rehearsal | rehearsal dinner | before the ceremony| ceremony | reception | day after the wedding


Friday, May 25

Robert and I both took the day off to leave mid-morning from Boston and start the weekend of the wedding a day early. After a smooth trip most of the way down, we ran into terrible Memorial Weekend traffic on the very last ten miles of the trip, just inside Westchester County. We eventually arrived at the Tarrytown House—where all weekend events other than the wedding and wedding reception itself would be held, and where the rest of the family (both ours and Bentley’s) would be staying—at 4pm.

After we showered and quickly changed, and visited briefly with Mom and Dad (Aunt Connie and Uncle Harry, to Maria), the Aunts (her Grandma and Aunt Mary), and cousins Sue, Jenna, and Annie from California, we regrouped at 5pm to head over to the wedding rehearsal. The rehearsal was supposed to start at 5:30pm at the James House, where the wedding itself would be, but in reality, it did not start until quite awhile later. Dad was going to take Aunt Mary and Steve’s mother (Maria’s Grandma Maura) over to the rehearsal, but they weren’t all ready yet, so Robert drove a first car over, with Aunt Grace (already beautifully dressed in her sequined black pants suit, monogrammed black and gold pocketbook from 1957, and fur stole, and already stressing about the rehearsal), Mom, Sue, and me.

Unfortunately, we left in a rush and left all our copies of the maps and directions—as well as my cell phone—back in the hotel rooms. Mom thought she remembered how to go, though, and we all remembered that the James House was on the grounds of the Phelps Memorial Hospital, so we figured that in a worst case scenario, we could ask people where the hospital is or just follow handy little “H” signs along the road. This all worked as planned, with one major exception: we incorrectly turned left onto Route 9 from the hotel, rather than right, and so found ourselves at 5:35 at a completely different hospital in the opposite direction. Sue and Mom went into the emergency room and asked directions, and a nurse came out and offered to lead us part of the way down to the correct route. She gave us wrong directions, though, and we had to stop and ask at least five more times before finally finding ourselves on the grounds of the proper hospital, at 6:10. Along the way, Aunt Grace grew more and more panicky, and we reflected that maybe it hadn’t been a good idea to put her in the front seat—she inhaled sharply and clutched the car as Robert took a left turn a little fast, to try to make a light. After all, we were in a hurry! She vowed never to ride in a car with Robert again, though she has since retracted that comment.

We got to the James House safe and sound, if late, and after a prayer from Steve, the rehearsal began. There were quite a few people involved in the rehearsal: ten attendents (Bentley’s two brothers as the best men, two of his friends from college as groomsmen, and one of Maria’s male friends from high school as another groomsman, plus three of Maria’s friends from high school as bridesmaids, one of her friends from a summer program as another bridesmaid, and me, the matron of honor); three ministers, including Maria’s father; three grandmothers to be escorted down the aisle, with three people to escort them; my mother as the wedding “starter” or director; and both sets of parents to walk the bride and groom down the aisle. When we arrived, three of the groomsmen were still stuck in traffic on their way up from New Jersey and Brooklyn, so for much of the rehearsal we had stand-ins in their place. My mother remembered to assign people to be umbrella holders for the next day, just in case it was raining, to hold umbrellas over the briefly uncovered area between the veranda and the tent (which was being assembled outside while we rehearsed inside), and Sue videotaped everything.

It was to be a garden wedding on the banks of the Hudson River, on the veranda and grass and under a tent (rain or shine) on the grounds of an old mansion. The mansion was very impressive, and the view, even during the misty, not-quite-raining, but cloudy evening of the rehearsal, was lovely: just what Henry Hudson might have seen as he sailed his ship up the river. Still, the weather predictions were bad, but everyone was trying (and Steve was praying that we’d succeed) not to worry about the weather, but rather to concentrate on the reason we were all gathered here in Tarrytown, New York: to celebrate the love Maria and Bentley have for each other.

Altogether the rehearsal went very well, with all three lost groomsmen entering before we were quite done, and Maria and Bentley so pleased with their performance that they high-fived each other upon successfully walking down the aisle at one point.

On to the rehearsal dinner

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Created: 5/30/01. Last Modified: 5/30/01.