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wedding pics
Randal's Song (produced by Jim S.)

5th of December, 2003
I'm affianced!!! My boy conspired to orchestrate a very sly and clever proposal against me! You may read a transcript of his conspiracy with my cousin here. The plot of the conspiracy was for her to invite us (convincingly) to the beach for dinner. Somehow, she managed to do it (my cousin is a HORRIBLE secret-keeper). We ate dinner and they took a bunch of pictures, but that's just what they do. Randal then asked if I wanted to go down and walk on the beach while they all sat on the pier. Hmmm, alright. So we go down and get under the floodlight and he stops and they are up on the pier taking pictures and I'm a little curious, but whatever. Then, I see them pull out a camcorder, and am just about to think that's quite strange when I see Randal drop down to one knee. I stopped breathing. I managed to hear him say something about this was the place where we had our second date, and where we had our first kiss, and where he first told me that he loved me. That he had been trying to think of all the right words, but he just couldn't find all the pretty words to express how he felt. That he wanted to spend the rest of his life showing me that he loves me and trying to make me happy every day. And would I marry him? Yes, I did instantly turn into a girl and start crying. It was so beautiful. Once I was done jumping all over him, we met back up with my cousin and gang and I started to make phone calls. At this point, I found out that he had gone earlier in the day to my mom's work to ask for her blessing. Then he drove from there (Fashion Square area for you Orlandians) all the way to the Disney area to ask my dad for my hand in marriage. I couldn't believe it. I've never heard of such things in real life. It was the greatest night of my life!!! Thank you so much Rachel, Jim, Lil Rach, and Duane for being there to share it with me.

7th of December, 2003
Today I went wedding gown shopping with my mom and my sister. I want a silver gown (which I'm not going to find) but I wanted to at least go and try some on to get some ideas. There were a couple of them that I liked pretty well. And I must say that I looked beautiful in them! There's just something about a wedding dress that just transforms a girl into a beauty. It's amazing. I also found a gorgeous flower girl dress and headdress for Julia. The dress was only in infant sizes so I'll have to look around to see if I can find something similar in toddler sizes. She looked so precious in the headdress. And what a wonderful flower girl she is -- she was put to work immediately standing behind me to hold the dress tight (most of them were big) while my sister took pictures. Thank you so much mom, Jonna, and Julia for helping me and being there for me on my first day of wedding gown fun!

8th of December, 2003
Today, Randal and I found a jeweler and ordered my custom ring. I'm so excited. It's going to be so beautiful. And how wonderful is he to make sure that I get the exact ring that I wanted!!! I love my boy so very much!!!

15th of December, 2003
I'm so upset that I'm such a practical person! My cousin found the dress of my dreams today. It is so PERFECT and so beautiful!!! Unfortunately, it is also considerably more than I think is necessary to spend on a one-day-dress. What a shame to fall in love with something that you are too practical to buy! Of course, I am absolutely open to any and all attempts to persuade me otherwise!!!

19th of December, 2003
I have a ring!!! And it's so beautiful! We picked it up last night, but I couldn't wear it because the stones were still setting. I started wearing it at 13:00 this afternoon. In the box, it looked awfully big, but I think it looks very nice on my hand. They said that they could make the band to fit in with it. That's going to be one funny looking wedding band!
In other news, I've pretty much decided not to buy my dress. I'm just not very comfortable with the anonymous internet transaction gig. I think I'm going to piece together some patterns and look for a local seamstress to make it for me. I would be much more comfortable knowing who is making my dress and being able to go for fittings and see the progress and all that jazz.
We are also trying to decide on a location (hopefully, location and date will be set by the end of the year). The four locations that we started out with are Cocoa Beach, FL (where he proposed), Our new house, The branch at his parent's house, and Cheaha Park, AL. I think we've about got it narrowed down to our house or Cheaha. Cocoa is really too far for his family to travel. The branch would be beautiful but it is chock-full of logistical flaws (need 4wd to get people down there, no electricity, not conducive to food setup, no weather contingency plan). We are going next Wednesday morning to meet with the event-coordinator at Cheaha and we should be able to make a decision thereafter.

