Category Archives: Rehearsal

Wedding Project Revisited: Advice Cards

Remember those advice cards I made for everyone to fill out at the rehearsal dinner?

Scherm0157L(Photo by Sarah Immel Photography)

Well, we still have ‘em and we LOVE going through them when we hit one of the milestones listed on the envelopes.  I thought you might like to see how we’re storing and saving them!

We keep the unopened cards in one of the baskets we used for our “Tears of Joy” tissue packets at the wedding.  Man, I love these little baskets!  They’re so stylish and the envelopes fit perfectly inside them.

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As for the cards we’ve opened? We keep those in a simply black photo album.  They fit perfectly!  And since there’s usually two cards to open for each occasion, this little album works great.

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We store the album and the unopened cards underneath one of our side tables in the living room.  You can see we’re using another of those baskets to hold all of our coasters.

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The cards have been SO fun to read.  This was the list of occasions we used (the ones that are bolded are cards we’ve already opened):

On Your Wedding Night
On the First Night of Your Honeymoon
On the Night You Come Home from Your Honeymoon
On the Night of Your First Married Fight
On the Night One of You Burns the Dinner
On Your First Night as Homeowners
On Your First Anniversary
On Your Fifth Anniversary
On Your Tenth Anniversary
On Your Fifteenth Anniversary
On Your Twentieth Anniversary
On Your Twenty-fifth Anniversary
On Your Fiftieth Anniversary
On the Day You Find Out You’re Expecting
On the Birth of Your First Child
On the First Night Home with the New Baby
On Your First Child’s First Day of School
On Your First Child’s High School Graduation
On Your First Night as Empty Nesters
On the Birth of Your Second Child
On the Night One of You Loses Their Job
On the Night One of You Leaves Their Job
On the Death of a Parent
On the Death of Your Animal

Some of the cards have been funny, some have been heartfelt, and some have been a mixture of both.  My favorite one so far came from my dear friend (and one of our ceremony readers!), Jordan:Scherm0412L

(And such a lovely reader she was, too!  We actually fist-bumped
through the air across the church from each other when she was finished. 
It was awesome.)
(Photo by Sarah Immel Photography)

She wrote On The Night One of You Burns the Dinner…

“Throw it out and order a pizza…on me!”  She included $20 in the envelope.

And Jordan, we did just that.  Thanks, doll!

What fun projects have carried over from your wedding plans? 



Filed under Rehearsal, Stationery

City Chic Nuptials: Fiesta!

Last we left off, we had finished up rehearsal and walked over to the restaurant for our rehearsal dinner.  If you’ll remember, we planned a fiesta theme…and I am happy to say all my fun projects and centerpieces turned out really great!

So we ate, we talked, we had people fill out our advice cards…and then we handed out our gifts.  And then—AND THEN—I fell on my ass.

Literally, I fell on my ass.  Down three steps.  And totally cried my eyes out and felt so embarrassed…and got a huge bruise on my arm.

I can look back at it now and laugh, but honestly, at that moment, it ruined my night.  I cried a lot and was a complete emotional wreck after the fall…and I will admit that I HATE that that is pretty much the only memory I have of our rehearsal dinner. 

So, here’s the pictures to remind both you and me that despite me falling on my ass, it was a really fun time!

Bride and Groom, getting ready to hand out gifts!
I really love this photo of us–it is one of my favorites
from the whole weekend, actually.

Handing out gifts—not sure what the heck I am doing here, haha.

Me with a  few of my girlfriends

My mom showing off the diamond rings we got our mothers!

Brad and some of his friends

Andrew and Guido showing off part of their groomsmen gifts

UGLY CRY FACE.  This is post-fall, obviously.  My mother-in-law gifted me with a beautiful necklace for being her first daughter, so I was crying about that from happiness, too!  (Oh, and hello, boobage.)

Me with my family.  Um, typical.

And our new combined families!

The one thing I didn’t get a picture of was me and my bridesmaids.  I really wish I would have done that!  So note for you future brides out there:  hand someone your camera and tell them what you photos you want.  We were lucky in that we have a lot of snap-happy friends and family who took tons of photos for us, but I still miss that shot of my bridesmaids.

