Waking up, my strategy for today was to relax as much as possible. There isn’t a better way to accomplish this than heading towards the nearest spa. I packed up my bridesmaids and off we went to Snake River Lodge & Spa. The enormous rustic lodge has elegance spilling out of every corner. I felt immense relief and peace rush through my body as we stepped into the Avanyu Spa. After touring the girls through the facilities, we slipped into our fluffy white robes, slippers, and curled up on the couches sipping tea as we waited for our masseuse to retrieve us.
As my masseuse took me back to the room, he asked if I was here on vacation. Before I could stop myself, my mouth opened and out burst every detail of our much anticipated mountain top wedding. He was so kind as he acted interested and even asked questions about the big day! As I laid face down on the table, I let the talking end as I drifted into a state of bliss. Occasionally a wedding thought (flowers, photos, menus, programs) would pop into my head and I would quickly push it out. The hour was over much too quickly.
As the girls met up post-massage, we each looked like we had been run over by a truck, in a good way! We were each relaxed and enjoyed our massages. Alice may have had the least relaxing time as her room was located above the pool and she could hear the children below shouting “Marco….Polo.”
We alternated the rest of our afternoon between the indoor hot-tub with a mountain view and the outdoor pool complete with waterfall and cave. The sun beat down on us and I was very cautious about getting too much sun. No one likes a lobster bride! Finally it was time to start getting dressed for the rehearsal. We took turns showering beneath the luxurious showerheads. I wondered if the boys were enjoying their day of white water rafting and biking nearly as much as I was enjoying the spa.
We crammed into one car and headed into Grand Teton National Park. In my hands I carried the “ribbon bouquet” that my sweet sister had made with all the ribbons that decorated the packages at my Bridal Shower. It was beautiful and perfect and I was happy to follow that tradition.
At the rehearsal I finally got to meet Emily Claassen, our wedding planner. Until now, she was simply a voice that I spoke to often. Her professional demeanor was spot on and I was happy with her take charge attitude as we ran through the rehearsal. The weather was perfect as we each took turns walking to our places. A couple of the lodge guests sat nearby and watched. Some of them asked if this was the actual wedding.
The groomsmen were well behaved which I appreciated (Thank you guys). Before I knew it, we were finished with rehearsal and bid Emily good-bye until the next day. I felt the rehearsal went really well and I was amazed at how smooth it went! I kept trying to imagine how amazing it would look tommorow with our white folding chairs set out, petals covering the lawn, and all our guests experiencing this moment with us.
Somehow I lost my groom as we were leaving the lodge so I rode back with momma and poppa. It was at that point I learned the boys had actually been mountain biking right before the rehearsal started. Due to unforeseen bike failure, the guys didn’t even have time to shower before getting dressed to come to the rehearsal. I thought something smelled a little off. (Just joking)
As we pulled into the drive, we were greeted by family and friends that were ready to party! I was so thankful that we ended up having the rehearsal dinner at our rental house, catered by Bubba’s BBQ. Their food is amazing! We had extended the rehearsal dinner to every guest that had made the trip west, not just our wedding party. We wanted to spend as much time as possible with everyone that came to support us.
Food was quickly set out and our guests mingled inside the house and onto the beautifully manicured lawn. Momma had the sangria flowing and Rhea began snapping photos. At one point, momma got so excited she sprayed Derr’s Strawberry Soda all over the kitchen ceiling. This is when it is so nice to have really tall friends (Cliffy) to reach those hard to get spots.
As the dinner dishes were cleared, Dad made his tasty Derr’s floats. He passed them around to the kids and adults and not a single float was left by the end of the night. A lot of guests hadn’t realized that Derr’s is made right in my hometown.
As the sun dipped behind the mountains, Scott, with me by his side, thanked everyone for coming and expressed our appreciation for their attendance. These silly emotions that seem to have ramped up over the past couple of weeks kept me from talking. The guests slowly started making their way out the door, excited about the day to come.
Clean up at the house began. Since we had to leave the house the following day to head to the lodge, we needed to get the house in the same condition as it was when we arrived. Following a party with 50-something people did not make this an easy job. My dream of hitting the sheets by 10pm fell short by about 2 ½ hours. Momma, sister and Greg went into frantic cleaning mode to get the place cleared. This time frame was my least favorite and most stressful of the entire wedding planning/wedding week/wedding eve. Scott and I took time to step away from everyone and remind ourselves why we were there. I kissed him good-night and he ordered me to go to sleep. As I shut the door to my bedroom, it was the last time I would see Scott until I walked down the aisle.
I crawled into bed next to Emily and Ashley. Both of them were excited about the following day. I thought I would have trouble sleeping, but was proved wrong as I heard the girls say goodnight Miss Hemenway one final time as my world went dark.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
As the guests arrived, we greeted them with a "Welcome" basket. Let's face it, baskets aren't very fun so Scott and I took cowboy hats, turned them upside down, and filled them with loot. What exactly was the loot you ask? For starters, we printed off a number of limited edition Gazettes. The Gazette told our guests what activities were planned for the week and some interesting tidbits about our families. The Gazette is posted in the links below;
The basket also included a Boot Mug, Western Ornament, Derr's Soda (both Pineapple and Strawberry), Snacks, Bottled Water, and a Deck of Cards.