24th of December, 2003
This morning we went to Cheaha State Park to meet with the event coordinator and view all of the wedding areas. We didn't think we were going to be able to see the inside of the lodge because it was rented out for the week, but we happened to get there as one party left so we were able to walk around before the next party arrived. It was a very nice and spacious lodge. There are twelve bedrooms with private baths that sleep approximately 30 people. I figure that should cover all of those who will need to secure accomodations. The dining/banquet hall is beautiful. It has a high vaulted wooden ceiling with huge hand-hewn beams. And an enormous fireplace at the front of the room. The grounds out front and out back were very nice for the ceremony. And the kitchen was great for self-catering. The only problem with the whole thing was that the rate that Randal was quoted on the phone they doubled when we were there in front of them. Sigh...we'll see.
Other developments: I asked Shane (Randal's brother) this afternoon if he would do my hair. I was pleased that he said he would. I showed him my dress in my journal and it struck him with a hairstyle idea (I'm trying to find a similar pic to post). He did a quick version of what it would look like. It's basically a crown braid that wraps around my head (around the tiara) and goes back to a very loose ponytail in the back with my curls cascading down. Very Maid-Marionish. It looked very nice for a quickie.

5th of January, 2004
Jenny and Mike stopped by on their way back to NY tonight. They were our first overnight house guests! Jenny brought me two brides magazines that we stayed up rather late looking through together. I thought it was so nice of her to do that. We made fun of a lot of the pictures but there were some very useful etiquette articles that I learned a good bit from.

10th of January, 2004
We're in Orlando this weekend for mom's installation. That means I get wedding-mode support for a couple of days! Yesterday, Jonna, Julia, Katie, Sammy, and i went dress shopping. I would have liked for mom or Rach to join but mom was doing last minute prep for her installation and Rach was working. We had a good time though. I enjoyed having others to go shopping with. We went to several different dress stores but didn't really find anything that jumped out at me (although, they almost did in one dress). I did decide, after trying on several traditional and big wedding gowns, that my "dream dress" is very impractical. Those things are just plain hot!!! I thought for sure I was going to suffocate in a few of the ones that took a while to unbutton/unlace. Simpler, cooler, definitely the way to go. Another thing that changed was that, when I tried on a simpler dress, Jonna also made me try on veils. I was fairly opposed to the idea of a veil until she put it on my head. It really looked nice. Especially with the simplicity of the dress. I was very pleased with the look. Who'd've known?
Today, Randal wanted to stop at Home Depot on the way to dad's. I chose to go into David's Bridal while he was busy with his gig. I found THE dress. It is silver and has all of the features that I had originally set out to find. It is strapless, has rhinestone detail around the top, center of the bodice and around the waist of it where the skirt splits into a juliette-style inverted-pleat. I tried it on with a two-tier rhinestone veil and a silver rhinestone tiara (I'm so upset I didn't bring my camera - everywhere we went yesterday, they wouldn't let Jonna take my picture, but at David's they didn't care - grrrr!). I felt so beautiful! I couldn't stop looking in the mirror. I knew that was the dress. I'm so pleased that I was able to find something that I felt so wonderful in.

12th of January, 2004
Tonight we went to Beth and Jeremy's for dinner. We had a very nice time. After dinner, Beth whipped out a wedding planning checklist (where'd it come from, i don't know) and started quizzing us on what we already had planned and what we still had left. She then volunteered to cater (she already had the menu planned out) and just like that she became our wedding coordinator. She's taken it all on (which is perfectly fine by me, I don't know what the heck to do anyhow) and we're very appreciative of all her help. I worry that she might be taking on too much, what with a baby on the way in the next 7 weeks and 6-8 weeks of recovery after that. But she loves doing stuff like this and is very excited. I guess she probably likes to have a project to put her mind on something besides the kids and pregnancy. Being an at-home mom has got to be maddening sometimes. In either case, I'm very excited that we now have a coordinator. She knows what we want and I have every confidence that she will put it together very nicely and elegantly. She gave Randal a list of his "duties" to include: measure the yard, ask the officiant, call around on hotel rates for out-of-town guests... well, that's all i remember. Should keep him busy at least.

