A Cruisin' We Will Go!

Mike and I definitely made the absolute best wedding purchase we have made throughout this entire process.... OUR HONEYMOON!  We have been researching honeymoon locations since we got engaged, and we both decided we wanted to go some place warm and all-inclusive.  I didn't want to have to worry about budgeting to pay for food after we got there.  Its so much easier to just pay for it all up front.  After much thought we chose what we thought was best for us.......
We are taking a Royal Caribbean Cruise!  We will be cruising for 7 nights on the Freedom of the Seas!  I can barely contain my excitement!  

Our cruise leaves 2 weeks after the wedding, giving us plenty of time to relax and then pack.
We will be staying in a balcony room, so hopefully we wont get too claustraphobic in our room.

  We are leaving out of Port Canaveral and sailing to 3 kick-a destinations..
CocoCay, Bahamas
 Charlotte Amelie, St. Thomas
and Phillipsburg, St. Maarten!

For 3 of our days, we will be crusing through the caribbean and staying on the boat.  I am actually really looking forward to this part of our trip.  I fully intend to take advantage of some of the activities the ship has to offer.
 Lounging by one of the pools for long periods of time!  I am committed to getting a really great tan and relaxing as much as possible.
 Trying to learn how to surf on the Flo Rider.  I am guessing I will fall and bust my face, but I have to at least try, right?
 Shopping on the Promenade.
 Seeing a show at this huge theater.
And eating lots of meals at the different restaurants and buffets!

Honestly, I think I am looking forward to our honeymoon more than our wedding at this point.  I can't wait to spend so much time with my future hubby just relaxing and enjoying ourselves.  I know how stressed we will be by that point, and who doesn't need a good vacation every now and then?

Happy Birthday!

Today is my future hubby's 28th birthday!  Happy Birthday, Mike! 

Today is also exactly 10 months from our wedding date!  Ahh... this is flying by so fast!  we've been engaged for 4 months already?!?!  Doesn't seem possible.  For my own sanity, so that I felt like I was actually on task and could take a breather, I decided to do a little run down of everything we have done and what all we still need to do. So much of this I am going to talk about in future posts too.

Checked off the list:
1. Venue-You all saw our venue search!  Done and done!
2. Dress-Oh yes, I have it and you will definitely be hearing about it soon (sorry though folks... no pictures of my dress will be gracing the blog until after the wedding.  Have to keep something a surprise :) ).
3. Decor
4. Cake!
5. Personal Flowers (all of the bouquets, bouts, corsages, etc.)
6. Photographer
7. Videographer!!!
8. DJ
9.  Groom and groomsmen ties

Still left to do:
1. Save the dates
2. Caterer-even though we have it narrowed down and should be booking VERY soon.
3. Bridesmaid everything
4. All of our paper products (Invitations, Programs, etc)
5. All of the little diy crafts I want to do.
6. Accessories for my dress.
7. Mike's suit
8.  Anything else I can think of that I am totally blanking on now.  

Ok.. well I feel a bit better about backing off wedding stuff for a while now.  We are starting to enter a time when there really isnt a lot left we can do.  Am I forgetting anything on my list? Anyone else feel there's not enough hours in the day to get everything you need to do done? 

Are you our venue? Yes you are!

If you have been following our venue hunt here and here, you know we first looked online and then we went to view The Central Center.  None of the venues were our venue though.  We wanted something unique, inexpensive, and us.  I wanted a venue that could stand on its own, but be inhanced by whatever decorations we chose to do.  I didn't want to worry about having to completely design a space, which I knew would be horribly expensive. 

Enter The Broadway

Oh my goodness, the moment I found it online, I was in love.  The pictures looked so classy and unique.  I knew instantly we had to go see it in person.  Plus, it is about half a mile from the church we are getting married in which means an incredibly short commute for guests!  Bonus!  So Mike and I made an appointment to go look the last week of May.  We were getting ready to go on a long vacation the next day, so we decided to go look at the location, take our vacation to think about it and then make a decision. 

We walked in the door and saw this!
Were those twinkle lights already attached to the exposed beams?!    I was already convinced this was the place for us before I was even completely inside.  Then I took a closer look around.  The exposed brick and hard black floors added to the urban but romantic feel of the space. 

