My baby brother is now a husband and Ashley is his beautiful wife.
What a crazy-wonderful weekend filled with love, family, and happiness. I am so happy for my brother and his new wife and wish them nothing but the best in their bright future together.
I’m so sorry I kinda disappeared this weekend, but family and wedding stuff sorta took over. I’m back now and am ready to tell all the tales of ‘wedding weekend’ – starting with Friday night’s rehearsal.
This wedding was a lot of firsts for me – the first time I’ve been a bridesmaid, the first time I’ve attended a rehearsal, the first time I’ve been in wedding photos, etc. – so I really went into the rehearsal and wedding day not really knowing what to expect.
We all met at the church at 5:00pm on Friday night and got straight to business.
Since the priest was unable to attend the pre-planned Friday night rehearsal, the bride and groom had a low-key rehearsal with him on Wednesday night. They had some idea on what they were doing and their job was to instruct the rest of us on what the heck we were doing.
I thought the rehearsal would be easy – we all walk down the aisle, watch Ben and Ashley practice saying I do, and rush to dinner to get the party started. Wrong. There are a lot of perfectly planned elements in a wedding that I’ve never even considered as guest before.
Such as the timing (and order) of seating the grandparents of the bride and groom and the seating of the parents of the groom and mother of the bride
Or the order and release of the groomsmen
And even the right pace for walking down the aisle (apparently I’m a fast walker!)
My brother and Ashley opted for a traditional Catholic ceremony, which included a full mass and communion.
We had to rehearse the timing of the chairs for the bride and groom.
As well as how the bridesmaids and groomsmen entered and exited the pews for the seated and kneeling parts of the ceremony.
Then came the easy part – our departures!
I had a pretty hot escort.
Then it was party time.
My parents hosted the bridal party, their dates, and immediate family at Fish Lips in Port Canaveral for the rehearsal dinner.
My big mistake of the evening was having two New Castles. I’m such a light weight.
Dinner was served buffet style and included seasonal veggies, roasted potatoes, pork, fish, chicken, caprese salad, and a vegetable platter. I know my parents had fun selecting the menu and I think they did a great job – everything was delicious.
I snuck a piece of tiramasu for dessert.
After dinner Ashley and Ben gave a lovely speech thanking all of their family and loved ones for making this day possible.
Then they handed out a few gifts
To each set of parents
And the bridesmaids
Ben and Ashley did great with the gifts!
I know my brother worked hard building each of the alcohol-filled planters he gave to the groomsmen. Each one was ‘sprouting’ with mini-bottles of liquor, 2 cigars, and a flask.
Ashley has GREAT taste and presented each of the bridesmaids with beautiful hand painted wine glasses that she ordered from Etsy.
One side of each glass displays our names and the wedding date
And the other has hand painted portraits of our dresses.
You really can’t tell in the photo of the glasses above, but the details of the paintings are amazing – right down to the bow on my dress and the one missing from Kelly’s (my bridesmaid dress had a bow and Kelly’s did not). Amazing. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Ashley!
The rehearsal dinner ended quietly around 9:00pm. Afterwards we all headed home to prep for our early wake-up calls. Less than 24-hrs to go until Ben and Ashley were husband and wife!