Yesterday Ryan and I arrived in Chicago bright an early after catching a 6 a.m. flight out of Tampa. We wanted to be sure to get to the Windy City early enough so we wouldn’t miss any of the activities and events Leah and Matt planned for the weekend.
My friend Michaela picked us up from the airport and brought us back to her house where we hung our until Michaela and I had to leave to attend a wonderful bridesmaid luncheon hosted by Leah’s mother at Season’s 52 (yes, the same restaurant I LOVE in Orlando!).
Fortunately Michaela’s boyfriend Kyle arrived about an hour or so after we left, so Ryan had a guy to hang out with while we were away. We laughed and said they were going on a “blind man date” because the two of them have only met briefly when Kyle came to our wedding with Michaela since we were clearly a little busy that weekend. Luckily they got along great!
The bridesmaid luncheon was a really neat way for Leah’s bridal party to all have some special time with the bride, her mother and future mother-in-law before the craziness of the wedding starts in.
Leah was absolutely glowing (she’s sitting on the far right) and said that she felt like she was having an “out-of-body experience.” I completely related to what she was saying because I remember planning and planning for our wedding and when the day finally arrives it almost feels surreal.
If you were a blog reader around the time of our wedding, you may recognize the two girls to my left in the above picture! Michaela and Carrie (as well as Leah!) were also bridesmaids in our wedding. It is so fun being part of the wedding of such an amazing couple with so many people that I absolutely love.
At Season’s 52, our group shared flatbread appetizers before digging into our meals. I had a piece of the steak and crimini mushroom flatbread that was fantastic! I even debated ordering one as my actual meal.
I eventually decided on deconstructed fish tacos with guacamole and salsa.
The dish was a little too spicy for my personal taste, but it was really delicious and I ate every bite.
After the luncheon, we drove back to Michaela’s house to pick up the boys and quickly change into fancier dresses for the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
Leah and Matt have a large bridal party, but everything went really smoothly with the rehearsal!
This is the first time I’ve ever been a bridesmaid in a wedding, so I am a little nervous for my walk down the aisle! I hope I don’t trip in my clunky heels!
During the rehearsal, Ryan and Kyle were troopers and hung out in the pews together. Ryan snapped some pictures, including this one that I think captures all of the love and emotion inside of Leah.
She is going to be the most gorgeous bride!
Once the rehearsal was done, Ryan, Michaela, Carrie, Kyle and I all piled into Carrie’s car and headed downtown for the rehearsal dinner at Petterino’s, a nice Italian restaurant located in the heart of Chicago.
We got stuck in some pretty awful traffic, but our group was a lively one and had a lot of fun making up wildly inappropriate nicknames of each other. I love every moment with these guys! I just wish we all lived closer so I could see them more often.
When we arrived at the restaurant, I enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine during cocktail hour before we took our seats for dinner.
Don’t my nails look fantastic? Okay, fine, so those aren’t my nails. I’m going to use my friend Carrie’s hands as my hand model this weekend because she always has the prettiest nails. She gave herself that French manicure!
Dinner itself was delicious! We all enjoyed the most amazingly doughy rolls and fresh salad before our entrees arrived.
(Notice my hand model again?)
I opted for the parmesan encrusted chicken which was a great choice.
Dessert was also delicious!
This cheesecake wasn’t too dense or overwhelming. It was light and fluffy and I practically scraped my plate clean!
If the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are any indication of Leah and Matt’s wedding today, I think it’s going to be a day full of love, laughter, emotion and excitement. I can’t wait to watch Leah walk down the aisle!