The Pony Rehearsal Dinner

I woke up super early the day before our wedding. I had a huge list of things to finish up before our rehearsal. When we were first engaged I told myself I would finish all our projects the Thursday before the wedding…unfortunately, that didn’t happen. My list included: baking desserts for our dessert bar, getting the boxes (…and boxes…and boxes) of dishes and decorations to our reception venue, finishing and wrapping the bridal-party gifts, ironing our linens, and getting myself ready and to the reception. Oh, and I had to pick up my dress, which I completely forgot about until about two in the afternoon. Ladies, don’t forget to pick up your dress—it’s kind of a big deal.

Even though Mr. Pony was around to help, it was clear everything wasn’t going to get done with just us two. We delegated the tasks of moving the boxes to the reception and ironing of tablecloths to Mr. P’s family, which made a huge difference on my rapidly deteriorating mental health.

Eventually all the of boxes were delivered, the desserts were baked, and my dress was safely in my possession. After such a hectic day, I was ready to get to our rehearsal and start relaxing (and getting my drink on).

I realize I never shared anything about our rehearsal dinner, although, honestly, by the time I got around to planning it, my creative and financial resources were heavily depleted. I whipped up these invites in Illustrator in about five minutes:


Nothing fancy, but they served their purpose. You’ll notice on the invitation that our rehearsal was scheduled after dinner. Another wedding was taking place at our venue at six that night, so we didn’t have access to the ceremony pavilion until seven. We didn’t want our guests to go hungry, so we opted to have dinner first.

Another item I didn’t get to blog about was our welcome bags. Since learning about welcome bags while planning, they became a permanent fixture on my to-do list. I made one for every family at our rehearsal, and they included water, snacks, Beer Nuts, a welcome letter, and a nail file (kinda random, but we got them for free, so why not?).


I ordered canvas totes from Cheap Totes and spruced them up the best I could with an iron-on transfer I designed roughly based on this beautiful design that was way out of my price range.


Oh, and I made myself an extra special one to use just for me:


Mr. P wanted to spend the night before the wedding apart, so he left me earlier in the day to check into his hotel. Even though I supported this decision, I failed to fully consider one thing—how we would get to the rehearsal. Mr. Pony was staying at the hotel with our family and friends, so he had no issues. I, on the other hand, was forced to drive myself. On any other day this wouldn’t be an issue, but I was so tired, stressed, and scatterbrained, I really should not have been driving. Ladies, take a lesson from me and ask someone, preferably with reliable transportation and a proven track record of being on time, to be your chauffeur for the night. You’ll thank me later.


Hugging Mr. Pony because he brought the food

Our rehearsal dinner was very laid back. The winery allowed us to use the tasting room to host our dinner, and we were allowed to bring in food of our choice. We decided to keep things classy and delicious with takeout pizza and bottles of wine.


Before we got to rehearsing, we handed out gifts to our bridal party and parents:


Our moms got the typical picture frame, which we filled with our artwork as a placeholder for a picture:


For the guys, Mr. Pony ordered customized coasters based on each guy’s interests:


For my girls, I gave them another “typical” gift of necklaces (which I completely neglected to take a picture of) to wear on the wedding day if they wanted and paid for their hair to be styled the next day.


I also wanted to give each of my ladies something personalized and sentimental without being a giant advertisement for our wedding. I couldn’t find anything that fit my exact requirements until about a week before the wedding, when I stumbled across these books of inspirational quotes.


Since I absolutely love quotes, these books seemed perfect. I added personal notes to each girl inside the book, which I know were rife with spelling and grammatical errors since I didn’t have the chance to write my notes until just an hour or so before the rehearsal and my mind was kind of spinning at that point.

After handing out all the gifts, my awesome MOH presented me with my rehearsal bouquet, made from ribbons from my bridal showers. She also surprised Mr. P with his very own rehearsal boutonniere, also made from elements from my shower, which I thought was the most adorable thing ever:


I think the picture below is my attempt to make Mr. P show off his rehearsal boutonniere, but it is just kind of blending into his shirt.


