After the rehearsal we had a short 15 minute drive to the Rose Tree Inn for the dinner. First, though, Tim and I had to stop at the house to pick up the wedding party gifts he was supposed to have loaded into the SUV earlier. Ah well, at least we weren’t the last ones to arrive.

Our Rehearsal Dinner was at the Rose Tree Inn in where my brother had his dinner 5 years ago. The venue had done such a nice job and the price was reasonable compared to many other places it was sort of a no-brainer. Also, a pre-selected menu is given to the guests so they can order from 4 or 5 entrees instead of being restricted to one or two. I had the duck that night, but we also had a lovely filet, a chicken dish, pasta, and I believe we had a fish selection, or maybe it was lamb. The dinner started with an hour of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed by a sit-down dinner. We also had an open bar which proved to be VERY expensive. I had no idea our guests could consume THAT much alcohol in a 2.5 hour time period but it ended up putting us $600 over the budget I had allowed!! LOL Anyway, something to look back on and laugh about. Everyone had a great time celebrating with me and Tim and that’s what matters most.

Once cocktails were over and dinner was in progress, Tim and I made the rounds of the tables to say thank you and also to hand out wedding party gifts. We gave all the groomsmen a monogrammed flask and also a monogrammed gym bag. The girls were a bit more fun. I chose individual gifts suited to them, rather than buy all of them the same thing. I gave Lily, my niece and flower girl, a rag doll dressed as a bridesmaid and a small tote with her initial. Each of the girls got a black mesh tote with their name embroidered in purple but what was inside was personalized to them. I gave Kayli a tiny silver heart charm necklace with a 1/3 carat diamond in the center. Stephanie received a pearl and skull bead necklace by a famous celebrity designer who is one of her faves. The designer’s name escapes me now. I gifted Dea with a rhinestone encrusted clutch evening purse because buying her jewelry is quite a task! Leah received a Swarovski broach encrusted in various purple colored crystals in the shape of a flower. And finally, Sam will be receiving a brand new state of the art sewing machine (which is currently on back order and coming soon). I gave thank you cards to other family and friends who participated and assisted in various ways with the wedding.

After dinner Tim’s dad gave a lovely toast and welcomed me to the family. Everyone had a lovely time. After it was all over Tim drove me back to my parents’ house where we practiced our wedding kiss before he left to stay at the hotel. I still had some prep to do. My mom had gifted me a custom monogrammed label with my new initials so I sewed that into the back of my dress and then dry pressed the ballgown skirt. I gathered the things I would need for the day into my wedding tote then got a snack and headed to bed. The wedding day was arriving fast…one more sleep and it would be the day I had spent 16 months planning for and my whole life waiting for….

Stay tuned for Part III.