Let me preface this by saying that you are only getting the perspective of the bride. I am going to attempt to talk Jonathan into writing an entry (a complilation) of his memories from all of this.
We had the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner the Friday before the wedding. I took the day off from school (it was legit- I had a peridontist appointment at 9:45 that morning), and Mom and I got to spend some good quality time together. We used our gift certificates for the Chateau Elan Spa. Let's just say it was delightful. We changed into our CE robes & then proceeded to have some rockin' massages & facials. I set in the steam room for about 15 minutes- major stress relief! I love that they have fresh fruit, and what really sticks out to me is their water. They have the best water- it's so refreshing with cucmubers in it. Sounds weird, but it's not. (FYI: Mom didn't drink enough water & was super sore the next day! When you have a massage it releases the toxins in your body, and you have to really hydrate yourself to flush them out or you can end up exrtremely sore. Poor Mom.)
We went home and took showers and began getting ready to head to the church.
Everyone arrived at Hopewell around 6:00 looking super sharp. We got to check out the awesome slide show my sister Steph made. Did you get to see it at the wedding (it played before the families walked down)? I love that Jonathan had a mullet when he was younger- it's especially funny to me because I used to totally dig them when I was a kid (Billy Ray & Patrick Swayze were my faves!).
During dinner Mom surprised me with some special gifts. She had a little help from Dana & Mrs. Mary making my garter and pillow for Brock to carry, both of which had material from Mom's wedding dress. It was such a thoughtful gesture & I LOVED the personal tough. I will truly cherish those gifts forever, and I had to fight to hold the tears back.
After dinner they opened the floor for toasts. Jonathan & I toasted sparkling grape juice (which tastes REALLY good by the way, & I would have drank a LOT more of it if it wasn't so high in calories!) out of Jonathan's parents glasses. Yep, the very same ones Jimmy and Donna used at their wedding; another personal touch that was really special and helped make the night even more memorable.
I know people don't really love to talk in front of large crowds (and there were about 50-60 people there), and no one was exactly jumping up to talk, so my brother Michael started the night off. I knew he was going to say something, but I wasn't quite prepared for the genuine, loving speech he shared with our friends and family. His toast was SO sweet and thoughtful that almost as soon as he started speaking Jonathan & I both welled up with big tears. He and Jon are really good friends, & by brother and I are really close as well. I am going to see if he has it written down anywhere so I can put it on here. This is probably one of my favorite memories from the night.
Emily, Laura, & Keene, some of our dear friends, also had some super sweet words of encouragement for us. It takes a lot of guts to stand up in front of people and talk and we really appreicated this gesture from our friends, who all did a great job.
Jonathan also gave his groomsmen their gifts, which were some really nice pocket knives engraved with their names on the blade. They are all outdoorsmen, so I think they liked it.
Of course we finished the night with a photo shoot. I'm sure you're seeing a theme- we really like pictures around here. Check out our goodlooking friends and family.
After dinner Jonathan walked me to my car before he went back inside to help clean up. It was so strange knowing I wouldn't be able to see or talk to him until the next day when I arrived at the end of the aisle to become his WIFE! We practiced our kiss one time, hugged a sweet hug, said our I love yous and went home to rest up for the big day!!