Our Pirate-Themed Beach BBQ Rehearsal Dinner

First thing's first...when I arrived home last night I had a fabulous gift waiting for me. Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean had sent me a birthday gift! She sent this adorable tote and a very sweet card. I cannot wait to rock this to cart around summer goodies, my shoes and lunch to work or even to the beach! I love Lindsay's blog because she always has great, healthy ideas and she uses ingredients that all of us have on hand. Thank you Lindsay!

Today I'm still dreaming of my beach wedding, and so I thought it would be fun to also tell you about our rehearsal dinner since it was just as fun as the wedding itself. As part of our wedding weekend in Aruba, Shaun's parents graciously hosted a rehearsal dinner for all 80 of our guests who had traveled for the wedding.

We started the evening with a rehearsal under a big white tent at the Westin Aruba Resort, in prep for our sunset beach ceremony the following evening. While Shaun donned a Tommy Bahama shirt (in my favorite color), I rocked a cute black and white dress from White House Black Market with pearls which were a gift from my dad. I also carried my ribbon bouquet, which was made by my bestie Catherine at my bridal shower.

My dad definitely had a tough time at the rehearsal. I think the idea of his oldest daughter getting married started to set in! My dad and I are very close. I was SO excited to marry Shaun, but admittedly a part of me was very sad that my 'kid' days with my parents were ending for good.

With all my ladies after the rehearsal...Love them all!

Following the rehearsal, we headed down to the Holiday Inn, where Shaun's parents had planned a beach barbecue!

Complete with food, wine & beer and a DJ to boot, I'm pretty sure this was truly a one-of-a-kind rehearsal dinner.

Not only did they plan a great party, but they also handed out party favors at the start of the barbecue...pirate gear! Everyone received a bandana, eye patch and giant gold hoop earring. After all, nothing says ice breaker like pirate paraphernalia. Both of our dads rocked the pirate look...

We all settled in for some delicious food and drink...

...followed by an evening of dancing under the stars!

I have to say that this was one of the best nights of my life. The best part about this dinner was that all of our friends and family on both sides got to know each other before the wedding! By the time the wedding actually rolled around, different friends and family members were becoming friends! My cousins were hanging out with my friends; our families were intermingling. I really can't think of anything better.

I'm not going to lie...there may have been multiple playings of Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer. We are from Jersey, after all.

Christine, Me & Lindsey

Shaun dancing with my sisters, Kimbelry & Christine

Dancing with Catherine

A group of our AMAZING friends who joined us for the weekend!

No one wanted the night to end. We kept yelling to the DJ, "One more song!" And to our delight, he obliged.

 

Our group of 'non-parents' at the rehearsal dinner - love all of these people!

So there you have it...our fantastic and extremely unique rehearsal barbecue on the beach. So what do you think? Have you ever been to an out-of-the-ordinary rehearsal dinner? Any other themed ones out there?