Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The rehearsal that wasn't...

I was out of it this weekend for many reasons, but I promise, the recaps are gearing up in full swing now and tomorrow is going to be one you won't want to miss! 

Our rehearsal should have been a hint for me that all was not going to go so perfectly before the wedding.  I was really looking forward to a great afternoon at our venue and a wonderful dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Newport Beach with all of our family and friends who were in town for the big day. 
The day of the rehearsal my future MIL called me and asked how I was doing.  In the course of the conversation, she says to me "You probably already know about E (Mr Fix It's brother who was one of our groomsmen flying in from Alaska)."  I said "No, what's wrong with E?"  Well, she proceeds to tell me that E missed his flight which was supposed to be arriving at 10:30 am on the morning of our rehearsal.  No one is exactly sure why he missed his flight but I didn't let it bother me.  I guess it's not a huge deal if someone has to tell him where to stand and when to walk down the aisle on the actual day of the wedding...because now he wouldn't be arriving until 7:30 pm...right in the middle of our dinner that night!  Thankfully, I was not about to let Mr Fix It's father go pick him up at LAX in the middle of our rehearsal so he and his wife had to rent a car.

I have to admit, this did disappoint me.  I have been in many rehearsals in the past and they have always been such a great way for wedding party members to meet and bond and get to know one another before the big day.  This is what makes it fun for the actual wedding day...you get a bit of a friendship building there and personalities are getting comfortable around one another.  So when I found out that my cousin BM E who was walking down the aisle with GM E wouldn't meet him until a few hours before the wedding, I was a bit bummed.  But what can you do? 

So we met up at the venue at 3:30 pm.  All of us...the bride and groom, the wedding coordinator (fabulous Amanda from In the Now Weddings), the bridesmaids (Little Miss, my 2 cousins and my bestie L) and MOH baby sis J and the groomsmen and best man (Mr Fix It's three two brothers, his nephew and 2 friends), parents from both sides and all the little nephews who made up the ring bearer parade.  Wait...someone was missing...hmmm...oh yeah, my pastor!  The officiant had e-mailed me earlier that week saying he would not be there until closer to 4:30 pm...um, hello...we kind of need you, ya know?!?  But again, what can I do?  He said to have Amanda line everyone up and have them practice walking in and that stuff and then we would just run through the ceremony when he got there...BIG MISTAKE!  I gotta say, I do love Pastor L and I will share more about him in a future recap.

Anyway, when we first got there, Mr Fix It pulled me aside over by the deck that is in the cocktail area overlooking the ceremony down below.  (I apologize for the blurry photos that Little Miss got on her camera, but something is better than nothing)  :)

He asked me if I was happy.  He said that he hoped that I was getting my dream come true with this venue...of course I told him I would be happy marrying him anywhere!

So we walked everyone down to the ceremony area where we quickly ran through the line up and had everyone practice walking in and out to the music that I had brought on my iPod boombox.  Seemed to have it timed well.  Here's everyone lined up:

At the time, things were once again going by way too fast and I did not feel like I was in the moment.  I had planned on confirming a lot of the details with Amanda and my pastor during the rehearsal but again, wish I had written them down or discussed them with them beforehand.  I did not like the way we set the guys and girls staggered on the stairs...I wanted them in a straight line angling down to the bottom.  But there is nothing I can do about it now...it's over and I was just going where they told me basically.   Nothing like I expected...I thought for sure I would be little miss director...not so much. 

Oh, and here's the ribbon bouquet that my lovely BM D made at my bridal shower which I was carrying for my 'rehearsal' walk down the aisle:

(a mish mash of bows and ribbons and tissue papers)

So after we practiced lining up and the walk, we stood around...and waited...and waited...and waited.  And then I finally told the restless family and all their children to go browse the grounds and check out the zoo and when our pastor got there I would call them all around if we needed them.  So me and Mr Fix It and Amanda sat waiting for Pastor L.  About 45 minutes passed and my cousin A called and said she thought our pastor was wandering up in the parking lot!!!  So we trudged off to find him not wanting to sit and wait any longer. 

We met him in the reception hall.  And since it was so late and we had a dinner to get to, we just quickly skimmed through the wedding ceremony script I had given him and that was it.  This may not seem like a big deal to many of you...especially if you've never been through a rehearsal.  Well, it was a big deal...which proved itself the next day during the ceremony.  Because we didn't rehearse when and how I would hand off my flowers, we didn't rehearse when and how we would present the rings, nor did we rehearse when and where we'll move, when the singer will begin (who also wasn't there), and when and what Little Miss was supposed to say during the vows we were including her in.  When it came time for Little Miss to step forward and join us, she started to walk behind me and then couldn't figure out where to stand since we were all squished together up there on the stairs...so we ended up putting her in the middle of us where the pastor was (you'll see it on video in a future recap).

