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Friday, January 18, 2013

Wedding Eve Bash

Henry and I opted for a less traditional Rehearsal Dinner.
Most rehearsal dinner's are for intimate family members and the wedding party.
We invited extended family who were already in town for our out-of-town wedding, wedding party members and their families, and friends in general. We held it at a local bar - the bar where Henry first saw me to be correct - Daisy Dukes. It was a country bar, so the natural decor and setting was perfect for our theme and required no extra decorations. They had a large screen and projector for a slideshow at no extra charge, bars to provide alcohol, djs to play music, and are owned by the same people who own La Bodega, our favorite restaurant, so catering was rolled into the package. It was simple and easy. 

We decided to hold toasts at the rehearsal instead of the day of the wedding due to social anxieties and knowing that our group likes to get rowdy and drink....which could result in a speech only few would understand anyway. It was a great idea I feel because it was more intimate and didn't waste time at the wedding. Although I am sure those at the wedding who weren't at the rehearsal were a little baffled on why we didn't hold an official toast. 
Uncle Billy and Uncle Warren
Uncle Mark and Cousin Matthew, Usher, girlfriend, Kaitlin
Aunt Shiela and Cousin Laura
Cousin's Shaye and Aimee, Niece Wheezy 
Fabulous friends, Lorenzo and Leslie! You will be seeing much more of them in the blogs to come.
Henry had taken the guys to a Rangers game earlier in the year for their groomsmen gifts, so the bridesmaid and flower girls opened their gifts at the rehearsal dinner. Each bridesmaid was gifted a different Coach wristlet. Each wristlet then had a mini-survival kit tucked inside: Disposable toothbrush, disposable floss/toothpick, nail file, tissues and compact hair brush/mirror.
All the girls reading their Thank You cards.
Sister/Maid of Honor, Stefanie, and Cousin, Megan
Longest friend, Airika
College Best Friends, Danni and Lauryn
All the girls from left to right: Airika, Megan, Audrey (sister-in-law), Danni, Lauryn, Stefanie
The flower girls received little fairytale princess dress-up packages. Each package had a veil with a tiara, a wand and a ring - so they could dress up with the bride-to-be. 
Baby cousin, Shaye 
Niece, Ariana, also known as "Wheezy"
My bridesmaid, Danni, put together a wonderful heartfelt slideshow compiled of numerous photos which she had broken down into "chapters" - Meet Heather, Meet Henry, Meet their friends and Family, Heather and Henry as a couple. It had almost everyone in tears and laughing. 

Lovely friend, Leslie
Hubby and myself laughing at photos on the slideshow

In-laws - I am suppose to state for the record they both were crying.

Fabulous, life-saving, in-law Aunt Terri!
Uncle Mark and Aunt Marilyn
Everyone enjoying the slideshow
The toasts were amazing. It was funny because as we mentioned time for speeches my sister and Casey kind of danced around each other trying to pick who would go first. Finally my sister said, "Fine, Ill go first!" and walks up to the front to claim the microphone. She then proceeds to whip out a long, pre-typed speech. I was cracking up! My favorite part was how she said she loved Henry for accepting us a package deal, he never tried to separate us as sisters, allowed her to tag along on outings and allowed her to help on the most important things, picking out my ring and the proposal - and made her feel loved on all occasions. I had never thought of that before, but it was true. Henry treated my sister like she was his sister too, and it made my heart smile hearing what wonderful things my sister had to say about my future hubby and how she adored him as a brother too. 
My sister, Stefanie, giving her speech.
This is where the great part of him accepting her as my sister came in - the water works are in full flow.
Love my little sister - and our 2nd cousin decides to jump in on the hugs. <3
Casey apparently was not aware we were giving a speech that night, so he had to wing it. LOL But he did a phenomenal job. I honestly did not expect such a well delivered speech. He had everyone bursting into laughter when he said He knew Henry and I were serious because Henry refused to bring me around any of them for the first few months.
Henry said he was afraid his friends would scare me off - he was right. Had I not been so in love with Henry, his rowdy friends probably would have been too much to handle up front. I had never met so many guys who could party and drink so much! And I drank and partied a lot, I had just turned 21 when I met Henry, so the partying had just begun.
His friends were another breed. 
Someone recorded Casey's speech, I need to find them.
Good 'ole Casey steps up to the plate.

After it was all done, most people stayed out and partied. Henry went back to his friend Justin and Lacey's house, where I proceeded to my hotel room with my bridesmaids and about 10 bottles of wine.
Henry and his Niece, Alanna
All teary eyed with my Great Uncle Joe all the way from Cali and my Mom.
Greatest Father-in-law in the world!
Mom and Sister

Our fabulous photographer, Michelle, followed us to the hotel room to capture us goofing off and jumping on the bed. However our goofing off was cut short due to the room next door pounding at the wall every time we started laughing. Damn fun suckers! It was like 10 pm on a Friday! Sheesh.


It was a great Wedding Eve Bash before the Big Day!