Bridesmaid Clara and I have been BFFs since third grade. Our friendship spans a kind-of-unbelievable seventeen years; we went to elementary school, middle school, high school, and college together. She is also the wise soul who met Mr. Octo at university band camp, insisted that he was the perfect guy for me, and dragged me to that fateful toga party so she could introduce us. Over those many, many years, we have also gotten to know each other's families very, very well. Due to our friendship with each other, our parents became friends as well, and it's really just all pretty adorable.
Clara's parents were able to retire fairly young, and felt that life in our small-town home in upstate New York just wasn't going to be enough for them. They decided to retire to--of all places--Pittsburgh! They refurbished an old row house in a historic district of the city right near our reception location into a total dream home, and they have been unbelievably generous in opening up their home to the Family Octo every time we've needed to trek down to Pittsburgh for wedding planning sessions. They've hosted my mom, my sister, and me quite a few times over the course of our sixteen-month engagement, and they'll be doing us one more epic favor before the wedding is over: hosting our rehearsal dinner.
I am honestly really excited about our rehearsal dinner. We opted to keep it as intimate as possible, including only our immediate families, our bridal party & their dates, and our grandparents. While it's going to be catered, it's going to be a pretty casual, barbeque-style affair, with things like crispy chicken, caprese salad, and red potatoes on the menu. When Groomsman Nick got married last October, they also held a casual rehearsal dinner in a family home, and I really enjoyed how comfortable and relaxed it felt. I think Mr. Octo and I will really appreciate the chance to spend some laid-back time with our closest friends and family before the next day's craziness begins.
But enough about that. When I said "dream home," I meant dream home. Want a little tour?
The front porch, where we all sit and have a cocktail after a busy day of wedding planning.
Bridesmaid Clara's mom took our love of all things Pittsburgh and ran with it; she tells me that her plan is to decorate each room in the scheme of a different Pittsburgh sports team. The front room is going to be set up to seat about half the rehearsal dinner guests and is going to be Steelers-themed...
...while the kitchen/dining room area will be set up to seat the rest of the guests and will have a University of Pittsburgh Panthers theme.
The back courtyard will hold the dinner buffet (under an awning) and is going to be decked out in Pirates gear.
I looooove the sports theme! I think it's so fun for our relaxed, casual, family-BBQ style party.
At some point, a lot of guests will probably migrate upstairs to enjoy the party room....
.....and the views from the rooftop deck.
(PS: Imagine two floors of beautifully-appointed bedrooms, as well as an office/library/den, between the kitchen/dining room/front room area and the party room/rooftop deck. Dreeeaaaaam hoouuuuuse.)
I'm really excited about this!
Do you have any friends helping you out in a big way with your wedding?