A few weeks ago, my family and I traveled to West Palm Beach to celebrate the marriage of my youngest cousin. Being one of her bridesmaids, I had front row seats to much of the celebration. Upon our arrival we were greeted by treats from the Bride and Groom, given to us the moment we checked in.
Of course the Bride’s favorite Orlando cupcake shop had to be included in the basket of goodies. Sweet! in Orlando is truly delicious!
Continuing with the theme of the water bottles from her Bridal Shower, these included the Groom’s name and matched the wedding color motif.
One of my favorite things in the basket was this little packet of seeds. It said “Plant these seeds to commemorate our new beginning. Natalie and Matthew.” This is a nice touch to let all guests literally watch your love bloom when they get back home. This will give them flowers to look at and remember your special day for days to come.
Later, I was off to the Wedding Rehearsal, Rehearsal dinner and a night of late night talks with the Bride, my cousin, uncles, aunts, my mom, more cousins… the entire gang. We sat and reminisced on years when we were all younger and much more carefree, days before any of us had children, or were married. We talked about the day ahead and all the gorgeous expectations and emotions we had surrounding it.
Watching my youngest cousin ready to set off to life as a married woman was a bit emotional for me. Each celebration leading up to this day was pure perfection, fun and filled with lots of love.
The rehearsal took place at the wedding venue, the gorgeous, peaceful golf course of The Breakers West Palm Beach. The setting, the greenery, the purity of being surrounded by nature was pure perfection. It was the perfect natural backdrop for the nuptials to take place. The rehearsal alone had a few of us a little emotional. You could just imagine how we would react on the actual wedding day!
After the rehearsal we headed off to Macaroni Grill for the traditional Rehearsal Dinner, which was hosted by the Groom’s parents as is customary. This gives the Groom’s side a chance to do a little planning and pampering the soon to me Mr. and Mrs. You really can’t go wrong with pasta! The choices were all delicious and everyone was able to enjoy a selection that fit their pallet, from pure pasta, to meat, chicken or a combo dish. The wine kept flowing through the night, which basically just relaxed all of our emotions and nerves a bit. Or maybe it just brought them out a little more, because when it came time for the toasts and Thank You’s, the emotions were once again rampant. The Groom’s mom gave a gorgeous speech celebrating the happy couple, welcoming their soon-to-be daughter-in-law and thanking her family and parents. The Rehearsal Dinner is a beautiful time to let others know how much you appreciate their hard work and sacrifices made for the Big Day, as it’s a wonderful time to celebrate and relish in the joining of two families.
Out-of-towners are also customary to join in the Rehearsal fun, giving them extra time to spend and enjoy with family and friends before the rush, madness and roller coaster of a day that the Wedding Day can be.
The Groom’s mom kept with some of the ideas from the Bridal Shower and incorporated the confetti of pictures of the Bride and Groom-to-be and sprinkled them all across the tables at the dinner.
Since the Bride gets all the attention and
all most of the choices for the Wedding Day, it’s nice to represent the Groom a bit more at the Rehearsal Dinner. This Groom’s cake was great representation of the Groom’s first love, his hometown football team, the Tampa Bay Bucs.
I particularly LOVED what the cake said, “And he thought he would never love anything more than FOOTBALL”. Now that’s a true football fan’s Groom’s cake. And I have to say, I think the girl has taken his heart more than football. Ok, maybe not if they Bucs are in the playoffs or during Monday Night Football.
The table of gifts for the Bridal Party and family of the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. They did a great job of thinking outside the box. Their parents received engraved silver frames to display a wedding photo, but also received tickets to a show so they could sit and relax a bit too. A beautiful Tiffany’s necklace for the Mother-of-the-Groom, so she could always remember this special day in her son’s life.
The Bridal Party was also spoiled with some great treats. Here I am below, with my own little bag of goodies. The Bridesmaids received rompers in coordinating prints to wear while we get ready on the Wedding Day as well as, a cute notebook in the Wedding colors, a kit to keep our nails intact, gorgeous jewelry – earings, a bracelet and a hair pin – to wear with our Bridesmaid dresses.
My favorite gift was these adorable little makeup bags with “Bridesmaid” or “Maid of Honor” adorned in rhinestones. We all got some good use out of them while we were getting ready and stored all of our goodies there for the Big Day.
The cards that came with our gifts were also perfect and personalized. They each had a picture of the bride with the recipient on the front. Here’s our Bride-to-Be with her Flower Girl. A beautiful and perfect moment captured at her Bridal Shower and now shared on the Thank You card given to her Flower Girl at the Rehearsal.
The gift tags on the bags were personalized with the couple’s monogram on one side, and the person’s name and relationship on the other. The Flower Girl, Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids and Groom’s men were all specifically titled.
Although the Bride’s God-daughter was too young (7-months-old) to participate as part of the Bridal Party, she was made a part of the wedding in every way. She was the only baby invited to the wedding, talk about a guest of honor! And she was even made a special little bag of gifts for the rehearsal as well. She received cute little outfits and other goodies from a Godmother that spoils her all too well.
The Flower Girl’s gift was perfect, personalized and a keepsake at best. She received fun things in her bag such as stickers and coloring books and other things that would keep her entertained. But the personalized heart-shaped jewelry box had the Flower Girl’s mom a little emotional. That is definitely a keepsake to remember the first wedding she walked for years to come.
The guys received matching ties and socks to wear on the day of the wedding. To keep in theme with the golf course wedding, they also received pens in the shape of golf clubs.
The gifts were very thought out, a little personalized and fitting for the Big Day ahead. Rehearsal dinners are all about thanking your bridal posse, spending time with those close to you and appreciating those who have traveled to be with you on your Big Day.
CHEERS to the new MR. & MRS. ARMSTRONG! Stay tuned for more about their WEDDING DAY!
What have you done for your rehearsal Dinner? What did you do to show your Bridal Party and parents that you appreciate them?