After our rehearsal - if you can call lining up our groomsmen, bridesmaids, family and clergy and showing them how to walk down the aisle a rehearsal - it was time for the next big even of the weekend, the rehearsal dinner.
Typical rehearsal dinners are attended by, let's say, fifty percent of the guests, mainly those coming in from out of town. I've been to rehearsal dinners with 20, 30 or even 60 people. But I doubt too many people have attended rehearsal dinners with 135 people, which is what happens when your wedding is in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and a huge majority of the guests are from out of town.
We packed in to the Bayit, an old house-like building at camp, where tables were set up for dinner. For about an hour, we drank ("Husband's Hefeweizen" and "Bridal Bitters," two beers homebrewed by A, my new brother-in-law) and ate and I learned what I call the Groom's Law of Nourishment. That is, the closer one is to the center of the wedding party, the less likely one will be to actually eat at wedding-related events. After welcoming people and much socializing, I only ate after finding myself talking to some cousins who just happened to be standing in line for food. Had I been talking to other people at another time, I think I might have been too busy to eat.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the evening? Shortly after dinner began, word started spreading throughout the room that everyone should go outside to look at the sky. It was clearing up and getting a little warmer, which made all of us hopeful for the next day. Upon going outside, here's what everyone saw:
The picture hardly does it justice. The rainbow stretched from one end of the lake to the other, a full arc from one point on the horizon to another, clear enough that you might actually be able to find the pot of gold if you could send two teams of explorers to either end. Hardly one to believe in good signs or any type of omen, I nevertheless joked with people that I was glad I was marrying a rabbi.
Then the festivities really started. I must thank Dave, a camp staff member, and our friend Jason who set up the A/V equipment used for the evening. I know coming to our wedding and being the A/V guy was not part of his original plan, but J ran everything that night and none of it would have gotten set up without Dave's help.
First up was the movie I made on iMovie which went over well, especially the shots of about five year's worth of L's school pictures morphing into each other one by one. Embarassing your bride is always fun.
From then on out my best man, J, and my sister, R, picked up the mike as the evening's emcees. From high school friends, to my uncle, to L's rabbinical school classmates, to college friends lots of people made speeches, sang songs and presented their own movies. L's sister and brother-in-law even made a Power Point presenation featuring L's "secret" blog which was really hilarious. The evening was a bit of a cryfest for me and L, as we were really touched by people's speeches. If you've never had your friends get up to say nice things about you, I recommend it. It was a lot of fun.
After it was all over, a number of us held a camp fire where we ate s'mores (L had even picked up some vegan marshmallows for her vegetarian and kosher friends), sang songs and sat around. Like most of the weekend, it was an incredibly mixed group, including one of our rabbis (and his four-month-old baby whose sleep schedule was all mixed up), my aunt and uncle, my college friends, my parents, L's cousins and other family friends. Not exactly the group of people you'd picture hanging around together eating chocolate and graham crackers and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon, but that's who was there.
It was about 1 am and I headed to bed. Anxious and a little nervous - but in a good way, L - I fell asleep a little after 2 with my alarm set for 7.
Next up, the Big Day.
Here are the lights we bought during our trip to Pearl River.Posted by The Groom at September 8, 2004 09:59 AM