The Saturday before the wedding was a gorgeous, winter day. It was probably more March-like than most of March has been in New Jersey this year, with highs in the mid ’50s, and lots of sunshine.
I started the morning with a few of my bridesmaids and my mom getting our nails done, which, despite my best planning, ran later than I had hoped. I still had a ton of wedding errands to run, like we still needed our photobooth sign printed and part of Mr. Ly’s gift for the next day needed to be printed as well. Of course, since I hadn’t had a day off in 12 days, I was rushing around on my only day off, which happened to be the day before the wedding. I arrived home after 11:00, and we needed to really be at the rehearsal lunch by 12:30, since it started at 1:00pm. I somehow managed to shower, do my hair & make-up and look pseudo presentable in time, and we weren’t terribly late to our own rehearsal lunch.
The lunch was wonderful. Since we didn’t have any true rehearsing until about an hour before the ceremony, the lunch was just more of a big meal with our nearest and dearest to get to spend some together before the crazy whirlwind of the following day. We had family traveling in as far as Hawaii and Arkansas, and we knew we wouldn’t get to spend too much time with them once the wedding was in full swing, so we were grateful for the time we got to spend together.
Getting started on the first course of the meal. We had four long tables of 10-12 guests at each. / Personal Photos
For our food options, we could choose from either a seated three course meal with the option of a fourth if we brought our own dessert, or a buffet with more options for the meals. We chose the seated, served meals because we thought the food options were plenty! Our guests started off with a salad, followed by a family style pasta course of penne vodka and ziti pomodoro. For the main course, the guests could choose between chicken parmigiana, chicken saltimbocca, and veal milanese. My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law generously made a ton of desserts as well, which were delicious!
Dessert! Brownies, Cupcakes, Mini Pies, and Homemade Snickers
At one point, Mr. Ly and I stood up before our family & friends and thanked them all for being there for us, supporting our marriage, and playing such a crucial role in our past and our future. Mr. Ly did most of the talking, I just stood there and smiled a lot.
Photo by Jeffrey Fehder
(How lucky that my super talented MOH has an equally super talented husband?)
We gifted our bridal party with some of their gifts (more on that in the next post) and really just reiterated how lucky we are to have each of these people in our lives!
With my beautiful bridesmaids
Mr. Ly with his groomsmen
Mr. Ly’s family (minus spouses)
My family, with spouses
We took lots of pictures with family and friends:
Love my MOH
Mr. Ly with his sister, BIL, and groomsman Dan
My best friends since elementary school!
Yet, despite all these pictures, we didn’t take a single (posed) picture of just the two of us. It never really occurred to us, or anyone else I guess. There are plenty of candid ones, and we would have so many pictures of the two of us to come the following day, but I like that the day was more about the people who were there for us, and not really about us.
After all the food was eaten, the wine and beer were drank, and we packed up to head over to the hotel, there were some logistics to take care of. My dress had to be transported safely and without Mr. Ly seeing it (which we managed thanks to my SIL and BIL!). Mr. Ly and I hadn’t really packed for the weekend, and never got what we needed printed for the next day. We didn’t end up at the hotel until after 7:00pm, where we spent most of the night at the hotel bar with our guests who were spending the night before the wedding there, too. It was really relaxing, and I was exhausted.
By 10:30 or so, I was ready to call it a night and go to sleep, my last time as a Miss. My SIL spent the night in my huge penthouse suite with me, while Mr. Ly spent the night in a room with his BIL. I could see our venue out of the floor to ceiling windows in the room that overlooked all of Independence Hall, and I marveled at how lucky we were to be having such a perfect wedding weekend.
The Curtis Center is the building on the left of the photo (looks like a large tower is coming out of the top, but that’s a taller building in the background)
I could only hope that sense of calm and serenity could carry me through an easy night’s sleep and an uneventful wedding morning!
Up next: gifts for my bridesmaids, then it’s (finally!) our wedding day!
I pre-capped our recaps with a big announcement!
Recaps began with our Same Day Edit video.
I needed to get some perspective the week of the wedding.
Personally brewed beers gave our rehearsal lunch a special touch!