the dress rehearsal

For most of our engagement and the week leading up to the wedding I honestly wasn't nervous about the wedding, about saying "yes I do!" to T.J. in front of our family and friends. Mostly the nerves came from the fact that we were hosting a big shindig for 200 people and I'd been dreaming about the day my whole life and suddenly it was here.

The build up to the big day is so great and then suddenly it's the night before. You make it to the rehearsal and it's like the frenzy of the planning is officially over. Anything that didn't get checked off that list is just not going to happen now. All that's left is to do this thing. Here we go.

I had so much fun at our rehearsal.

We headed to the church in all our rehearsal finery. It was a challenge to find appropriate winter wedding white dresses for all the different events so I went a little different for our rehearsal with a gold/creamy dress. It worked since that was one of our wedding colors and you can't go wrong with sparkly and fun sequins!
We practiced the processional, we practiced walking in on my dad's arm, and we went through his hand off to T.J, the hardest part of the whole night...especially for my dad.  Then we were given a quick synopsis of what our actual ceremony and the exchanging of vows would look like. 

Our minister was my dear friend and fellow Young Life leader who made the trip down from Maryland with his whole family. It made it so much more special having a friend, who's faith and marriage I know and admire, perform the ceremony. He did a fantastic job at the rehearsal of not giving too much away while still helping us feel more comfortable and prepared for the next day. I've seen rehearsals where they read through the vows word for word and are practically married save for an "I now pronounce you man and wife".

And then we practiced the kiss, you don't have to ask me twice, and the recessional once more,  and we were on our way to the dinner!

T.J.'s parents planned my dream rehearsal dinner and I didn't even have to ask. It was like his mom was in my head and knew exactly what I would have done on my own. They booked the perfect venue, the Upcountry History Museum. This was so fun because you get to mingle around the exhibits and since we had so many people and family come in from out of town it had a nice "welcome to South Carolina" feel. This was only furthered by the yummy classic southern menu of shrimp and grits, fried chicken (one of my top five favorite foods), collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and cobbler for dessert. Everything was perfect especially because they graciously invited everyone in my family, and we have a big family! 
Once everyone had time to mix and mingle, once the grandparents, and aunts and uncles and friends had blended, T.J.'s dad (his best man) gave the nicest welcome toast and then we tucked into the comfort food. And then more toasts were shared by my sister and one of T.J.'s groomsmen. I may have promised my sister to not make her cry during her toast, and I have may have most certainly locked eyes with her during the first sentence she spoke, and we both definitely lost it. 
After the dinner we all continued to hang out at T.J.'s favorite college bar. We told other friends who weren't at the rehearsal dinner to meet us there so we could keep the party going a little while longer. But only until midnight that is. Right before midnight I kissed my fiance goodnight, told him I'd see him at the alter and skipped back to my hotel room with my sister.
I was sure I'd have a hard time falling asleep from all the excitement and nerves but I went right to bed soon after sister and I finished giggling about how crazy it was that tomorrow I was getting married! Really I think it's because I was never nervous about T.J....he was always my solid during this whole thing. The one choice I never doubted. Even when it seemed crazy or people told us it was too soon, I one hundred percent believed that the Lord brought us together and nothing else mattered.  Do I know him enough, does he know me enough. Probably not. Are we mature enough, financially stable, selfless enough to get married? Definitely not. But we love each other, and when T.J. asked me to marry him, when I said yes, when we talked about forever, I felt nothing but peace. Still do. 


  1. Heavy, sweet sigh. Such a lovely post.

  2. I'm having so much fun re-living it all through our blogs. I might never stop blabbing about it : ) I figure about the time I'm done with the recaps we'll get Chris's pictures and I will have more to say.

  3. I'm enjoying getting both perspectives! having been both a mother of the groom and a mother of the bride (on different occasions) in the last three years, it's fun to read your descriptions knowing just how you both felt. So glad things went so well.

  4. Everything about your wedding sounds so perfect!


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