Team McLeod : Practice Makes Perfect

Looking back on the morning of the rehearsal, it would have probably been better if I'd not had the bachelorette party the night before.
I was woken up by the bridesmaids calling me wanting to know if I was up for brunch. This was met with me mumbling something like "Fuck no. Are you kidding? Too drunk still. click.". I woke up somewhere around 10 and, in a way too hungover state, got ready for our rehearsal and rehearsal lunch that started at noon. I got dressed pretty fast and met my parents and grandparents on our front porch. Erin had come by to drop off some welcome bags she put together (because she is a sweetheart) so we had some snacks and water to munch on before it all began.

Just before noon I gathered the decorating instruction packet made for our fill-in coordinators, the mini cd player, an extension cord and we were off. It was a beautiful day and all the signs were there that the weather on our wedding day would be phenomenal. We waited at the fountain for our friends and family to arrive.

Djamel was there to capture our families as people trickled in. I am thankful we made the decision to have him photograph our rehearsal and rehearsal lunch along with the wedding. He was able to be familiar with our venue and its location but more importantly became familiar with our families and bridal party - those who were most important to us. Most of the groomsmen were right on time - this may be because a couple were also crashing at our place that weekend. Even though we didn't block hotel rooms, I'm thankful everyone took our suggestions on places to stay. Most of my family and our out-of-town guests stayed at the same central hotel with most of the rest at the bed and breakfast's that all happen to be within a few blocks of each other.

People trickled in and we were able to say hi to everyone (aside from the bridesmaids and groomsmen) for the first time since they'd been in town.
Finally the ladies showed up. I can't blame them for running a few minutes behind considering we were all out late the night before. Plus, they brought mimosas. What's that saying about the hair of the dog? I can't remember, but a little champagne and vitamin C started to quell that monster headache I was nursing.

I can't remember who brought my rehearsal bouquet (was me? maybe it was erin or grandma dora mae??) but I'm sure glad it was there. The wedding shower thrown in our honor was amazing and we collected quite a few bows, ribbons and flowers to construct this massive beauty. Collin's Grandma Dora Mae gathered up all the pieces after we finished opening up our gifts and got to work making the most beautiful rehearsal bouquet I've ever seen. She took the care to arrange the bows and silk flowers - even tying love knots in every ribbon that dangled from the handle. I always saw the rehearsal bouquet as kind of a joke; a tradition to create a cheap place filler that can be tossed afterward and not worried about.
This bouquet, takes up almost half the space in my wedding memories box. I wish I'd asked for a closeup photo of it. Sigh.

There were more hugs and hello's...
The groomsmen loved that bouquet, too!
Time to get down to business.
Once everyone was present and accounted for we walked over from the fountain to the oak where our ceremony the next day would take place.
I was very excited to start - an 18 months engagement was about to end and we would be married!

Without the professional coordinator we didn't really have anyone designated to lead the rehearsal. This resulted in a lot of initial mulling about while we tried to get the music loud enough, organize the wedding party into their pairs and introduce the grandparents the groomsment would be ushering to their seats.

Collin's mom Erin took charge and led the rehearsal, finally getting people to their places. Craig acted as the timer to see how long all this ceremony stuff would actually take.

I couldn't really hear my entrance, but I was so happy to practice that walk down the aisle with my dad. We were chatting away, too distracted to get emotional. Part of me thought I might be able to get some tears out of the way but it didn't happen for me.

Then there we were. Standing in the spot where we would be married.
Fred started reading the ceremony and our friends and family were able to hear what we'd written for the first time.

At some point there was apparently some funny stuff happening. I'm glad the mood that day was light and relaxed - the last thing I wanted was for it to be stressful. I think it helped all of us feel prepared even though none of us have been in (or even attended) too many weddings.

Once the readings started some emotions came full force.
You may not be able to tell here, but Meggan cried like a baby when she read the passage from The Fountainhead for the first time. She cried at the wedding too (and made me cry) but at least that time she was able to get it all out in one go.

See? I'm starting to get all glassy-eyed.
Kevin gave his reading next, he is a great public speaker.
I like this photo because of the groomsmen goofing off in the background. The emotional interlude was breif, and more laughter was to follow.

Then we practice the kiss. I think I kissed him on the cheek because I didn't want to jinx things, it helps that he is so damn cute! It may have had to do with the fact that as the ceremony rehearsal was proceeding, I was feeling more and more sick. Is it romantic to tell you all that after we were finished I ran straight to the bathroom to throw up and spash some cold water on my face? I probably should have had more mimosa.
After things were cleaned up we piled into cars to carpool down to the restaurant where we would be meeting more of our guests for a private party. 101 Downtown was all ours for a few hours to eat, drink and kick off the ultimate celebration.