16th of January, 2004
I've spent the greater part of this week doing some online wedding planning. I spent some time compiling a list of decent bridesmaid dresses, which Jonna then compiled into a nice concise document. I sent it out and asked for votes. From 4 bridesmaids, I got 7 votes (highlighted in the doc) out of 11 choices and no two BMs voted on the same dress. LOL. So I'll just let them scrap it out. I really just care about them being comfortable. As long as the color is right (deep red or deep purple).
I also started researching favors. I like the idea of doing something natural (being an outdoor wedding and all) so I was looking at treelings. I found some pine tree seedlings that I thought were cute. But they're really more of a winter-wedding thing I think. At Walmart, they had some small terra-cotta-potted plants, green plants and flowering plants, that were a great price. I think I like them better. I can wrap the pot in mylar or tulle or something and i can write a little poem-thingie to attach to them and they can even serve as place-card holders. And, they decorate the tables. Three for one, can't beat that.
What else have I worked on this week? I wrote the first draft of my vows (no, I'm not publishing those yet), and I've tried to start writing the invitations. Not the easiest task. Oh, location. Have I already mentioned on here that Cheaha is out? Well, they are booked through most of the year (no, I'm not sure why they didn't tell us that a month ago when we started talking with them) so we will most likely be hosting the festivities at our home. Randal went out and measured and diagrammed the backyard and sent it all on to Beth. The only other possibility is this little park down the road from our house. It really would be perfect, it has a terrific pavillion! The only problem is that it is kind of a private park and we cannot seem to figure out how to contact someone in order to see if they will rent it out. A co-worker actually told us about it because his wife's family had a reunion there 6 or 7 years ago. So, once upon a time it was rentable, we are trying to find out if it still is. I think that's the extent of this week's planning. Oh, and we have DEFINITELY set the date as Saturday, the 15th of May 2004.

19th of January, 2004
Beth called last night all excited and telling us to come over tonight so that we could go to Michael's. They had all kinds of silver stuff, which they considered to be Christmas stuff apparently, on sale for 70% off. We got several rolls of silver, wire-edged ribbon for making aisle bows. Several rolls of sheer silver not-organza to drape over white table-cloths. Several floating flower candles with silver glitter around the edges for centerpieces. All 70% off!!! The prices were great, unfortunately, they were sold out of white Christmas lights. We might try to find a store close by us to check if they've got any white lights and we could use a few more rolls of the not-organza too. I also got a very nice-looking wax seal stamp. I'm very pleased with it and had to play with it as soon as we got back to the house. So, tonight marks my first actual wedding-purchases. It was a huge committment, but I'm pleased with what we got. Now we just need to figure out what color the dresses are going to be so that we can start looking for other coordinating decor.

27th of January, 2004
I have a Wedding Gown!!! I ordered it last night. I was very pleased to have not only avoided having to get it at David's Bridal (nothing but horror stories there, I tell ya) but it was also less expensive than David's. The only thing that concerns me is that they said it won't be shipped until the end of April. Jonna's been told the same thing down in Orlando. Now what on earth takes that long to ship out a dress?! It's not like they are making it customized for my fit or anything like that. I'm hoping that was just a very generous estimate, like the passport was supposed to take 6 weeks and i got it back in 2. If it does come in the end of April, that leaves me 2 weeks to get it altered and such. I've got my fingers crossed it comes in on time. I did call Jenny last night to tell her about it though so that she can try to get hers ordered ASAP. I'll need to check with her later today to see whether she has called the shops I gave her up there. I've also decided on the bridesmaid dress. I got to see it in person (awful color though it was). I had been given concerns that it was too plain, but I thought it was nice. It was plain and simple, but my dress is very simple so anything more and the BM dresses would overpower mine. Plus, I was looking at the dress that I wore for Katie's (and Rachel's) wedding, and it is even more plain than the one I've chosen, but it looked very nice and elegant. So I'm excited! It's all coming together. We've still got to find the flower girl dress, but that one will be pretty easy and there are plenty that can be bought right off the shelf (none of this 12 week ordering crap). We still need to find a time to get Beth to come over so that we can meet with the woman about the pavilion. Perhaps this weekend.

29th of January, 2004
We just got back from the little park with Beth (I may or may not post pics later - Beth got on to me about posting so many pics :-( big meanie). She approves and it's going to be perfect! We'll sign the contract and get it in the mail today. Yay! We have a wedding location!!! I guess, since we've got the date and location set, it's time for me to start working on invitations.

