The day before our wedding was absolutely gorgeous. After manicures and pedicures with my bridesmaids in the morning, I went to Pippin Hill that afternoon for a "walk through" with the venue staff. At this point, all of the different weather sources agreed that the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl would arrive in the morning. I don't know if they were trying to make me feel better, but the staff kept telling me that it wasn't going to rain. The rain plan was discussed for a few minutes. The brevity of the rain plan conversation made me nervous. They told me the call to put the rain plan into action would be made at 2:30 PM on the wedding day.
The walk through did the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do. I felt like I was the only one being a realist. When every forecast says there's a 100% chance of rain, you prepare for rain. I wanted to put the rain plan in action right then and there.
Photo by Dr. S
When people started arriving for the rehearsal, I gave my camera to Mr. Mink and told him that he was in charge. Documenting every step of the planning process was wearing on me and I wanted to enjoy having our friends and family around us. I'm thankful that Dr. S, one of my bridesmaids, also took some pictures.
Me and Dr. S's husband, a groomsman / Photo by Dr. S
When everyone was assembled, our DOC and officiant took over. The first time I was in a wedding, I was 22 and I remember the rehearsal feeling like it lasted forever. There were constant instructions and corrections. The difference between a wedding rehearsal when you're 22 and one when you're 34 is that everyone knows what there are supposed to do and does it. I think we had all been in enough weddings at this point to know what was expected of us.
Photo by Mr. Mink
Of course, this was all new to the children. This was the first time the kids from Mr. Mink's side of the family met the kids from my side.
My oldest nephew and Mr. Mink's nephew would be in charge of taking Junior Mink down the aisle. When I told them that they had to work as a team, I think that was a bit of an ice breaker.
My nephews (one was in utero) / Photo by Mr. Mink
We rehearsed outside, which I thought was totally pointless, but I just went with the flow. I thought the children would be much better off seeing the space where the ceremony was definitely going to happen. I took Mr. Mink's niece, our flower girl, inside to show her the "secret" room that was just for girls (the bridal loft) and the space where the ceremony was going to happen since she was going to be walking alone. My youngest nephew would probably follow the older boys and Junior Mink anywhere, so I didn't think practicing was as important for him.
I think the rehearsal took about 45 minutes, start to finish, and we sent everyone on their way to change for the rehearsal dinner.
A few hours later, we met at Brookville for our rehearsal dinner. We were joined by extended family and some of our out-of-town guests. I thought this would be a chance to really catch up some people I haven't seen in a while, but I forgot that I'd be meeting some of Mr. Mink's extended family that I hadn't met before.
Jennifer and Harrison Keevil, the couple that runs Brookville (Harrison is the chef and Jennifer runs the front of the house), took great care of us. After a fantastic cocktail hour, we moved into the dining room. You may remember that Mr. Mink is an enthusiastic carnivore and I'm not a big meat eater. Jennifer and Harrison worked with us to compose a menu that would make every one happy.
Photo by Miss Mink
I honestly don't have too many pictures from the rehearsal dinner because I was too busy talking and eating! After Mama Mink welcomed our guests, Mr. Mink and I said our thank yous and handed out gifts to our parents and bridal party. My bridesmaids got robes, personalized hangers, and the custom clutches I had made. Mr. Mink's groomsmen got some large, special bottles of beer (Piraat and Gulden Draak by Van Steenberge for the beer nerds) and gift cards (iTunes for his radio co-host and another friend made through music, GameStop for his teenage nephew). I had handkerchiefs embroidered with notes of thanks for our parents.
Photo by Miss Mink
After dinner, we went out for a late drink with our friends. I'm so grateful for that time. The walk through with the venue had made me anxious. A night cap was just what I needed.
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