We practiced processing and recessing, signed our ketubah, said a few prayers and finally, the rehearsal was over, which meant only only one thing: It was time for the rehearsal dinner!
I didn't talk much about the rehearsal dinner during the planning process for a few reasons. Mostly because it was FMIL Trail Mix who handled everything and other than choosing an invitation card as part of our invite suite, I didn't have to do a damn thing. Which, for my over-saturated, much-addled bride-brain, was pretty much the best thing ever.
I don't know if you remember our engagement party (refresh your memory here) but it was so awesome that I knew the rehearsal dinner was in good, good hands. In short, when the Trail Mix in-laws throw a party, they throw a party! Much thanks to the both of them for an incredible pre-wedding shindig!
Because about three-quarters of our guests were from out-of-town, many flying in from Miami (Mr TM's family is from there), my Trail Mix in-laws were adamant about inviting all OOT guests to the dinner as thank-you gesture for coming so far to celebrate our wedding.
I'll admit, when I first heard our rehearsal dinner was going to be pushing 120 guests, I was a bit concerned. I worried it would be stressful trying to run around and connect with so many people and that it would take away from the actual wedding the next day.
But all my worries were for naught. Honestly, I'm so thankful we did end up going this route because on the day of the wedding, we barely had a second to spare and actually didn't get a chance to get to every table as planned (One of my major regrets. Again, I blame the rain and the fact that our caterer couldn't get her grill to light. Major distraction.) Plus, it took absolutely nothing away from the wedding and if anything, only served to heighten anticipation for the following day's big events!
After the rehearsal finished, we stopped at The Shaker Meadow Inn (where we were staying) to pick up a few friends who had arrived later and headed off to the Cranwell Inn and Resort, a beautifully restored mansion-turned-resort located in Lenox, MA, in the heart of the Berkshires.
So fresh and so clean! Friends heading to the dinner... Doesn't this photo look like a Polo ad or something?
Now, let's talk about the food we served. Although the Cranwell is a beautiful venue (it's very popular for weddings!) FMIL Trail Mix wanted to keep things simple, yet tasty. We had a lovely cocktail hour out on the porch of the main building, overlooking the surrounding Berkshire mountains. We drank champagne, ate some passed hors d'oeuvres (man, I have typed that word at least 100 times since I started blogging and I STILL can't figure out how to spell it. Those tricky French.) mingled with guests and took advantage of the lovely scenery and weather for photos...
MIL Trail Mix with some of her family
But on to the main event. The menu MIL Trail Mix picked (with absolutely, positively zero lobbying or persuasive flattery from either of us *note the use of sarcasm) yielded photos like this:
Oh yes, we went for the New England summer feast, complete with steak, barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, roasted baby red potatoes, salad, apple pie and...
Whole, steamed lobsters. Dear lord in heaven, it was amazing.
I could eat lobster every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy. I mean, for crying out loud, you dip it in melted butter. In my world, everything's better with butter :)
Mr Trail Mix's doofy face here is directly proportional to his excitement over the lobster (his fave dish.)
I barely ate the entire weekend but I sure as sh*t devoured one of those bad boys (and managed to spill butter all over my dress. Ah, well, was probably only going to wear it once anyways but that is a typical Trail Mix move, for sure...)
Here I am, clearly in heaven, blissed out on butter and owning that stylish bib.
And I gotta give props to my man Louie here (center, father of Groomsman Sean) who proved himself to be the stuff of legends by eating three (yes, you read that right, three) whole lobsters. And a piece of steak. Well played, Louie, well played indeed.
FMIL Trail Mix reported that the staff at the Cranwell were wonderful to work with. They handled all the decor aspects of the dinner, including hanging these colorful paper lanterns from the ceiling...
And coordinating with the florist on these beautiful centerpieces (which we re-purposed for the post-wedding brunch on Sunday morning, since it was also at the Cranwell.)
Didn't the florist do an incredible job with these flowers? I was totally blown away by them!
After we had eaten to our hearts content, stomachs swollen and melted butter dripping down our faces, my in-laws gave a beautiful speech, welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending our wedding weekend. They also said some wonderful things about me. And I cried. No surprise there.
We enjoyed spending time with our families and friends. Here's a shot of myself, Trail Mix mom and her cousin, who is like her sister and like my second mom. Aunt J hosted my shower and opened our ceremony with a reading. Therefore, she deserves some face time in this post. Thanks for everything, J!
We had an open bar and apparently, our friends like to party because FIL Trail Mix reported that the bar tender actually ran out of alcohol by about 11:00 pm, with the exception of a few bottles of brown liquor (whiskey, I think?) Which is a perfect example of why I almost doubled our alcohol order for the actual wedding from the liquor store's suggested amounts; our friends likey the drinky.
The rehearsal dinner was one of many high points of the weekend. We opted to give our bridal party their gifts before the rehearsal and so other than shoving as much food as possible down my throat in between conversations, there were no responsibilities or things that had to be done. All I did was show up and that was the best part of all!
It was a light-hearted event, full of amazing food and the perfect chance to spend time with some of our guests before the craziness of the actual wedding day set in.
Up Next: Our post-rehearsal dinner festivities...What, you thought that was it for the pre-wedding day fun? As if!
Follow along as the Trail Mix wedding is recounted, in all it's rainy glory...