Tales of Tying the Knot: The Rehearsal

8 Mar

**I’ve had this post written for ages and I keep not posting it and I don’t know why. Yes I do. It’s irrelevant to people who do not know me and/or my family personally and therefore, by convention, isn’t a good blog post topic. But I’m posting it anyway because it’s important to the documentation of our entire wedding. So just consider me selfish for the day.**

Wedding rehearsals are very important. Because walking in a straight line, standing still, and repeating words can be most difficult.

But in fairness it was a great opportunity for the people in the wedding to see the chapel since unlike most hometown weddings, they hadn’t spent countless Sunday’s napping or coloring in the pews of this church.

In my imagination, the rehearsal began with everyone gathered on the deck of the Ramada, enjoying some wine and beer in the warm October sunshine. But as we know, October and December switched places so instead we huddled briefly on the desk. We offered gifts of thanks, hugged, laughed and snagged some fun photos:

We though long and hard about what to give our wedding party as gifts. In the end, the boys all got zip-up hooded sweatshirts that ended up being perfect for the weather. They also got snazzy knives that came in snazzy leather purses. They keep telling me they are satchels and Indiana Jones has one but whatever. They’re little knife purses.

For the ladies – tote bags, shower/spa wraps, candles, lotions and of course… Brighton bracelets. It was funny to watch them open the Brighton bracelets because they all know exactly how much I adore Brighton anything. It was about time I shared!

Just thinking about that makes me want to go to the mall and buy something shiny and Brighton. Addiction is a powerful thing.

For the ring bearer men – treasure boxes made out of tree trunks and filled with a few “starter treasures” like gold coins, John Deere marbles and tiny marble dinosaurs. And of course we gave them fun stuff…like whoopie cushions. Because that’s the kind of people we are. We think fart noises are funny. Even at our rehearsal dinner.

I’d love to know what’s so funny in this picture. But I’m betting we wouldn’t understand.

These photos, taken on the deck of the Ramada, are some of my favorite family photos ever:

Grandpa Medema causing trouble. No surprise there!

Then we ran back inside where it was warm and overtook the Ramada lobby for the 15th of 120 times that weekend.

We organized a caravan from the Ramada to Oak Hill with the groom and I leading. That sounds trivial but it was comical. There were, if memory serves me, 7 vehicles. Since only the hubs and I knew the way it was important that we keep everyone together. Cell phone services was spotty and navigating rural Galena isn’t always easy.

We managed to keep our caravan together and breathed a sigh of relief once we were out in the country with no other traffic or pedestrians to get in our way.

We drove. And drove. Up hills, down hills and around hair pin turns. Up more hills. Down others. And we drove and we drove. And all the while, 6 dedicated vehicles followed behind, keeping pace and never doubting our judgment. Well…maybe doubting our judgment.

The phrase, “We must be close.” crossed my lips 12 times and by the 13th we were getting nervous. We’d been to the chapel once before and while we recalled the drive seeming long this was getting ridiculous.

When we entered a town we were certain we’d never seen before, we knew we’d missed it for sure.

So the caravan turned its self around with the help of some farmer’s half-circle drive way.

One third of the cars used the half-circle drive.

One third of the cars attempted and failed u-turns on the narrow country road.

One third just plowed through the farmer’s yard and ditch. (As you might imagine, The Beast and I were in the ‘plowing’ third.)

And suddenly our caravan was a mess of SUVs, Mini Vans and one utility truck  all pointing various directions, all in various degrees of ‘stuck’ on a country road, doing assorted shimeys in an attempt to about face and back track.

Trivial as it might sounds, looking out my window at all those vehicles making a big mess of that little country road cracked me up. I don’t know if everyone thought it was funny. I did and I’ll always remember that scene. Just something funny about playing Follow the Leader and then leading everyone to nowhere. And how Maggie-like of me to tote around a binder with 10 different contingency plans but no map to where we were actually to be wed. It’s a testament to how much fun we were all having too, that we just laughed about and didn’t spaz about being late. Do not, I repeat, do not be a spaz on your wedding day. It ain’t pretty.

Eventually we found the chapel and I promptly asked the owners of the property what happened to sign that used to be at the edge of the road. There never was one, they told me. Lies I tell you, there was one.

Anyway…the rehearsing began.

We decided it would be best if Jacob and Nick could really practice escorting their assigned grandma’s to their seats. Except the grandmas were not present.

No worries. Ashli volunteered to play Grandma Bush:

And Joel was happy to fill in for Grandma Medema:

These two had done all the practicing they needed to. But they humored us.

Check out those shirts man! Custom made by the nice folks at BJ Printables in Edwardsville. Please visit BJ’s Printables for all your screen printing needs. They were very  nice to us.

Here we are practicing our listening skills:

Hehe Doesn’t it kind of look like the altar Jesus is directing our attention?

More rehearsing. More confusion. More people yelling over each other to be heard. Rehearsal complete.

Then it was time for what I will forever insist was one of our best wedding-planning decisions. The Pizza Party!

At some point in August, I’d hatched the plan that it would be more fun to feed all of our guests pizza than just our wedding party a fancy dinner.

I had a nice conversation with a man at Procento’s Pizza in Galena. He was Italian. I’m Italian. He liked Irish girls. I’ve an Irish girl name. Nothin’ll snag ya a discount or a black eye like being Irish-Italian.

