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! 
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