Speaking of photos, remember all those projects I did for the rehearsal dinner?  Well, they all turned out great.  The advice cards were really fun and they have been awesome to read over the course of our marriage so far—I actually have a separate post planned to show you how we are storing and saving those!  Our photog also snapped a bunch of great photos of some of our rehearsal dinner details (I had a lot of the stuff stored in my hotel room)!  Here they are:

The nametags
Photo by
Sarah Immel Photography

Advice Cards
The Advice Cards
Photo by
Sarah Immel Photography

Bridesmaid Gift Bags
Photo by
Sarah Immel Photography

And our centerpieces!
Photo by
Sarah Immel Photography

And with that, we were ready to get married.  I headed back to the hotel and Dr. Groomy stayed out a little longer with his friends.  I was really tired, really emotional, and feeling all sorts of different things.  So here’s my advice, kids:  don’t sweat something small (like falling on your ass) but don’t deny yourself those feelings either.  I was really glad I got everything out on Friday instead of being really sad/fucked up/emotional on our actual wedding day.  It’s OK to feel that way—getting married is a huge thing and a lot of times, the planning gets in the way of really wrapping our heads around that.  Take some time and really reflect upon it!

Next week starts the actual wedding day recaps…woo woo!  Stay tuned!

Missed something?
First I got a mani-pedi with my sister, then I cried.
Next, we headed to church to rehearse.

*All pictures by my friend Jenna, unless otherwise noted.


Filed under Recaps, Rehearsal

City Chic Nuptials: We Rehearse!

Last we left off, I was an emotional mess in the hours leading up to our rehearsal.  Soon enough, though, it was time to gather with our family and friends at church and go through the events of the next day.

Our church is gorgeous, isn’t it?  Sigh, we love being a part of this parish so much.

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Our rehearsal was actually really easy.  Our awesome priest, Father Mike, totally handled the whole thing for us! 

Father Mike
His ‘stache is the most awesome thing.  EVER.

First, we all gathered at the front of the church.  We sat down, while Father Mike addressed us out front, going through the whole Mass for everyone.  Then we walked through everything, and that was pretty much it!  Super easy.

My dad and I walked down the aisle…

Amy & Dad

We practiced our vows…

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Up at the altar


Rehearsal 2Hanging out at the rehearsal. 
I was finally feeling better and was SO happy the whole time!

Everyone recessed…

Ring Bearer & Flower Girl
Our Flower Girl & Ring Bearer.  Look, it’s the candy ring bearer pillow & lollipop pomander I made!  Cass is already eating a lollipop, haha!

Here are the girls hanging out at the rehearsal while we were up at the altar.  You can see the awesome practice bouquets I made!  My sister and Hayley’s faces in this photo are classic:  “Uh, WTF?!”

And some of the boys hanging out.  Looks like Lem, the guy on the left, is the only one paying attention! And of course, Guido has one of the kids’ lollipops.

Maid of Honor and Best Man recessing.  Jeff is REALLY into his role, obviously.

Kristin & Bill
Kristin & Bill. 
He’s most certainly thinking, “Thank goodness this is over, let’s have a beer!”

Beezus & Andrew
Andrew & Beezus

Hayley & Guido
Hayley & Guido.  Oh, Guido…our most inappropriate friend by far.  I’m not sure what’s going on here, but you can rest-assured he is saying something either a) totally gross, or b) totally sexual.  God bless her for grinning and bearing it!

Kate & Ryan
Kate & Lem

And with that, our rehearsal was over…but our night was just beginning!  Up next, we feast!

Missed something?
First I got a mani-pedi with my sister, then I cried.

*All photos by my father-in-law or my lovely friend, Jenna.  Thanks for being great photographers, guys! 


Filed under Recaps, Rehearsal

For Practice

So, as I told you on Monday, I finished a lot of miscellaneous projects this past weekend.  One of them was a project I have had in mind for a long time, but wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do.  Then I was a really lucky bride who had multiple showers, and I knew it would work!

