Wedding Weekend Part 1: Bachelorette, Rehearsal Dinner, and Preparations

Wedding Weekend Part 1!

Once the wedding weekend finaly began, all the planning was done and the only thing left to do was show up. John and I started by having lunch with his grandpa (with coordinated hats) and checking into the hotel.

I began wearing my contacts at the beginning of the week, which meant I could wear fun sunglasses, and that I felt like I was tripping from how different my contacts feel. Seriously, everything looks big when I have my contacts in. It's like wearing a tiny but powerful pair of magnifying glasses.

Several of my awesome lady friends threw me a fun bachelorette night that started with champagne, presents, and pizza, then involved wine and EXPRESSING OURSELVES THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF PAINT.

Though I'm sure it conflicted with policy, a nice cab driver offered to drive all five of the people who were left in the same cab back to the hotel.

Not shown: bar crawling (not shown for good reason...), then a relaxed run on Friday morning. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was Friday afternoon. The women of the Fellowship of the Ring and I got our nails done, then I got to spend some pretty relaxing time with Kira and Lauren. It was so nice to get some time with just two of my best friends during the weekend. I wish I had more solo time with each of the members of the Fellowship, not to mention many of the guests. 

Soon enough we headed to the Auditorium for our rehearsal, conducted by Kira and the awesome Auditorium staff.


Our rehearsal was very reassuring and made the whole thing seem very real. 
The rehearsal dinner was at the catering facility at Upland, my all time favorite Bloomington brewery. Here's John giving a toast. I love that Lauren looks completely bored.

Also not shown: we all went back to my parents' house for dessert after the dinner. Their house was absolutely packed with our friends and relatives, and John's mom supplied fabulous cookies, brownies, and macarons from Blu Boy desserts. John and I picked out about 24 bottles of wine from Sahara Mart which made the drinks fairly simple and relatively inexpensive because of their discount for large wine purchases. 

On Saturday morning, John and I ate breakfast alone at Feast - one of the best decisions we made. 

I should mention that by this point, I had pretty much completely lost my voice. I got a minor cold late in the week, and between congestion and a lot of talking/shouting/laughing the two nights before, I could not talk at all by Saturday morning. I brought a pad of paper and a pen wherever I went and tried not to talk much throughout the day. That added a layer of stress for me, since I was with a group of people who I love and rarely get to spend so much time with. 
So when I went to the salon after breakfast, I mostly wrote my messages and mouthed things to the bridesmaids, the both our moms.

Above: Carla persuaded Dave to go with her to get Crescent Donut, and she brought some with her to the salon. My mom and aunt prepared a few bags of light snacks for us to eat while we spent a few hours doing hair and make up. 

Eventually, all the ladies but Carla returned to the hotel to get dressed and take cabs to the Auditorium while I finished my make up. It was fun to have a lot of hang out time to catch up (if slowly and quietly via my handwritten notes) with all of my closest friends. If all the fun had ended with the first few days of the wedding weekend, it would still have been an incredibly fun time. I'm lucky to have these people as my friends and family.

Next: Ceremony and Reception.

Note: I'll do a link round up at the end, in case anyone would like to know who our vendors were. We had many good experiences and I'll be happy to recommend them.

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