Welcome to the Ladyfinger wedding recaps! I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share our day with you — so let’s get this party started, shall we?
After months of planning, blogging, worrying, crying, grinning, crafting, and general thumb twiddling, the wedding week was HERE. I had arranged to have the Wednesday through Friday off from work so we could set things up down south, greet family, and try to relax a bit before the big day.
Because our caterer was awesome and set everything up for us at the venue, all my projects had to be done by that Wednesday — that’s when we had to bring everything to them, from the favors and champagne to the banners and the guestbook. We had already taken the collected centerpiece bottles to our florist three weeks out, so this meant my wedding crafting room was pretty much cleared out a few days before the big day. This made the rest of the week especially relaxing, with plenty of time for visiting with friends and family without the stresses of last-minute-favor-baking-and-program-folding. Over the next couple of days, family trickled in, and we tried to make as much time as possible for everybody.
Me, MIL and Mr. Ladyfingers
Puppy Ladyfingers, happy as always to have new playmates.
And then, all of a sudden, it was the Day Before the Day.
We arrived at our venue for the rehearsal around 2 on Friday, greeted by a relatively blustery day. Even the New York in-laws-to-be pointed out it was actually warmer up North than it was in Florida that day — but we assured them the forecast predicted a temperature hike the next day, accompanied by sun and blue skies.
Going through the motions and making last-minute arrangements, it started to really hit me — we were getting married. Here. Tomorrow. Our caterer had assigned us a rehearsal and ceremony coordinator, who was seriously worth her weight in gold. I highly recommend appointing somebody to help you with this aspect of the wedding specifically, even if it’s a friend or family member. It made the whole scary “everybody’s staring at me” part of the wedding — the part before the party, the part that seemed so full of details with the potential to screw up — virtually stress-free, and answered so many questions for everybody.
First, she went through the agenda and explained the process based on what Mr. Ladyfingers and I had established during earlier meetings with the caterer. We started at the end of the lawn, and then came back up to the deck to process the actual way we would that day.
Mr. Ladyfingers walked his mom down the aisle…
(Side note: previously, he was adamant about not doing this, so we decided the best man would walk her down, followed by another groomsman walking my dad’s fiancee down. Two days before the wedding, he said, “Wait — why is somebody else walking my mom down the aisle?” So we changed it. The day of, she asked me, “Why is my son walking me down the aisle?” Yeesh — it was all sorted out in the end, but apparently confusing for all.)
And Best Man Maverick escorted my dad’s fiancee.
The dudes processed down during the rehearsal, but in actuality would be waiting off to the side while the rest of the procession occurred, and would fall into place right before my ladies.
Dad and I strolled on down…
While the rest of the crew waited at the end for us. Let me point something out here: Look at the right side of that picture (specifically, the dudes). Now, look at the left side of that picture (specifically, the maids). Look how orderly the right side is — standing tall, hands clasped (OK, with the exception of Mr. Ladyfingers). And there are my maids, chit chatting away. Our coordinator had to point it out, and they were chastised more than once!
We ran through what would happen — the handoff from father to Mr. Ladyfingers, the way to exchange rings, the bouquet handoff to MOH and all that jazz.
And, ta-da — we were “married”!
We’d brought along our wedding license along at the request of our Reverend, who signed it along with MOH Ginger and Best Man Maverick, tucking it away to send off after the ceremony the following day.
Then, we made the vehicular switcheroo, transferring my stuff from Mr. Ladyfinger’s to BM Prego’s car, and my girls and I stopped off for some much-needed coffee and had our nails done at a nearby salon.
I definitely suggest a nice little break like this sometime in the days leading up to the wedding. We’s had a little thank-you-bridesmaids dinner the weekend before, but having this additional time to decompress and be girly and pampered was so welcomed. Even if it’s just you — maybe even ideally if it’s just you! — it’s great to have a little time to yourself(ves). This moment of relative solitude, with each bridesmaid in their own chairs getting fingers and toes painted, brought another level of reality to things. We were still at the point where there were enough big moments between now and the ceremony — the rehearsal dinner, hotel time with MOH, getting ready in the morning — but really, not many of them. Eleven months later, we were one day from our wedding.
With our freshly painted fingers and toes, we stopped at BM Prego’s house to get dressed, then met the rest of the crew at the rehearsal dinner.
We could not have been more thrilled with the food, service, and everything else. It was about 50 degrees and windy outside at our beachside rehearsal dinner site, and I was nervous that the dinner was outside. But — yay! — the pavilion turned out to be covered, with heat lamps. See? Everything works out in the end. No, really — it DOES.
BM Esquire, me, MOH Ginger, and BM Spotty
The dudes and their ladies
Dad and FIL Ladyfingers get along swimmingly
After the tasty dinner, Mr. Ladyfingers handed out his groomsmen’s gifts: beer mugs engraved with each dude’s last name and the date of our wedding.
And then, we milled about for the big surprise: Mr. Ladyfinger’s groom’s cake.
It was even better than I’d planned, and he was thrilled! Everybody lined up like paparazzi, taking shots of the cake, him with the cake, us with the cake. Then, we ate the cake. Mmm.
(Side note: It being a round cake, there was a bit of confusion over how to cut it, but the servers were able to convince a bartender to do the honors — another Yankees fan who said that if anybody was going to cut into the precious team logo, it should be him.)
With our rehearsal dinner over and done with in what seemed like such a short amount of time, Mr. Ladyfingers drove me over to the hotel, where I’d be staying that night in a suite with MOH Ginger. I was seriously expecting to get no sleep and be up until all hours and totally cracked out on my wedding day. I started second guessing our arrangement — was it wise to have my best friend staying with me the night before the wedding? Shouldn’t I be getting my beauty rest??
Well, turns out all my worrying was (as usual) for naught. We were both exhausted and sacked out by midnight. All the better for the whirwind day ahead…
*All photos personal and courtesy of friends and family.