BRIDESMAIDS:  PLEASE LEAVE NOW.  This is a little somethin’ somethin’ fun for you!









I don’t know where I first saw or heard this idea, but someone once said to me that it’s always good to have your bridesmaids practice holding their bouquets, just as the bride does, for good placement during pictures.  So, since I had two shower bouquets, I used the one from my first shower thrown by Brad’s parents to create mini rehearsal bouquets for each of my bridesmaids!


I used some leftover silk flowers from our rehearsal dinner centerpieces,  some bows from my first shower bouquet, small paper plates, pipe cleaners, and a few pieces of ribbon I had laying around the house.  I also used some Crate and Barrel grosgrain ribbon from a few of our wedding gifts to wrap each stem! 


And from the side.  Notice the cat hunting an unsuspecting bird on our deck!

I know that a lot of people probably think this project was totally unnecessary, and I am sure it is.  But, it only took me around 20 minutes and now each of the girls has a mini bouquet to rehearse with when I rehearse with my big bouquet!  I thought it would be a fun little extra.  I plan to create a lollipop aisle pomander and ring bearer “pillow” for our little ones to practice with, too!

A quick word on proper bouquet placement:  Don’t carry your bouquet too high or too low! A great tip I learned is to think about keeping your thumb near your belly button, so that your forearms fall nicely across your pelvis, like so:


For more great tips on holding your bouquet, check out this GREAT blog post by Monica from the former White Box of Wedding Design here in Milwaukee (sadly, now closed).  It has some great pictures of the right and wrong ways to hold your flowers!

Besides proper bouquet placement, what are some other tips you can share for bridesmaids?  I’ll go first…my number one tip?  SMILE when you’re walking down the aisle!!

*All photos by me unless otherwise noted.  Please do not use them without my permission!


Filed under Just For Fun, Rehearsal

Rehearsal Dinner Centerpieces

So remember when I said I had a lot of projects to blog?  Here comes round two…I finished our rehearsal dinner centerpieces!

I decided to use tin cans and fake flowers for these centerpieces…not only to save on cost, but so that I could get them out of the way now rather than later.  Plus I think the more casual tin cans go great with our fiesta theme!

Making these was really easy.

Step 1.  Collect a lot of tin cans.

Step 2.  Soak said tin cans in a sink full of soapy water, so the labels are easy to get off.

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Step 3.  Scrape off the labels on each can—this should be pretty effortless.  If not, soak a little longer!

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Step 4.  Rinse and dry the cans.  Soon, you’ll have them stacked on the counter like this:

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Step 5.  Print your design in Microsoft Word or the program of your choice.  I went with our casual monogram (seen here, here, and here) and the words “Amy & Brad’s Rehearsal Dinner” plus the date. 

Step 6.  Measure your cans and cut the design accordingly.  Run through Xyron or use another form of adhesive.

Step 7.  Attach design to tin can!

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Step 8.  Stuff flowers.

And that’s it!  You’re left with this:



As you can see I alternated colors on the design.  I also bought both red and blue flowers…I am thinking I might rearrange so that some centerpieces are just blue and some are just red.

What is/was your rehearsal dinner like?  Did you do a lot of hands-on decorating for it? 


Filed under How-To, Rehearsal

Real Wedding Recap: Noah & Jill, I

This past Sunday, our dear friends Noah and Jill tied the knot.  These two are so special to Dr. Groomy and I, and we were so excited to be invited to celebrate with them.  [Back story:  Noah, Dr. Groomy and I all attended college together at UW-Madison.  Dr. Groomy and Noah were very good friends, but as can sometimes happen, they drifted apart a little after college.  Last year, at the wedding of another set of wonderful friends, Andy and Amanda, in the Dominican Republic, we were able to reconnect with Noah and his lovely girlfriend, Jill.]  Over the last year, we have become incredibly close with them, and I cannot tell you how much we value their friendship.  It has been wonderful getting to know and celebrate them as a couple, and it all culminated in their big wedding weekend in Chicago!

I took over 90 photos this weekend, so this recap is going to be in three parts.  Let’s get started with Saturday evening and the rehearsal dinner!