4th of February, 2004
Good news! As of today, all dresses have been ordered. Well, all but the flower girl dress but I'm not concerned about that since there are so many dressy white dresses for little girls that we can grab something off the rack anytime we want. And mine is still the latest ship date for some reason. Orlando dresses: 04/15, Buffalo dress: 04/23, My dress: 04/27. Let's just hope that there are no holdups. And no huge alterations. We are getting the contract for the park ammended to include some setup/rehearsal time for the friday before. I am waiting to hear from Beth how much time she feels like she really needs so that we can get the contract settled. We are going to begin searching for a photographer this week. Perhaps I will start calling around this afternoon if I can get B'ham boy good and busy. I suppose that's pretty much it for now. I am glad that we finally got all the dress stuff resolved. My shop called today to let me know they got my fabric swatch in and will be mailing it to me. Katie the other day got a small swatch of their fabric and was sending it to me. Once I get the swatches, I'll be able to start doing more as far as decorations. Also need to start looking for ties to match the swatches. That should be fun.

25th of February, 2004
YAY! We have an officiant! That's one big thing off the list. Last week, we got the final contract for the pavilion sent in. So that got crossed off the list too. This weekend, my mom and sister came up for the engagement party that Beth threw for us. It was a very nice party. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed all of the yummy goodies that she had spread out.
Saturday, before the party, my mom, Jonna, and I went out wedding shopping. We had a noon appointment at David's Bridal for me to try on my dress. We got there a little early and went into the mall where we bought my shoes. We also went to Frederick's of Hollywood in search of wedding lingerie, but we remain unsuccessful in that endeavor. After that, it was time for our appointment so we circled the mall to get back to David's and went in and found the store swamped and the workers very unwilling to assist. Luckily, I've already ordered the dress elsewhere or I might have been annoyed at my treatment. I found the dress myself on the rack. Had to beg someone to get me a dressing room (even though I've had an appointment for two weeks now). I got stuck in the back "closet" with the bridesmaids since I was trying on a bridesmaid dress. And after showing me to the dressing room, I never saw another worker. Since I've already bought the dress, that didn't bother me because that meant I didn't get pressured about buying the dress and accessories. I love my dress! It is so beautiful! And it really looks nice on me. And the tiara and my shoes look so nice with it. I just wish I could find a veil like the one at David's. It's such a nice veil, but it costs more than the dress, which is just rediculous. Mom and Jonna were beaming at me. After I finished staring at myself in the mirror and Jonna was done taking pictures of me, we left the store (completely undisturbed) and headed back to the mall in further pursuit of the aforementioned lingerie. We went to Parisians and Victoria's Secret and no luck. I liked a couple of the ones that Frederick's had but the waists were too big on me. The search continues, I suppose. Next, we went to Michael's to look at paper for invitations. It took a little while, but we finally picked out some vellum and some backing and ribbon. I think they will look so nice when we get them put together. We also stopped and bought some makeup so that I can start relearning how to wear it for the wedding.
Sunday, we started on invitations. We played around with the wording and the fonts and color until I think we've gotten it all right. The problem is that the printer that I borrowed from a co-worker decided that it didn't want to work right. I used it just Friday at the office and it was working fine but when I got it home, all messed up. So we weren't able to begin actual construction of the invitations. I was a little disappointed over that but what can you do? At least they are layed out and ready to be printed. I guess we'll have to wait until I'm in Orlando again to get them done. Perhaps we'll have better luck then. Especially since that'll be about a week before they need to be mailed out. I suppose that is about all of the new progress that has been made. At least we have someone to marry us now.

