(sorry about the size of the pics, I will try to work on those)
I didn't think I was nervous on saturday as I was preparing for the rehearsal dinner, but my stomach was telling me otherwise. After a handful of peppermint mints and a cup of pepto I was feeling a bit better. Maybe it was the 13 mile run I did that morning...who knows.
I started to feel a bit better in the afternoon but then as I awaited the arrival of Karel with his family, I felt very very nervous. Luckily, I had campy there to distract me so we went for a little walk. Around 4pm Karel arrived with his mom, dad and brother. I was just so happy to finally meet them that I forgot all about being nervous. His mom gave me the biggest hug and his dad said I looked just like I did in the pictures. His mom doesn't speak english so instead she just talked to me in czech. Karel's brother speaks English and he was very happy to meet me as well. Karel did a great job of translating and he said he hasn't used that much czech in a very long time.
Karel's family came inside and they were introduced to all my family...my mom, dad, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandpa, grandma, meag (my maid of honor), Barbara and Clyde. You would think they would be overwhelmed but they weren't. Everyone was talking to Karel's parents (who are divorced but get along fantastic) and Karel was once again translating. It was just great having Karel's family there and I could tell that Karel was so happy.
After I changed my clothes a zillion times I was ready to get the dinner started. The food came out great and the wraps were a big hit. We also had a selection of deserts, fruit and plenty of beer and wine.
We had about 30 people at the dinner and it was very informal.
Karel's family brought my parents and myself gifts from czech. My mom and dad received a wonderful book and DVD all about the czech republic and I'm sure they will want to join karel and I when we make our trip over there one day.
I received a beautiful ruby necklace that is made only in czech. It is almost too beautiful to wear. My grandma also gave me a beautiful diamond necklace. Karel gave his groomsmen beer mugs with their names engraved and I gave my parents and Karel's parents pictures, frames and albums.
I just couldn't thank my parents, our guests and Karel's family enough for joining us that evening and I was so excited for the wedding day! Although my tummy was still a bit queezy I didn't stop that from enjoying myself that evening. Plenty of pictures, kisses with Karel and hugs from family. I just loved having so many great people in one place (at my parents house) and I couldn't wait until I was at the beach the next day.
Around 9pm I loaded up meag's car and we headed to the Comfort inn in dunedin. Meag, my friend meri and I stayed together in one room and Karel and his family stayed on the floor below. We stuck with traditions and didn't see each other from sat night at bedtime until the ceremony. I was a bit nervous we would run into each other at the continental breakfast, since we both love our oatmeal but thank goodness for text messaging to warn karel that i would get my breakfast first.
On sat evening my best friend Allie came over to my room to hang out with us girls. I was super happy that my roommate from college in Kentucky came to the wedding. I haven't seen Brandi since 2004 and it was great to have her there with me. She knows I've had my share of not-so-good boyfriends so she was really excited to meet Karel...he's a keeper for sure!
In marni-style, I decorated a sign for my room (BRIDE) and a sign for Karel's room (GROOM) and I also made a Just married sign. I just loving being creative. After we all talked for a while, it was 1230 and I was ready for bed. Although I got in a few hours of sleep I was ready to get the day started at 7am.
The wedding recap will be here shortly...I must go vote now!