Friday, the day before the wedding, began bright and early with me waking up involuntarily around 7 a.m. (This is SHOCKING for me; the scheduler at work calls me "the vampire" because morning is soooo not my best time and it's generally just better if I stay in my coffin until sunset.) That said, my eyes popped open and falling back to sleep was simply not being an option. I was up and at 'em when Sarah texted me asking for help navigating her way to the salon for the thank-you spa treatment/lunch thingy I had planned for my moms, bridal ninjas, flower girls, et al.
I knew that Friday would be the hardest day for me in terms of stress and logistics. The wedding day would (and did) take on a rhythm and a life of its own, but there's a reason why reality TV brides always lose their shit during the rehearsal. Amanda and Kelly gave me excellent advice, which was to spend as much time by myself as possible, whenever possible, throughout the day on Friday. I drove around in my car by myself for the most day, sometimes in silence, sometimes with music. I remember how much I like driving through farm land in summer, and I was glad I was getting married near my hometown.
The spa day was a lot of fun. It was nice to have an activity that required me to physically sit down and stop moving. I got to spend a lot of one-on-one time with my mom, which was important to me, and it was great having a lot of my favorite women popping in one by one for massages or pedicures. My flower girls were downright adorable, and the Barbie Trend Friends went over well. (If you haven't read this entry, check it out. It's all good, we'll wait for you....)
Anyway, Melanie, my spunky Latina girl with a halo of chestnut curls took one look at the Uber Aryan Klaus Barbie and exclaimed, "Oh, I always wanted blond hair like this!" Stab. To. My. Heart. Then she sat down and combed blue and purple glitter into her hair, so.... shrug?
Gwen was also made similarly pretty, courtesy of The Gabs.
I had picked up Sprite for the little girls, sparkling apple cider for Shannon, and champagne for the rest of us. We went to make a toast, and I sang "if you're pregnant and you know, drink your cider!" as I topped off Shannon's glass. My mom turned eagerly to my sister, hoping this was a hint.
Amanda, who is decidedly unpregnant and not yet trying, grabbed the bottle of champagne. She began to chug it straight out of the bottle to drive home her point, which was very funny, until the champagne bubbled back on her and she spewed it absolutely everywhere, which was incredibly funny. Kudos to Gwen for catching this shot with my scary pro camera...
For just one second, I thought she might be having a stroke, but after that she was like our very own fountain. All that was missing was a flock of pigeons and an old guy selling gelato.
Anyway, after lunch at the spa, everyone went their separate ways for a little while to check on the groom's cake (Joel's mom), to do a walk-through of the gardens (me and Andrea) or shoe-shopping (the bridesmaids). Everything was looking good at the ceremony/reception site (same general place). I ran into the caterer himself, saw that the AC unit was up AND working in the tent, the tables had been delivered, etc. We changed back at the hotel and headed right back for the rehearsal.
This next part was simultaneously really fun and really challenging for me. First of all, I met Anne Ruthmann, our wedding photographer, for the first time in person, and I got so excited with over-the-top fangrrl love, that I kind of humped her.
Okay, yeah. About the humping thing. Kelly started this a few years ago, and it's kind of contagious. It's not so much humping, persay, as much as excited hopping up and down in someone else's personal space. For instance, see this statue of a very distressed-looking pig? Yeah. It's like that.
There was a lot of humping going on all weekend long, and well... I just kind of started doing it to Anne. She was a good sport about it, but you combine that with my complete and total inability to turn off my Wedding PhotogVisionTM ... and... well, sometimes when I think about how much harder I probably made Anne's job, what with my hyperawareness of the camera and general level of hyperactivity, I get all embarrassed and have to go, "La la la!" out loud to block it out. (Oh, STOP. You know you do stuff like that, too.)
So here's the thing about wedding rehearsals. They are so very necessary, but they suck. It's hard to know who's in charge: the bride? the site coordinator? the officiant? And it's usually the first time that all the ceremony participants, old friends, favorite relatives, etc., meet up for the first time of the wedding weekend extravaganza, so everyone's chatty and happy. It's so fun, but it's like herding housecats (or teaching school, according to my mom.)
I didn't want the rehearsal to last too long, and I didn't want anyone to be annoyed or inconvenienced. I wanted to be goofing off and in general running amok, but storm clouds were gathering (not a metaphor), and I had not one but two wardrobe malfunctions with my shirt. See my cute shirt in this very cute picture of me and Joel and our parents? It's being held together with binder clips. DIE, cute shirt, DIE!
I just kind of lost my perspective during the rehearsal. It was remarkable, actually. I really couldn't tell ("I CAN'T TELL!" a la Joan Rivers in the Geico commercial) if I was being bitchy or appropriately directive with overtones of "No, really, this is the second time we've rehearsed the memorial for Joel's brother, and I get that it's not intentional, but this is soooo the only time where I would really like for there not to be laughter and talking and it's happened both times and GAH and OMG HALP." I looked in my purse, but my perspective wasn't in there.
Time 'Til We Went Down the Aisle: 23 hours and counting down...