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We Beautify, We Lunch, We Rehearse, We Dine

Bride's Schedule: (if the groom ever writes anything for this page, he can post his own schedule)

9:00 AM  Lisa's Hair Appointment

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Manicure's for the Ladies at Le Pli at the Charles Hotel

12:15 PM - Lunch at Henrietta's Table, Charles Hotel

2:00 PM -Pick up wedding dress at Yolanda's

3:00 PM - Check into Cambridge House Bed and Breakfast

4:00 PM - Go over to the House and get ready for the Rehearsal

5:00 PM - Rehearsal at Goddard Chapel

6:45 PM Rehearsal Dinner at the Elephant Walk, Cambridge

April 7th:  I have a hair appointment at 9 so I am up bright and early around 8:15 and I try to be as quiet as possible so I don't wake Michael and Mark since they really just went to bed a few hours ago.  But its hard since its a small apartment so they kind of make some noises to indicate they are alive and annoyed.  Mark also desperately calls out to please bring him some water, so despite being bridezilla I do so, taking pity on the drunken.  So I leave about 8:50 for the hair salon but quickly turn around because I have forgotten my cell phone.  No 2000 bride can function without one :-)  So of course Mark is so happy to see me once again...

I get to the salon at 9 for my wash and blow dry.  I decide to get my hair done for the rehearsal dinner because I just can't do it.  It's too thick and wavy and it just takes way too much effort to blow it out the way I like it.  Plus its a little extra pampering before this crazy day begins.  I made the appointment early because I knew there wouldn't be time later with the rehearsal at 5, and I also wanted to get to Le Pli in Harvard Square soon to spend some time with the ladies at their manicures!  After I get my hair done, I run over to CVS to stock up on those wedding morning essentials - bottled water, saltines, gum, mints!  I had told Michael I'd call and wake him up by 10 so I call over on the almost forgotten cell phone and no one answers.  Maybe they've gone to breakfast.  Doubtful.  I ring again.  On the 4th ring an unhappy Mark answers.  I tell him Mike needs to get up for his lunch and do some stuff and I get an OK and a click.  Oh well.  And then I am off to Harvard Square.  I am still in shock its all happening....

I get to Le Pli around 10:00 and I see Pam and Hang sitting there on the chairs.  They've already had their manicures and Trang and Bonny were in there getting their's done.  So we just hang out and chat a bit, until they are done and then Kim arrives (looking very California!) for her 10:30 appointment.  All the bridesmaids are here!  Very exciting.  Then my mom, grandmother, and Mike's mom come through the door just in time so Judy can have her 10:30 appointment with Kim.  We all chat for a bit and then I need to go meet Becky at the T station at 10:30.  So I walk out with my mom and grandmother who are going to poke around Harvard Square a bit before their 11:30 manicures.  Pam and Hang catch up to us and the 4 of them end up going to Dunkin Donuts while I go meet Becky.  She was early I was late.  Sigh.  But then we went to Finagle a Bagel and had yummy bagels and coffee and had a chance to sit and chat and catch up (Becky is a very good friend of mine from forever, but she lives in Florida now so we don't see each other much) before the other ladies arrive.  Pam, Trang, Hang and Bonny join us for a bit and then we all head back to the hotel to regather the other ladies and go to lunch!  The manicures were part of my thank you (along with the lunch and presents yet to be given tonight at the rehearsal) to the bridesmaids and the moms and grandmother for all their help during the engagement, and I had been afraid it would be slightly crazy with the staggered manicure times but it seemed to work out pretty well.  It was just impossible to find a nice salon that could take 8 women at once so we had to stager two-by-twos.  I was even more glad I got mine done yesterday, I would have been to wound up to enjoy it today.

After some more schmoozing with all the ladies at the salon, everyone went down to Henrietta's Table except my mom , grandmother and I because my mom's nails weren't dry yet.  So we hang out for a bit and then they yelled at me and said I was the host and better get down to the lunch - so off I went!  I had been a little nervous because there were 12 of us and they said we might have to sit at 2 tables, but they had arranged one long one which was great.  Mike's great-Aunts Bernice and Dot also joined us for the lunch and were already there when I got there.  And then shortly after, my mom and grandmother came down as well.  The restaurant was really cute and the food was so fresh - very yummy.  I think everyone enjoyed themselves - at least I hope so.  I had gotten fish and I don't think it was settling well with me, either that or the stress was getting to me.  I was still very worried that we were going to get to Yolanda's and they would have lost my dress!  I had already briefed Pam to expect a call from me if I needed a lawyer!

