Kellie (The Bride) ~ Rehearsal
It was wedding week already? Where did the time go? It seemed like yesterday that the big surprise proposal took place and now it was time to finish up details and get ready for the events of the wedding weekend. The wedding ceremony and reception was set to be held at the beautiful venue of Kalioka Stables in Eight Mile, AL on a Sunday in April of 2015. With the wedding to be held on a Sunday, this meant the rehearsal had to be held on a Thursday because the wedding taking place on Saturday would need to host their rehearsal on Friday. (This worked out great for us, but it is something to keep in mind when planning a Sunday wedding.)
I had to work on that Thursday of the wedding rehearsal, but I did get off work a little early so I could go home and get dressed for the rehearsal. Like always, I was being rushed because I was running late; lol. It was upon arriving at the rehearsal that I realized just how large our bridal party actually was. There were people everywhere, but I guess that was to be expected with having seven groomsmen, seven bridesmaids, eight ushers, two flower girls, and one ring bearer along with our parents and grandparents. A large bridal party could be an understatement. : ) Everything went great at the rehearsal with the help of our wedding coordinator, Cindy Squires, and the wonderful staff at Kalioka.
Kellie (The Bride) ~ Rehearsal Dinner
My in-law’s to be, Tim and Kelly Freeman planned a fabulous rehearsal dinner for us. It was at my Timmy’s request that the dinner be held at one of his favorite places, Catfish Junction in Saraland, AL. It is so awesome to have in-law’s that really care about what you want and what you like. The atmosphere was great and the food was delicious. Everyone seemed to have a great time. It was great to just spend time with family and friends before the wedding day arrived. It was actually here at the rehearsal dinner that it all began to sink in that we were getting married in just two shorts days. Since our rehearsal was on a Thursday, I got to spend time with Timmy on Friday and Saturday. It was great. We finished up a few things for the wedding and moving all my belongings into our house on Friday along with taking care of a few other things. On Saturday, Timmy went fishing with some friends, and I spent the morning with my Mom and bridesmaids getting our nails done and then having lunch at Moe’s. We all met back up at our new home to spend time with our friends and family before the big day. I remember when I got ready to leave what would soon be our home to head back to my parents house for the evening, Timmy hugged me and then gave me one final kiss as Miss Kellie Drake. This would be the last time I would see or talk to him until that moment on our “wedding day” where I would see him for the first time as my groom and he I as his bride. I could not contain my excitement, I was about to be Mrs. Timmy Freeman, how awesome was that!
Kelly (Mother of the Groom) ~ Rehearsal Dinner
I will cherish so many memories from this time in all of our lives. I was really apprehensive about having the dinner in such a casual environment and worried that I was not doing things “the right way” especially since I am in the wedding industry myself. Several of my friends were having their children get married right around the same time and they were having their rehearsal dinners at much nicer venues. I felt a little self-conscious that I may not have made the best choice, but when I saw my son, future daughter-in-law, and the entire bridal party enjoying themselves laughing and having a good time being together, I knew I had made the absolute best decision. I realized it didn’t matter where we went or how much money we spent (which casual does not mean cheap). What mattered were the people the dinner was honoring, my son and his future wife. They are both very casual people and really enjoy being able to just be with family and friends. It was my son who requested to go to a restaurant instead of having a meal catered at a venue or our home and he wanted his favorite meal of catfish served; so Catfish Junction seemed like the BEST place to honor the two of them with a dinner that was all about them and who they were.
The actual planning of the rehearsal dinner was quite easy as the restaurant provided the perfect atmosphere we wanted and suited our entire group of about forty-five people wonderfully. Everyone was able to relax and enjoy some amazing food. It also provided a great opportunity for some of the extended family to meet each other for the first time. We decided to keep things as casual as possible and the only real decorations we used was a large tree branch that Kellie’s cousin made for one of her showers. She had attached pictures all over it that showed Timmy and Kellie throughout their relationship. I noticed that they really enjoyed being able to share the memories behind each of the pictures with all the guests.
I would offer this advice to other mothers of the groom. Talk with your son (and future wife) about what they want in their dinner; it is honoring them after all. I have heard so many stories of how mothers of the bride needed to be reminded from time-to-time that the wedding was not her wedding but her daughters. I think this same reminder is also needed for us mothers of the groom, or at least it was for me. I needed to be reminded that it was about what my son liked and preferred and it was okay if it was not the same as my likes or preferences. At the end of the day, as his mom, I wanted him to be happy and excited about this big change in his life. I wanted to see him smile the way this mom knows about when his heart is full of Joy, Love, and Perfect Happiness. I got to see that on this special day and I will forever be grateful for all the memories I have and will have as his Mom.
Kellie (The Bride) ~ Advice
I would like to offer these thoughts.
~Relax and enjoy every moment and memory of these days. Before the wedding it seemed like it was taking forever for this day to get here. Now looking back one month after the fact, time really flew by fast.
~ Don’t get stressed out about anything. Relax and trust that everything will turn out perfect and at the end of the day you will be married to the man of your dreams.
Pictures Provided By: Kellie Drake Freeman & Kelly Freeman
Cakes: Cakes By Judi (who happens to be the grandmother of the groom, :))
Rehearsal Venue: Kalioka Stables, Eight Mile, AL
Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Catfish Junction, Saraland, AL