While I shared all about our wedding last month (find all the posts here), I recently realized I hadn’t blogged about our rehearsal dinner yet, so here you go! :) One of the best decisions I made right before the wedding was that I gave myself a deadline to finish my last few wedding-related tasks (I believe my cutoff was Wednesday), and then told my coordinator that if anything else came up, she should go to my mom instead of me. Worked like a charm! I took Thursday and Friday off from work to welcome family and my bridal party as they all made their way to North Carolina, get my nails done with my sisters and friends, host a little welcome luncheon for my bridesmaids, and soak in my last few days before the wedding.
Dave and I still talk about how wonderful our rehearsal dinner was–his parents and siblings did an amazing job pulling some sweet details together and planning a really joyful evening. Dave’s mom asked me to send her an inspiration board for the celebration, and my inspiration board-loving heart was happy to pull together the following, inspired by the dinner venue:
Clockwise from top left: The Nichols via Southern Weddings, Belathee Photography via Style Me Pretty, Delbarr Moradi via 100 Layer Cake, Landon Jacob via Southern Weddings, KT Merry via Wedding Sparrow, Brumley & Wells via A Crimson Kiss
Even though I was a little nervous at our rehearsal, it went super smoothly. I’m on the wedding committee at our church now and have learned that that is not always the case, so I’m extra thankful for our patient and cooperative bridesmaids and groomsmen who made it so easy! Here’s one picture of Dave and I practicing our walk back up the aisle–I wore the same Kate McDonald dress I had worn to my bridal showers, gold sparkly heels, and the Kate Spade earrings Dave gave me on the day we got engaged to throw me off! :)
The dinner was held at Coquette, a French restaurant in North Raleigh that Dave and I love. We decided on two long tables so everyone could sit together, and it worked out beautifully. It was so surreal to have the 50 people we love most in the world all together in one cozy room!! My mother-in-law recruited Alana of Serendipity Designs, who I’ve met through work a few times, to add some fluffy peonies and ranunculus to the table, and they were the perfect finishing touch next to our striped straws and crisp place cards. Coquette’s napkins fit right into our color scheme and style :)
Dave and I got to pick two starters (Mesclun salad and French onion soup), three entrées (coq au vin, beef bourguignon, and pan-seared salmon with asparagus), and two desserts (strawberry napoleon and crême brulée) that our guests could choose from. I loved that everyone got to pick something they wanted, though it was hard to choose because everything sounded amazing! I had the salmon and it was delicious.
The highlight of the night was when Dave’s three older siblings presented a joint toast (with an accompanying slideshow!)–it was so sweet, hilarious, and touching. They’ve made me feel like part of the family from day one, and hearing their words meant so much to me. My little brother also decided to make an impromptu speech, and it had me, and many others in the room, in tears. Siblings are just the best :) Here’s a shot of me and mine below! Aren’t they the cutest?
Another memorable moment was when my sister presented Dave with his “groom’s cake” that she made!! Dave’s all-time favorite dessert is dirt dessert, and while I couldn’t quite let gummy worms into our elegant wedding, Dana made Dave his very own dirt dessert for the rehearsal dinner, complete with a buried bottle of bourbon! It was SO cute and totally unexpected!
The whole night was so joyful and fun–the perfect kick-off to our wedding weekend. All my love to my in-laws for making it so wonderful!
That was our last pre-wedding day kiss–I told Dave to make it a good one :)