As I’ve blogged before, a wedding is often not just a wedding these days. I’m so looking forward to the various events we’ve planned around the wedding, but each of them raises the critical question: what to wear?
For my bachelorette party, I wanted something comfortable but festive, so I’m going with this Gap dress, black opaque tights, and my Toms wedge booties. Good for day drinking at breweries as well as dinner out.
I have read that tradition and etiquette dictate that out-of-town guests, as well as the wedding party, are to be included in the rehearsal dinner. But what happens when half (or more) of your guests are traveling to the wedding? I’ve seen this handled three ways: 1. you throw a more casual dinner and truly include everyone, 2. you host a smaller dinner and then open it up to the whole guest list afterward for cocktails, or 3. you throw all that to the wind and do whatever suits the situation best. Personally, I wasn’t comfortable with option 3, and option 1 was cost prohibitive…so we decided to throw a small dinner with a casual cocktail party to follow!
After we rehearse on Friday, our families, our priest, and our friends who are participating in the wedding ceremony will attend our rehearsal dinner. Considering that we are going Full Traditional for our wedding cuisine, we wanted to do something different and a little more “us” for the rehearsal dinner.
We decided to hold it at a fun and trendy Indian bistro just down the road from our church.* Tandoor Char House is run by two young brothers and has amazing food & a great ambiance, and is always packed. We’re placing an order beforehand and will dine family style…keep the chicken tikka masala coming, bro.
Framed Chalkboard Signs with Romantic Wedding Quotes
Well, now that the flowers were done, I was ready to move on to the more minute details of the centerpieces. In the photo that Bridesmaid T showed me, there were small picture frames on each table with the “Eat, Drink, and Be Married” saying. I thought it looked super cute and really wanted to replicate it.
So, again, I got to work. I went to the Dollar Store (unfortunately no luck), Michaels (nope, no luck here, either), JoAnn Fabrics (didn’t find the frames, but did find blush ribbon that I was searching for—point for me!), and finally, Hobby Lobby. Hmm. These places were becoming my regular hangouts. I’m surprised the employees didn’t know me by name yet. All in due time, I’m sure.
After searching for what felt like forever, I stumbled across five small picture frames at Hobby Lobby. They were the perfect size and a decent price, and would do the job just fine. I was hoping to get them cheaper, but they ended up being $2.99 each. Certainly not a terrible price. The ones I purchased were white, but I still had plenty of gold spray paint left over and was excited to be able to use it again!
Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the “before.” I think I was just too excited for the final product. That, and I didn’t have any storage left on my phone anyway (oops).
I really liked the way the frames turned out. Instead of doing the same saying for each, I chose different ones that meant something to us.
The sayings we chose:
Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After
You Had Me at Merlot (because we got engaged at a winery!)
Eat, Drink, and Be Married
Mangia Bene, Ridi Spesso, Ama Molto (Eat Well, Laugh Often, Love Much)
Tomorrow, We Do
In the end, I thought the frames turned out super cute. It took me quite a bit of time to look up quotes that I thought people would enjoy, but in the end it was time well spent!
So, hive, what did you do for your rehearsal dinner decor? Did you decide to go all out and completely transform your space, or did you do like I did and only add a few personal touches here and there?
I’ll be sure to post the final product photos, and can’t wait to see yours as well!
Hive, I cannot believe the wedding is only five days away! Mr. ICS and I get ready to fly out in two (yes, count them…two!) days. I can’t help but feel like I didn’t allow myself enough time to prepare for things back in Syracuse, but everyone keeps assuring me that any more time than two days would’ve been unnecessary. I hope they are right! Anyway, down to the good stuff!
I was having a conversation with Bridesmaid T last week, and in that conversation we were discussing all of the finishing touches that needed to be accomplished. We discussed many things, but the one that stood out the most was the rehearsal dinner. She was an instrumental part in choosing the location, as it is actually her favorite restaurant. Actually, just on October 5th, they were voted Syracuse’s favorite Italian restaurant as well! So great choice, Bridesmaid T.
While we were chatting about the entree choices for the dinner, she stopped mid-conversation and said, “Oh, I should’ve shown you the picture Francesca’s posted last night on Facebook! They did such a wonderful job decorating!” I just about dropped the phone right there. Decorating?! I had not even thought about decorating for the rehearsal dinner! “Well, add that to my list of things to do,” I thought. Although it was extremely last minute and I almost had a mental breakdown just hearing about adding one more thing to my already leaning pile of things to do, part of me was excited to plan.
