First, a story. We knew we wanted to do a Friday evening welcome event, because guests were coming from far and wide to celebrate with us. We immediately decided to hold it at my family’s favorite lobster shack, the one we’ve been going to since before I can remember. It has a huge open air deck, a counter-ordering system, and a great Maine vibe. Perfect, we thought. My Mom got in touch with them the summer before, and then over the winter, and was told both times to wait, that they weren’t booking yet, but that it wouldn’t be any problem. Duh-duh-duhhn.
Fast forward to the week after the Fourth of July. The invitations had already been sent out for K + C’s August wedding (and welcome dinner). We went to the restaurant to confirm, and were basically told (rudely) that there was no way our event could be held there. Cue controlled panic from the Mom, sisters, and cousins that were in the car.
Happily, there is a great ending to this story! After putting our heads together, we drove over to the Boothbay Lobster Wharf, which my Mom had been to when she was younger but hadn’t seen in years. They were so nice, and had all the benefits of the old place, plus more: a rooftop room we could rent for $100 (wow!), live music, a waterfront location, and a bar and counter where people could order their own food.
So! On the Friday before the wedding, we all headed over to BLW. My fabulous cousins and aunt had headed over before everyone else to set out a few decorations, and everything looked great!
We kept things VERY simple, with just a few red-and-white gingham glassine-wrapped hurricanes and a few strands of bunting. And a cheesy sign made by yours truly :)
Friends and family from near and far were greeted…
Lobsters were investigated…
And outfits were admired:
(Yep, that’s my Dad. I’m pretty sure both the aviators and the shorts are at least 30 years old.)
People ordered food and drinks at their leisure, and most headed up to our room to eat. The system worked perfectly!
Yum! After an hour and a half or so, my Dad stood up on a bench and asked for everyone’s attention. We figured he was going to thank everyone for coming, which he did. But then! He pulled out a large book.
Kate looked nervous:
Everyone else looked excited.
Turns out my Dad had collected Kate’s “refrigerator art” since preschool, and assembled the best pieces into a scrapbook! It was as adorable as you would expect. The best part? For some of the more… abstract drawings, he asked Kate at the time what they were, and then wrote down her description on the back. Everyone loved looking through the book for the rest of the night. Good job, Dad!! Love him.
Jenna pulled Kate and Cormac away for a few portraits on my uncle’s boat later that evening, which was super nice of her to do, especially since they chose not to have engagement photos taken.
Then the bride and groom pulled their bridal party away to give us our gifts! The ring bearer got a Nerf gun and a few books:
The guys got boat shoes (Sperry Topsiders) to go with their wedding day outfits. VERY well received.
Guests started to trickle out after that, but not before taking a whoopie pie for the road:
This was such a fabulous way to kick off the wedding weekend. Completely low stress, super fun, and not very expensive for my family to host. I HIGHLY recommend doing something similar. And to top it all off, we had Jenna there to document everything! I highly recommend her, too :)
All photos by the talented Jenna Cole, except the girls and ring bearer gift exchange!