So far I've filled you in on the Friday before, and my Bachelorette Party. But trust, there is MUCH more to come. Take for example, Saturday, September 1. Or what I will henceforth refer to as "Rehearsal Day" (yeah, I just used "henceforth").
Before I show you the goods, though, there is some back story you should know.
1. I am shy. I hate being the center of attention. And I sure as heck was not excited about the fact that I was going to profess my love, faithfulness and commitment to my hubby in front of nearly 100 people I barely knew. I really wanted to have a small, private ceremony with just family and my best friends. As we went over our guest list again and again, however, we just could not find a place to draw a line without hurting some feelings, so we ultimately decided to just suck it up and invite everyone to both the ceremony and reception.
2. Not long after our engagement we knew were we wanted our ceremony and reception to be. Our reception, at our favorite local hotel/pub where Chuck's family and friends always play music. Our ceremony, on our friend's gorgeous farm where we had the conversation about marriage. I had this beautiful, picturesque image in my head of our guests seated on hay bales splayed across the lawn overlooking the pond, where Chuck, our Pastor and I would be standing on the dock with the peach trees swaying gently in the summer breeze. It was perfect. Then about a week before, we encountered a minor issue:
On Tuesday, the week of, Chuck's mom called me to tell me she and our host at the General Denver (reception site) had decided it was probably a better idea to just forego the farm, and arrange to have the ceremony at the hotel. I wasn't oblivious to the fact that it might rain on our wedding day, but my mind was made up. So although I'd been a pushover for much of the planning of my own wedding, my response was something along the lines of...
I was having my ceremony on that farm rain or shine. Chuck's mom was a bit hesitant, but she genuinely respected my decision and at the end of our conversation we decided all we could do was just give our wedding day to God and trust in His plan. I spoke with my two wonderful and unofficial wedding coordinators and we decided we'd keep an eye on the weather and I would have to make the call Saturday afternoon as to whether to have the outdoor wedding I had envisioned or move the ceremony into the farm's garage where there would only be room for family and a handful of friends.
Now that you're caught up...this is what Saturday looked like:
My girls and I woke up from my Bachelorette Party late in the morning and promptly had to begin packing up and checking out. Around 11 AM, we hit the road and drove back to Wilmington and checked into the General Denver where we and the majority of our guests were staying for the remainder of the weekend. Upon our arrival, my sister, Whitney and I stopped over to Chuck's parent's house site of all the wedding planning craziness and I made the call: I had looked at the weather report and rain looked imminent. We were moving our large, outdoor wedding into a small, dingy old farm garage. Not to mention, Chuck's mom had to call nearly everyone on the guest list and tell them about the change in plan because we only had the space to accommodate family and our friends who had traveled to come.
It was not ideal.
So while we put into action our slightly disheartening Plan B, there was a LOT going on. Some time in the afternoon, my family started arriving at the hotel and I started getting really nervous. Like couldn't breathe, thought I was going to throw up, having a panic attack kind of nervous. I also hadn't had an appetite in days and couldn't eat. It wasn't so much that I was scared about the ceremony, but having to host all my incoming family and friends for some reason just stressed me out to the max. Before we left to go to our rehearsal, my sister had me in my room doing calming yoga breaths to try and settle myself down. I wish we had gotten a picture because it was slightly ridiculous.
We headed to the farm where we rehearsed how our ceremony would go in our new ceremony quarters. Once we had rehearsed with our bridal party, our Pastor took Chuck and I aside to go over our vows in greater detail. The conversation ended with our Pastor giving us some amazing counsel. And that was all it took. Both Chuck and my anxiety was through the roof when we got to the farm, but after talking about our marriage and what our ceremony was all about, we were simply filled with peace. The Holy Spirit calmed our hearts and eased our minds and we walked back to the group hand-in-hand, more certain than ever about what was going to transpire the following day.
|Rehearsing our ceremony...in a garage.|
Photo credit: Annen Stuckert
|Notice the stand-in bouquet: A bottle of Yuengling. |
I was pretty stressed at this point! Haha
Photo credit: Annen Stuckert
Our guests nommed on a delicious Vietnamese spread that Farmer Jon's girl friend had prepared for everyone and soon after, we made our way back to the General Denver so that Chuck and his siblings could play some music and we could all party the night away. I had every intention of going to bed at a decent hour that night to get my beauty sleep, but my cousin Chris who I hadn't seen in probably two-ish years, as well as my college friend, Kim who I hadn't seen in more than two years were ready to spend the night celebrating. I was so excited to spend some time with them both that I partied a little harder than I should have and didn't go to sleep until around 3:00 AM.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
|The handsome man drumming in the background is my hubby!|
|I'll be honest-|
this was the first time my cousin and I had ever been under the influence together.
And I was really excited about it.
Needless to say, it was a crazy, fun night hanging out with all my long-lost friends and family members. And as rough as I felt the next morning, I would do it all over again in a heart beat.
Be sure to lookout for my "Getting Ready" pictures coming up on Friday!