Wedding: Rehearsal Dinner

Throughout all my months of diligent wedding planning, one of my main goals was to keep everything in perspective. I figured that things would go wrong, mistakes would happen and chaos would possibly ensue. Yet, as long as Dan and I made it up to the altar and said “I do,” all would be well.

The funny thing is that the day of the wedding was absolutely perfect — and that isn’t even my bridal bliss talking. It was seriously the most incredible, seamless day I could have imagined.

On the other hand, the day of the rehearsal was a big ball of baloney.

First, a bit of back story. When my sister arrived in Lawrence the day before, she mentioned one of her eyes was irritating her. We couldn’t figure it out and an eye doctor advised waiting to see if it got worse…

By Friday, it was worse. When my parents called the doctor back, the only time he could see her before the office closed for the weekend was 4 o’clock — when the rehearsal was scheduled to begin.

I knew it was important for my sister to see the doctor, but I knew it was also important to stay on schedule with the rehearsal and subsequent dinner. So, while my mom and sister stayed back in Lawrence to see the doctor, the rest of the bridal party congregated in Baldwin City, which is 30 minutes away.

By that time, I was feeling slightly stressed, but I was also prepared to keep my cool — even in the 102 degree weather.

Then the next problem arose: The wedding coordinator had the time of the rehearsal wrong and was still in Lawrence. That meant that the whole bridal party was left to swelter outside of the church.

Fortunately, Dan’s mom was able to get a hold of another church member who had a key. She quickly came over and let us in the slightly-cooler building.

By the time we got in the church, the wedding coordinator arrived and we ran through some of the ceremony logistics, my mom and sister arrived.

Although it all threw a little kink in the plan, it really was a good thing that my sister was able to see the doctor when she did: She actually had pink eye! There was no real medicine to take, but she was able to tend to it a little bit better — and, by the next day, she looked absolutely wonderful.

With that, everything was back on track and the rest of the rehearsal ran smoothly.

After running through the program one time slowly and one time more quickly, we were all feeling confident for the real deal — and hungry for dinner!

The party made the quick drive across Baldwin City to the Rogue Wave for our dinner.

The final group consisted of the bridal party, their significant others, our parents, my grandparents, a few of my aunts and uncles and our pastor and his wife.

As dinner was served, we said a few toasts, chatted with friends and soaked in some words of advice.

Dan and I also spent some more time with our ring bearer, Jace.

He is Dan’s second cousin (see the resemblance?) and his dad was the ring bearer in Dan’s parents’ wedding.

To me, one of the highlights of the evening was when Dan’s dad made a toast. His message was simple, but eloquent: “Show up every day.” Coming for a man who has been married for 30 years, it was definitely a tried and true philosophy.

It was also nice to decompress and spend time with Dan’s family and my family.

Finally, it was incredible to share the night with my grandparents, who are two of the most inspirational people I know.

My grandma is a stunning 87 and my grandpa is 90-years-old. Yet, with the help of my aunt and uncle, they traveled all the way up from Dallas for the wedding weekend. Simply amazing.

After the official dinner was over, the party moved back to Lawrence, at which point Dan and I went our separate ways. Although I wasn’t overly traditional about the wedding, I was adamant about not seeing Dan on the wedding day until the ceremony. He was a good sport about it and sacrificed sleeping in his own home the night before the wedding to sleep on his best man’s couch.

Meanwhile, my bridesmaids and I went over to the hotel my family was staying at for a little socialization. Strangely, once we got there, my ‘maids disappeared into a room for a while…

When I tracked them down later, they were in the middle of a sweatshop-esque operation.

The covert product were personalized shirts for us to wear while getting ready the next day.


It was getting late by that point and this bride-to-be needed all the beauty sleep she could get.

Fortunately — and surprisingly — my mind was pretty at rest and I was able to fall asleep pretty quickly. When I woke up the next morning, I was calm, happy and ready to get married.

Questions: What wedding traditions do you think are important? Which traditions could you do without?

As mentioned, I didn’t want to see Dan on the day-of before the ceremony. It was also important to me that he never saw my gown before the ceremony. However, we didn’t do a unity candle — I figured I’d be too shaky!


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