So I called Yolanda's to tell them we'd be late, it was already almost 2, and we relaxed and had some tea and coffee.  I tried chamomile in the hopes it would settle my stomach...worked ok, still stressed though!  Too stressed - when the bill came I didn't even look just added a tip - luckily I had a wonderful maid of honor who stopped me and told me to check and see if gratuity was already included.  Which it was!  Trang was quite a life saver all weekend, keeping me calm and preventing me from overtipping as well!  So lunch was over and everyone was going their separate ways.  Trang was going to go with me to Yolanda's so we were off to discover if I had a dress or not...

But of course I picked the wrong way to go.  I had forgotten Alewife rotary was under construction and it was a nightmare.  We sat there for about 15 minutes in the heat, a little tense, but Trang kept me calm.  So we didn't even get to Yolanda's until 3 - very late and behind schedule.  So we flew in and I told the woman at the desk my name and before I could finish, my consultant Lucia was hanging over the upstairs balcony yelling "Wait that's my customer - I will bring the dress right down!"  Ok, so I begin to fee a little better.  Yolanda's has definitely been a so-so experience, but I really liked and trusted Lucia so I hoped this was a good omen.  She appeared with a garment bag but it looked so tiny I got a little nervous, but she saw my look and quickly explained it was my veil.  Then she brought out a huge bag with the dress.  They had stuffed the dress skirt with tissue paper to keep it full and you could see the silhouette of the dress through the bag.  But because I am a paranoid person I had to ask if I could take a peek at the dress.  I had actually wanted to try it on to prevent any surprises Saturday morning but there was no way with it all nicely pressed and stuffed.  So we just kind of peeked in and there it was - my dress!!!  I was so happy, so relieved.  Another milestone done without a hitch.  Amazing.  This is getting a little weird...  But we pull the car around to the front and load the dress and veil in and we are off to the B&B.

Parking spot right in front, we run in to check in.  But of course the check in man is so slooooow.  And the phone keeps ringing and the UPS man arrives, and we are still poor frayed nerves.  And then he wants to give us a tour of the house, which would have been great but gee its 3:45 and people are meeting at my house at 4:30 before the rehearsal and I need to get there so I will be dressed when they arrive!  So we get the room key, run out tot he car, take the dress and veil and hang them in the room and we are off again.  As we drive away I say a quick prayer that the B&B not burn down tonight taking my dress with it.  I don't know why I am so pessimistic...

Ok, now we're at the house.  Things are heating up.  Trang and I run into the house like bats out of hell, yell don't come in the bedroom to the groomsmen who have taken over the house, shut the doors and throw our clothes on.  I had had mixed feelings about the outfit I bought for the dinner - not really sure if it was me - but right now I love it so all is well in the world!  Because I am make-up inept, Trang once again applies my make-up for me, doing yet another bang up job if I do say so!  Somehow, she Liron and I all manage to beatify ourselves in that tiny little bathroom, and voila by 4:30 we are beautiful and ready to go.  Then all of a sudden there is huge flurry of activity and Michael's parents, my parents, brothers, grandparents, ring bearer (my cousin Matthew), Pam, Hang, and Bonny have all arrived.  This is a lot of people in my apartment!  But its fun and we all catch our breathe and relax a bit waiting for Kim and Becky to arrive.  Finally we give up waiting for them and begin to head out to all of our cars to drive up to the chapel.  As everyone piles into the cars, Kim pulls up so we are all off for the 5 minute drive to the chapel.      

