On Sunday, I did a few things around the house in the morning and then I participated in the Alpha Phi officer transitions where the old officers hand off everything to the new officers. After officer transitions, I went to Broken Barrel for dinner with the other advisors which was super fun. By this point I started to realize that I had a ton of things left to do and not enough time before the wedding so I quickly emailed my boss and asked if I could also take off Monday and Tuesday. He was nice enough to let me take the extra two days as long as I could swing by the office and hand everything off a little more formally.
I got up early on Monday and did some more work around the house and then headed to Vero Beach to hand off my leftover work assignments. I left for work around 10am, got to work around 11am and then headed out around 12pm. I went over to the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa and to the Holiday Inn Oceanfront to drop off the amenity boxes (see my last post). After that, I headed to the mall to try to find something to wear for my rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I found one dress for $30 at American Eagle so I bought it but it was pretty casual. Then I found a better dress at JC Penney's for the same price so I bought it too :) I figured I would wear the nicer one to the rehearsal and the casual one to another event. By the time I finished shopping and errands it was almost 5pm when I got home. I ate some dinner and then quickly got started on making wristlets for my bridesmaids. They came out so cute!! Sorry I don't have pics of them yet, I forgot my SD card in the car in Orlando. Ryan came home from his bachelor party weekend in New Orleans around 11pm or 12am and then we stayed up a bit to chat about his trip. I think they all had a great time and everyone came back in one piece.
Tuesday morning Ryan went in to work for a half day. I don't even remember exactly what I was working on in the morning but I'm sure it was wedding or house related. For lunch, Kayla invited me to go to Jason's Deli with her and Ryan decided to join us too. It was a nice little break before more wedding errands and such. In the afternoon, Ryan worked on his groomsmen gifts (personalized/etched beer mugs) and my mom flew into Orlando and drove down to our house. Pretty much right after Ryan got one groomsmen gift done it was time for him to drive to Orlando to pick up his groomsmen and long-time friend Eddie from Maryland. My mom and I started making little chocolate birds for the favors from a Ghirardelli chocolate bar. As soon as the boys got back, we went to our local Wagon Wheel Pizza for some calzones and strombolis. After dinner, it was pretty much time for my mom to head back down to Vero Beach Hotel to check in and get some sleep.
Wednesday morning I got up and went right to the kitchen to keep working on the chocolate birds. They were surprisingly easy to make - I just broke up the chocolate bar, melted the chunks in a ziploc bag, then cut the tip off and squeezed it into a mold. The best part is that the chocolate can be re-melted over and over again as long as you don't burn it. So as I scraped off excess chocolate or it got stuck in the ziploc, I would just let it harden and then collect it to use it again later. My mom got to my house just before lunch so we finished up the birdhouses and stuffed all the candy in them and got a few other little things ready. Mom and I then headed out for our beauty appointments, heehee. We grabbed lunch at Mustard's Last Stand (a little hot dog place) and then headed to Olivia Carol salon where Shantel waxed my eyebrows (just evened them up for me), we got Shellac manicures and spa pedicures. Then mom and I headed to the mall to look for shoes for her rehearsal outfit and get my wedding rings cleaned before the big day. by the time we got back to my house, my stepdad Joe and brother Will were at our house hanging out with Eddie and Ryan (who had spent the afternoon mountain biking and having fun). From there we all went down to Vero to a restaurant called "The Patio" for a 20th anniversary dinner for my Mom & Joe. I had never been to the Patio and it doesn't look all that fancy but the food was INCREDIBLE! I got the special which was two huge scallops perfectly cooked and served over a delicate spinach risotto. Other people got Mahi, grouper and all sorts of other seafood. Everyone was so happy with the food that we even ordered dessert (which was also great)! It was pretty late when we got back so we just went to bed. Late that night my maid of honor Ashley made it to our house and I was already in bed so I had left a door open for her and a couch made up with blankets and pillows since Eddie was in the guestroom and Will was upstairs on the other couch. As an anniversary present to my parents, I had champagne, roses and chocolates waiting in their hotel room and then they had the room to themselves for the night. They also got breakfast in bed the next morning.
Ryan was pretty tired from his bachelor party and several nights of no sleep so he slept in a bit and Ashley and I took the dog to Paradise Luxury Pet Estate for boarding. We also stopped at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and got groceries for the family bbq at our house that day. Ryan, Will and Eddie were running some errands so they didn't get back until around 11am - about the same time as my parents (and when the bbq was supposed to start). But it all worked out pretty well - we got the food made and put out and it was pretty clean when people started showing up. I even had time to put on shorts and a cute top. Quite a few people managed to come over for the BBQ and hang out. All our parents and most of our grandparents were there. Some of my aunts/uncles/cousins and even a few friends made it. We just hung out, ate burgers and hot dog, toured the house, and chilled on the deck. Some of my cousins took out the kayaks looking for manatee and Ryan even took some people for a ride on the pontoon boat. The only downside was that by the time everyone left we had very little time to cleanup, pack for the wedding and get ready for the reherasal. We had less than an hour to do all that so we were pretty rushed. But I made it to the rehearsal just in time and looking cute and Ryan and Eddie were right behind me. We quickly ran through the ceremony and who walks when and then headed to Osceola Bistro for some dinner. Again the food was excellent! Everyone loved the thank-you gifts we got them and was raving about the food. After the rehearsal, most people went home but a few of us went down to Waldo's (a local bar) and hung out for a few more hours. After Waldo's we headed back to Vero Beach Hotel where we were staying and were partying in the room until hotel management came and told us to quiet down...twice...LOL. Finally it was time to go to sleep before the big day...
Stay tuned for the scoop on the wedding day...