Our Wedding: Setting Up & Rehearsal

Posted on December 13th, 2010 by Tonia 3 Comments

Wooooooooo!  That’s right, folks.  Finally.  I am so excited to share the stories and the photos from what was truly, truly the best weekend of our lives.  Every second of the whole experience was ridiculously fun, exciting, heart-warming, and memorable…but since I can’t possibly give you every single detail, I’m just going to do my best to share the moments that particularly struck me as “awesome” for one reason or another. 

Most of these photos were taken by family/friends.  They captured some pretty great moments.  Thank you to all of you who brought your cameras and shared your pictures with us afterwards!!  It has been so fun for Mike and me to see our wedding from so many different points of view.

So let’s start at the beginning, shall we?  The story really starts on Thursday, because our wedding wasn’t just one day of fun…it was a FESTIVAL!  :)  Mike and I arrived at Dillman’s Resort on Thursday night after getting off work.  Our families were already in their cabins, which were conjoined {like a duplex}. 

A big U-Haul truck was parked out front, already un-packed.  My mom already had her “task charts” hung up on the cabin wall, the kitchen was full of groceries, and every spare inch of the living room was full of boxes of supplies.  Mike’s family was grilling steaks and potatoes for us on the back deck.  I LOVE OUR FAMILIES!!! 

We spent most of that evening filling paper bags with goodies like hot chocolate, mixed nuts, and tea for each of the guest cabins.  Then it was early-to-bed because we knew we’d be getting very little sleep the rest of the weekend.

Guests started to arrive right away on Friday.  It was so exciting to watch the cars pull in to the resort.  I kept looking around and thinking, “Hey! I know that person…” until finally my brain realized I was going to know everyone.  It was just a bit shocking to see so many people from different parts of our lives- childhood, high school, college, etc.- all hanging out together!

My Godmother, Mike and I walked around delivering the bags of goodies to all the different cabins.  It was a little rainy and chilly, but we were elated and having so much fun.

Later, Mike’s dad, my dad, and Mike got to work assembling the arbor down by the lake.  My dad and Mike made this arbor together earlier in the summer.  They painstakingly hand-scribed cedar logs, and joined them without the use of nails or screws {or as Mike would say, “the right way.”}  This beautiful monstrosity will stand in our garden for years to come.

The next task was to clean out the pumpkins {purchased at the farmer’s market}.  Thankfully we had a lot of willing helpers for this job because those decorative white pumpkins are really hard to scoop out!!   Not as soft as the normal orange ones, fyi for anyone planning a wedding with white pumpkins!

While the men scooped, the women fluffed.  Fluffed paper flowers, that is.  My mom, her five sisters, and I had spent an entire weekend during the summer folding {recycled} tissue-paper like accordions.  When you “fluff” the folded accordions, you get a beautiful tissue-paper flower.  We strung them all over the tent, along with the gigantic light bulb strands that my dad made for me…yes, he made them rather than buying them online at one of those wedding supply shops.  Go dad!*

*Actually, I call my dad “Poppy”, and he will henceforth be referred to as that on this blog because calling him “dad” feels weird.

Fluffing is not a task for the feint at heart…it took us hours to fluff over 200 flowers, with many people helping.  Luckily there was a level of instant-gratification because each flower comes out a little different, and they’re oh-so-pretty when they’re all strung together. 

Watching all the decorations we had spent months and months making come together at the hands of our guests- who were SO happy and willing to help- was totally overwhelming in the best way possible.  Everyone wanted to pitch in and make the tent look perfect for us, and it did.  I can’t begin to express how grateful and touched Mike and I were that people not only traveled to our wedding but also showed up with energy, ready to help.  Thankyouthankyouthankyou everyone!

In the afternoon, we rehearsed the ceremony down by the lake with our Pastor and wedding party.  It was quick and dirty…we didn’t run through it over and over again because we wanted the real thing to really feel special and not have a “just going through the motions” quality to it.  But it was fun to stand under the arbor with Mike and think, “the wedding’s tomorrow!!!! Holycrap!!!!”

And then, it was time to party!  Mike’s mom and dad organized a delicious BBQ dinner for us and all our guests on Friday night.  We wanted a typical Northwoods Wisconsin picnic, so our relatives from Chicago and the Twin Cities could get a taste for what I grew up with.  Bad to the Bone BBQ certainly delivered just that.  They were awesome, and kept the good food flowing until everyone was stuffed. 

Dinner was followed by a folk-dance under the tent.  Don’t know what a folk-dance is?  Go find out, immediately…preferably by showing up at one. Or check it out on Youtube.

Some of our closest friends are professional musicians and play for folk dances all over the Midwest.  They’re all from different bands {Duck for the Oyster, Hip Pocket, and Poor Benny}, but joined together into one big band for this occasion!  They ROCKED.  I saw people dancing whom I thought would NEVER dance.  You just can’t sit still when the fiddle is fiddlin’! 


…Poor little Emma, our flower girl, got stuck in the middle of a two-line-set and the bride and groom are sashaying towards her with amazing speed!!!  Aaaahg!  Get out of the way, Emma!

After the dance, a large group of our guests gathered at a bonfire.  Beer drinking and story telling and stomach-cramping laughter ensued.  Mike and I stayed at that fire waaaaay too late- at the cost of possibly looking less than perfect the next day- but I must say that those late hours around the fire were some of the very best of the whole weekend. 

Thus ends Friday.*  A perfect start to a perfect weekend.

*Although, Facebook later revealed that SOME people did not go to bed after the bonfire was over:


  1. […] Come on! We’re going to jump in the lake!”  Apparently we had all decided the night before {after a healthy amount of beer} that we were going to do a “polar bear plunge” in the […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jonathan D. Blundell, Tonia. Tonia said: Yippee! The first of several posts about our wedding {with pics!}: http://www.ittybittyimpact.com/our-wedding-setting-up-rehearsal/ […]

  3. […] posts about our wedding. Man-alive was that fun. I wish we could do it all over again every year: Setting up/rehearsal, getting ready, the ceremony, the details, the dinner, the dancing, the next day. Tags: […]

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