8th of March, 2004
After a few days of dreams about wedding unpreparedness, I decided that yesterday was the day to get out and start getting stuff done. We got detoured on our way down toward the mall by some tiny yellow signs that said Antique Show. It turned out to be a great detour though because I found a tiara that I may like more than the one I borrowed! I will wait until I can try them with the dress to make final judgment, but I think it suits me better. And it was only $10! If only they had the veil I want too! After that, we went to the shop that I bought my dress from to look at veils. They had a bunch of them, but none that I liked as well as the rediculously overpriced one at David's. There was one that I liked fairly well -- it was a little short, elbow length instead of fingertip length, and it had a thin white ribbon around the edges that I would prefer in silver -- it was the best one I saw. I then told them about the one at David's and they said that the store owner makes all the veils so if I bring a pic in, she could make it just the way I want it. So I might go ahead and print out one of the pics of it and take it in to get an estimate on how much it will cost to have the veil made for me. The one with the ribbon that I thought was decent was about half the price of the rediculously overpriced one that I like at David's. Still higher than I think they should be, I mean really, it's two pieces of tulle and a comb, but considerably better than paying more than the cost of my dress for it. Next, we went to the mall in search of ties that will match the girls' dresses. We found that there is a really close match at JC Penney's so we felt better knowing that they will be fairly easy to obtain. I also looked at jewelry for myself and my girls. I found some for the girls that I liked a lot but I don't think anyone else will. I will keep looking. We also did a little shopping around for the favors. I am very pleased that it looks like everything that we will need is going to be very affordable. And they are going to look great. I will probably start buying the stuff next weekend to start assembly. The last thing that we had on our to-do list for yesterday was to see our jeweler about getting our wedding bands made (mine is going to be a funny looking wedding band!). We pulled up to the store to see if they were open on Sunday and found the store completely EMPTY!!! Might I just say that I'm glad that we got my ring before they up and left. So, now we have to find another jeweler to make our rings. That should be a fun project.
Randal has begun working on the honeymoon (I mean, really, who the heck cares about the wedding, I'm much more excited about the honeymoon!!). He found a fairly decent airfare for direct flights to and from Anchorage, AK and I think he went ahead and booked it. He also started looking around for transportation. We had thought about renting an RV but they are $180/day to rent! Seems like everything there is a bit pricy, hotels start at $100/night and that's for Super 8 type hotels. A Ford Camry is $89/day to rent. Needless to say, he is going to keep looking around to find the best deals on all of that. At least we have our plane tickets though. I'm so excited!

10th of March, 2004
Alaska, here we come! Plane tickets are booked and paid for. We'll be leaving here the morning of Thursday, June 24th and I think we have one layover in Salt Lake City. We leave Anchorage the night of Monday, July 12th on a direct flight back home. So it will be approximately 2.5 weeks and we are maximizing use of the weekends. I am so excited. This is going to be such an adventure!

22nd of March, 2004
I'm very pleased with my progress yesterday. I got all of the invitations and the RSVP cards printed out. They look great! I wasn't sure they would print out well since the paper is really for a laser printer but they seem to be sticking pretty good. I laid them all flat on the dining room table to dry real good. I'll check them tonight to make sure they aren't going to smudge all up. I really wish I had a paper cutter so that I could begin assembly. I'd love to see a completed set. I also started on the map/directions insert. I think I've got them done but I haven't printed them yet. I'll probably end up printing them on a normal paper so they won't match all that well but I hate to take the chance of using nice paper and having them get smudged or rubbed off. Then no one would find their way. I also still need to get some small envelopes for the RSVP cards. I suppose that assembly will have to wait until we're in Orlando next week. I also purchased the favor makings this weekend. There are a few things I'll need to go back and get to begin that project, but at least I feel as though I've started. I need to get as much done on them as possible because I am not planning on finishing them until the last possible minute. Did a little bit of planning with Beth, but I don't think she was feeling too well so I tried not to push it. Although she did graciously volunteer to sacrifice herself to accompany me for a facial/manicure/pedicure as the date approaches. I thought that was very giving of her. Huge sacrifice, I know. I'm very much looking forward to our visit to Orlando next week. It's been three months or so since we've gotten down there. It's going to be great fun! I'm very excited about my b@chelorette party and bridal sh0wer that my friends have been so wonderful to plan for me!

