From there, we squeezed the bridesmaids and the roommate into my car so I could drop them all off to get settled at the W hotel and do their thing for the afternoon before the rehearsal. I had business to take care of!
I got home to a house messy from the aftermath of the bachelor party's take-out BBQ dinner. I don't recall all the items that were on my list of things to accomplish in a few hours that afternoon, but I do know that I had to finish editing and burn a final DVD of our slideshow that would be shown at the rehearsal dinner that night (and the reception). On top of that, our Saturday timeline ran into some logistical problems (i.e. venue wouldn't be available to us when the photographers needed to set up the Smilebooth), so I had to confer with Amanda, our coordinator, over the phone to work out the kinks. Fortunately that was pretty quick and painless, because she is super awesome.
Anyway, I crossed most if not all of those things off my to-do list, took a shower, dried my hair, grabbed a few more odds and ends I'd need for the wedding day/night/Sunday morning and headed back to Mom and Dad's house to get ready for the rehearsal at 5 p.m. I had to stop at Kroger for wrapping paper and some last-minute thank-you gift cards, and as I left the store the darkening sky was starting to spit. I called Dad to open the door on the empty garage bay so I could schlep all of my stuff (much of which was paper-related and would note have taken kindly to the rain) into the house without incident -- good thing I did too, because by the time I got home it was pouring.
When I got inside, two uncles and a cousin were sitting at the kitchen island, so I visited for a minute before going upstairs to wrap those final gifts and put my face and dress on. Before long, Mom and Dad were hollering up at me that it was time to leave, and that it might not be good form to be late to one's own wedding rehearsal. By this point the ran had stopped and the skies were clearing.
We pulled up to the church and most folks were there already, so I set about greeting everybody while we waited on a couple stragglers. About ten minutes later, we started lining up at the front of the church and got the show on the road.
The rehearsal was actually pretty fun, mostly because we are a very fun group of people, and the guy who married us also knows how to have a good time. The two wedding guild ladies were sweet (one is in choir with me) and everyone was in good spirits. We first lined up in the front of the church to be sure everyone knew where they should stand, then practiced leaving the church so we could then practice entering the church. We were all lined up in narthex, and when my brother went to walk Mom down the aisle, my dad dutifully took his place behind them to follow them into the church to their pew. PSST. HEY DAD. I SORT OF NEED YOU BACK HERE. Somehow he forgotten that it was me getting married and he had a job to do! Needless to say, we had a good chuckle at that slip.
The best part about the wedding rehearsal was that the brilliant organist (and my church-job boss and symphony chorus director) was actually there, so we got to rehearse processing and recessing to the glorious organ music we'd picked. So much fun! We also got to hear our friends George and Eileen sing their beautiful solos.
After a pretty organized but leisurely rehearsal, we all piled into various cars and caravaned over to Canoe, where we were having the rehearsal dinner in one of their riverside tents. The earlier rain had cooled things significantly without making the ground too wet, resulting in a perfect spring evening for dining al fresco. Check out how pretty it was:
Because it was so lovely, the cameras came out again. (Who am I kidding? They would have come out regardless.) We had cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres for about an hour before sitting down to dinner, which left ample time for glamour shots.
Krista, Scott and Mary Jacob taking top-model shots in
front of one of the industrial-size fans Canoe provided. Classic!
front of one of the industrial-size fans Canoe provided. Classic!
Look who showed up in the same dress and accessories? AWKWARD.
We all took our seats, and Steve started things off with a welcome and a toast:
Then we ate a delightful dinner of salmon, steak, snap peas and magical parmesan gratin potatoes. NOM. Once everyone was mostly done, the toasts began, and they didn't stop for a long while. Somewhere near the beginning of the toasters was Abby, my best friend since we were 5 (aka my hetero lifemate), who made me cry:
Those are not happy tears. Those are tears of burning shame and absolute mortification. Abby oh so kindly brought up a REALLY EMBARRASSING INCIDENT, which wouldn't have been so bad were not my ESTEEMED PROFESSORS sitting two tables away. Need more evidence?
Yeah, not pretty. Fortunately, she fairly well redeemed herself with a heartfelt end-of-toast. Doesn't mean I won't return the favor someday, though...
Here we are laughing at another toast. Much better!
I should note that my friend Brock, whom we had asked to video the ceremony, went above and beyond and brought his camera to the rehearsal dinner and recorded all of the speeches and toasts. THANK YOU BROCK!! I know I will (mostly) love having those!
Once the toasting was over, my dad stood up and gave hilariously rambling directions to my parents' house, where we had a little reception (hosted by my uncles) for out-of-town family and friends going. Before the evening came to a close, I gave our parents their gifts, thanked everyone for being with us, and introduced our slideshow. Or maybe that's not the order of the evening, but that all happened.
At any rate, we soon wound down and headed for my parents' house. Susan (Jon's mom) assigned each of the lovely centerpieces she had arranged to people coming over so they all made the trip, Jon grabbed the projector, and we were off.
At my parents', pretty much all of the family members from my dad's and mom's sides of the family were there enjoying drinks and delicious sweets Mom had made, and I think everyone who had been at the rehearsal dinner joined us, at least for a little bit. Jon and I made the rounds saying hello, and then I gave him his awesome gift. Need a refresher?
And, because it wouldn't be a party at the Poe house without a group photo on the front steps or a group stoneface photo, we killed two birds with one stone with this epic shot of me and my hometown crew:
People started to clear out by 11:15 or so, and as the clock neared midnight I told Jon we needed to decide if we were going to attempt to dance the steps we'd just learned in lessons or if we were going to dance something less complicated. We'd tried to find time to practice dancing earlier in the week, to no avail! There ensued a hunt for a serviceable boombox: of the three I found, none worked. Jon's computer saved the day in the end, so we spent the first fifteen minutes of our wedding day dancing circles around the pool table in my parents' basement.
WOW that was long. But hey, it was a big day! Saturday, of course, was even bigger, so I'll split that up into pre- and post-wedding posts. Get ready!