The owner/coordinator had strips of fabric put up for a different event that I really liked.  It added even more texture to the space and really upped the romance factor.  I instantly invisioned what our wedding reception would look like in there.  Our Purple and Gray color scheme (more on that later) would definitely blend well.  I also wanted to use a large number of candles on the tables, and it was allowed at this venue. 

Luckily for me, Mike loved the space just as much as I did.  A couple of days after we got back from Chicago, we put down our deposit and had a venue! 

Granted there are some negatives we will have to deal with.  The space only holds about 130 people, which means we really are having to watch our guests list.  Second, while they supply table linens, I'm not a huge fan of what they offer.  I think we will have to end up renting some of those.  Also, the venue only has seating for 100 people, which means we will have to rent a few more chairs and tables.  All of these negatives though, pale in comparison to the positives of this venue!  Now, I just need to figure out all of the decorations we want to incorporate, and we will be set! 

Are you our venue? Part 2

Well, I am happy to report my macbook is officially back in business!  My wonderful fiance ordered me a new cord, and it is now charging as I type this!

When we last left our venue search, we had pretty much just been doing a bunch of online venue hunting.  We had shot down one because of price and one because of distance and lack of communication skills.  Others weren't even in the running longer than it took me to look at their website. 

I'll be honest and say I was beginning to get a little frustrated and worried we weren't going to find what we were looking for.  We wanted something unique and inexpensive.  Not easy to come by here in Tulsa.  Luckily, after scouring the internet for days and contacting multiple venues, we narrowed our search to two that we wanted to see in person.  We made appointments for the next week.

First, the place we did not choose: the Central Center at Centennial Park!  

This place holds a special place in my heart.  It is the site of probably my favorite wedding reception of all time, the Myers's (is that even proper grammar?  I'm a teacher! I should know this). 

I was so excited to go to this venue because I knew it would bring back wonderful memories!   It also had so many of the elements we were looking for in a venue. 
I love the high ceilings.  They make the room look so much bigger!  Plus, look at those beams!  Christmas lights would look so elegant hanging across those! The stage is a great place to put some things we may want out of the way a bit.  Potentially putting the dj there, or the wedding party is a great space saver.
 We loved how much light came into the room.  It just felt very open and big in general.  We could fit as many people as we needed to.
The outdoor area is beautiful and I loved the idea of putting bistro tables out there for guests to enjoy. 

With all of these positives, you'd think it would be a no brainer right?  But of course, it can't be that easy.  There were several negatives we had to consider as well...

1. After inquiring about decor, we learned my ideal design dream (to hang lights from the ceiling) was just that.... a dream.  We weren't allowed to place anything on the beams or the walls. 
2.  We are getting married in JULY!  After the insanely hot summer we just experienced, I knew the bistro table idea probably wouldn't pan out.  Its just too hot, even at 9 o'clock at night.
3. No open flames!  I have always dreamed of a candle lit, romantic reception.  That just couldn't be possible here.
and the biggest one of all....

4. I would always associate it with my friends wedding.  The moment I walked in, all I could do was reminisce about Ashley and James's wedding.  It was their venue, and while I loved it, I wanted to find "our" venue. 

So the search continued.... one more stop on our journey to find the perfect venue! 

Shedding for the Wedding

I am so sorry its taken so long for me to post again.  The life of a kindergarten teacher is a busy one.  haha.  Also, the cord to my MacBook is caput, which means I either have to go to the Apple store and buy a new one, order one from Amazon, or my fiance has to attempt to fix it.  Either way, my computer is out of commission and will be so until I have a way to charge it.  Mike's computer is great for typing and talking, but all of my lovely pictures are saved on the Mac, and I definitely don't want to talk about my amazing venue without pictures to back it up :)

Now on to a topic that I know is pretty common in the wedding world.  Yes, thats right.  I'm talking about prewedding weight loss.  Brides want to look their absolute most beautiful on their wedding day.  We view it as the most important day of our lives, and if it isn't the most important, it definitely is the most photographed.  Now unless you are naturally tiny with a killer metabolism, chances are you have thought about losing weight to look your best for the wedding.  Lord knows I have.  When trying on dresses (a story for another day), I don't know if I put a single one on without thinking about what I would look like in it 10 pounds lighter.  It sounds so vain, and is really embarrassing/sad to admit, but I wanted to be totally honest about our wedding journey, and this is honestly how I felt.

