Our rehearsal dinner took place about a block away from our wedding rehearsal at 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House in St. Petersburg.
We all walked over to the restaurant from the rehearsal destination and spent 20 minutes or so mingling, sipping on drinks and enjoying hot appetizers.Once we all took our seats, Ryan stood up to thank everyone for coming and express our gratitude for the support and love we felt from everyone in the room throughout our lives.We then placed our orders and chatted away while we waited for our food to come out.
Prior to the dinner, I wrote a little poem I planned to read, but I started to chicken out. Ryan asked me when I was going to read my poem and I told him I wasn’t planning on reading it anymore because I felt too nervous!
Apparently my dad overheard this conversation and before I knew it, he and Ryan teamed up on me and started clinking their glasses to get everyone’s attention so I could read my poem. Grr!
We stand here before you
In a relationship sent from above
But we know we would not be “us”
If not for your love
Your warm hugs and your support
Your tears and your jokes
All helped us become who we are
You are some very special folks
Friendships as tight as families
And family members who are our friends
We feel blessed beyond belief
To know that upon you we can depend
You’ve been there to encourage us
To lift us up when we felt low
Your unconditional love
Gave us the ability to grow
Tomorrow our lives will change
When we exchange our vows
That’s something we’re ready to do
Because you all showed us how
After we were all finished eating our main meals, my mom, Ryan’s mom and my sister stood up and surprised us with a beautiful slide show that included baby pictures of me and Ryan that looked oddly similar! They did an excellent job of pairing pictures of Ryan and me doing similar things at similar stages in our lives, which were hysterical and so fun to see.
Then they surprised us by opening up the floor and allowing people to share stories and talk about us and our relationship.
It was so moving to hear from people we care so much about and many of the stories had us laughing pretty hard.Eventually it was time for dessert which came in the form of pumpkin spice cupcakes that Ryan’s mom brought as a surprise for everyone.By the time dinner was over, our bellies were full… but so were our hearts. It sounds cheesy (I know it totally is), but it’s true.
The rehearsal dinner was the perfect precursor to a wonderful wedding day!