Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for the rehearsal and following rehearsal dinner. We were really lucky because our photographer decided to scope out the church while we had our rehearsal, which meant that we got rehearsal pictures included in our package free of charge. We were also able to snag her assistant to help us with stuff.
I saw David for the first time in three weeks right before the rehearsal. Then it was into the church and an hour or so of waiting for people to show up, or having people leave before we were done with them. I found myself getting more and more uptight throughout the rehearsal—what everyone says is true, and the bride is expected to have all the answers when, at least in my experience, all the bride would like is a stiff drink and someone to remind her why she hadn't chose to elope! By the end of the rehearsal, after I discovered my parents had snuck out (to get back to work) before it was time to practice walking me down the aisle...after my brain felt overloaded with the ten million ceremonial details of a wedding mass...and after trying to keep sweet-tempered with a bunch of people around, it was time for my very obliging ladies to put me in a van and take me home, where with a bit of rest and a tall glass of cider I recovered my perspective and excitement.
Later that evening we headed out to The Water's Edge, a bistro in the harbour where David's parents were throwing us a rehearsal dinner. It was lovely. We had a private room overlooking the water and mountains, and David's mum had decorated it beautifully with a beachy Jamaican theme.
The food was delicious (seafood appies and jambalaya) and it was so good to just sit, eat, and relax with my groom beside me. As these things do, everything took longer than planned so we ended up having friends and family show up for drinks before we were done, but everyone just shrugged it off and slipped in and it was great! I am so glad we decided to tell people to join us for drinks, as it happens that that was the most time I really had for conversing with most of the people there.
Following dinner, the groom's side and guests went off to a pub, whilst I and my ferociious duo set out to finish wedding prep, and solve a last minute problem of the groomsmen arriving in town with no place to stay. Fortunately Tara is a wonder and managed to find them a lawn to camp on.
At around midnight Tara and Madeleine sent me off to bed whilst they stayed up to make the bouquets (which were so beautiful). I was really touched that they were willing to work so late into the night on this. Nothing like knowing two good friends have got your back! They even contrived a way of wrapping the rosaries I'd gotten as bridesmaid's gifts around the flower stems. I didn't even see the bouquets until the ceremony, but it was clear to me that I had left everything in good hands.