Bret stepped in to be our Lloyd Dobler and operate the boombox for our rehearsal. Photo by Ryan Burke.
On Friday, my friends and family started to arrive and gather in my apartment. It got a little crazy there for a while; my phone was ringing non-stop, there was a constant stream of people coming in and out, I needed to do my hair, I needed to finish crafts, flowers had to be arranged, etc. I came pretty darn close to bridezilla.
But when Sean and I got in the car, me still in stress mode, to go to the rehearsal, I finally calmed down. And nothing compares to finally seeing all your loved ones in one place. It felt like the best birthday party/graduation/Christmas rolled into one. And it was heady; I felt like I was hopped up on drugs all day.
My dad and I get ready to practice our walk. Photo by Ryan Burke.
We were all set to rehearse when I realized I didn't have my rehearsal bouquet; luckily my friend Mark ran in at that moment and handed the "bowquet" to me. In a surreal art-imitates life-imitates art moment, my dad and I started talking about the "walking down the aisle" scene in "Father of the Bride."
Afterward, my bridesmaids and Bret and I took this shot by the fountain, and quoted the comparable scene from "Clueless." I was so happy to see people who were meeting for the first time act like they had gone to kindergarten together.
We ended up having a perfect, gorgeous rehearsal dinner at Riverview Farm Park, a really breathtaking park in Newport News.
Our dinner was catered by County Grill, an excellent barbecue place we frequent.
Photo by Miranda Egan Fulk
I found these amazing napkins that went perfectly with the invitation I had designed; they had slits to hold the utensils, which were silver plastic. The napkins were from Plum Party.
My friend Miranda volunteered to coordinate our rehearsal, and then went above and beyond and asked if she could coordinate our wedding. I can't say this enough: whether it's a professional, family member or friend, you need a coordinator. Seriously.
Without any requests or planning from me, she bought these cute bottled sodas and the flowers.
I picked up this little apple basket at Target for $1 a week before the wedding. County Grill's cornbread muffins are to die for!
My good friend Sara, who served as decorating diva and reader extraordinaire, and our groomsman, Joe, both had birthdays during our wedding weekend. I bought whoopie pies and candles to surprise them, so they didn't feel like their birthdays were forgotten!
Miranda borrowed a cornhole set from her boss, and it was a hit! Cornhole, if you're not from the south, is a beanbag toss game. Teams take turns trying to toss a beanbag into the hole in the middle of each angled board. It's extremely popular around here, but my friends from California looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if they wanted to play cornhole.
It was a fabulous party that went on until the sun had gone down and a park ranger had to tell us to get out. I couldn't even see people's faces at that point! My friends and I headed back to our hotel, where we drank champagne, ate some late-night pizza, did our nails and watched "Steel Magnolias." It was a perfect end to the night, and I was so happy to no longer have to stress about all the little things on my to-do list.
Tune in tomorrow for: Getting ready and our First Look.