When all was said and done, when the flowers were ready, and the cake was...mostly decorated. When friends and relatives had arrived and proper housing arrangements had been made. When the tent was up in the backyard, and the sound system had been properly set up by the groom and best man the day before. When the balloons announcing the great celebration were safely tied to the mailbox by the driveway. Then, and only then, came the rehearsal.
Every rehearsal is a little bit different. Of course, the general process is mostly the same. The guys line up at the front and tease the groom about willingly losing his freedom. The girls hectically run from one place to the next, mentally going through check lists, and trying to keep the bride calm. Flower girls and ring bearers practice several times going up and down the aisle at the proper speed, and the bride and groom smile nervously at each other and exchange a series of looks as deep as the ocean, in a manner that makes their love for each other be as transparent as the air we breathe. Some rehearsals require formal clothing, other's welcome jeans and t-shirts. But all of the rehearsals I have been to have included a photographer. It seems obvious for me to say that, but actually this one came very close to changing that.
Before leaving Lauren's home, some were making last minute phone calls, others were running around with one high heel on as they talk faster than the cast of Gilmore Girls ever has. As this happened, I went down to the basement to get my gear. Janice, the wonderful florist, was down there making last minute touches to the arrangements and making sure they looked perfect. I must have said something to her about how we were about to leave, when she said "I think they're already gone." I let out a short laugh and said "No, they're about to. They pretty much can't leave without me!" and smiled. My smile turned into a worried face about 5 seconds later when I realized just how quiet the house was. Where's the sound of the high-heels? The girls talking faster than a human brain can process?! Complete silence. Oh... this can't be good.
I stood there for a minute wondering what to do. I think that in a situation like this, one can either: A) Get upset. B) Cry. C) Laugh about it. Maybe it was the sugar-high from the ridiculous amount of pixie stix I had earlier that day, but I went with option C. It just seemed funny that by then I was supposed to be riding in a car with part of the wedding party, and only then did it occur to me that I never got directions or an address to the chapel. I said a quick prayer, and wondered what to do next.
Then I heard the sound of hope. Well, it was actually the sound of a hair-dryer in the distance, but you get the picture. I ran all the way up to the second floor, to find that Laura, who had been working all day at a day camp, had just taken a shower and was in the process of drying her hair, apparently running a little behind everyone else. Laura, blessed Laura... pretty much my salvation at this point! So I sent Lauren a quick text message that said "Don't worry, I'm getting a ride with Laura. :)" and she replied with "I thought you were in the car with my mom?!" Haha. Chaos... gotta love it! Laura and I bonded over a 25 minute drive to the chapel, and when we got there the whole wedding party was lined up at the front and looking straight at us as we quickly walked down the aisle. "Fashionably late?" I had hoped.
The rehearsal continued as planned, and when the traditional dinner was over the girls were reenergized by a fresh order of Starbucks and back to Lauren's house to finish decorating the cake. As I watched them giggling, their faces glowing from a perfect blend of caffeinated energy and anticipation, I realized that I had learned a very important lesson that day: They can too leave without me!
Enjoy the photos! :)