At first glance, our wedding appears very traditional. You have a girl, a boy, a white dress, a church and a country club — pretty typical right? It’s all in the details where the originality of our big day lies. When we first started planning our wedding, we knew we wanted something classic and timeless with an emphasis on family, friends and those things that make us unique.
The wedding budget was also important because I had big dreams for our honeymoon. Randy loves to travel even more than I do, so I didn’t have to twist his arm too hard to convince him of what I thought was the dream honeymoon destination: Bora Bora, Tahiti. I had been saving that trip, like a precious little gem and now it was time to try and make it a reality. With bungalows and sunshine in the back of our minds, we began the planning process. Two big choices that really helped us on the budget front were the date we picked (off peak) and a morning ceremony followed by a luncheon reception.
Now if you live in the upper Midwest, you know that November can be a risky month for a wedding — old man winter can roll in at anytime without a moment’s notice. It is safe to say we got the last nice Saturday of the fall. The following Saturday we were counting our lucky stars as we watched about a foot of snow fall outside our window.
For many girls, the most important decision of wedding planning is the dress. I guess I went about things a little backwards. I fell in love with accessories first and then picked the dress accordingly. My theory was to keep the main show (the dress) simple and then rock out the accoutrements. For example, I fell in love with two veils. I couldn’t pick and the only solution I could come up with was wearing both!
The ceremony site was a total no-brainer. [pullquote]I am a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, and like many Tommie girls I have dreamed of being married in The Chapel of Saint Thomas Aquinas since I first laid eyes on it as a student.[/pullquote] It definitely has a goose bump factor! Since the ceremony site was a representation of me, we wanted the reception site to signify Randy. North Oaks is where he grew up, he knows those woods like the back of his hand and he caddied at the golf course as a kid, so it was a perfect fit.
May the force be with you! I can honestly say when dreaming as a little girl about my wedding day, Star Wars was nowhere to be found on my radar. Randy is a first grade teacher (insert pause for the typical “ahhh” response I get from most females). I think one of the reasons the kids love him so much is because they have similar interests. He would much rather eat lunch with his students versus getting the full 411 on last night’s episode of Dancing With the Stars in the faculty lunchroom. He has loved Star Wars since he was about 5 and has had an unwavering loyalty ever since. Now some may say that is nerdy, but the way I look at it, if that’s the kind of devotion he has to the things he loves, I am set for life!
[pullquote]It seemed only fair that Star Wars make an appearance in our big day. I think he was very shocked when I agreed to having Han Solo and Princess Leia as our cake toppers.[/pullquote] The pink sakura flowers on the cake symbolized his love for Japan, where he taught English for three years after finishing his Masters. He considers it his second home.
I have mixed feelings about the concept of giving guests a favor. If we were going to do it, I wanted it to be something people would actually use. This is where Abby Sauce comes into play. My Mom has been a nanny for over ten years for two little girls who have found a special place in our hearts. Over several years of careful concocting, the younger of the two girls invented her signature dipping sauce. It started out as Christmas gifts for family and friends and after encouragement, they decided to bottle Abby Sauce. For our guests, each bottle of Abby Sauce was adorned with a favor tag created by MM Graphic Designs.
The DIY touches of our wedding included the “family tree,” which held pictures of all the great loves that have come before us: parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The moss letters that hung on the entrance to the reception, the moss table number holders, guestbook sign, and our “thank you” sign were also made by hand. My “I heart RF (Randy Frels)” tank was a handmade gift from one of my bridesmaids.
Finally, November 6th holds additional importance — not only was it our wedding day but it was also my Grandma’s 82nd birthday. My parents were married 30 years ago on what was my Grandpa’s birthday. If I believed in luck I would say we were on the right track! In honor of it also being Grandma’s special day, we had a birthday cake adorned with Yoda, to symbolize experience and wisdom. It was a perfect addition to an already wonderful celebration.