Monday, August 23, 2010

A Woodside Wedding: Practice Makes Perfect at the Ceremony Rehearsal

Friday morning before our wedding, Mr. Cola slept in while I got ready for the day. I was too excited to sleep in, after all, we were only one day away from our wedding day!

We met two members of our wedding party for an early lunch at the hotel’s restaurant, and then met up with the rest of our wedding party and Mr. Cola’s parents in our suite at about 1 in the afternoon. I passed out driving directions to our venue, and we all carpooled to the rehearsal, to meet my parents and our DOC.

When we got to our venue, they were just starting to set up for another wedding that was taking place that evening. While I touched base with the site coordinator (who I'm not sure if was new or not, because I'd never met her before; I'd worked with two other contacts the past year) and handed over our hefty final payment check, Sara, our DOC, coordinated with a few of our groomsmen to put our DIY napkin rings on the rented napkins. One less thing that needed to be done the next day, and it only took them about 5 minutes to finish them.

Since our ceremony was going to take place in front of the bay view, instead of in front of the redwood trees, we weren’t in the set up crew’s way for our rehearsal. We did borrow a couple of their chairs though, as place holders for the front row, and two in the back row, where my dad would be waiting to walk me down the aisle (because my dad is partially disabled and can’t walk long distances; I wrote about the logistics here).

Sara took control of our rehearsal, and got everyone lined up how we would be standing during the ceremony the next day. Starting this way worked really well, because then we would know exactly where to go when it came time to practice walking down the aisle.

(If anyone is curious, since I didn't have a chance to blog about the second rehearsal dress I bought, my dress is BCBG, my shoes are Chinese Laundry from, my jewelry is from Etsy seller Zafirenia, and the sash on my dress is from here. I also used the excess sash material to wrap my Cola rehearsal bouquet stems.)

We then practiced our recessional. I was sure to do a couple of bouquet pumps with my rehearsal bouquet, so I would remember to do it the next day—I just love pictures of the bride and groom celebrating as they walk down the aisle, married!

(By the way, the Sole Mates I'd gotten to prevent my sitlettos from sinking into the grass totally didn't work at all. They kept getting pushed up over the bottom of my heels, and ending up half way up the spike of the heel, so I opted not to bother with them on my wedding shoes the next day. Walking slightly on my tip toes was a lot easier than having to keep fixing the Sole Mates.)

Then it was time to practice the processional. We opted to do it in this order: Officient takes his place, Mr. Cola’s parents, My mom, Mr. Cola, Groomsman P and Groomsman D, with Bridesmaid A in the middle, Groomsman A with Bridesmaid H, Best Man with Maid of Honor (Mr. C’s brother and my sister), followed by my dad and I.

(My dad walked on the opposite-than-normal side of me because his left arm is completely paralyzed, and he was walking without his cane, so it was better for him to be able to hold onto me for balance with his right arm. It was also easier because he didn't have to cross behind the train of my dress before sitting down.)

Three times we ran through everything: the processional, practiced fixing my imaginary train and handing off my bouquet, the rings (I had Ring Pops for us to practice with!), and the recessional. The third time we had our guitarist play through too. After some more words of advice from our DOC, we were good to go for the next day!

(Me with our DOC, who did a great job of herding our cat-like wedding party at the rehearsal!)

Since our rehearsal finished up around 3pm, we had a few hours to kill before we had to go set up for the rehearsal dinner. Everyone carpooled back to the hotel, and I’m not sure what everyone else did, but Mr. Cola and I spent some time putting final payments and tips into envelopes (which had somehow not gotten done earlier in the week as planned), and calling to confirm the speaker system delivery for that evening and our appetizer trays order, and I tried to put in the order for our Sunday luncheon food (a long story, but I’d tried to call Quiznos to order sandwich and salad trays two weeks prior, but they wouldn’t take my order and told me to call back the Friday before we needed the food. I left them several messages that afternoon, but never heard back until the morning of our luncheon, when I refused to talk to them. Don’t worry though, we came up with a backup solution!). I think during our down time that Mr. C may have also dozed on the couch in our suite while I mobile blogged part of this post about our rehearsal.

Next up, we set up for our rehearsal dinner, and find out why it’s a good idea for the person starting the set up to have the items that need to be set up in the car they are driving!

Miss any wedding week details? Catch up here:

- I packed an emergency bag that saved my dress
- We had a crazy 4 days prepping for house guests and stuffing favors
- Shopping for a ton of wedding flowers to arrange ourselves
- Mr. Cola drinks a 40 and I have a night out on the town for our low-key bach parties
- A day of DIY'ing flower arrangements
- I kicked off our official recaps with my #1 wedding tip
- We began the weekend festivities with a sunset cruise for our wedding party

(All pictures in this post are personal photos, taken by myself, my family or our wedding party)


  1. Everything looks beautiful, even at your rehearsal! Love your cute dress and your "cola" bouquet flowers!

  2. It sounds like you had a great rehearsal! I just love your dress, too!

  3. Looks like a well-run rehearsal! (I would expect nothing less from you) :)