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Rehearsing for the Main Event

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What a picturesque evening we had on Thursday, the night before our wedding. There was a slight breeze and a pleasant orange glow as the sun set over the River. (I was reminded of why we chose this location.)

We were greeted in the garden by our coordinator, Betsy, who instructed us where to put the mason jars, the bird cage, the signs, the water bottles, and the galvanized tubs. She offered to store all of the paper products — the table names, the escort cards, and the favors — in her car until the following day. Yeah, she’s awesome.

Slowly, our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen arrived. There was such excitement in everyone’s faces. And they all looked so lovely. Betsy got right to work lining us up around the fountain.

Nick and I decided to have our Maid of Honor and Best Man stand on either side of us at the bottom of the stairs and complete the circle with the rest of our wedding party. Our guitarist, the sweet Susan Savia, set up between the guys and the girls. And our officiants (yes, we had two … more about that to come) stood a few steps above us. Guests would sit to the left and right of us. Not a traditional arrangement, but it works beautifully in this setting.

(All photos from my personal collection.)

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After we rehearsed the ceremony (without actually saying the words), we walked back up the stairs, and then practiced walking down.

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And Dad pretended to give me away. Next time would be the real thing.

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Did I already say how beautiful the evening was? The forecast for Friday, however, called for much different conditions. And so I asked Betsy if we could please run through the ceremony under the reception tent. It was our alternate plan, and I just could not envision the set up. She said she didn’t typically do that, but she would if it gave me peace of mind.

Betsy said that guests would sit at their tables under the tent during the ceremony, and I said that I really preferred a more intimate arrangement. Again, she was so accommodating and said she’d do that for me if it came to it. (Note to Brides: Don’t be afraid to speak up! Oh, and hire a day of coordinator. You’ll thank me later.)

Of course, I hoped and prayed we would have our ceremony in the garden. In fact, I think I am actually praying in this photo.

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Rehearsing under the tent took an additional 30 minutes, but it was well worth it in my opinion. We quickly piled into our cars and headed to Eagles Nest in York for a delicious dinner hosted by the Mother and Father of the Groom. Good thing because I had realized about half way through our rehearsal that I had only eaten part of a blueberry muffin and a few bites of pasta salad all day. So very uncharacteristic of me. But Brides-to-Be, take note. It really is possible to forget to eat when you have so much running through your mind!

So on to dinner. I love the rustic vibes of the second floor that was reserved just for us. And look how thoughtfully my in-laws decorated the space.

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We enjoyed cocktails and appetizers before ordering our dinners. Entrée choices included crab cake, filet mignon, and chicken chesapeake. The crab cakes are really, really amazing. And I should know; I’ve eaten my share of crab cakes. And the dessert trays from Providence (also the baker of my bridal shower cake and our wedding cupcakes) were heavenly!

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How do you plan to spend the night before your wedding?

Next: We give (and receive) gifts!