30th of March, 2004
Jonna, Julia, and I went flower girl dress shopping this morning. I'm pleased to say that we found two dresses that I liked a whole lot (so mad that I didn't bring the camera with me to take pics of how adorable she was in these dresses!). The first dress, which I think I like best, was very cutesy-lil-girlish. It looks so adorable on Julia. The only problem with it is that it's actually a little big. And altering it might make it too uncomfortable for her to wear. I really liked it on her though. We'll see I guess. The second dress was a little more straight-skirted. It was white satin, sleeveless, and had a large silver and rhinestone flower design going down the front center of it. It was beautiful. I think as a dress, I liked it better - it was beautiful - but it just wasn't as lil-girl adorable as the other one and I want a cutesy flower girl. I told Jonna that I prefer the first but am perfectly fine with the second if alterations on the first are either too difficult or would make it too uncomfortable for Julia to wear. So I guess she'll probably go back and visit them both again and decide from there.

3rd of April, 2004
What an exhausting two days! Last night was my b@chelorette party that Katie has been laboring over. And it was terrific. Lots-o-fun had by all (or at least by me, and I'm the one who matters! ;-D ). Of course, Jonna, Rach, and I were all late. So when we got there at 19:00 for our 18:30 reservation, Katie and Sandra were already there. I'm betting Sandra was actually the first, since she works right around the corner from the restaurant. Anyhow. We started out at the Melting Pot, which is a fondue place (I had never fondued before). When we got there, Katie had fun party glasses set up with fun and wacky favors. And a few extra goodies for me, such as a huge novelty ring (discovered to light up red after the night was over), a "prisoner of love" ball and chain, a veil, and a "last night out" tattoo with which I was instructed to addorn my chest. We had a lot of fun making crude jokes and such. And just catching up, it's been so long since I've seen Sandra! And I cannot even begin to describe how delicious the food was. Oh My Goodness! If only I could drag my boy to a place like that. It was just too good. After dinner (3 hours!), we headed to Universal's City Walk for a little bit of clubbing. I've never been a big clubber, but we had a good time. All five of us actually "danced" in nearly every club. There was only one incident - a very innebriated man there for his bachelor party insisted on dancing with me against my will. Luckily Katie stepped in and saved me after a moment but it was distressing. I felt so violated. Especially when I saw the pics. Ick. Clearly, I'm just not social enough to dance with strange men. All in all, I think everyone had a fun time. I thoroughly enjoyed my last night of single debauchery (hmmm, was there a first?). There are pics posted on Rach's site, but please be warned: Some pics contain Adu1t C0ntent, some photos may be unsuitable for children or the prudish. Those who agree to the terms of the disclaimer, click here.
Today was my bridal sh0wer. Rachel prepared all of the food and it was all oh-so-yummy. Pork wontons, spinach dip, spudmania, and mmmmmmcanolis. It was all so good! After all of the guests arrived (mom, Rhena, Katie), Jonna had a fun little dress designer game/craft for us all to work on. After that, but before my judging duties, we got to eat. Did I mention how yummy everything was?! After eating, there was a purse game to see who had the most weird stuff in their purse. Then I got to judge the dress designs. Then came gifts. I got so many wonderful things. But the one that made me tear up was the gift that I got from my 5 year old nephew, Joshua. He wrapped up and gave to me his Game Ball (his team has won one game this season and it was his catch that won it so he got the Game Ball for it)! It was just so sweet. I hated to take it from him so I asked if I could keep it at his house for next time I was down. It was so sweet. After all of the gifts were opened, my boy was asked to come in and judge the dress designs for the final prize. I'm pleased to say that he picked the same as me - we would totally win on the Newleywed Show!

5th of April, 2004
Invitations are in the mail!!! Thank goodness! I have decided that there is nothing fun about making invitations and I don't ever want to do it again. Started them Wednesday at Jonna's. Mom came over to assist with the addressing of envelopes (since she's greedy and didn't pass the nice handwriting down to us) and while she was doing that, Jonna and I worked the cutters. Cutting them apart took much longer than I anticipated. I think only one got fully assembled that night. Thursday night, a few more of them got done. Friday, I worked pretty hard on them throughout the day until they were all fully assembled. I also went out and bought postage stamps. Not the ones that we had originally chosen, but they weren't quite what we thought they would be so I had to settle for one of the ugly "LOVE" stamps. Oh well, how many people really look at the stamps anyhow? Saturday my mom did the addressing of the RSVP envelopes (did not get that done Wednesday night since we were holding out hope of finding some smaller envelopes - turns out, those are hard to come by) and all of the envelopes were stuffed. Sunday night, after driving 8 hours to get home, feeling sick, tired, and tired of invitations, I stayed up until 23:45 putting the seals on all of the envelopes so that they could be mailed first thing this morning. Yes, the seals were the best part. Not only because it's the only part I've been excited about all along, but also because every seal that went on meant that was one more invitations that was DONE! I'm so pleased that they are out and crossed off my list.