By the way... I in no way am saying you have to lose weight to be a beautiful bride!  I actually think the opposite. I think girls look so much more beautiful when they look the way God intended, curves and all.  I didn't want to send out the wrong impression that losing weight is something you have to do to be a beautiful bride, because its just not true.  Its just something I felt I needed to do.

Here's a little background on me.  I was naturally pretty thin in high school.  I was a dancer and that helped keep any unwanted weight off, while also helping me build muscle and look fit.  In college, I still was thin, but my weight would fluctuate.  It would go up when I was happy, but then some huge life event would happen (break ups, parents moving away, death of a friend) and it would drop 10 to 20 pounds. After college, nothing changed.  Same ol' up and down.  The only difference is, I had absolutely NO motivation to work out.  I don't like exercise.  I'll admit it.  I absolutely can not stand to run, the elliptical drives me insane, and I just couldn't make myself take the time out of my day to go to the gym.

When I met Mike, I got happier and happier as our relationship progressed... This means I got heavier and heavier!  My weight hit the highest it had ever been.  In February (long before we got engaged) I was looking at pictures of myself and I just started to cry.  How on earth had I let myself get so much bigger?  I could see roles where there previously had not been.  My jeans didn't fit as well, and my shirts were tight.  I decided I needed to fix it.  Luckily at the time, Weight Watchers began a promotional offer making it cheap and easy for me to sign up.  In March, I began counting points and keeping track of everything I ate.  I was literally amazed to see the bad things I was putting in my body.  One meal I ate literally came to 32 points!!  My daily allowance was only 29!  It was an eye opening experience to see how the food I was eating was affecting my weight and my health.

Since going on Weight Watchers, I have lost 19 pounds.  I am so close to my goal weight I can taste it ( only 7.5 more pounds to go!).  As I get closer to my goal though, I have been losing motivation.  My brain keeps telling me "You've already lost 19... You don't NEED to lose those last 7."  You would think that being engaged, and wanting to look great in my wedding dress would be motivation enough, but I'm just struggling.  I know that if I didn't lose a single pound, Mike would think I was the most beautiful girl in the world anyway. But I really want to do it for me.  I want to hit my goal weight (which incase you are wondering, is 100% in the healthy range for a person of my height... I don't want to look emaciated on our day.. haha), and be proud.  Not just that, i want to hit my goal weight, and stick with it well past our wedding day.  So I am recommitting to my weight loss plan and even adding in some exercise to go with it.  I know that these 7 pounds are going to be so much harder to lose than the first 19, but I am putting faith in myself that I can get where I want to be, get into healthy shape again, and hopefully look the way I always envisioned.

Are you our venue? Part 1

I am going to be honest and admit something that I know most brides do not want to admit.  The reception venue we chose was not my dream venue.  Don't get me wrong.  I love our reception venue , but I had originally had my heart set on a different location.

When we started looking, I began stalking weddingwire.com searching for venues.
I cannot praise this website enough.  It has been such a huge help in all of the wedding planning.  Brides can go here and find vendors for everything.  My favorite part is you can read reviews written by fellow brides to learn what vendors are good and which ones you should avoid.  It is the best website for preliminary research I can think of, and I have now used it for every aspect of planning.
We found several locations we both absolutely loved.  Dresser Mansion was gorgeous, but we had both been to weddings there and we were a bit worried about the layout. We wanted to have the wedding in a large room so guests weren't having to go to different places in the mansion for each big event (dinner, first dance, cake cutting, etc).  Plus, it was a bit out of our budget.  We had to scratch it off of our potential venue list. 

