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It hardly seems possible that 7 1/2 weeks ago I was driving to my parents’ house in Philly to finish the final preparations for The Epic Event, or what some friends call ‘JenniCon 2010′. On October 25 I loaded up the SUV with mine, Tim and Logan’s luggage, my wedding dress and accessories, three bridesmaid dresses and a few crinolines, various presents, wedding decorations and the doggie babies Fergus and Bailey. Fortunately the weather was fabulous and the drive was clear and smooth. Even with all the stops for the babies I made it to my parents’ house in a little over 13 hours up the I-85 and I-95 corridors.

The first week was pretty quiet. I ran errands, had an appointment with my florist and a ‘location scout’ with my photographers, wrote big checks, made confirmation phone calls and went to the gym. The week leading up to the wedding was a different story entirely. I don’t think I could have been any more tired, but that was a result of 16 months of non-stop activity and stress. It was finally catching up to me as the wedding drew closer. I was sleeping as much as possible but still feeling exhausted. Sunday and Monday were pretty uneventful but Tuesday night Tim and Logan flew in from Atlanta so things started getting crazy.

Wednesday morning we were up bright and early for three major errands. First up, the marriage license. Turns out that if we didn’t get it on Wednesday it wouldn’t be valid on Saturday since we had to have it for 3 days before the wedding so it was critical we get there first thing. Fortunately we were the only ones at the courthouse applying for a license so we were done and out in about 30 minutes. Next was Tim and Logan’s final fittings at the tux shop. They had some minor adjustments to do to Tim’s tux, plus we were buying it so they added buttons to the jacket cuffs and did some other minor things so it would look nicer. We got home and had just under an hour until our big Review Meeting at the Radnor Hotel. We had a ton of ‘stuff’ (seating chart, guest book frame, table names in frames) to take so loaded up the car after getting a quick bite to eat and headed out with Mom and Logan in tow. The whole meeting took just about an hour and we reviewed every detail of the reception, plus chose our Signature Cocktail. Those of you that came know we named it the Celtic Knot. The meeting with our team of four banquet coordinators went very smoothly and I left feeling confident that they would take care of everything on the big day.

Home we went to rest and relax until it was time to go pick up S, one of my maids of honor, at the airport later that night. I was feeling really tired and stressed out since I was *still* sewing hems on bridesmaid dresses just three days before the wedding. Tim went to pick up S. and I stayed home to sew and rest. It was great to see Sam and have her be there a few days early for the final preparations so we could visit and do wedding stuff at the same time.

Thursday was less busy than Wednesday thankfully, BUT Sam and I were both still sewing. She was assisting with hems and hook-and-eyes and also finishing up her accessories. We also headed over to the church with my Mom to set up the tables and decorations for the Tea Reception. I think I may have gotten a nap that day. I don’t remember clearly. In any case, I sent Tim to pick up D., my other maid of honor,  at the airport and take her to the hotel. I was just too tired to make the trip – bed was fairly early for me that night.

Friday, Rehearsal Day, started bright and early. I think I managed to get to the gym with Tim for an hour or so before heading home and grabbing a shower. At 11ish S and I went for our mani/pedis and Tim got a manicure! When we walked into the shop there was my Dad getting a manicure too! I guess my Mom had been on him to get his nails taken care of since he’d be in photos and shaking a lot of hands. It was really cool to know my family and friends were supporting the whole wedding and Tim and I with those small acts.

After lunch I grabbed a nap (or tried to – I don’t remember now if I actually slept). I got up about 3:00 and started getting ready for the Rehearsal slated to start at the church at 5pm. Tim had already taken S. to the hotel and was back to get dressed. We headed over to the church about 4:40pm so we could greet everyone as they came in. We had 33 people at the rehearsal, both family and friends in the wedding party and their significant others and kids. It was a HUGE group but it all worked out pretty well. Dad always likes to go through things twice; once with instruction and the second time a run through as practice. The rehearsal was not nearly as chaotic as I thought it would be given our large wedding party. In fact, it all went really well and I felt really happy about everything and everyone in the wedding.

Or you can view the complete set here: http://flickr.com/gp/gwenyfhar/U66Z1Q

Stay tuned for Part II…..