The morning of our rehearsal was the first, and thankfully only, time I lost my cool.
My mom and I were en route to the nail salon and running late. Running late because I drove 25 minutes out of the way to pick her up instead of meeting her there. I hate being late. That she didn’t know the area as well as she let on soon became apparent when her directions failed to deliver us on time to the proper location. All she knew from her visit there yesterday was that the nail salon was next to the drugstore. What she did not know was this stretch of road has three shopping centers with both a nail salon and that specific drugstore. And we just pulled up at the wrong one. Mother. (That word can, and did, go both ways in this scenario.) I snapped. Over so many little things that felt like big things. As soon as I had unloaded all my stress on her, I felt terrible and immediately apologized. I just yelled at my mom. She graciously chalked it up to stress and never said another word about it.
Meanwhile in the nail salon, who shows up for a pedicure wearing a short skirt??? This bride. Serious case of bride brain solved by an artfully placed towel. I was so tense the massage chair felt like a torture device. I zoned out, too preoccupied for small talk, and tried to quiet my thoughts. The only thing I was sure of was the color I wanted for my hands: a soft, barely there pink. Classic, lady-like, and not distracting. Now was not the time for a last-minute switcheroo to a bold color. My brain was not to be trusted.
OPI Axxium “Bubble Bath” in action later that night
The afternoon was filled with go, go, go. Lots of scheduling and logistics commotion. All I can remember is a sense of being overwhelmed and the disappointment of being the bride and not being able to relax and enjoy it. There was so much still ahead of us. Having a willing, calm, and capable Mr. PaC around made all the difference. Had he not been around, I probably would have snapped at more people than just my mom. He took control when we arrived at the venue, directing boxes and people to begin the unpacking and assembling. Everything was in his capable hands, so I slipped outside to survey the grounds.
Anticipation was running high as I rushed past the brick wall surrounding the gardens, eager for a glimpse of the summer colors and the climbing hydrangea that would be the backdrop to our ceremony.
Rounding the corner, the one thing I’d always thought would be there wasn’t…the giant white mop-head blooms of the climbing hydrangea. Clearly, they’d arrived and gone. The spent spherical stem structures were the only reminder of what we’d hoped for over a year ago.
A white dogwood in glorious bloom laced above my head.
Mounds of cheery summer flowers appeared at every turn.
And I decided to let it go. What a small thing to get hung up on when so much had gone right.
Inside the venue, our friends and family were still arriving and catching up. The photo-booth backdrop was in place and other projects were wrapping up as Linda, our venue’s coordinator, arrived to lead us through the rehearsal.
BM R crafting the rehearsal bouquet and a sneak peek at our washi tape escort cards
My completed rehearsal bouquet!
The paper lanterns in a state of readiness: assembled and bunched
Our officiant, whom we had yet to meet, was unable to be there (i.e., it was an extra fee) and our DJ had another gig, so this would be a very loose rehearsal of the ceremony. No matter—we were prepared. My little black binder contained the text of the entire hand-crafted ceremony so we could walk through it without the officiant. It contained other details for which I was endlessly teased: contact information for each vendor with thumbnail head shots, color-coded day-of timeline, sketched layouts for the decor, and more bits of information we’d have been lost without.
Camera duties were handed over to my cousin, J, also one of our readers, and we began the rehearsal!
Linda explaining the processional to Mr. PaC
Mr. PaC throwing his hands up after catching crap for walking too fast, looking down, and other infractions—poor groom!
Practicing a more refined walk
And then it was my turn. Deep breath.
In the moment above, I am thinking about everything other than walking down the aisle. (Everything else includes: My dad’s health since earlier in the day it was still a question mark if he’d feel up to the short walk down the aisle. Watch for uneven pavers. Don’t trip. Walk slow. But not too slow. How can I tell how fast to walk; there is no music. Ah, we’ll wing it tomorrow! Steady Dad’s arm. Man, this sun is bright.) An absolute stream of consciousness. You can understand why looking up or smiling escaped me. Yet, no one gave me crap.
My dad lightens the mood by explaining to Mr. PaC that I’m HIS problem now!
The moms having a good laugh at our expense
Caught smiling and relaxing, just a bit!
After the rehearsal, I had no concerns. Our wedding party and family listened to Linda’s expert directions, and we got it right on the first try. Even my sister, who hadn’t been in a wedding before, excelled, sometimes with a nudge from BM R. Our goal of crafting a simple ceremony allowed us to skim over the text, so we never actually said our vows or practiced the kiss. (We are pretty practiced at kissing, BTW.) The only thing I would have liked to go over was our musical cues, but that could be figured out the next day. It didn’t have to be perfect for us to be married.
Up next: our rehearsal dinner with a little surprise!
(all personal photos—thanks, Cousin J!)
- In the days leading up to the wedding, I wanted to be sedated.