Rehearsal Cook-out

Every wedding rehearsal is unique in some way, whether it’s the location or events that spontaneously happen. Looking back 23 years ago, I remember Tom and mine. It was held at the wedding venue, my in-laws back yard. Picture a sprawling rich green lawn leading downhill to a beautiful tranquil pond with cat tails growing here and there. We practiced the wedding party walk and where everyone would stand. People laughed and visited and soon after we ate outside under the white wedding tent.


I’m going to share with you a rehearsal cookout our family had on Friday August 17th, for our son Dylan and our daughter in law Lexy. It took place in our yard under our majestic pine tree. Not far from the set-up stood my majestic uplifting  sunflowers and my garden. We put up two pop up canopies, placed chairs all around, a folding table for the food and our deck table for gathering.



Tom uses a stump to chop wood on and it usually sits on the outskirts of the wood pile. I wanted it to be a part of our cookout and give it some rustic appeal. It was quite heavy so I had to roll it where I wanted it. Next I fashioned a mason jar with baby’s breath and decorated the jar with burlap and lace and a raffia ribbon.


We also had galvanized buckets of ice for the drinks. My son’s girlfriend Jojo fashioned burlap around the outside of each. Thanks to co-worker and friend ( she even was one of my high school teachers as well) Pauline Corzilius for the use of the buckets.



Unfortunately I was so busy setting up I didn’t get a chance to snap photos of the food. We had grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, ( thanks to Tom for all his planning and hard work on the grill) macaroni salad, potato salad a friend made, vegan pasta salad Lexy’s mom made, a deli wrap platter, a large vegetable platter, deviled eggs, pickles, chips, tortillas and salsa and guacamole. My mother in law made beautiful watermelon baskets of fruit for all to enjoy.


What is important to capture to me is the people and connection everyone made…all because of the happy couple’s love. I borrowed some photos from Glenn, Lexy’s stepdad and I thank him for taking these photos for us.

My son and Lexy’s step brother Cole. Cole is starting 7th grade in a new school soon. I wish him well.


Lexy’s brother Regan and his wife Megan. It was great to get to know them during the festivities.


Lexy and her mom Arlene enjoying a moment


Glenn Castro, Arlene’s boyfriend and Megan


The New Jersey crew, Arlene’s cousins and relatives all arrived in a party bus, pulling in towards the end of the evening. Everyone was excited that they arrived and hugs and then introductions ensued.


We mothers of the bride and groom, Arlene and I.

Last but not least I was determined to say a toast in the kids’ honor. I wrote several, not knowing which I could pick. Finally I listened to my heart and went with this toast. Reading from my iPad and trying to keep eye contact with Dylan and Lexy as I said these words( sometimes a bit choked up with emotion but I got through) This was my first attempt at public speaking. I’m proud of myself for doing it and next time it may feel easier.

Rehearsal toast

I would like to make a toast to Dylan and Alexis.

Thank you all for coming to celebrate these two and we are happy to host and meet some of Lexy’s friends and family.

Someone once said when your children find true love, parents find true joy.

This expresses how Tom and I feel and I’m sure I can speak for all of us parents that this marriage is a blessing and a union of two families.

Dylan, I knew this day would come and my only hope was that it would be perfect in every way for you deserve that.

Lexy we are more than happy for you to become part of our family.

Here’s to many blessings in your married life with all my love. To Dylan and Lexy

The cookout was a success as people’s bellies and hearts were full and we all were looking forward to the next day. I was impressed with how many family members and friends helped clean up the food and trash. Big thanks to Christine Hudson, Jojo Anderson and my son Branden, my husband Tom, Jerry and Monica Hite, Glen Castro, Regan Hite and many others.

My next post will cover the beautiful wedding. Has anyone celebrated weddings this summer?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul💕

21 thoughts on “Rehearsal Cook-out

  1. Oh Mary, this is so amazing! Congratulations to Dylan and Lexy – and to you and your entire family. ❤

    I love your rehearsal toast! And I acknowledge you for getting up and sharing your heart. That takes courage and willingness. I bet it was beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing. I'd love to hear about the wedding. Sending lots of Light your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad it was such a beautiful time for you Mary– and good job coming up with such a tender heart warming toast!! Perfect!! And– so much food!!! Even without pictures I could see it all! Sounds like the best kind of evening! Can’t wait to read about the wedding! hugs hugs dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No real trips– but I’m up in San Francisco to help Ani with the new baby who was born this morning at 2:09!! Early and an easy delivery– so I’m so thankful! Little Lois and I are hanging out here at home until Mom, Dad and the baby brother come home on Thursday. xox

        Liked by 1 person

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