On Thursday, August 8th, the girls and I were up early to go get our manicures. This was one of the things I did for my gals as part of their gift. It was fun to go together to get it done. We then headed back home for me to put on my gown one last time to be sure mom had it hemmed perfectly (because my mom is awesome and saved me a ton of money on alterations since she could hem it!).
We went to Cheddar's for lunch and then were able to hang around the house for a bit and relax. I think the girls took a nap, but I was too excited for that and piddled on some other things.
Before long, it was time to drive over to Lebanon. Steph and Amanda had hotel rooms since their husbands were joining them that night, so we got them checked in and all got ready for the the rehearsal together. It was finally time to head to The Mill at Lebanon and see my groom!
I didn't really plan for a lot of time for the rehearsal, and I'm really glad I handled it that way! I knew I wanted to go over things quickly and then get to the dinner to relax and truly enjoy the evening. I also knew I would be less stressed if we had less time (I know - that sounds backward, but it forces me to hurry up and do the important stuff.)
I also do a pretty good job at instructing people (Adam calls it "bossing people around") so we quickly got everyone in place and marked their spots with tape. Yes, I realize this is a bit OCD, but it was important to me that we have proper spacing. I wanted everything to look good!
Once everyone had their spot, we practiced walking out and then walking back in with the music. I had spent a fair bit of time mapping out exactly when everyone was supposed to walk in - in fact, everyone got a document that told them both the time in the song as well as the lyrics in the song at that time to help them memorize when they were supposed to start down the aisle. Since I was coming in at the end of the same song, we had to have it perfect! (Ok, maybe we didn't HAVE to, but it was my vision for us to proceed down the aisle with everyone coming in at specific times, and they all humored me.)
We really only practiced twice, and even though it wasn't perfect I sort of just trusted it would be the next day and that our family friend who was helping would help guide everyone just right!
While a lot of our wedding was not traditional in the least, I do have a penchant for some traditions. One of the ones I grew up learning was that the bride cannot stand in her own place at the rehearsal or it's bad luck.
Melinda was the flower girl in my parent's wedding back in the 1970s, and her daughters were the flowers girls in our wedding - so she was the perfect choice to be the stand in bride for our rehearsal!
You'll also notice the fun bouquet - she used this to be the practice bride. Another tradition I love is that your rehearsal bouquet is made of the ribbons of the gifts you received at your bridal showers. My sister and mom did a great job of keeping them and making the practice bouquet. I now have this sitting on my bookshelf in our office!
Speaking of traditions, it's also rumored that for every bow you break when opening your wedding gifts equals one child you will have. I did a very good job to only break two! :)
After about an hour spent rehearsing, we were all ready to move on the the rehearsal dinner! It was at this point that things got really fun for me. I knew I had finished all the planning and that at this point, it was time for me to trust that all my hard work would pay off and to just relax and enjoy the rest of the festivities. After a quick drive around the corner, it was time for dinner!