Wedding Part One: The Rehearsal

Hard to believe all the magic happened almost one month ago already! It still feels like yesterday we were making preparations for the most exciting weekend of our lives. Although I’m not gonna lie, there’s a massive amount of relief in knowing all the planning is OVER haha. This was no ordinary wedding weekend; it truly felt like a three day event. And everything, I mean everything, went perfectly. There’s not one single thing I would change about any of it, at all.

Thomas and I must have had some good karma stored in the backend someplace because the amount of moving parts this weekend took to go smoothly was substantial, yet somehow every star aligned for us in these 72 hours. That’s what I mean by magic, there’s nothing else to describe how it came to be other than that.

Clearly there’s lots to share about the weekend, which will be revealed in the remaining Wedding Parts 2-4 to be posted, but in the meantime let’s start with the kickoff event — The Rehearsal

Backtracking a bit to better explain the moving parts that went into this weekend. Our rehearsal/ceremony was held in NJ and our reception in NYC, which meant our large combined bridal party of 23 + family members + significant others were to stick together as a unit throughout the process. That’s A LOT of people to be “responsible” for, in terms of making sure everyone was aligned with the schedule of where to be & what time, etc.

Thomas and I hit the jackpot with our incredible group of friends and every minute of time we all spent together was complete perfection. No one got lost along the way, showed up late anyplace, or stirred any sort of drama that most wedding weekends tend to invite — how did we get so lucky??

So because our ceremony was to be held the following day at a Church in our hometown of NJ, our rehearsal dinner was hosted nearby at the private beach club I grew up going to & now an adult member of myself. We purposely had our rehearsal at the Church begin right at 3pm, with the dinner starting at 4pm so guests would be able to enjoy cocktail hour outside before the sun set. Additionally, all the bridal ladies had to be up at 7am to begin hair/makeup the next morning so the sooner we started the dinner, the earlier we’d be in bed (lol — didn’t work out that way but YOLO.)

After the Church rehearsal, several bridal party members (including the bride & groom) took the short 10 minute walk over the bridge to the beach club – yes, the convenience of distance between venue locations was intentional haha. We got such an unseasonably warm Autumn day/evening, a breezy 72 degrees with sunshine that fell to a brisk but delightful 55 degrees by nightfall.

My Mother-in-Law put together the most beautiful rehearsal dinner we could have ever envisioned. I had no idea what to expect, as I purposely chose not to be involved and opted to be surprised instead. And wow, it was simply stunning!

We enjoyed an evening full of hilarious presentations & sentimental speeches, childhood photos & personal video messages compiled in a slideshow wishing our marriage nothing but happiness, delicious food catered by the one & only Anjelica’s Restaurant, and most importantly, quality time with those nearest & dearest to us all together in one room at last.

After close to two hellish years, having the ability to share this moment in our lives, surrounded in a room with everyone we love, is the greatest gift of all.

Flowers: Craig Kiely Designs  | Band: Allen Dalton Entertainment Group
Signage – Invitations, Place Cards, Cocktail Napkins: Pauline’s Paperie

Dress: Black Halo | Sculptwear (under the dress): Honeylove | Custom Hanger: AllThingsMoore

If you’re on the hunt for a Rehearsal/Engagement Party/Bridal Shower dress as the Bride-to-Be, definitely check out Shopbop’s Bridal Boutique. Lots of great options to browse here; it’s where I came across this Black Halo one I’m wearing above, along with this Alice & Olivia wrap dress that I almost wore/kept as a backup option.

Earrings: Lele Sadoughi | Shoes: Louboutin Kate 55 SlingbacksFrye Leather Sneakers | Hair: Lambs & Wolves

The earrings I wore were definitely on the pricier side, but without a doubt completed the entire look I was after for this special evening. They’ve already been styled a few times since wedding weekend, having packed them for the Honeymoon. I picked up a couple more budget-friendly earrings to add to my dated collection since then too, realizing I needed a much needed upgrade of nicer jewelry to replace my extremely old studs and dangly things from Claire’s circa 2005…

Stay tuned for Wedding Part Two: Ceremony & Reception — coming as soon as we get our photos back!