Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wedding Events: Friday Rehearsal Dinner

Our rehearsal dinner was a wonderful event!

The dinner was hosted by Chris' parents at my parents' home.  It was such an opportunity for our parents (ALL of our parents -- all four) to work together on this event.  Chris' parents did everything, but it was at my parents' home, so there was some great bonding time in the preparation and clean-up!  :-D
It was a beautiful evening and a great chance to visit with friends that had traveled hundreds and, in some cases, over one thousand miles to celebrate our wedding.
 We invited more people than just the wedding party because so many people traveled from far and wide.  All in all, we had about 75 friends and family.
 My dad's good friend from college, Dr. Harry Lawrence, came all the way from Lookout Mountain, Georgia to attend our wedding with his daughter Brooke (after whom I was named -- not in the picture).
Dr. Lawrence is an ophthalmologist and an Episcopalian minister and his family had been very good friends of my dad's for over 50 years.  Dr. Lawrence offered a beautiful prayer over our rehearsal dinner.  He is the one reading his prayer and my parents are next to him.
 My parents' property was the perfect place!
 These are most of my college friends in town for the rehearsal dinner.  Most are involved in the wedding, and ALL traveled FAR and WIDE to attend our wedding.  We have TREMENDOUS pride in our school and a very close bond as alumni.  We are from Washington and Lee University!
 A view under the tent
 The food was catered by Carinos' and was delicious (light on the garlic) :-D
My Aunt and Uncle gave Chris and me a rehearsal dinner present -- A Guide to American Ballparks.  Chris and I spent last summer visiting 18 ballparks, and we plan to make it to all 30 in the next few years.
 Chris gave a toast at the wedding and so I gave a toast at the rehearsal dinner.  I remember two things about our first date:
  1. I admired his truck and he said that he was really planning for a family when he opted for the four doors.  His truck will be great for car seats, he said.
  2. When he prayed over our dinner he said, "Lord, we give you all the praise for what you're going to do here."  I remember thinking, "What's He going to do?  Do you know something I don't?  What's God going to do here?"
I relayed there memories and talked about how Chris' prayer really set the tone for our relationship.  I also accidentally made a comment about our tying the noose, and immediately caught my slip and said, "I mean knot.  We're tying the knot!"  It was pretty funny.
 My two nephews were in our wedding as "Flag Bearers".  Here I am with the two boys while they are opening the presents Chris and I got them for their participation.  My brother (their dad) is also in the picture.
This is the daughter of one of my bridesmaids and just the most adorable little girl on the planet.  I don't have any kiddos yet, so I can really honestly make this statement about little Remington Lee.

After the rehearsal dinner was one of my favorite memories from the wedding weekend.  All of the young people (W&L friends, wedding party, out of town friends) came in my parents' house and just hung out for another hour or more.  Chris and I were both exhausted, so Chris went back to the hotel but I had some precious memories with friends after the rehearsal dinner.
There was only a few pictures taken of this hangout time... like nearly none, but in the above picture, Chris and I are facing a family room FULL of young people.  People were all over the couch, in every chair, on the floor and just hanging out.

I changed into more comfortable clothes and was fighting a headache.  A DEAR DEAR friend, Leah, rubbed my shoulders and pet my hair while I was visiting with friends which just felt amazing.  When I thanked her as she was leaving, she gave me a hug and said, "I was so hoping I would be able to do that for you tonight."  What an amazing friend and such a loving heart!"

We didn't linger late into the night because we had a big day the next day -- including an early morning running race.  Before we parted ways, however, we prayed as a group (popcorn prayer for anyone who wanted to speak).  I can't even express what a meaningful time this was to pray with this group of friends, some of whom knew each other, some of whom hardly knew anyone other than me, but completely united in prayer.

I don't remember all that was said, but I remember how touched I was that Chris' brother (our best man, and now my brother) prayed out loud.  It was very meaningful to hear his heart on this eve of his brother's wedding.  My amazing maid of honor prayed, along with several friends I hadn't seen in years. 

Also, my dear friend, Obinna closed us in prayer and I remember some of his words.  Obinna prayed about the symbolism that Chris and I were running a race together the morning of our wedding and that we would, in fact, be running the race of life together.  He said that the Lord calls us to the race he sets before us and that ours will be united for the rest of our lives.

Thanks for sharing in our wedding joy through the pictures and my memories.
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