Next, we found what I considered my dream venue... Five Oaks Lodge. 
I loved the rustic feeling of the venue.  It had beautiful lighting, was spacious and I loved the lodge look.  I also loved that it sat out on a small lake/pond, so guests could enjoy time out on the patio if they wanted to.
When I closed my eyes, I could see our wedding held there.  Our first dance, cutting the cake, dancing with all of our friends.    It was perfect and everything I thought I wanted in a venue.  There was just one small problem.  Five Oaks is located in the Jenks/Glenpool area.  Mike and I are getting married at a church downtown, about 15 miles away.  We weren't sure if we wanted to make our guests drive that far.  We decided to make a test drive to see how far it was.  It look over 20 minutes to drive from the church to the lodge.  Not that long, but longer than we really wanted.  With so many great venues downtown that wouldn't require our guests so much travel time, we started to think it may not be the ideal venue for our wedding.  
I wasn't quite ready to give up hope we could make the venue work.  I decided to request information from the lodge to find out what their rules were for catering and what the price was to use their venue.  I submitted the request through their website and never heard back from the coordinator.  I then emailed them directly and still didn't hear back.  I called once, but no one answered.  After multiple times of trying to contact them with no response, I decided to take it as a sign it wasn't the right place.  Too far away and unresponsive.  Scratch it off the list too. 

After even more research and information requests from several venues, we narrowed it down to two.   It was time to actually vist the venues and make a decision.

A New Angel

For the last week, I have been following the story of an amazing family being faced by a terrible and heartbreaking situation.  24 days ago, the parents' 7 1/2 month old baby was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  He had surgery to remove it, only to have it return worse than before.  The family was forced with the decision to take him home, or to put him through chemo, prolonging his life by only weeks and putting him through a lot of pain.  They chose to take him home.  He passed away today.  24 days after finding out there perfect little baby had a tumor, he went to heaven.  I can't imagine the pain they are experiencing.  I ask that you all please pray for their continued faith, strength and comfort.  Please pray they are able to find peace at a time when it feels like their world is ending.  If you would like to read their story, please read Jamesie Beats the Tumor.  I truly believe you will be astounded by their faith and their love for this precious, precious little boy. 

Where to say "I Do"

Location was a huge decision we wanted to make early!  Living in Tulsa, there really aren't a ton of places to have a wedding that fit within the budget we have set for ourselves (oh yes... we did set a budget, but I'm sure I'll talk about that in a later wrap up type post).  We wanted to find a place that was romantic and classic.  Early on I had envisioned maybe a beautiful outdoor wedding like this one

Quickly though reality sank in.  Considering we are getting married in Oklahoma in July where the weather is literally in the 100's everyday, an outdoor wedding was just not going to happen.  I just couldn't put our friends and family through the heat.  It was time to consider indoor options.  

Once outdoor had been eliminated, there was no question where I wanted to have the wedding.  A few years ago, I joined an absolutely beautiful church.  After a previous breakup with the person I attended the church with, I stopped going for a little while.  Starting in December/January, I started going again and was so grateful.  It still felt like home and was still the most beautiful building I had ever seen.  Mike had been with me several times as well and he was really excited about having the wedding downtown!  Yay!  We both agreed on a place!  As soon as we agreed this had to be the place we got married, I emailed the bridal coordinator, set up an appointment, and we went in to book our date 2 days later.  Easy, peasy!  

So without further ado, I present to you the place we will become The Kucks!  

Outside of the Church
The Aisle I will walk down with my dad!
Beautiful, isn't it?  I am so excited to get married here!  I cant even imagine what it will look like with our pretty decorations at the alter (not like it needs it), all of our friends and family sitting in the pews or standing beside us, and my future husband waiting for me right there in the middle!  Gives me goodbumps just thinking about it!

Busy, Busy!

Well.. I've been away from the blog for a little over a month now, but I promise it is all for good reasons.  Completely nonwedding related, but good reasons. 

Reason #1: I have been participating in a very lengthy, stressful and frustrating job hunt over the last month or so.  I can't begin to tell you the frustration that goes into hunting for a job when you know you only have a 2 month window to find one or you are stuck without a job until you can hunt again the next spring/summer.  It caused me to go a tad bit crazy, if you want me to be honest.  I emailed no less than 100 principals, participated in several interviews, and had just about given up hope.  I went to a final interview at a school district just outside of town and literally fell in love with the people.  The school is small, but wonderful!  They have smartboards, up to date computers, and wonderfully big classrooms.  I left the interview with a lot of confidence and a secure feeling that this was the place I wanted to be.  July 4th I got a phone call from the principal offering me the kindergarten teaching position!  So, yay!  After all of the stress and crying, I got what is a wonderful position, teaching my dream grade at an awesome school!  Can't beat that.

