The day before the wedding started off bright and early.  All of my bridesmaids were finally in Atlanta, and we were going to Tree for the bridesmaids’ brunch.  Most of us met at my place, piled into a car, and headed out for brunch.  As luck would have it, hurricane Faye did not stay away for the entire weekend.  The morning was fairly cool for August (not that we were complaining) and semi-overcast.  At Tree we decided to sit on the patio since that was where CGN was working.  It was only drizzling for a bit, and we had the protection of the porch umbrellas.

We all ordered our food, then I gave the girls their gifts.  I bought all of them the necklace and earrings for the wedding.  The necklace was 3 strands with black Swarovski crystals and the earrings were dangling matching crystals.  Everyone really liked them (woot, go me!).  I’ve even seen some of the girls wearing them post-wedding.

We all decided to order bellinis to toast my last day as a single girl.  When the food came, I was starving but I ended up finding it hard to eat.  I think it had finally hit me that after 8.5 years, T and I were getting married the next day.  I managed to eat, but not much since my stomach was slowly twisting into knots (of excitement).  I had another bellini to calm my nerves, then we headed over to the venue to do the rehearsal.

We had to be very punctual because there was another wedding taking place that night.  Of course, T and 2 of the groomsmen were late.  I had asked him to run a couple of errands that morning, and when they were finished the boys decided to get brunch (which took longer than they expected).  Then they got caught in road construction traffic.  They finally showed up about 10 minutes late.  Even the priest was a bit late.  My dad, who used to be in the army, started to go crazy drill Sargent on the boys when they finally showed up.  We were ushered into our places and began the run through, which basically consisted of us walking down the aisle and figuring out how to stand.  The priest gave us a brief (very brief) run down on how the ceremony was going to go, and that was that.  In hindsight, I wish he would have been a little more specific about the ceremony (you’ll find out why in the wedding recap).

After the rehearsal, the BMs, T and I went to get our mani/pedis, except T, he was mani only.  I felt bad for making him go, but his nails are horrendous.  The groomsmen were ribbing him for having to get a girly manicure, but in the end he actually liked it.  He was completely relaxed and his nails looked great.  (I totally recommend having your guy get a mani before your wedding.  There are so many pictures that show your hands, and you don’t want him to have mangled boy nails).

After all of this running around, we had about 45 minutes of down time before the rehearsal.  The girls and I went back to the house to freshen up and headed to the Greek restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was.  I was super excited at this point.  This was one of the first times that T and I were going to see all of our out of town families and guests, and we couldn’t wait to celebrate with them.  We’d rented out a private room at this awesome Greek restaurant for our massive dinner.  There were 50 of us.  We showed up, got some drinks, and made the rounds.

As dinner was about to get started, the dads rounded all of us up so they could do their speeches and play the slide show they made for us.  Big T’s (T’s dad) speech was funny.  He basically roasted the bridal party and reminisced about the days when I first started dating T.  It was cute.  My dad’s speech was a mix of sentimental and humor, and he got choked up during the first few sentences.  It was great, but I was definitely tearing up through out the whole thing.  Then the sideshow started.  It was awesome.  My dad had collected a ton of pictures of T and I from babies till we were grown ups.  It was very sentimental, especially when I saw pictures of my grandfather (my dad’s dad).  He passed away in 2006, and it really bummed me out that he wasn’t there.  And I was also sad that my grandparents from Germany weren’t there to share in the big day either.

After we all dried our eyes, we ate our awesome dinner.  Towards the end of dinner, the belly dancers came in.  This was seriously my favorite part of the night!  The waitstaff started grabbing huge piles of cocktail napkins, yelled “Opa,” and started tossing them all over the room.  Then the belly dancers came in.  One of them took off her scarf, grabbed T, and made a turban on his head.  It was hilarious.  He looked like a sheik.  Then she grabbed both of us, pulled us onto the table, and we danced along with her.  At one point my dad even ended up on the table!  All of the guests were dancing, laughing and having an awesome time.  The guys were chasing the belly dancers around to give them tips and the girls were shaking it right along with them.  Napkins were flying all over the place as we all kept yelling “Opa.”  It definitely wasn’t your traditional rehearsal dinner, but it was a great way for all of our out of town guests to get to know each other.  It was an awesome ice breaker.

Now for some photographic evidence:

Sheik T and the Opa napkins

Up on the tables dancing

Opa!

My dad is up here too!

Me with my awesome bridesmaids in the napkin carnage:  ASP, Little S, Me, JD, CMc, and CoLo

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