9th of April, 2004
MY DRESS IS IN!!! 18 days ahead of schedule! Might I just tell you how relieved I am? I was really very anxious about it being scheduled to come in two weeks before the wedding. I'm going to go straight after work to see it and try it on and make sure it's all good. YAY! I have a wedding gown!!!

15th of April, 2004
THIRTY DAYS!!! It's hard to believe how close it is! I'm so excited and I've found myself thinking about the wedding and wanting to work on wedding stuff just about constantly this last week or so. Thirty short days until I'm Mrs. Holloway! :- We had dinner over at Beth & Jeremy's last night, where we got to meet our DJ, Videographer, and Cake-maker. Thank you very much Troy, Liz, and Alecia for taking time to meet with us to discuss this stuff, and helping us figure out exactly what we want/need. It was a very pleasant evening and it made me more comfortable to have met the people who are helping us with those facets of our wedding. Beth also gave me pointers on making the favors work correctly so that was nice. I think we both left there feeling like we had accomplished important things. The two big things that we've got at the top of our list now are getting the Marriage License and finding a Jeweler. The license we'll have to do on our lunch break one day next week. We'll probably get out and look for a jeweler this weekend. I'm really feeling good about where we are with things. It's all coming together. THIRTY DAYS!!!
Yay, the flower girl dress is in! I'm awaiting email pics (but you don't get to see them). Three out of six girls are now clothed! THIRTY DAYS!!!

20th of April, 2004
TWENTY-FIVE DAYS!!! I'm so excited. I received an RSVP last night that took me very much off guard. My brother is going to come to my wedding!! I was so shocked and excited and happy. I immediately called him to tell him that I got the most wonderful thing in the mail. I got his voice mail but I made sure to leave a message that would convey my gladness to him. He called back late last night and we talked for a good little bit. It was the longest conversation I've had with him in so many years. It was great. I told him how excited we both were that we would be seeing him. And the more I think of it, the happier I get. It really means a lot to me that, as estranged as he is currently from our family, he cares enough about me to be there for the biggest day of my life. I love my brother! The days have been long and busy. Randal has been working nonstop on the room and the yard. They are both looking fantastic. He is trying so hard to finish that room up in time for the rehearsal dinner. I'm hoping he does, but even if he doesn't, I'll be proud to show off all of his fabulous work on it. Saturday, I spent about 5 hours going store to store in search of wedding stuff necessities. I hate shopping, but at least I am getting things accomplished. I decided to make our unity candle so I had to find all the materials to do that. Let me just tell you how proud I am of how it has turned out too. It's beautiful! And I made it! It's nothing fancy, very simple - but still something I'll be forever proud to look back at and know that I did that. Sometimes, it's just the little things. I also worked on assembling favors. I think they will look great when they are all finished. So much to do, so much excitement. TWENTY-FIVE DAYS!!!

26th of April, 2004
NINETEEN DAYS!!! It was a pretty good weekend. Saturday we went out and got our toasting flutes and cake servers. They are very pretty. We also dropped my engagement ring off to have a wedding band made for it. It should be ready by the end of this week. We looked around for a wedding band for Randal. He found one that he likes but hasn't found it exactly the way he wants it yet. We'll see how that goes. It's a very nice looking band. Sunday, Randal worked on the yard some more while I went out to get some more favor-making supplies. I'll get back to working on those tonight. I also have made a bit more progress on making bows to put on the unity candle and tapers. Turns out I'm not much of a bow maker, but I'm very slowly fumbling my way through it. I can't believe how soon this is. We've got two more weekends to finish up all of the wedding-prep work. Although, I'm feeling pretty good with my list. Once I get the favors done and finish up that one last bow tonight, I'll be done with my stuff. I guess that means I'll need to start helping Randal with his stuff. WOOHOO! More manual labor! We need to sit down and listen to music so that we can return that stuff to the DJ too. Perhaps tonight we'll try to do that. About the only other thing that I haven't really figured out yet is ceremony music. I'm not terribly worried about it though because I figure, if worse comes to worse, we can always go with the plain old boring traditional wedding march stuff. I guess I'll start giving it a bit more thought. I finished the first draft of the ceremony last week and sent it to the officiant for his review. I'll probably make some small revisions to it this week and cross it off my list too. I've had my vows written for some time now but there's just one word I'm not satisfied with. Once I get it fixed up right, I'll probably print them off on a small card - just in case. That should make Randal feel better too. His one big concern with writing our vows was that he was worried about memorizing them. He'll feel much better if we have cheat-sheets. NINETEEN DAYS!!!