Reason #2:  I have been a bit sick lately.  I have had sort of a chronic illness going on the last few months, and while I wont go into detail about what was wrong, it really had me on edge.  As a laid off teacher with not a lot of income, insurance just hasn't been something I can afford on my own.  Thankfully though, after some home remedies and a few conversations with my primary care physician, I am feeling much better and am pretty sure its over.  I will admit though, I am looking forward to the insurance that comes along with my new teaching position.  You can bet I plan to get a full check up the second it goes into effect. 

Reason #3:  WE MOVED!  Ok, not like out of state or anything, but we moved into a new apartment I am pretty much in love with.  The last few weeks have really focused on packing and getting everything ready to move over here.  Now that we are officially in our new and first home together, I am incredibly excited about unpacking, getting everything organized, and just making it a great place for us to spend the next 2 or so years of our lives.  This will be the first place we live together when we are married too, so I think this apartment will have a very special place in my heart.  Can't wait to make memories in it. 

Well, now that for the most part I am much more stressfree, I promise I will get back to blogging about the wedding and all of that jazz!  I'm so excited to share with you all everything we have gotten done, decisions we had made, and some special details about a very important shopping trip! 

Inspiration in the WWW

After choosing our wedding date, it was time to figure out what type of wedding we were both wanting.  I love summer weddings!  There is so much room to play with color and really create something that has a lot of energy. There are some beautiful summer color combinations, too.  

Red and Aqua

Yellow and Gray
Pink and Orange
or my personal favorite (other than the look we have decided to go with), light pink mixed with some creams 
All of these color combinations are so beautiful, but none of them were us.  None of them screamed our wedding like I wanted them too.  After researching colors and exploring many websites, I realized I had even researched my favorite color yet.  Why on earth had it not occured to me to make it our main color?  Couldn't I use a color I already loved as a base, and then add other secondary colors to that to make it richer and more colorful?  Of course I could.  So I then started collecting some pictures using my favorite color.....

Purple! I found so many beautiful pictures, and I loved them all! 
Once purple became a clear choice for our main color, I started looking for other colors to pair with it.  I was drawn to creams, greens, light pink and maybe a pop of bright pink.  My iphoto became filled with pictures like these....

So there you have it.  The start of our decor inspiration.  It has evolved some, but this gives you an idea of what we are thinking about.  We are still so far out, I am sure it will change again, but I'm pretty sure purple is our color!  Now here's hoping I can turn this purple idea in my head into a beautiful and classy reality. 

Choosing a Date

Well, as everyone knows, in order to plan a wedding you must first choose the date you want to get married on. Sounds like a simple task right? Just pull out the calendar, look at the different dates, and pick one that sounds good to you both. Easy peasy... yeah not so much. There is so much more that goes into picking a date than I ever thought.

The first thing we had to consider was my occupation. As a teacher (or at least someone trying to be a teacher, as I currently am), it really limits the times of year you can get married. From August to May, school is a teacher's life. The only real times where you have a break are Fall Break (I'll explain later why this isn't an option), Winter Break and Spring Break. I'll be honest. Winter Break sounded really appealing to me. A part of me began to fantasize a bit about what it could possibly look like.
 These fantasies led me to think about other considerations we need to make.  

We had to get down to brass tax... also known as money. We had to take into consideration how much money we will feasibly be able to save.  That also cut a lot of our options down.  Teachers in Oklahoma aren't exactly paid a fortune, so we had to be honest about what extra money we would have to spend.  We decided it was best to give ourselves at least a year to plan and to save.  We have figured that by summer/fall 2012, we will be able to save enough money to pay for the wedding we both want.  That pretty much cut out all winter and spring weddings because we wouldn't be able to have one until late 2012 to 2013 and to be honest, being engaged a year and a half to 2 years just didn't sound too appealing.  Too much time to plan and change my mind about every single element of the wedding.  Not a good idea!

