… at least perfect enough that we only had to rehearse the ceremony once! I’m still not sure if we’re just that good, or if we knew that Jack Stack Barbecue (a personal favorite of mine) and open bar awaited us all. I’m going with, we’re just that good. A+J Wedding Rehearsal-6↑ I can’t remember why I had a terrified look on my face, but I don’t think it was because I was marrying Jeff. At least, I hope that’s not the reason.

Like many weddings, we held our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding and I must say, spending the evening with some of your closest family and friends is the best way to kick-off the weekend! But before I go any further, I have to thank my cousin Nicole – the same talented photographer who took our engagement photos – for being there to help us capture the evening. The night literally flew by in an instant (okay, so maybe not literally, but you get the point) and I’m so glad she was there to get all those candid moments! A+J Wedding Rehearsal-11 A+J Wedding Rehearsal-13Now don’t get me wrong, the rehearsal itself was great. It helps when you’ve employed the cutest flower girls around,↓ A+J Wedding Rehearsal-2but allow me to skip ahead to the dinner portion of the evening. C’mon, we all know that’s the fun part. Rehearsal Dinner 2 A+J Wedding Rehearsal-22Especially because Jeff’s parents – Norm and Elaine – threw the most spectacular party. And I say that, because aside from the food, venue, and table decorations (Elaine made those herself) being fantastic, they went above and beyond to create a fun and warm atmosphere. A+J Wedding Rehearsal-33 A+J Wedding Rehearsal-30But I’m not going to lie, when they (mainly Norm 😉 ) approached Jeff and I about opening up the microphone to anyone in the room who might want to give a toast or tell a story, well, Jeff and I were less than enthusiastic about the idea. In hindsight, we’re sure glad they did. Judging by this photo (↓), we didn’t hate it. A+J Wedding Rehearsal-56As it turns out, there’s something so fun (although, at times embarrassing) about having your family and friends spill the secrets from your slightly-awkward childhood years, those dreaded teenage years, and your not so graceful college years to everyone at the party. Rehearsal Dinner 3 Rehearsal Dinner 4^^And as my oldest (also, wisest 😉 ) sister proved, you can still layout all the juicy gossip while holding a two-month-old baby.^^ A+J Wedding Rehearsal-54^^But let’s all take a moment to recognize that my littlest sister (both literally and figuratively) stole the show. That little lady, she has a way of doing that and I don’t mind it one bit.^^ Rehearsal Dinner 5 Rehearsal Dinner 6^^Because when she does, those smiles, they don’t lie.^^

However, before I wrap-up this evening, I thought I’d share one additional tidbit from the party. And no, it’s not that double-chin I’m sporting. 🙂 A+J Wedding Rehearsal-40^^If you can believe it, I’d strategically hung onto a letter I wrote to my “future husband” the summer before EIGHTH GRADE (hello church camp!) to share for this very moment.^^

Actually, I think it was meant to be sentimental enough to share in private, but lets just say that my 13-year-old brain wasn’t as emotionally mature as maybe it should’ve been. Thus, I was a little lacking in the deep-thoughts. Regardless, I can say it was certainly worth holding onto. It’s not everyday you get to read to your very soon-to-be husband a list you made (it was on the back of the note) with all the characteristics you were hoping for in a future spouse. And I’m pretty sure he met almost all of my lofty requirements … almost. A+J Wedding Rehearsal-48^^Those baby blue’s, they were definitely on the list. Swoon.^^

Okay, much like my speech that probably went on for too long, I’m wrapping this up. But first, words cannot express how thankful Jeff and I are for that evening. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and it was worth it, even if it was at our expense.

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