Monday, June 21, 2010

Wedding weekend recap: Bridesmaids dinner, etc. (Thursday)

The Thursday before the wedding was spent running all over town dropping off hotel bags and picking up friends and wedding party members from the airport before the bridesmaids dinner that evening. One of my bridesmaids is (well, was) a seventh-grade science teacher and she had to be at school all day Friday since it was the last day of the schoolyear, so we changed the traditional luncheon to a dinner thing -- it worked out perfectly!

My first order of business Thursday morning was to make copies of the directions and weekend schedules I had typed up so I could stuff them into the hotel welcome bags. I hit up my dad's office for this, which is conveniently located next to the hotel farthest from midtown but closest to my parents' house. My bridesmaid Allison joined me for this errand, as she had arrived Wednesday evening, and snapped this picture of me on the way into the Crowne Plaza:

Having successfully dropped off one of three sets of guest bags, Allison and I went to CVS for some odds and ends before I took her back to my parents house (where she hung out so she could sign for my rental earrings, THANK YOU QUINNY YOU ROCK) and I headed to our apartment to stuff the remaining hotel bags with directions and schedules.

Before long, I was off to do my first airport run of the day. First up were Dante (a groomsman) and Raquel, coming in from NYC, and Kara (a bridesmaid), arriving from Grand Rapids. Fortunately everybody got there at about the same time and we found each other no trouble. I ferried Dante and Raquel to the Residence Inn in midtown and, while I was at it, dropped off that hotel's large, unwieldy boxes full of welcome bags with the help of Kara and the friendly valet's luggage cart. Two down!

Kara and I swung by my apartment to kill some time and so she could see our place. It was nice to sit not in a car for a while! But that didn't last long, because we had to head back to the airport to get Heidi, my bridesmaid who came in from Spain. Traffic was a TOTAL MESS on the connector (who is surprised), but thanks to a helpful tweet that was forwarded to me via text and a phone call to mom who called up the traffic map online, I successfully avoided gridlock and made it to the airport and back to my parents' house in plenty of time.

(Meanwhile, Jon and his buddies were out at the Braves came as part of his bachelor party -- the Braves were losing horribly early on, narrowed the gap through the game, and came back from a 3-run deficit to win in the bottom of the ninth off a grand slam. INSANE. We took it as a good sign for the wedding weekend.)

Back at mom and dad's house with all of the out-of-town bridesmaids, we started to get ready and prepared to dive back into the rush-hour scrum (this time on the surface streets) to get to Fritti, a delicious pizza place in Inman Park, by 7 p.m. Another bridesmaid met us at the house and we divvied up into three cars and headed south. I drove alone so I could pick up Jon's mom at the W Midtown and drop off the last of the guest bags while I was there. Done and done!

At last, the bridesmaids dinner! Time to sit and catch up with my girls and not have to run around for a few hours! It was great. We had reserved a private "loft" space, which was the perfect size for our group. We tend to be a rowdy bunch, and this meal was no different, so it's probably best that we set ourselves apart from the rest of the diners. With the private space came a private server, who made sure the wine glasses were always full and the pizzas kept coming. He also took some pictures of the whole group for us! He had an excellent sense of humor, which is a plus when dealing with a group of crazies like us.

Jon's mom on the left, mine on the right, and all the bridesmaids in between

Before the food came, we all had to document the occasion (and yes, we pretty much all had our cameras with us). Here are some of the pictures:

Allison and Kara, college roomies

Heidi, post-college friend who also went to NU, and Emily, my sister

Abby, my hetero lifemate, and me in front of the hilarious FLAME picture

me and Llama (my mama)

Before the food came and cluttered up the table, I gave all the bridesmaids their gifts. Here, Lindsay shows off her present, pre-opening:

Jo and Allison, who is modeling her new necklace

At long last, the food started to arrive. For starters, we had fried calamari and fried mushrooms, which were followed quickly by a mixed salad and a lovely arugula salad with shaved parmesan (my favorite). Everything was served family-style, including the pizzas, and just. kept. coming. I selected a menu of five of their pizzas, all of which were super delicious. We had the Regina Margherita, Crudo e Rucola (prosciutto and arugula, my fave), Ananas e Gorgonzola (pineapple and gorgonzola with balsamic vinegar), Toscana (bufala mozzarella, salami, cherry tomatoes and rosemary) and Funghi di Bosco (mushrooms with white truffle oil) pizzas. NOMMM. Needless to say, we did not have dessert.

When we were done, we took some more pictures...

the remains of the meal

fun with flames

The dinner wound down around 10 p.m., after which everyone in my car (that is to say, all the out-of-towners) headed to the Bookhouse Pub to meet up with some mutual friends for a drink. We visited for about an hour and a half and decided we were pooped, so we piled in the Mazda and headed home.

Abby and Allison on the back patio at Bookhouse

I had struggled with identifying a good bridesmaids luncheon place, so I was really glad that Lindsay solved my problem for me by suggesting a dinner (so she'd be able to join). It made Friday a whole hell of a lot easier, too! Bridesmaids dinner FTW. Good Thursday, y'all! Bring on the rehearsal...


thanks to Emily, Allison, Abby and Lindsay for the pictures!

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