A fall wedding was something we both entertained for a bit.  I always dreamed of a fall wedding.  Beautiful oranges, red, and golds, with candles on all of the tables, much like this


The weather is usually gorgeous here in Oklahoma in October, and its one of the only months in the year where you can potentially have an outdoor wedding without panicking about rain or some other type of awful weather.  We could get married around Fall Break, and take a couple of extras days off for our honeymoon.  Sounds absolutely perfect, right?  There's only 1 small problem with having a fall wedding...... our friends are huge football fans and so are we.  Sure we could schedule our wedding around an off weekend for our Alma Mater
but I'm pretty sure most of our friends are fans of that other team that shall remain nameless, and would not be happy campers if we were to schedule our wedding the same weekend as one of their big games.   With two teams to take into consideration, we decided it was safer to just choose a time of year when football was not played. 

After ruling out anything before next summer, and canceling out a fall wedding in favor of keeping our football loving friends happy, it was time to consider when in the summer we wanted to have our wedding.  We figured that June would be the most expensive and busiest month of the year to get married.  We didn't want to risk having to settle on vendors we were only lukewarm about because we were competing with so many other couples.  That left.... 

After looking over our calendars, we decided on July 14, 2012.  No conflicts between birthdays, other people's anniversary, or holidays.  Its just our own little day.  Its going to be hot, but luckily we are planing a wedding entirely indoors (more on venue later!), so we aren't too worried about the heat. 

With the first of many big decisions made, it was time to start contacting venues to figure out where this summer wedding of ours was going to take place and figuring out what we wanted it to look like! 

A Little Direction

From the time I started this blog on, it has been such a hodge podge of my thoughts and feelings. I never really took it in a specific direction because I never really had much to share with the world. No, I'm not saying my life was boring, but I really didn't have anything going on that was blog reading material. Like you all really wanted to read about my weekend trips to Bed Bath and Beyond, or my graduate classes.

Well, ladies and gentleman, I finally have something to talk about! I am getting married in a little less than 14 months, and I have decided I need an out lit for ideas, frustrations that go along with wedding planning, and just my pure and utter joy of getting to marry this insanely awesome man. I appreciate any advice or post ideas you all can give me to make the blog worth reading! So, I hope that you all can bare with me as I share with you my journey from being Miss Ecton to Mrs. Kuck. So exciting!

A Love Story

Once upon a time, there was a  boy....

and a girl...

The boy and girl grew up in the same city and went to the same high school...

but they didn't meet there.

They went to the same college too...

 But still, their paths never crossed.

The boy enjoyed having a good time with his friends.....

and so did the girl....

Then on the girl's 25th birthday, they met while out with friends here....

They thought the other was cute, but were pretty shy, so it would be a whole more month before they even saw each other again.  

Then, one Sunday Funday, 
the boy and girl exchanged phone numbers as friends that would call each other when a group of people went out.

A few days later, on Cinco De Mayo, the boy and girl made plans to meet up with a big group of friends to celebrate at....

While listening to this guy....

(and this is the actual night we were there, so we are right behind the camera guy!)

the boy sneakily grabbed the girls hand and for the rest of the night they talked and got to know each other better.

The next night, they went to a baseball game and realized they had a little more than just a crush on each other.  They hung out till entirely too late with friends....

From that point on, the boy and girl were inseparable....

They hung out with friends....

They cheered on their Alma Mater at all of the football games...

and celebrated their first Christmas together in style...

 She realized how handsome he was in a suit....

They went and cheered on OSU at the Alamo Bowl...

and spent their first New Year's Eve with the girl's best friend in San Antonio.  
The boy was there for the girl while she spent a lot of time with family here....

and hugged her whenever she felt like she was going to cry, or scream or both.
She felt so happy to have him come celebrate holidays with her family and to be invited to celebrate with his family and get to play with his nephews...

The girl had already realized she was very much so in love with the boy.

Finally, it was their one year anniversary.  The boy and girl went to dinner at a very romantic restaurant...

and after dinner, at the girl's nagging, they went for a walk....

 They stopped and read anniversary cards they had bought for each other.  While the girl read the card the boy had gotten for her, he pulled the ring sneakily out of his pocket.

The boy was so nervous, he forgot to get down on one knee.  The girl was shocked as he asked her to marry him.....

The girl yelled "Are you serious?!?!  Oh my gosh! Seriously?!"  Before finally getting out a huge YES!  

After much crying...
the boy and girl went to tell their families.  Finally after many hours, they met up with some dear friends to celebrate and take it all in....

The boy and girl decided to enjoy their engagement and can't wait to see where their love story goes from here!
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