Happy Anniversary, Honey! Scenes from the Rehearsal Dinner

Happy Anniversary, Honey! Scenes from the Rehearsal Dinner

I did promise you pictures of the wedding, and here they are a year later. Didn’t want to rush you. Yes dear readers one year ago today my sweetheart and I were fixin’ to get hitched…

I did promise you pictures of the wedding, and here they are a year later. Didn’t want to rush you. Yes dear readers one year ago today my sweetheart and I were fixin’ to get hitched.

Here we are for the rehearsal in the olive grove by our house at Rancho La Zaca, in Los Olivos, California. I am wearing my happy-dork face…

Rehearsal Dinner - Rehearsal - Frances and Tom

… and the dress Lee Anderson made for me, in the spirit of Barbie meets Can-Can girl. It is very poufy-outy. It has its own zip code.

The dinner afterward was in the barn. I have to tell you, His Grace (my husband for new readers) was dead against the barn-as-venue. He just couldn’t see through those stalls and straw bales and what not to the the sexy, 1950s-El Morocco-inspired night club we knew it could be. We being the uber-talented and ultra creative team of Mindy Rice and Lisa Vorce, with me tagging along.

But he had a point, seeing as how this barn has all the charm of an army barracks.

Oh ye of little faith, we said. It’s nothing 72 thousand yards of gray polyester won’t fix.

Rehearsal Dinner - barn entrance, night

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Club El Rancho!

You see what I mean about the gray polyester.

Rehearsal Dinner - Entrance

If anybody needs any gray polyester, please let me know.

The seating cards were on a table just outside

Rehearsal Dinner - Seating cards

What is prettier than Yves Piaget roses? I can’t think of anything.

Rehearsal Dinner - Seating cards

The mirrored table was a hint of things to come. This crazy mirrored bar was right at the front. It was a knock-out.

Rehearsal Dinner - Mirrored Bar

But I think my favorite thing was the shiny zebra dance floor. Woo-hoo!

Rehearsal Dinner - Dance floor

That and the Club El Rancho sign. No home should be without one, right? Although finding exactly where in the home was kind of a problem. We eventually hung it in HG’s office. You can ’bout see it clear from Santa Maria.

Rehearsal Dinner - Club El Rancho

Did I mention the 72 thousand yards of gray polyester?

In keeping with a night clubby feel we did banquettes along the sides where the horse stalls are. We let the horses out first.

Rehearsal Dinner - Tables

At least I think we let the horses out.

I have been having a zebra moment for sometime now. I may be in a permanent zebra moment. There are worse things I reckon. Like what if you were in a permanent Hello Kitty moment. That would be awful.

The banquettes had zebra pillows. To match the gray polyester.

Rehearsal Dinner - zebra pillows

Very cool how the mirrored plinths reflected the dance floor. Roses, orchids and palms, simple and elegant.

Rehearsal Dinner - Roses and Palms

Here are Preacher and Partner. And Ike, who goes everywhere with them and I mean everywhere. He is very well behaved and does not eat much.

Rehearsal Dinner - Preacher and Partner, with Ike

I know. Don’t say it. Goodness gracious heavens above we do love caviar.

Rehearsal Dinner - caviar

In order to move things along, we passed the first course before sitting down for dinner. My favorite in the world cauliflower soup, recipe here. So delicious this time of year. Our own Stephanie Valentine did every morsel of food for this dinner. She is a genius and an angel.

Rehearsal Dinner - Cauliflower soup - first course

The main course was roast lamb.

Rehearsal Dinner - Main Course, Lamb

If only my friends knew how to have fun. This is Richard Keith Langham with Haffye Coxe all the way from Tarboro. Haffye was one of my mama’s best friends.

Rehearsal Dinner - Keith and Haffye

My beautiful sister Duvall Fuqua, left, with our beautiful daughter-in-law Allison Dittmer. I think that nose on the right is attached to my handsome cousin Bill.

Rehearsal Dinner - Duvall and Allison


Not to brag, but my cowboy is the best dancer in the universe.

Rehearsal Dinner - Frances and Tom dancing. Mike Carney at the piano.

Meanwhile one more shot of Club El Rancho, nestled among the oaks. And horse stalls and hay bales and what not.

Rehearsal Dinner - Barn at night

All photos by the amazing Aaron Delesie. Coming up… pics of the big day. Til then, if you are curious or have entirely too much free time, please visit my darlin’ friends Nina Griscom and Carolyne Roehm, both of whom wrote about our happy day, which was so sweet of them.


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