the rehearsal dinner.

This post-wedding timeline is all out of order! It's like if you saw Amanda Bynes circa last week and then days later She's The Man was on TV and you're thinking to yourself, no WAY that's the same person.

Luckily, no mental breakdowns were had due to our wedding, although I think Mike is watching my behavior very closely for Post-Nuptial Depression. We're probably out of the woods, but is it possible that I have already booked vacation plans for our first anniversary? Yes. I have a surfeit of wedding planning hormones that are being deployed quite effectively to organize both my other friends' weddings and my own future vacations. It's a win-win.

Anyway, post-July 13th I knew that the actual wedding posts would be the most fun to read, so I made sure I got those out first. But for anyone who's in the depths of the wedding process (or if you're like me and just never tire of talking or reading about it), I thought it would be helpful to document the other events immediately surrounding the big kahuna.

With my Trinity girls and Kat at dinner

So, rehearsal day!

In the morning, my sister Laura, my niece Parker and I did most of our wedding prep. Luckily Bliss is across the street from The Plaza, so we dropped off our stuff at the hotel and headed over for manis and pedis. Probably not so weirdly, the other two girls getting their nails done were also getting married on July 13th in and around the city, so we had a nice little bonding session over that.

The services at Bliss are certainly pricey, but they do pamper you. Each of us got our own tray of cucumbers, crackers and cheese (medium-level wedding diet friendly!) and it was definitely the most decadent pedicure I've ever gotten. If anyone knows how to do at-home paraffin waxes, HIT ME UP. Unfortunately I'll probably have to wait until Parker gets married at The Plaza to drop that much dough on spa services again, but it was certainly worth it for the big day.

We then went across the street to Bergdorf's, where Parker and I got braids at John Barrett's Braid Bar (a personal favorite of mine) and then Laura and I got our makeup did at Cle de Peau. I'd never tried their products before, but my beauty-savvy editor friend Kait recommended and we were both very pleased. Their colors were really lovely AND someone asked if I were a ballerina while they were doing my makeup, so that about made my year.

Blocking out our routine.

By this hour it was time for our actual rehearsal, which was the first time Mike and I were seeing most of our bridal party that had come in from out of town. At least for me, this was the "holy shit" moment of the weekend; everyone is there, you're all gathered in your ceremony space ... IT'S ALL HAPPENING. Mike had bought me the above dress a few months ago and I was almost as excited to wear it as my wedding dress. My veil, by the way, is from my Halloween costume circa 1989. Momma Kat had kept it in storage specifically for this moment. I guess we're big on weddings in the Izon family. And, as is tradition, my bouquet was made of the bows from all of my wedding shower presents. Parker had her own too!

After mapping out our ceremony, we braved a little bit of rain to walk over to Park Avenue Summer for our rehearsal dinner. This has been a favorite restaurant of mine and Mike's for years and we're pretty bummed to hear that they lost their lease. We're hopeful they'll find a new spot soon. There IS vacant restaurant spot next door to our apartment, for example...

Our party had the private dining room in the back and we plugged in our iPod for ambient tunes (Skrillex for four hours, duh). I definitely recommend checking this place out before it closes on New Year's Eve; the food is sick. I think the favorite dish of the night was definitely the Dr. Pepper-basted ribs, however. They are that good.

In between courses both of our moms, Mike's sister Allie, my Trinity girls, my cousin Joe and Mike's BFF-since birth BJ gave some really wonderful toasts, none of which caused anyone to throw up from embarrassment. A special thanks to both moms for not going too off the rails.

With the collar!

Parker was very insistent on giving us our wedding present that night, so, of course, we happily obliged. Inside a small, rectangular box was ...


Parker, being 10 years old and adorable, was able to convince Mike that the only wedding present that was worthy of her imprimatur was a fluffy, squeezy kitten. Now we're not going out and buying one tomorrow (post-honeymoon seems most likely), but the Izon-Lewin household will not be pet-less forever, my friends. #winning

It was a wonderful night, to be followed by an even more wonderful event the next day. And we took our last picture as an engaged couple in our favorite lobby, of course.

the after party.

the reception.