Rehearsal and Rehearsal DinnerPosted: June 18, 2009
(035: Dad & Mom, preparing the centerpieces. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner both went off without much of a hitch. M the Younger, M the Elder, and I got a bit of a late start heading to the church for the rehearsal. We had to turn around and head back home when we were a mile or so away from the house in order to pick up the gifts M the Younger forgot to put in the trunk of the car. It didn’t occur to any of us that we could have phoned one of the folks staying at the house and asked them to bring them along when they came to the dinner. We invited all of our out-of-town friends and family to attend the dinner and their timing to leave the house was about an hour later than ours since they wouldn’t be attending the rehearsal.
As I mentioned in the post regarding the rehearsal dinner, M and I had forgotten to work on some of the smaller details of the rehearsal dinner such as decorations. After running out for some flowers and vases earlier in the day, we decided to place rocks in the vases as a sort of homage to M the Younger and his degree in geology. I thought I had a bag of polished river rocks somewhere in the storage room, but was unable to find them so we resorted to using rocks from the property which worked out as well once we put water in the vases. All rocks look pretty good when wet and/or under the water. It gives them a shine they don’t have when dry (unless, of course, they are polished).
I haven’t written about this here at the blog but I think most of my readers already know that my mother has cancer. The fact that she was able to come to the wedding astounds me. She was a real trooper making the long trip out here (an 8 hour drive in the car). Her body is still trying to heal from the chemo- and radiation-therapy so, when at home, she spends a lot of time resting and sleeping. The last time I saw Mom (prior to the wedding), she had lost her hair due to the chemo and was just finishing up the radiation treatments. Although she has lost a little more weight since that time, her hair is beginning to grow back and the wedding celebrations seem to have perked her up quite a bit. She made it through some long days and evenings without so much as one complaint that I’m aware of. Because of some other complications it is difficult for her to eat. She soldiered through that as well, and I’m very grateful to the kind people who helped out at the rehearsal dinner and at the reception when it came to finding and preparing food that Mom could eat.
The rehearsal at the church went well. Sister Ann Marie, who was in charge of the rehearsal, walked everyone through their parts. My granddaughter Emma was the flower girl. Her father was one of the groomsmen. Emma did a fine job at the rehearsal, walking slowly up the aisle. She was aimed (so to speak) at her father, knowing that Emma was likely to do okay as long as she knew she would be with her father at the end of the aisle.
Once we finished at the church, the two M’s and I took off for the Mustard Seed Market & Cafe where we held the rehearsal dinner.
(The Mustard Seed Market as viewed on the Wednesday prior to the rehearsal dinner.)
If you’ve been reading the blog during the preparations for the one big thing the groom’s parents are responsible for — the rehearsal dinner — you may remember that when we originally arranged to have the dinner at the Mustard Seed there was a restaurant upstairs, above the market. A month or two before the dinner we found out that they had closed the restaurant and were using the upstairs as a banquet facility for parties, meetings, etc. I was slightly worried when I heard this, and the news that they had a new chef added to that worry as we had sampled the foods we planned to have on the menu for the dinner and were looking forward to the foods we picked out. The closing of the restaurant brought a change in the menu. It was too late to change the venue so we crossed our fingers and hoped that the food would be in keeping the Mustard Seed reputation (fresh, local if they can, wonderfully prepared food).
The change also meant a buffet rather than a sit-down dinner. In order to accomodate as many different tastes and foodstyles (such as vegetarianism) as possible, we decided upon the asiago chicken, penne pasta alfredo with roasted peppers, roasted seasonal vegetables, and roasted and herbed red-skinned potatoes. This came with a small salad ba. Bread served at the tables. We had beer, wine, coffee, tea, and water served at the bar.
(Bar at the Mustard Seed Market & Cafe. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
Shortly after we arrived we had everyone find their place at the tables. We tried to mix up the family and friends so people from both sides could get to know each other. The rehearsal dinner is said to be a time for both sides to relax and get to know each other outside of the formalities of the wedding day. That was what we were aiming for.
Toasts were made. M did the first toast, introducing everyone with a little tidbit about how they are related to the bride or the groom, followed by a toast to the bride and groom. The second toast was done by the bride’s older sister, A, and the third by the groom’s older brother, C. Both did a fabulous job. I was surprised and impressed by C. I’d never heard him speak in front of others before (something I know he has to do frequently for his job), and I thought he did wonderfully well. Everyone kept the toasts relatively short due to the lateness of the dinner. (The rehearsal had to be held at 7:30pm to give C time to arrive from where he lives (a 2-1/2 hour drive) with his daughter (my granddaughter), the Exquisite Emma. Dinner started around 8:30pm.)
I had a good time, getting to know Mere’s family and friends, and being able to reconnect with my own family and friends who had traveled to Ohio for the wedding, some of whom we haven’t seen in a while. The food was delicious and everyone seemed to enjoy it. There were some gifts exchanged later in the evening, including a lovely collection of photos gathered together by A (the bride’s older sister) in order to put together part of the family tree on both sides. I had participated by coming up with prints of photos starting with M & I and leading to his parents and grandparents and my parents and grandparents. M the Younger and Mere were both thrilled with the gift. A did a marvelous job of framing the photos and laying it all out on a table that was hidden from view until she was ready to present the gift. It was a thoughtful and creative gift.
(A sampling of the family tree gift given by the bride’s older sister, A.)
M the Younger and Mere gave out gifts to some of us as well. Mere’s mother and I each received a lovely heart-within-a-heart necklace from the couple. M the Elder received a Daisy Air Rifle (BB gun) along with a slingshot as back-up for harrassing the geese. When M the Younger handed the gift to M the Elder it was thoroughly wrapped, and M the Elder, kidding around, said, “Gee! I hope it’s a BB gun!” (imitating Ralphie from A Christmas Story) not knowing that it was a BB gun. Hilarious, but you probably had to be there to appreciate it.
The groomsmen received the 20th anniversary edition of Super Soakers as gifts, along with DVD’s suited to each and popcorn to eat while watching the DVD’s. M the Younger originally planned a Super Soaker fight, but that didn’t work out due to the lateness of the evening.
I’m not sure what the bridesmaid’s received as gifts. I must have missed that part of the evening or Mere did it another time.
The evening ended shortly after 10:00pm. M the Elder, M the Younger, and I were out of there by 10:30pm. It took us close to an hour to get home and we all went to bed for what we hoped would be a good night’s sleep. I knew I had an early morning ahead of me and suspected sleep might be elusive due to all the excitement. I was surprised to find I slept quite well for most of the night and had no trouble getting up the next morning (the wedding day!) shortly before 6:00am.