass Brick of Soap
It brings all the girls to the yard. This soap is pure man scent.
It was important to both of us that our bridal party knew how much we appreciated them. I think the gifts were a smashing success! The rest of the night was full of laughing and fun.
If I was making all the guests wear name tags, you bet your butt I was going to rock one.
Friends and siblings from both sides coming together.
My dad and uncle bro’in out.
Mr. S schmoozing my grandparents.
Please note my grandparents outfits. Yes, they wore coral and stripes. Yes, we matched and someone took a photo of all four of us together but I can’t for the life of me track it down. Some people just don’t even need instructions. I love those two.
The night ended with lots of goofy stories about Mr. S and I, complete with a rap from all my siblings. It was such a wonderful, low stress dinner. We stood up and tried to put into words how touched and grateful we were. We blabbered on for a few minutes and I have no idea what actually came out of our mouths, but I hope our families knew how genuine and appreciative we were.
We then met the rest of the wedding guests at an outside bar right on the bay, straight across from the hotel for our “Welcome Party.”
Hanging out with good friends from high school.
It was a casual way to continue the party with everyone. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I knew a long night of beauty rest was exactly what this bride-to-be needed and I was tucked safely in bed by 11:00pm.
How did you end your last night as a single lady??