Since our wedding was set to be outside, we hoped to hold our rehearsal outside where the ceremony would occur. It rained the entire day of our rehearsal, right until we were ready to rehearse when the clouds finally took a break. Our coordinator, Miranda, asked us to show our excitement that the rain had stopped, which resulted in the picture below.


We were ready to rehearse!

What did you do the day before your wedding? Anyone else almost forget to pick up their wedding dress? Tell me I’m not alone!


Mrs. Pony

Bloomington, IL
Wedding Date:
September 2011
Table Numbers

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  1. Member
    JennyPPB 266 posts, Helper bee @ 2:19 pm

    I LOVE Mackinaw Valley Vineyard!! Actually its going to be the first stop in my all-day-long Bachelorette Party! What a great idea for a rehearsal dinner. That was the first thing that caught my eye and I just had to read the rest of your blog. I can only imagine what the rehearsal will entail… we’re getting married in Illinois, near our hometowns but currently live in Kansas so the last-minute planning could get a bit crazy!

  2. Member
    Miss T-Rex 688 posts, Busy bee @ 2:28 pm

    aww! You two are sooo cute!
    I have heard the stories of brides who forget their veils, but never a dress. Yikes!

  3. honey Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:42 pm

    The rehearsal boutenniere is just plain awesome, love it! I also love your choice of books for your girls, it’s so fitting!

  4. Member
    scottishmrs 3213 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:44 pm

    Oh my goodness! I love quotes too! I have 100 unique love quotes for each of our favours! Did you do the quote backdrop? If so please show and do a tutorial soon! (If it’s simple and inexpensive I may have just found my cake table backdrop! The wedding is in 24 days though…)

  5. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 2:56 pm

    @JennyPPB: Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is awesome, it would be a great start to a bachelorette party, have an amazing time!
    @Miss T-Rex: Yeah, sometimes I’m dumb. I’m glad I remembered in time to actually pick it up!
    @Mrs. Honey:
    I know, my MOH is awesome :) I loved those books too, I should have kept one for me.
    @YoungBride1414: I didn’t do the quote backdrop, sadly. I ran out of time and other things took preference. I would love to see yours if you go that route though!

  6. Member
    priyathescientist 1514 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:47 pm

    Oh that sounds so hectic, but you seemed to have pulled it off beautifully. I really love your MOH’s ribbon bouquet.

  7. mslyre Member
    mslyre 512 posts, Busy bee @ 5:28 pm

    I am also quote obsessed, and I think rehearsal AFTER dinner is brilliant! We can’t rehearse the night before our wedding so we were thinking of scrapping it all together!

  8. msdragon Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 5:46 pm

    I love casual, relaxed rehearsals… though it sounds like you were a bit stresses before. :) Pizza & wine sounds perfect!

  9. petitfour Member
    petitfour 695 posts, Busy bee @ 5:51 pm

    Pony, you are one gorgeous gal!
    And I LOVE that bag you made for yourself!!

  10. beanstalk Member
    Mrs. Beanstalk 770 posts, Busy bee @ 7:38 pm

    I like how your rehearsal was a fun welcome dinner with family and friends! those welcome totes were so cute!

  11. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:27 pm

    I love your tote!

  12. msfairy Member
    msfairy 976 posts, Busy bee @ 4:39 am

    The welcome totes are to die for – soo cute!!

  13. Member
    girlfromwollaston 169 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:52 am

    I love the idea of the welcome bags for everyone at the rehearsal. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how I was going to do my welcome bags and I think I’m going to steal your idea! Plus, I want to give them to our bridal party too, many of whom won’t be staying at the hotels.

  14. coyote Member
    coyote 1960 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:37 pm

    Hahaha you and Mr. Pony are just too cute! I am telling myself that everything will be done the Wednesday before the wedding, but to be honest, I am sure I will be scrambling at the last minute too!

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