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Jungle Love: The Rehearsal Dinner

April 15, 2012

In my last recap post, I said our next stop would be the rehearsal dinner, but I forgot about our hotel cocktail hour! Our hotel had made a few mistakes with our group rate, and kindly made it up to us by hosting a cocktail hour in one of their social rooms. That was where Mr. Panther gave his groomsmen their gifts.

Groomsmen gifts

Mr. Panther used very manly black gift wrap to enclose his gifts, which included a black skinny tie and silver tie clip

Groomsmen gifts

Personalized pewter beer mugs

Groomsmen gifts

And, inexplicably, little plastic dragons. Don’t ask me. I don’t know.

Groomsmen gifts

After a few drinks and appetizers, it was time to head over to the rehearsal dinner, where we’d hand out the rest of the gifts. (Not all my girls could make it to the cocktail hour.)

Wedding party gifts

Our rehearsal dinner was held at The Brewhouse in South Norwalk, CT – a restaurant where Mr. Panther’s jazz band used to play when he was little. From our party on the top floor, we could look down on the giant copper kettles.

Brewhouse South Norwalk CT

We kicked things off by giving out the rest of the gifts. My bridesmaids were first.

Bridesmaid gifts

The first gift was a monogrammed champagne flute. I totally copied MOH Alisa (she gave her bridesmaids champagne flutes, too), but she was gracious enough to pretend she didn’t notice.

Bridesmaid gifts

We posed for a classy bridesmaids group shot …

Bridesmaid group shot

Obviously, we didn’t keep our cool very long.

Bridesmaid group shot

I also got the girls patterned robes and covered the cost of their hairstyles. Not pictured here, but you’ll see those in the next post!

Next, we gave gifts to our little flower girls. We gave them personalized jewelry boxes with little Disney bracelets inside of them.

Flower girl gifts

For everyone else involved in the wedding – our parents, my grandfather (our officiant), and my uncle (who walked me down the aisle) – we picked out various gift certificates. I wish we’d come up with something more creative, but everybody loves eating and massages, right?! Our creativity had really just run out by that point, unfortunately. Can you tell by my face?

Parent gifts

After the final gift had been given, we moved onto toasts.


We heard from Mr. Panther’s parents, Mr. Panther’s grandfather, my uncle, my grandfather, and my cousin. We cried a little, we laughed a lot …


Then, Mr. Panther got up to thank everyone, and we drank.


Everybody was having a great time, enjoying the laid-back atmosphere and mentally preparing for the extravaganza to come the next day.

Rehearsal dinner

We posed for pictures (here’s Mr. Panther and his family)..

Rehearsal dinner

We ate an amazing dinner …

Rehearsal dinner

And some lucky guests even got to do some coloring. JEALOUS!

Rehearsal dinner

I have to give a shout-out to our photographer – a close family friend of Mr. Panther’s – Mr. Emmet Gemme. Here he is, taking a break from the camera to pose with Groomsman Easy.

Emmet Gemme

Finally, the hilarity had to come to a close.

Rehearsal dinner - The Brewhouse

It was time for the majority of the guests to head back to their hotel, with the exception of my bridesmaids and I. We’d be crossing the Saugatuck River to return to the bridal suite at the Inn at Longshore.

Unfortunately, we failed to realize that the Fourth of July fireworks would cause all the local bridges to close. I don’t have any photos of our 1.5 hour car trip, and it’s a good thing, because it was not pretty. Finally, we made it back to our room, where I went straight to bed. I was getting married, and I needed my beauty sleep – BADLY.

Miss any of the Panther recaps? Get caught up!

  • Pre-Wedding Chaos
  • Ready, Set, Rehearse!
  • What do you have planned for your rehearsal dinner? Laid-back or fancy-pants?

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