4th of May, 2004
ELEVEN DAYS!!! We are officially ready to be married. We went at lunch today and got the marriage license. WE'RE GETTING MARRIED! Over the weekend, Shane did a practice run on my hair, we got the men's suits, I went and picked up my dress and veil, I picked up my ring, and I found the jewelry I'll be wearing. Randal has finished most everything he wanted to get done in the yard and has gotten down to the painting on the room. ELEVEN DAYS!!!

17th of May, 2004
I'M MARRIED!!! It was absolutely perfect in every way! I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful wedding. Perhaps you would like to read the ceremony and vows. Or perhaps you would like to peruse the first round of pics, digitals taken by my cousin and posted immediately for my instant gratification. I still have nine disposable cameras (although i can't find the ninth yet) to get developed and then the professional photography. There are also four short silent movies that my cousin posted at the bottom of her scrapbook page.More to come later.

24th of May, 2004
STILL MARRIED!!! Time for some wedding details. First, I'd like to thank Beth for putting on such a beautiful wedding. It exceeded my expectations. I'd also like to thank my family and friends who came over the day before the wedding to help me with last minute details. It was a huge stress-relief. And I'd like to thank Shane for doing our hair. I was blown away by what he was able to do with me and the girls. As for the wedding itself, it was just magical. As I walked down the aisle, with Randal looking back up at me, nothing else existed. When my dad raised my veil (good job, dad) and joined our hands, Randal leaned over with a quivering lip and said, "You are so beautiful." He teared up while reading his vows to me, which made me tear up. His vows were beautiful and heartfelt. I'm glad that we did not share them with each other ahead of time. During the Unity Candle ceremony, Rachel sang Firehouse's Love of a Lifetime, and sang it wonderfully. I was afraid it was going to be too long but it did not seem it to me at all. After the ceremony, we did all the family photos up around the arbor. It was very exciting to have all of my family there. Randal and I then went off to do some photos around the bridge and property. When we got back, they had the reception area all set up and it all looked so elegant. As we approached the pavilion, Troy (the DJ) announced us as Mr and Mrs Randal and J'Lynn Holloway (my mother-in-law expressed her pleasure at finally being able to pronounce my last name) and we entered under the arbor to get to our head table. We sat down for a moment before all of the greeting began. We ate a bit, but mostly we mingled and that was fine with me. It was so much fun. The big surprise came with the first dance. I was standing by our head table, nibbling on some food, when Troy announced the first dance - Beautiful in My Eyes, performed by Randal Holloway. I stopped and looked up and my husband was waiting in the middle of the dance floor for me with a big smirk on his face. The music started playing as I walked toward him and it was him singing on the CD (now playing on this page). I was amazed. It was such a wonderful surprise. And, of course, I was crying. While we danced and I cried, he told me that an old friend of his, Jim S., had a hobby of producing music and was kind enough to take the time to assist Randal with this wonderful present to me. I can't even express my appreciation to Jim for this. And my husband, well he just melted my heart all over again. The next dance was my daddy/daughter dance to Butterfly (Eskimo) Kisses, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And then Randal's mother/son dance to Wonderful Life. And then the wedding party dance to Nearness of You. And then, the general dancing. It was such a great time. And, by the time we left and got home, we were exhausted. We napped briefly on the couch before visitors began to show up. I don't think I've ever smiled so much in a day as I did that day. From beginning to end, it was nothing but magic.

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