After a day at the aquarium followed by a night on the town, the bridesmaids and I decided that the next day would be one of relaxation. Well, sort of! We slept in a little later than usual, then quickly dressed and ran out the door to get to the nail salon.
We picked up some sustenance in the form of Panera sandwiches and coffee, and proceeded to the nail salon for manicures and pedicures. It was definitely nice to sit in a comfy massage chair for an hour or so...with the hustle and bustle of pre-wedding excitement, it can sometimes be difficult to take a moment to relax and take everything in. However, I highly recommend taking some time to yourself before your wedding day if at all possible!
After the nail salon, the bridesmaids and I headed over to my parents' house. Some of my relatives had arrived the previous afternoon, and I was eager to say "hello!" Do you remember how I mentioned that I had committed my relatives to slave labor on my behalf? Well, my mom, both my grandmothers, my aunt, AND my grandfather had been hard at work on our favors into the wee hours of the night. They must love me...
They look happy enough, right?
The idea for our favor came up randomly one night. I was at dinner with my parents, and we were discussing some wedding details. My mom and I were commiserating about the situation. The original idea was to bag up some yummy key lime cookies from a local bakery. However, something about it was just not exciting us. Then, out of nowhere, my dad came up with a brilliant idea! If you recall, Justin and I met because of our pups. When I was a kid, my mom used to make a delicious snack called "puppy chow" all the time - a combo of Crispix cereal, peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar. Why not bag up some "puppy chow" for our guests as a nod to the furry friends that brought us together? The decision was made on the spot. So, a few days before the wedding, my family members were wrangled into melting peanut butter and chocolate, shaking bags filled with powdered sugar, and portioning each treat into white coffee bags that I had affixed monogrammed stickers to.
Things were incredibly busy at our household when we arrived; bags had to be packed, supplies had to be delivered, and we still had an important appointment to go to that afternoon! Do you remember how I said my florist would give me a flower preview? It was time for mine! When we walked into my appointment, I was bracing myself...even though I knew that Debbie had a firm grasp on my vision, I was very anxious to see if it was realized!
Oh boy, was I ever excited! As soon as my eyes landed on our flowers, a huge grin spread across my face. They were perfect. No, more than perfect, if that is even possible! Ok, so I am going to go ahead and spoil my pro pics by showing you my flowers now...but I just can't help myself! Can you see why I was about ready to jump for joy?
Fun fact: I don't know that we ever discussed the size of my bouquet in our meetings. My bridal bouquet was LARGE and IN CHARGE! Seriously: look at it next to me!
However, it was perfect. Absolutely perfect. The peonies and cabbage roses looked stunning together, especially with the seeded eucalyptus.
Debbie even added sprigs of rosemary, as it is a calming herb (and what bride doesn't need a little bit of calm on her wedding day?). The bridesmaids' bouquets turned out beautifully as well; they were created with cabbage roses, creamy stock, lisianthus, white cymbidium orchids, and seeded eucalyptus.
Gorgeous. I pretty much did not want to leave my flowers at that point; I was infatuated. But alas, there were things to do and people to see, so BM L, A, and I headed back to Clearwater. Bye bye my lovelies...
On the way back to the beach house, I took BM L and A through some back roads near the water. It was a lovely scenic drive. I also wanted to point out to them where our rehearsal dinner was going to take place the following evening. When we drove through downtown Clearwater, I saw the restaurant up ahead. As we passed by, I made a comment that something looked strange...but I couldn't put my finger on it.
Little did I know what was to come...