The 5k the morning of our wedding was great. We went, we ran, we ate. It was excellent. Then panic hit. The biggest wrinkle in the plan was that the city had turned off our water on Saturday, which, at least we had warning about, but was still a hassle. A bunch of us drove out to the hotel and used my in-laws rooms to shower and get ready for the rehearsal lunch, and my bridesmaid met me there so that we could do a trial run of our makeup. We were running late and getting a bit frantic, so eventually we were all ready to go and we piled into a car and headed for the rehearsal.
After the rehearsal lunch, we went over to the venue, where we rehearsed. I've already talked about it a bit, but it was just a disaster. It was a total fustercluck (my friend Lauren uses this term and I think it's awesome.) I have never felt so stressed out in my entire life, and you guys? I took the bar.
Rehearsals are a disaster because everybody is looking at you for direction, and wtf do you know? You're there to rehearse too!
A few tips:
1. Be early, not late. Keep careful track of time throughout the entire day - issue the entire wedding party watches if necessary (only the guys got them as their groomsman gifts).
2. Have everybody down at the ceremony site to rehearse. We had to use a stand-in for Mark because we were late and he had to deal with the caterers.
3. If anybody tries to ask any questions about where the benches/chairs/haybales will be set up, tell them to STFU and wait until you are done rehearsing.
4. If anybody tries to ask anything about scheduling, tell them to STFU and remind them that you sent them an email about this and you're not going over it until after the rehearsal.
5. If you can avoid it, don't invite your moms. I'm sorry, but moms are really not helpful at rehearsals. Even low key moms like ours wanted to know everything that was going on and had forgotten all of the stuff we had painstakingly told them. After the actual rehearsing was done, my parents asked if we still needed them and I believe my response was, "please leave. I will see you at 9am tomorrow morning, that is all you need to know." I just couldn't go over the schedule again and I could not take another question about what was happening.*
6. Hire a day-of coordinator. If I haven't convinced you yet, you should be convinced.
7. See if your venue coordinator has someplace they need to be at a certain time, thereby cutting your time at the venue short. Ours had dinner plans, so we couldn't stick around in the building setting up the centerpieces and making sure everything had arrived, meaning stuff got forgotten and misplaced. Also, review Rule 1, because this wouldn't have been a problem if we had been on time.
8. Don't get lost in a cemetery with your photographer. (But we saw a toad!)
9. If you had a deal to set up the benches for the ceremony site, you should maybe enlist people who aren't part of the rehearsing party (mostly the SOs of the rehearsing party) to start moving the benches and chairs to the general vicinity while you are rehearsing.
10. If you can, have a game plan with your husband beforehand and don't listen to other people. We did a lot of standing around trying to figure out if we had enough benches, which benches we should use, where they should go, and a whole bunch of other issues. In the meantime, I was FLIPPING OUT about all the stuff that had to get done the next day.
Photo by our best man
The most important lesson though, is go out for drinks afterwards. I was seriously so flattened that I was just like, "margarita time? please? please? need. need. need." I was pretty desperate.
Sadly, we had to fight with our hotel to drop our stuff off, and then I got lost on our way to the bar. Did I mention Saturday was awful? On the bright side, we had a rehearsal lunch, and at least I didn't have to go from the horrible rehearsal after which I hated everyone, to a rehearsal dinner at which I had to be nice to everyone.
Tomorrow I tell you how I wound up in a hotel room with a damp carpet the night before my wedding.
*Arguably this could have been avoided by going over the schedule in advance, but uh, we did that the weekend before. Listen, parents are old. They forget stuff. Like that they are supposed to get ready with you and not at the hotel. You are best off accepting that your parents are loose cannons.