With the discount on already good prices, we all agreed to move forward with hosting an Welcome Pizza Party rather than a rehearsal dinner.

Fast forward to October 1, 2009

Me: “Mom….I tallied the RSVPS…they’re all coming. Like, everyone is coming. Everyone. That’s kind of more pizza than I’d estimated.”

Mom: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph.”


Pizza needs beer. Sadly, we couldn’t reach a point of reason with the hotel regarding a way to serve beer for the pizza party and not spend a million dollars or waste a ton of beer. So we started spreading the word that folks could bring their own coolers to the rehearsal or visit the bridal party room where we had stocked enough beer for an army, much to dismay of the hotel owners.

People brought coolers. Foot traffic to and from our rooms was heavy. The quick snap of popping tops was heard every where put at the bar the hotel set up. Teach them to sell beer at an inflated price! Never underestimate the ingenuity of Streator people, especially as it relates to the price of alcohol.

These people even mixed Bloody Mary’s under their table:

Don’t let the sweet looking one on the right fool you either. They are both trouble. Trouble, I tell you.

So anyway…No snobby rehearsal dinner outfits, no snobby restaurant food. Pizza, beer, family and friends and just the right amount of debauchery.

For those of you planning weddings – do not underestimate the fabulosity of the everyone’s-invited rehearsal. It was such an awesome opportunity to talk to our guests and get in the party spirit!

We were also able to get photos with just about everyone. Speaking from both sides of the camera – even with a list of everyone you’d like to get a photo with – its hardly possible during a wedding reception. So we’re very glad that we have these photos. Here’s a sampling…

*Please note. At some point in preparing this blog, I started labeling the people in these photos. I’m not clear on why. Either you will be the people in the photos, you will already know the people, or you won’t give a hoot either way. But I labeled them anyway, so there.

4/6 of the Streator girls!

I heart Adam and Sheen and wish they didn’t live on the other end of the state.

Brandi & Cody have hired Kate & I to be their wedding photographers.
In Vegas.
We like that.

Amy and Eric were an important part of Operation Galena.
And they rocked it.

The Wargos – who provided much more reception entertainment than we’d anticipated!! I mean that in a good way…

Bob is our buddy and insurance guy. He was going to sing at our ceremony.
But his voice was broken. Instead, the wedding card he gave us was one of those musical Hallmark ditties.
And it played the song he was going to sing. I cried.

The Ransom-based portion of my family is a riot. This would be my mother’s mother’s side of the family.
The side from which I inherit both my cooking skills and my boobies. Hee.

And this is the Cox-Davis family. They are my not-real-family family. I miss them A LOT.
From them, I inherited my drinking abilities and the tendancy to change song lyrics to fit the present situation.

We thought Brandon and Erica weren’t going to make it. Then they did! An excellent surprise!

This is Jessi. No idea who the guy to her left is. Clearly, he doesn’t know us either. Hee. Anyway, I’m singling Jessi out here to say CONGRATS! Cus she was just accepted into a very competitive RN program and that’s super awesome hhhooooe. I love Jessi because she will know that that “hhhoooeee” isn’t name calling, its my typed-out Cher impersonation.

Hi Carol Wargo. I miss you and your cheeseburgers.

My brother, his GF Ashli and my cousin Zack…whole bunch of water and Sprite being consumed here, I’m sure.
Zack came up early for the Pizza Party all by himself to hang out with us and have fun.
He ended up being put to work. Good guy. Glad to see him!

This photo had to be in black and white and with just a hint of vintage
because that’s the way the memory looks in my head, if that makes any sense to anyone.

These girls know how to laugh and they did plenty of it in Galena, which made me very happy.

Grandpa Medema, telling stories. He tells good ones.

Alrighty that has to be enough I’m tired of prepping photos. If you were at the pizza party and not pictured here, rest assured you are in our photo album.

Oh wait. I’ve just come across two more photos.

Paging a Mrs. Diane Cox. Mrs. Diane Cox.

Ma’am, you owe us a pumpkin:

Clearly these were taken from quite a distance. But they are proof enough, Mrs. Cox, that you are guilty of defacing wedding property by use of what appears to be a beer bottle cap to carve a very strange face onto our pumpkin. We can see from the top photo that you had some sort of accomplice who aided you in choosing which side of our pumpkin to deface. You and said accomplice owe us a pumpkin. Intoxication is never a defense.

Previous Editions of Tales of Tying the Knot:

Tales of Tying the Knot: It Began on a Tuesday
Tales of Tying the Knot: This looks like a circus
Tales of Tying the Knot: The flowers


3 Responses to “Tales of Tying the Knot: The Rehearsal”

  1. Erica March 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Um, Hello, I look like a gigantor bitch in picture #1. Please note, I’m not always a gigantor bitch. Kthanksbye:)

  2. Diane March 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Guilty as charged. I owe you one pumpkin I admit it although I was hoping to see the creatively (note poor spelling) carved pumpkin on the tables. PS I hope I don’t actually look like that. That was hard to do with a uhm pop lid.

  3. Josefina March 11, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    Thank you macarena 🙂
    (p.s. i adore your cher voice IF I COULD TURN BACK TIIIHHIIIME)

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