It feels like it’s been forever, hive. Bad, bad blogger! We’re right smack in the middle of some wedding tasks (save the dates, food tastings, Pre-Cana, oh my!) that I’ll be sharing soon, so those have kept me pretty busy. I also fail at all things required for Christmas—how did it still sneak up so fast when we’ve been complaining about it “being too early” since October? Note that I didn’t write a Holiday Gift Guide for you guys. Sorry, that’d be like the blind leading the blind (or just me telling you to go to Macy’s two days before Christmas and pick out what looks good like we did). It always turns out just fine, but it’s a crazy ride. Enough excuses for you? Good.
Let’s talk about something that we’ve got locked down and under control (and that I’m really excited about!)—the rehearsal dinner and the welcome party!
Two events? How much attention do we want? Well, a lot, but that’s not the point here.
Our church holds rehearsals for Saturday weddings on Thursday nights, as they usually have a Friday night wedding booked. I thought this would be a problem since by the time of the wedding four of my five bridesmaids will live out of town, but they’ve all said they’ll be able to come in by Thursday for the rehearsal. (They’re the best.) Most of our out-of-town guests probably won’t be arriving on Thursday, though, so the etiquette of inviting those guests to a rehearsal dinner didn’t really apply.
Sphinx’s parents are graciously hosting these events for us, and when I spoke with FMIL Pyramid we decided that two parties would work best. Something you must understand is that FMIL and FFIL Pyramid are party people. Every weekend they can be found going out to eat at somewhere cool or checking out some music at a concert or bar, so I knew that the events they are hosting would be absolutely awesome. For the rehearsal dinner we decided it would be just those who were necessary at the rehearsal itself: close family, bridal party, and their dates immediately following the rehearsal at the church. We had a restaurant in mind and went there for FMIL’s birthday before deciding, and it secured the venue for us!
Photo via Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar
Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar is a new-ish restaurant in the uptown area (not too far from the church), and it’s got a lot of great New Orleans charm and creole dishes. Several of our local guests probably haven’t tried it yet, but it has plenty of classic foods for my out-of-town bridal party to get a taste of the city, literally.
We rented out the front patio that runs along St. Charles Avenue, and looks out on the streetcars running past.
This is it set up for regular dining; we will have some longer tables put together. / Photo from superiorseafoodnola.com
If that isn’t Southern charm, I don’t know what is!
For dinner, we’ll be offering appetizers (TBD), an entree choice of shrimp & grits, chicken with crawfish sauce, or blackened fish with crawfish etouffee, bread pudding for dessert, and a full bar. We’ve tried all three entree offerings, and they’re all excellent. (Sphinx had the chicken dish last time and I nearly took it from him!)
So the rehearsal dinner will be an intimate, relaxing meal to get our wedding extravaganza weekend started.
It’s also adorably decorated and has an oyster bar. Done and done. / Photo from superiorseafoodnola.com
The second event will be Friday night, and it will be more laid back and open to a few more guests. Our guest list doesn’t have a significant amount of out-of-towners, but with some family and friends coming from farther away, we certainly wanted to offer a little something to welcome those guests and be able to spend some more time with them. FMIL Pyramid and I had the same idea—Rock ‘n’ Bowl, of course!
Rock ‘n’ Bowl is a NOLA classic consisting of live music, a full bar, dance floor, and bowling lanes! They moved to this new location in 2009, and Sphinx and I have been several times with his parents to hear some bands (most frequently Sergeant Pepper, a Beatles tribute band!). It’s pretty centrally located in the city, and has a decent parking lot (always important).
The bar, a chandelier (!), looking out on the dance floor. / Photo via Rock ‘n’ Bowl
They rent out to groups in the early evening, so the official party will wrap up around 9:30 PM. For the party, we’ll offer bowling, food, and drinks to our guests, and after that a band will start up! They haven’t posted who is playing yet, but I’m excited to see who it will be. We went to a birthday party there the other day, and we were set up just as we will be for the welcome party, so I liked being able to see the exact setup!
Pictures from the birthday party we attended this weekend! Empty dance floor since there wasn’t a band at the time, but plenty of bowlers! / Personal photos
This will be a fun way to relax and see some guests before the big day, and really show everyone a good time for a few nights in a row!
Photo via Trip Advisor
So I think all of this (along with a luncheon with my bridesmaids on that Friday) will be plenty enough, so we aren’t doing a Sunday brunch. Sphinx and I much appreciate not having to get up the next day, just in case we have a bit too much fun at the reception!
And a funny story about all of this—FMIL Pyramid wanted to book this before we headed to Disney World on our family trip back in October, so she went to both places in person on the Friday before we left. I was SO stressed at work, trying to prepare everything before we went out of town, I still had to pack, and several other wedding crazies. So when she texted me “Superior Seafood is booked,” I freaked out. I put my head down at my desk, felt like I got punched in the stomach, and wanted to cry at the idea of finding another restaurant when we were so won over by this place! I was all “Who books a restaurant seven months out for a Thursday?” Because I read that as it was already booked by someone else, not that she had booked it and we were good to go, which is what she meant. I was so stressed out that my mind immediately went to the bad. Once she clarified, I was cracking up laughing and so darn relieved.
Bride brain: it’s real, guys.
Are you having a formal dinner or a casual get together for a rehearsal dinner? Or a little of both?