I know it’s been a while, but I’m back on the recap wagon! Life hit Mr. Blue Moon and me hard right after the wedding, as we’re tackling constantly changing hours at his place of employment and both working through our first semester of grad school.
For those of you who are just now tuning in to the Blue Moon wedding weekend, I kicked things off with a spa day and bridesmaids’ luncheon with some of my favorite ladies! I’m so glad we started with these two events before the official festivities began, because they really helped calm my nerves and get me in a relaxed frame of mind before becoming a bride.
After the luncheon ended, many of our out-of-town guests were beginning to arrive, so we headed back to Mr. Blue Moon’s parents’ place as a central meeting point to greet everybody.
My best friends from college sent goofy photos while en route to Nashville to keep us entertained.
I’m not sure why, but when it comes to providing desserts for functions, I tend to go full force. I get super excited because, as I have mentioned before, I absolutely love to bake. Naturally, when there is an opportunity to do so, I jump at the chance. Of course, I wasn’t going to take on the challenge of baking our wedding cake because I’m still such a novice baker, and I am really particular about how I want the cake to look. I knew that I couldn’t produce what a professional could, so I chose to leave that to them.
But when it comes to providing desserts for things like the bridal shower, bachelorette, and rehearsal dinner, I go for it! I baked a few test recipes for the bridal shower, and my lovely coworkers and Mr. Sundae were able to reap the sweet benefits. 🙂 Thankfully, all enjoyed, which led me to try my hand at a few more recipes for the rehearsal dinner.
I’ve contemplated what dessert to provide at the dinner for a few weeks now. I’ve gone back and forth between cake, cupcakes, Italian cookies, pasticiotti, and cannolis. No matter what I was deciding between, I wanted there to be some sort of Italian element, because my family is Italian and Mr. Sundae loves that (and Italian food). That’s also why I chose the restaurant that I did (Francesca’s Cucina).
I’ve been searching for recipes and have narrowed down the dessert options to:
So one thing that took a surprisingly long time to nail down was a venue for our rehearsal dinner. My future mother in law has the reigns on the details of planning the rehearsal, but we have all been working together for months to find a good location. We had a few “musts” on our list.
1. Vegetarian choices: We needed an option that would provide a delicious meal for all of our guests. Several places can offer a great meat option, but only provide salad and steamed vegetables for the non–meat eaters. This has happened to me too many times at weddings, and especially at rehearsal dinners, so I knew we did not want to subject our own guests to this.
2. Small-ish space: While we could have easily gotten a hotel conference room or something, I really wanted a space that would be small and distinctive. It didn’t have to match the feel of the wedding exactly, but I didn’t want a space that would be too big for our relatively small guest list.
In Hollywood, every wedding seems to be preceded by a wedding rehearsal, so I’d assumed it was a mandatory part of the nuptials. But now I have to ask myself…why?
Our entire rehearsal took all of 15 minutes. It was so exciting to see our family and friends at the Mansion at Valley Country Club, where we’d be married a mere 24 hours later. But in retrospect, I think we could have saved everyone a trip and just provided a few instructions in an email, or practiced the day of the wedding. Pretty much all our wedding party needed to know was the order in which they’d enter, stand in, and exit. Beyond that, it was sort of a waste of time…
…with one exception: the surprise I’d planned for Mr. Puffer. In the first photo I ever saw of Puff, he was wearing a ridiculous wig that I later learned fit his fun-loving, goofy personality to a tee. The wig was long gone, but family and friends still share the story of how I agreed to date a weird guy from Maryland in pink purple pigtails.
Most of our guests arrived on Wednesday afternoon and evening. It was lucky timing because Cabanas la Luna always has a welcome barbecue on Wednesday nights. So we didn’t do a formal welcome dinner, but everyone decided to hang out and eat the delicious barbecue and enjoy a margarita. One of Mr. Stingray’s best men had met a local magician performing the night before and surprised us with him at the welcome dinner. It was so awesome! He was very good and entertaining. There was also a live band playing—we were all having a blast. We ended the night at Villa Zanzibar catching up with all of our guests and just hanging out.
The next morning everyone had breakfast and relaxed on the beach. We left the day open for those that wanted to explore the ruins or Tulum, but didn’t have any structured plans until the rehearsal dinner. Some people ventured into town, to a cenote, or to the ruins. I’m so glad we ended up deciding to do things this way. It gave us the chance to hang out with all of our guests but also let anyone that wanted to do their own thing. I kept saying that it was just so amazing to have everyone there and be in the same “vacation” mindset. No one had to leave for work or go home early; we were all there to have fun and relax. It was incredible. We played some intense games of beach volleyball!