That's what happens when you don't rehearse!  No one knows where to go or what to do and you don't see how things are going to play out during the ceremony.

Again...it was one of those things that I wish I would have planned better before hand and I wish I would have made it mandatory for my pastor to be there the entire time.  (sigh)

TODAY'S WEDDING TIP:  Be sure that you allow enough time to run through your ceremony at your rehearsal.  Don't just tell people where to stand, but practice walking down and up the aisle (both ways), to the music.  Make sure it's timed okay and if not, how will you lengthen or fade it out?  Be sure your officiant goes through the entire plan of the ceremony (not all the specific words he will say but the basics) and mentions to your MOH "This is where you take her flowers or where you go straighten her train" or "This is where you say I Do."  Be sure that you know who will hold the rings and how they will be handed off.  Have people who are performing songs or sharing readings/poems be there to show them when they'll rise for their part and where they'll stand...is the entire bridal party blocking their path to the microphone?  These are all things you'll want to think through before the rehearsal and then tweak to get them right at the rehearsal.  Of course, nothing is ever going to go perfectly, but it's good to plan this out beforehand.


JEM - Aqua Bride said...

All really great advice.

Em said...

Oh man, not a good way to kick off the wedding festivities. Great advice, though. I completely gave up control over our rehearsal. We had our officiant and DOC present and I told them to do/say whatever they needed to make sure it went smoothly. I knew if I gave myself even a little bit of control or authority I would probably yell and I *really* did not want to yell. Ps, your recaps are making me want to start mine! No pro pics yet...sad face.

Chocolate Lover said...

Bummer that things started out that way. Great advice though. And your day turned out beautifully from what I've seen in the pictures thus far

SG said...

Funny our pastor missed our rehersal too because he was stuck in really bad traffic. He got there at the end and we couldn't run through the ceremony b/c we only had the venue for an hour.

We ran through everyone walking up and down the aisle and where to stand, how to exit etc. but that was it.

Fortunately everyone there had been to/in enough weddings that on the day of it all actually went amazingly smooth.

PartyPlannerGal said...

Great advice! I'm definitely showing this post to my fiance, since he is convinced that a rehearsal is not necessary at all. He always says things like, "it's not that hard, people will figure it out on the day of." Ummm . . . no!

Jillreigh said...

Thank you for all your great tips throughout your recaps!! I think I may copy and paste them all into a word doc to remember as we get closer to our wedding!

Kelly said...

My theory is that we are so worried about becoming the "bridezilla" that we just let things go and try not to make a big deal out of situations. However, in the process we give up things we really want or let things go in a direction that we regret later. I definitely feel ya on this post...good advice for other brides!

SG said...

I didn't realize I had the video on private on YouTube. I fixed it so it should hopefully work now.

Patience said...

Great advice. You should be a wedding planner. I would hire you in a hot second, you are very aware of the details.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Less than 24 hours after our bar night I was in the ER. Looks like another surgery is in my near future. Gah!

Amberdawn said...

I copied your tip into a word doc too, and I have a feeling I'll be showing it to my fiance in the future too! Thank you for the tips. I hope my family will humor me and let us run through the whole thing. Maybe I should plan on "rehearsal hors doerves" to keep them fed and happy before having a main dinner after together.

Mrs T said...

Ah the rehearsal - I feel your pain. Hindsight is a bit*h.

Katie said...

Oh man, I feel your pain! I feel like our rehearsal went by SO fast, and not everyone that was supposed to be there actually came (my grandparents should have attended so they could practice walking in...but oh well). I was so flustered that I didn't remember to pay attention and ask any questions that I may have had. Thankfully it all worked out in the end! Don't worry - you aren't the only one with a wacky rehearsal!

The Pink Bride said...

The EXACT same thing happened to me on my June 12th wedding...officiant didn't show up to rehearsal at ALL (my fiance's grandfather). My dad walked me down the aisle and didn't know where to stand...the officiant had no idea we were doing a sand ceremony...the groom and I did not know we would sit instead of stand during vows..and NONE of us knew that he would have our fathers sign the certificate at the end of the ceremony! Some officiants can be real jerks, thinking they are 'pro's' cuz they've done so many weddings. Ugh!

Gaynor said...

I totally felt like our rehearsal went so fast too.

Sorry you didnt get to sort everything though; our minister was very good and we properly ran through what everyone would do & where everyone would stand etc which was great. Made it so I had nothing to worry about. We practised the vows which was odd since we were going to be doing it for real the next day!

Although I still forgot what I was supposed to be doing with the flowers!

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