Friday brought another day of sunshine and boating and a relatively early morning wake-up call to join the rest of the crew on the waters of the Tampa Bay. I had prayed to the high heavens that we would see a sunshiny weekend and the powers that be definitely waved their magic wands in our favor. Pure, glorious sunshine (with a few minor bouts of rain) during our trip. Unlike Thursday, where I naively went sunscreen-less (besides my face, of course) hoping to get a golden bronzy glow, I was quick to slather the SPF on my cherry-toned skin on Friday, eager to get my burn to fade before that night’s rehearsal dinner and the wedding on Saturday. As an aside: it’s not nearly as fun to be in the sun when you can’t tan. I know it’s blasphemous to say that I actually LIKE sunshine and tanning, but I do. Please, no hate mail from dermatologists around the globe.
25+ of us headed out on the bride’s and groom’s respective boats where we marinated in the water before heading back to grab a quick bite and get cleaned up for the rehearsal dinner.
Before heading home to get cleaned up, we made a pit stop in Ybor City, a historic neighborhood in Tampa that was founded by cigar manufacturers. The area was darling — I actually wish we could have spent a bit more time exploring — but we made it a quick stop and grabbed lunch outside at Gaspar’s Grotto where I noshed on a much-needed salad and tried conch fritters for the first time (a bit too fried for my taste, but a necessary order nonetheless). Note to self: must order conch more often when the opportunity arises.
After our late lunch, we rushed home (rushing was kind of the theme of the weekend — never a dull moment!) and got cleaned up. Boat Shoes had to be at the rehearsal ceremony an hour before the dinner so, unlike him, I had a bit of time to dilly dally whilst getting ready. The rehearsal dinner, held at the Tampa Club, was awesome through and through. The 42nd floor location provided some awesome views of the city while we had pre-dinner appetizers and drinks.
In line with the Tampa/yacht club-inspired theme, we were seated at the Mahi Mahi table. There were 100 or so people at the rehearsal and it probably rivaled most weddings. Everything was first class and done to perfection.
Also, I can certainly appreciate that they knew their target audience. Wonderful, perfectly themed (and useful?!) favors:
The rehearsal dinner captured more of the traditional aspects of a wedding: assigned tables, a signature cocktail (the ‘pink elephant’ which was a bit reminiscent of a mudslide… so delish), the slideshow and toasts. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.
We finished up the night at Hattrick’s, a nearby bar, where we hung out for a bit until people began disappearing after the long day. Check back tomorrow for a few snapshots from the wedding!
xoxo from SF,