Rehearsal, Cocktails, and Dinner

Wednesday was the beginning of the fun. Actually, I take that back, Tuesday was the start when my friend and bridesmaid Caroline arrived from Germany. Shortly after came my parents and some other cross Atlantic travelers. The guests had begun to arrive!

Wednesday morning I woke up at my apartment full of vim and vigor. We started with a light breakfast at Macrina with Caroline and then the organizing began. Josh headed out to help his parents deliver welcome bags, find sandwiches, etc. Caroline and I packed my car full of decorations and wedding essentials - e.g. my wooden Pepsi crate, wicker baskets, the favor/escort baggies, banners, signs, oh my!

With the car packed, Caroline and I headed out in search of the Comfort Suites (actually the Quality Inn we later realized) to deliver a few welcome bags. After giving Caroline a nice tour of lower Queen Anne and unsuccessful search for the hotel, we changed course and headed to our destination, the Sheraton downtown.

The Sheraton downtown was the main hotel block for the wedding with only a few staying elsewhere. As a side note, they treated us very well. They even stored our leftover pie from the wedding in their refrigerators for us. How nice!

Caroline and I quickly unpacked at the hotel and then raced off for the .... rehearsal. Yes, I know rehearsal are generally held right before dinner later in the. Unfortunately for us, the venue had another event going that evening so we had to do it at 1pm instead. No sweat though. The rest of the bridal party arrived at 11am that morning and everyone made it to the rehearsal with no problems. Even lunch sandwiches made it (hence my reference to Josh helping his parents earlier in the AM).

The rehearsal was as you except a rehearsal to go. We practiced where we should stand, what we should say, the order of how we'd walk down the aisle. Yada yada. I, however, blushed quite a bit (darn that Irish blood!) when we were supposed to do our practice "Kiss the Bride" kiss. I thought our practice in the earlier weeks would have paid off more. Nope. I gave him the smallest little peck of a kiss. Then everyone was booing my kiss and I had to try again. How embarrassing (but good practice for the kiss during the actual ceremony was perfect - or at least I think it was). Thank goodness for practice!

The Rehearsal The Rehearsal

After the rehearsal come girl time. Nails! We had a little nail party at Julep, which was just a few blocks from the hotel. Lara, my friend and former co-worker at Acxiom, joined my mom, Caroline, Lindsay, Katja (yes, another German) and I to get some fab nails. The six of us sat in our little orange chairs and chit-chatted as our hands and feet we beautified.

I got the special treatment, Shellac and french tips, on my fingers. Caroline and I had the same color toes (twins again - twins since HS <-- not everyone is going to understand that comment; it's an inside joke).

Wedding Nails Wedding Nails

With some quick touches up back at the hotel, we were off to PARTY! It was cocktail hour first and then dinner. The cocktail party was hosted by the dear Brown friends, Vince and Jonita Davenport. They live in a lovely building downtown Seattle (minutes from the hotel). From their balcony you can see the Space Needle, Elliott Bay, and just the awesomeness that is downtown Seattle.

Vince and Jonita made all sorts of yummy appetizers and cocktails - sushi, meatballs, mini hotdog things, vodka tonic, etc. Some people (for instance, my sister) were a little surprise that Vince and Jonita love us so much that they keep a wall of pictures of just Josh and me. Okay, we'll it was just for the party, but the guests got to see our cute little faces from pictures our parents brought from home.

img_7454 Cocktail Party

Next up: Dinner! Some of us taxied it and some of us walked down to Pike Place Market to Steelhead Diner the rehearsal dinner venue. Steelhead Diner holds some nice memories for us. It's the restaurant where we went with Caroline and Gerald a few years when the four of us were vacationing together (back in '09). It's where I took my mom when we drove up from Eugene to go apartment hunting (in '10). Now, it's the place that we had our rehearsal dinner (in '11). And it did not disappoint. The food was delicious, the service the great, and the company couldn't be beat.

The Menu:

  • Brutus Salad (like a Cesear only different) - yes, I got the Cesear Brutus joke only after Lindsay told me

  • Family Style Entrees: Spice Rubbed Draper Valley Chicken and Lemon Crusted Halibut (uh, yum)

  • Sides:  Pan Roasted Green Beans with Marcona Almonds, Preserved Lemon & Chili Flake

  • Dessert:  Theo Chocolate Pecan Pie, Flourless Chocolate Cake, and Utopia Frozen Yogurt (how could this be an event for Heather w/o the froyo!?)

  • Heather's Cocktail of Choice: The Dragonfly (oh yea baby)

There were a few toasts. From Don's toast, I learned that Don and Nada put a photo of their "family" in the incubator when Josh was prematurely born, which wasn't their family but of their dog. No wonder Josh loves dogs! Actually, it was a lovely toast full of humor, love, and sentiment. Nada said a beautiful blessing. Josh thanked everyone for coming...which reminds of a fun fact: only 4 guests (6 if you include Josh and me) actually live in Seattle. Everyone else had to travel. And I said a quick thanks too (since I tried to walk back across the room too soon after toasts and got stuck with everyone staring at me).

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During the rehearsal dinner, the bridesmaids and grooms men also got their gifts. I got my girls handmade by a local designer from Etsy, Sadie Belle Jewelry. I told Stacey, the designer, what I wanted and she made it happen. They turned out lovely. Lindsay was shocked (see photo). Okay, that's a joke. The guys were gifted the ties for their suits the next day - a paisley cranberry color to match the bridesmaids dresses.

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Some other awesome things about the rehearsal dinner: the place settings. The Browns, who hosted the rehearsal dinner (shout out: THANKS Don & Nada), gave everyone a Theo chocolate bar with a sticker that had a picture of Josh and me (from our engagement photo shoot). And our name cards had the monogram stamp (The H+J one that I mentioned in my Preparations post). All the details made it the perfect night.

Cheers! (Below = Us laughing during Don's toast)

Rehearsal Dinner