Busy Bees

Randy and I have been busy little wedding bees this summer. Our plan has been to get a lot of the big stuff done before I have to go back to work. (Side note: That day is fastly approaching! I have to be back at work on August 14th!) As planned, we are getting the big stuff done. Randy deserves credit for keeping us on track. He does a lot of research and has made appointments for us. That means a lot that he is doing all that he does since I know that a pig roast is more his style!

In addition to booking the reception/ceremony venue, we have also booked the DJ. We decided to investigate Tone Productions. Randy’s sister and her husband used Tone Productions for their wedding in February and they had nothing but great things to say about them. Randy made us an appointment to meet with the owner earlier this month. Tone Productions has a Joliet office in a subdivision near the mall. I wasn’t sure what to expect when Randy told me that the office was in a house. I was also worried that it would be difficult for Randy to get inside. He was told that the house had a few steps and I was just hoping that it wouldn’t be too bad. When we arrived, the owner met us outside and told us that he built a ramp out of some extra lumber he had in the garage when he found out that Randy was coming. (This warmed my heart!) As we entered the house, I was blown away! This was not an ordinary house—it was a house devoted solely to the business. (In fact, we later discovered that the owner lives next door and “commutes” to work each day.) The owner, Dan, led us to an office where we found a nice leather couch and not one, not two, but 3 computer screens. One screen was a large, flat screen and was mounted on the wall. The second screen was mounted on an arm that extended from the wall and was for Dan’s use. The third screen was mounted on another arm from the wall and was for Randy and I to use. Dan took us through the whole online event planner and showed us how easy it was to plan the entire reception. As the bride & groom, Randy and I have the ability to choose everything for the evening. We can decide what type of music we want played during cocktails and dinner, what types of dances we want during the night and specific music for all of the big moments: entrance of parents, entrance of bridal party, entrance of us, cake cutting, father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, first dance, etc. There are suggestions for all of the big moments. We can listen to excerpts of thousands and thousands of songs. If we want to hear the full song, it can be emailed to us. If we decide on a song that they don’t have in their music library, Tone Productions will purchase it for our event. We can specify must-play songs, songs to play if there is time and songs that should not be played. We can decide if we want the DJ to take requests. We can put notes on certain songs, like “make sure the bride is on the dance floor before playing.” Needless to say, Randy & I were impressed. And in addition to all of this, Tone Productions will communicate with the reception venue and coordinate everything. They become the master of ceremonies so that Randy & I can enjoy our night. Dan gave us a moment alone and came back with the contract. He said that we could mail it in if we decided to go with them. There was no deliberation needed—we signed it on the spot and paid the deposit!

Thinking about the reception has made me more excited about the whole event! Working on the online event planner has made the whole thing even more real to me. It was so amazing to talk with Randy about what songs we want for our entrance and the entrance of our bridal party. My dad and I have also spent time thinking about our song for our first dance. (I have already had some tears well up thinking about it!) Randy and I have talked about our first dance. We have thought about one song in particular and want to have our dance choreographed. I have never danced with Randy before and want to make sure that we don’t look like we are at some junior high dance. We googled wheelchair dancing and were blown away about what we saw! We will have to practice! I have entered in the names of my bridal party with pronunciations and have thought about the best man’s/maid of honor’s toasts. My dad has told me that he wants to say something at the reception, so I’m sure that, too, will cause tears!

I have contacted musicians from orchestra and asked them to play at the ceremony. Thankfully, they said yes! I am thrilled to know that I will have a string trio/quartet at our wedding!

We plan on making an appointment with a local photographer soon and get that squared away before school starts. My mom and I (and hopefully Lizzie, too) are going dress shopping on August 7th. I really would like to find something that day, but don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.

It is hard to know that our wedding is more than 400 days away! I want it to be here sooner! I can’t wait to marry Randy and share the night with our friends and family!


I Would Like to Introduce...

...my bridesmaids!

My sister, Lizzie, will be my maid of honor. There really was no question in my mind about this, but Lizzie seemed a bit surprised when I asked her. We haven't always gotten along that well, but we have grown much closer as the years have gone by and I couldn't imagine getting married without her as my MOH. When I called her to let her know her MOH duties (from one of my wedding guides), she added that another one of her duties would be to tell me to "shut the hell up" if I get out of control! That is classic Lizzie and I love her!

Side note: One of the MOH duties listed is "unofficially calms the bride's nerves." My question is this: what is the difference between unofficially and officially calming one's nerves?

Besides my sister, I will also have three of my girlfriends beside me on the big day. Two of them are my friends from college: Christine and Becky, and the third is my friend that I met at PSHS: Heather.

Christine was actually one of my residents when I was an RA in Haynie Hall at good ol' ISU. I think one of my first memories of her was having to reprimand her for having her boyfriend on the floor without an escort. (Haynie Hall was, at the time, an all-girls dorm and men had to be escorted at all times.) We became fast friends and grew close even when other residents complained that I was showing favoritism. This may lead you to believe that I let Christine get away with things, but she can tell you that was definitely not the case! She was always causing problems! One of her favorite pasttimes was doing little things to get under my skin. (And Becky was often her partner in crime!) She lived on my floor for one year before moving to Hewitt. We remained friends and eventually rented an apartment together with two other girls. Despite the fact that Christine and I are quite different, we never stopped being friends. We have gone through some issues together, but we have always come around. Christine is a lot of fun and always makes me laugh. I'm looking forward to sharing this experience with her.

Becky was also a Haynie Hall resident, but lived on my friend Bova's floor. I don't really remember how we became friends...I think Bova might have introduced us...but I like to joke that I wished for her to be my friend when I would see her in Linkins Dining Center! (Ah, Linkins!) I have so many memories with Becky and will never forget that we always had the best times together when we weren't really doing anything. In fact, we spent almost an entire summer together doing nothing...including not going to class! She would spend the night at my apartment and when the alarm would go off, we would look at each other and ask, "Should we go today?" More often than not, the answer was no! After graduation, I would visit her in St. Louis and she would come to Joliet, too. We even took a road trip to Texas where I received my first speeding ticket! Becky and I have had some issues as well, but when it comes down to it, we will always be friends!

Coincidentally, Heather also went to ISU, but I didn't meet her until she came to work at Plainfield South High School. She didn't start there until January and I wasn't sure how to take her. I couldn't really read her and I wasn't sure if she liked me. However, we clicked and soon became inseparable. We worked together very closely at South and were always there for each other. It was difficult for me to leave her and go to Joliet Central (and she didn't make it that easy!). She was one of the main reasons that I would have stayed! We have stayed close even now that we are not working together and she is always there for me to vent. I don't know what I would do without her. She is always blunt and honest with me and wants nothing but the best for me. She is a great friend. Oh, I almost forgot...she is the one that introduced me to Randy! If she hadn't taken me to that birthday party, I wouldn't be planning this wedding! Thanks, Heather!

I may be biased, but I think I have an awesome bridal party. They are fun girls and will help make the big day run smoothly! I look forward to sharing everything with them!


Signed, Sealed and Soon to be Delivered...

Randy and I signed the contract for White Eagle this evening! Randy has to call and deal with the deposit and then we will send it on its way...

I get more and more excited about all of the things yet to be decided upon and planned. Randy and I bounce ideas around pretty much every day. We haven't disagreed on anything...yet! ;-)

My mom and I have a date to go dress shopping on August 7th. I'm very much looking forward to that, too!

COMING SOON: Announcement of bridesmaids! Woo-hoo!