Around 5:30 the night before the wedding, we all started to congregate inside of Winter Park’s Hernando’s Pizza Pub, the site of the rehearsal dinner Mama and Papa CB were throwing us. This was the first time the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and families really got together since we decided that we weren’t going to have a rehearsal.
All photos by Amanda Wilson unless otherwise noted
Recognize those pomanders? Mrs. D’orsay graciously shared them with me after her wedding and they added just the right amount of wedding-bell decor to our otherwise rustic-and-fun pizza place.
While we couldn’t invite all of our wedding guests to the dinner—the back area of Hernando’s only seats about 40—we made sure that all those who were in the wedding and their significant others/families could come.
The night started off with a quick welcome from my mom, beers in Ball jars, and salads all around.
Gifts were opened. We gave everyone a different gift depending on what we thought they’d like. Our junior bridesmaid, Ariyahna, got a reusable, eco-friendly water bottle and a chiffon hair clip for the Big Day, among other things.
We ate ridiculously good pizza—I mean, look at that crust.
Our flower girl preferred red cabbage, I guess.
The bridesmaids and I took about fifty pictures that all look just. like. this.
Photo by Tim Carr
And then one with the family, of course.
Aunt, Dad, Me, Mom, and Bro CB
And one of my favorite pictures from the whole weekend is this one with my grandpa, one of the most talented musicians I know. He is a jazz flutist who played with all the Big Band guys like Miles Davis and the Charlie Parker Band back in the day.
Photo by Tim Carr
I can’t remember what my mom said right here, but it was something shocking based on our faces.
Then the speeches began. This is number two on my list of memories I adore from the weekend. Number one being my dad crying earlier in the day and number two: the daisy-chain of friends and family who stood up and toasted us and our happiness.
First, my mom, who talked about how there was no changing my mind when it was set on something.
Then my aunt, who Mr. CB and I are very, very close with. She gives her whole heart to everything and never shies away from emotion.
Next up, Mr. CB’s sister and ten-year-old niece cried their way through their toasts.
My grandmother stood up next and gave an animated speech, followed by two of my bridesmaids.
One of Mr. CB’s groomsmen followed suit. This was a “How Mr. CB changed my life…” moment.
Everyone was smiling and enjoying themselves.
Including us (with a few tears in our eyes)…
Mr. CB’s aunt gave it a go with tips on a long, happy marriage.
Mr. CB’s uncle started taking notes in the middle of it. We couldn’t stop laughing.
Some of our friends from Santa Fe jumped on the bandwagon next. They got the entire restaurant clinking their glasses in our honor.
And finally, if you hadn’t noticed yet, the walls in Hernando’s are covered in dollar bills that are signed by the restaurant’s patrons.
So, we left our mark. It’s the bottom middle one that says “Go Troxell” (my new last name).
The night ended with our bridesmaids and groomsmen heading to the bar across the street. We followed suit for one drink (a glass of water, I was so thirsty) before vanishing for the night back to our cabin.
We broke the rules and stayed together the night before the wedding. If anything, I think it helped us sleep better.
How did we get here?
First, Mr. CB and I road-tripped it to Boulder, CO.
Then, I spent a peaceful morning with my bridesmaids and maids-of-honor.
Followed by a rowdy bachelorette party that night.
The next morning, two days before the wedding, we fought.
Then, we made up.
On Saturday, Mr. CB recuperated from his bachelor party while I hiked with friends.
What do you have planned for your rehearsal dinner?