Although maybe not everyone's favorite part of a wedding weekend, rehearsals are necessary events, especially for someone like me who needs to plan out everything. Once I've gone through how things are supposed to work, and where everyone should be, then I can relax and I actually worry less if something does go wrong.
Before we could even start rehearsing, though, we had some Christmas lights to hang, some fabric to run through the chairs (so I could, as Jack said, "jail my guests in their spots!"), and the entire dinner to set up. Nicole, Linzy, and my parents jumped in to help everything come together downstairs, while I was upstairs setting up in Mary Norton Hall.
While we were at the church getting ready and finishing final touches on the decorations, Tom was still running around Boston dropping off last minute things. Quite literally - when my parents were on their way to the church, Tom ran past them down the sidewalk. They couldn't wait to tell me that we had a runaway groom on our hands!
Once everyone had arrived, Jack led us through everything (or as Matt would say, gave us our blocking and cues) until we felt confident we knew what we were doing. Although this greatly helped with my nerves, it definitely upped my level of excitement! I couldn't believe that we were so close to this day we'd been looking forward to for over a year!
When we were done rehearsing, it was time to head upstairs for dinner. For some reason, as the wedding got closer, I became obsessed with making sure everyone had enough to eat. I made Tom go to the grocery store twice to keep buying food for the rehearsal dinner (which we also ordered pizza for) and to stock the hotel rooms and gift bags. As a result, there was plenty of food for everyone! The 4 dozen cupcakes I baked the day before probably helped too...
The dinner was fun, relaxing, and a great chance to start the weekend celebration with our inner circle. Because I'm crazy, I had decided that I needed to make favors for everyone at the dinner. I found these chalkboard mugs, and decided to use them as everyone's cups for the night, and also to mark everyone's seats. I brought out my chalk markers and had fun drawing personalized doodles on everyone's. Tom even decided to join in and do all of his guests since it was so much fun! I figured everyone would wipe them off afterwards and could then reuse them and write on them whatever they wanted. Had I realized everyone would want to keep the designs, I would have found a way to make them more permanent! Ooops!
One of the best parts of the night was being gifted a scrapbook by my maid of honor, containing letters from all my closest family and friends. This was something we had jointly and tentatively decided to do for each other months ago, but it was a great surprise to see it actually happen and read the beautiful and touching letters from everyone. (Although I didn't actually read them all there, since I wasn't trying to cry at the rehearsal dinner, so I read them later that night in bed at the hotel).
Speaking of gifts, this was also an opportunity to give everyone involved in the ceremony their thank you gifts. When deciding what to get our groomsmen and bridesmaids, we came up with this neat idea to get them all a framed picture of Boston featuring the Prudential Tower (where our receptions was held). We picked each one out specifically for that member of the wedding party, customizing as needed, and made sure they all had the date on there somewhere so they'd be reminded of this weekend. I think they came out great!
Before I knew it, it was time for Tom and I to go our separate ways, and head off to get lots of sleep before our big day! Unfortunately that didn't go as planned for either of us. While I managed to be in bed by 9:30, I never actually fell asleep! Every time I'd start drifting off to sleep, I'd think about something I was excited about and a shot of adrenaline would wake me right up! I finally fell asleep around 2am, and then at 3am the whole room was awake (and listening to instagram videos!?), asleep again around 5, and then wide awake by 7. Three hours of not very restful sleep - yikes!
As for Tom, he just didn't go to bed until incredibly late! Needless to say, it would catch up with us later in the weekend...
Were you part of the Rehearsal Dinner? Do you have any memories from that night, things I may have missed, or favorite parts? Comment below - I'd love to hear them!