For some reason Michael, Victor, Trang and I are a little late and I don't remember why.  But it's not like they could start without us, so... We walk in and everyone is congregated in the back. Father is up front so Michael and I meet with him, give him the rings, the unity candle, and the sheet with all of our selections on it as well.  We briefly discuss the selections, everything seems to be in order so we are set to go.  We move to the back of the chapel and Father really took charge.  He was great and could definitely moonlight as a wedding coordinator!  We got everyone lined up and just really did a dry run though the whole thing.  Seating the mothers, the flower girl and ring bearer, the bridal party processional, the bridal march, the veil lift, the handshake, the kiss, the readings (well not the actual readings but indication of where they are in the ceremony), the vows, the rings, and poof we were done!  Ultra and extremely efficient.  It just flew by and I really had the feeling that  was what was going to happen from here on out - poof a year of planning for a few hours time!  But the rehearsal was fun, Lauren our flow girl was so cute, I had made her a practice basket filled with present bows that she would scatter like the flower petals and she was just so meticulous about it!  And then Matthew was an excellent ring bearer with the pillow and helping Lauren down the aisle as well.  I can't wait to see them tomorrow!  Ok, but now it is time to eat!  Well first we took some photos outside and it was chilly!  But then - time to eat!

Michael, Victor, Trang, and I stop at our house on the way to the rehearsal dinner at the Elephant Walk, because paranoid freak that I am, I was afraid to bring the presents in the car to the chapel in case the car got stolen, broken into, etc...ok I have gone over the deep end.  So we picked up the presents and headed out yet again.  So of course we were the last ones to the dinner, which allowed us to make a semi-grand entrance.  Semi-grand because it was just to chaotic to be noticed :-)  There seemed to be a lot of seating confusion, but after a couple rounds of musical chairs it looks like it was straightened out.  My dad put my cousin John on video duty that night and they said the video is great and I can't wait to see it!   The dinner was just really great - yummy and fun - what better combination is there?  The restaurant is French Cambodian and the first course was Cambodian Spring Rolls which were very yummy and then a grilled calamari which I can't report back on, but I heard it was tasty as well.  Then Michael and I began our schmoozing so it all really just becomes a blur, though even now as I am writing this I am picturing the room, seeing where everyone sat, remembering talking with them, laughing, drinking...and speaking of drinking, my 16 year old brother conveniently found his way to a table far from the parents and right next to a ready source of alcohol - no names please!  

Mike's Dad gave a really sweet speech, which I am glad we have on video because I can't remember all the points right now.  And then we ate more food, a yummy salad, and then the main courses.  We decided not to make a big public fuss about our thank you gifts and just present them to each group individually.  We started with the young ones because they wee starting to get restless.  Lauren got a pearl necklace to wear with her flow girl dress and a little Madame Alexander Flower Girl doll, and Matthew got Game Boy!  I think they were a hit!  Then we gave out the readers gifts  - the guys got these neat business card holders that kind of roll the card out for you - hard to explain but pretty slick.  And the lovely lady readers got necklaces from Mark Williams - this amazing jeweler in Williamsport.  Next up came the groomsmen - who got - what else?  Leathermen!  And not just any Leatherman, but the Wave, Mike's personal favorite!  And then the bridesmaids, who got little Tiffany earrings to wear with their dresses on Saturday.  I love giving gifts and I love shopping - this was one of the more fun aspects of wedding planning - picking out the gifts for everyone!  And then we had some gifts for the presents as well - we got Mike's parents a Nambe frame and a Lenox frame for my parents and grandparents and I hope we will have some photos very soon to put in them for them as well!  We just had a blast - everything was perfect - the food, the wine, the friends and family if only tomorrow will go this well...  

Afterwards, Mike, Victor, Trang and I again piled into our car and drove back to the house to pick up my bag (well pack my bag as well) and then Trang and I were off to spend the night at the B&B.  The last time I saw Michael before the big day, and don't worry it was only 11 - plenty of time before midnight!

So Trang and I went back to the B&B and just got ready for bed - I was tired and knew I would need some rest to survive tomorrow!  We tried desperately to find some weather but the weather channel seemed to have forgotten about the Northeast and was fixated on the West and Midwest.  It was hopeless so we watched a little Elian and then went to bed.  Amazingly enough I fell right asleep...thankfully!

But the men on the other hand were anything but restful, they made a midnight excursion to paint the Tufts cannon, which was right next to the chapel.  The cannon painting is an old Tufts tradition so don't worry - they did not commit acts of vandalism and get arrested the night before the wedding!  Groups or friends would paint the cannon before big school events, birthdays, special occasions, weddings, etc...