We arrived in Chicago via train around 4:30pm and immediately headed over to the wedding hotel, The Ambassador East.  It was a lovely hotel, with beautifully appointed rooms.  Many of our friends were there already and it was wonderful to see everyone.  Once we checked in and headed up to our room, we were delighted to find we had received an Out-of-Town Gift Bag!

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The bag contained the following treats:

Noah & Jill's Wedding 002 Left to right:  Two water bottles, some BBQ & Original Jay’s Potato Chips, Garrett’s Popcorn (holy yum, that stuff is one of my favorite Chicago staples), and two boxes of Fannie May chocolates.

Jill also included a welcome note for all of the guests, as well as a second page with plenty of information on how to get around the city.

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Getting an OOT bag was such a nice gesture and it definitely confirmed my plans to do some for our wedding!

After freshening up and changing, it was time to head over to the rehearsal dinner, hosted by the groom’s parents.  The rehearsal dinner was held at Sapori Trattoria, a lovely little Italian restaurant near the hotel.  The party was held in the back room, and all of the out-of-town guests were invited.

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Noah & Jill's Wedding 007(Our Table)

The food was DELICIOUS and you could just feel the excitement in the air.  Behold, the happy couple:

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After the rehearsal dinner, we went out with the bride and groom to a bar down the street.  Needless to say, it was a late night, but a great way to start out the celebrations!

Once we got back to our hotel room, I stepped out of the bathroom to see this:

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Um, that would be Dr. Groomy’s version of closing the curtains after a night of drinking.  He didn’t realize there were blackout curtains behind the white panels!  Hilarious.

Stay tuned for part II of the celebrations tomorrow!

Past Real Wedding Recaps:
Charity & AJ
Nikki & JT

*All photos by me.  Please do not use without my express written consent and permission.


Filed under Inspiration, Rehearsal, Relationships

Rehearsal Dinner Revisited

Well, kids, I’ve had the “four-month-freak-out,” which means a lot of sudden spurts of DIY!  Remember this post, where I talked about the advice activity I wanted to do at our rehearsal dinner? Well, I completed the component parts last night!

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Since our rehearsal dinner guest lists tops out at around 50 people, I decided to do two envelopes for each life event.  Here are the life events I used:

On Your Wedding Night
On the First Night of Your Honeymoon
On the Night You Come Home from Your Honeymoon
On Your First Night as Homeowners
On the Night of Your First Married Fight
On the Night One of You Burns the Dinner
On Your First Anniversary
On Your Fifth Anniversary
On Your Tenth Anniversary
On Your Fifteenth Anniversary
On Your Twentieth Anniversary
On Your Twenty-fifth Anniversary
On Your Fiftieth Anniversary
On the Day You Find Out You’re Expecting
On the Birth of Your First Child
On the First Night Home with the New Baby
On Your First Child’s First Day of School
On Your First Child’s High School Graduation
On Your First Night as Empty Nesters
On the Birth of Your Second Child
On the Night One of You Loses Their Job
On the Night One of You Leaves Their Job
On the Death of a Parent
On the Death of Your Animal

I wanted us to be able to open some right away, but save others for years!  It will be fun to open them throughout our marriage, I think. 

This project was really quick and easy.  Using our rehearsal dinner motif, I made labels for each of the envelopes that listed the life event on them.  On coordinating, pre-cut cardstock, I glued a piece of regular paper, again in our motif, that says “Please Share Your Advice, Wishes, or a Special Message on this Life Event.”  Here’s what the coordinating pieces look like together:

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(Sorry for the use of the flash—I took these pictures at night and just could NOT get enough light on them!)

And some close-ups:

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Open the envelope, and…

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 Knock another one off the DIY list!  I also recently finished up the other paper products for the rehearsal dinner.  Behold:

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Nametags drying…

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And our “Thank You” Banner for the table where we’ll put our wedding party’s gifts!

I finished the invites, too, but you’ve already seen those.  Up next is finishing off the menus, centerpieces and favors…and then the rehearsal dinner will be all done.

What’s been your easiest DIY so far?

All photos by me.


Filed under Rehearsal, Stationery