r a n d a l l  a n d  n i c k

the planning

 the wedding





I love people who can make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.

Audrey Hepburn

We had a romantic start.

We met at a bar.


But really, my dear friend Ashley picked him up at said bar for me. She was in a serious relationship,
to the man whom she will soon marry, and helped her single friend out.

Let's just say, she did well.

So now three years later I have a sparkly diamond on my left ring finger and I'm planning a wedding with my darling Nick. I am sincerely looking forward to the wedding planning and all that fun stuff.  But more importantly, I am even more excited for the marriage!

Can't wait to laugh with this man for the rest of my life.





a b o u t  u s ...

r a n d a l l

PR maven in training.  Loves Bath & Body Works Mango Mandarian.  Takes too many pictures of her cat Bella. Bargin shopper. Possibly friends with Audrey Hepburn in another life. Book worm. Dislikes people who drive slowly in the left lane of I-75.  Loves men in polo shirts.


n i c k

Golf professional by day.  Baseball and Thoroughbred horse racing lover by night.  Hates sweet potatoes and squash.  His face turns red, like his hair, when he laughs really hard.  Buys his favorite discontinued hair product on eBay. Quotes Stephen Colbert on a regular basis.



First picture ever taken of us - at a golf tournament in Naples

Out to dinner

At a wedding in Kansas

San Diego Padres game

Christmas 2007

Playing golf

At Nick's brother's wedding in Sept. 2008

 Our cat Bella - okay, MY cat but Nick secretly loves her!  I adopted her from the Humane Society when she was eight years old, so she'll spend her old lady years on my couch!  Also known as "Bella-Bell-Bell," "Bella-rina," and "Bella-Schmella."

She has decided to keep her maiden name when we get married.


t h e  e n g a g e m e n t ...

Nick proposed at my 25th birthday party in front of all of my closest friends - lifelong pals, college sorority sisters, new friends... they were all there and that meant more to me than I ever imagined.

I had absolutely no idea it was coming but he had pulled a few people aside during the night so they set me on one side of the counter to "blow out my candles..."

Blowing out my candles - still no clue about what was to come!

The look on my face is, "What the heck are you doing!?"

Popping the question


Kisses and hugs all around

A few tears lots of hugs - we're getting married!


  i n s p i r a t i o n ...

Our reception will be held at my childhood  where my mother still lives.  Out in the country (yes, we have more than beaches in Florida!) it will be the perfect location for our guests to grab some food, a seat on the porch and then dance the night away. The main inspiration for the wedding colors is the glorious oak tree in the backyard of the home. A cool November night, warm light from the house and branches of the oak spread out through the night sky. 



i n v i t a t i o n s ...

Our invitations were designed by Jenny at  Seedlings Design Studio. This vendor was a referral from West Coast Florida Knotties that highly recommended her work.  I can now be added to the list of Seedlings fans! The process was made so easy even when we did all of our edits through e-mail.  She even put up with my slight obsessive tendencies about my oak tree!  

Our invites turned out so lovely that Jenny actually made an extra one to photograph for her website - can't wait to see it on there!

Main invitation

Reply card

The whole invitation - main invite, reply card, reply envelope and main envelope

They're here!  Jenny packed them so safely for their trip to Florida.

Ready to go with the prettiest sunflower stamps!


 w e d d i n g  c e r e m o n y ...

We will be married in the church I grew up in - St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church - and by the priest who I first met when I was four.  

It isn't a large church, so it will fit our wedding of 75 guests nicely.

We will follow the Episcopal wedding ceremony with communion. Our readings include:

The Old Testament: Song of Solomon 2: 10 - 13; 8: 6 - 7

The Epistle: Colossians 3: 12 - 17

The Gospel: Matthew 5: 1 - 10

Our music is being played by the talented church organist.  The song selections include:

Seating of mothers and grandmothers: Arioso by J.S. Bach

Matron of Honor: In Thee is Gladness by Giovanni Gastoldi

Bride: Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke

Solo: In My Life by The Beatles; sung by groom's sister

Recessional: Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn

Front of the programs

Inside the program

Back of program

Name cards in front of family photos at the reception


Examples of our reserved seating signs for the church - they will be placed directly on the seat back

Baskets for the programs and maps to the reception

"No more DIY wedding, mama.  I'm tired."

 Maps and programs on the table in the church lobby


a  l i t t l e  i n s p i r a t i o n ...

(Credit: The Knot)

(Credit: The Knot)

(Credit: PasaSeattle)

(Credit: PasaSeattle)

(Credit: MrsAnayisnin 2)

(Credit: TammyJ81107)

(Credit: Shawana143) 


o u r  r i n g s ...

After much comparison shopping and considering our budget we purchased Nick's wedding ring online from Sam's Club.  Great price, nice quality, fast shipping and 100% guaranteed and returnable to any Sam's Club store (white gold, 4mm, comfort fit).

We purchased my ring, a 3 mm white gold band, same style as Nick's ring, from a local jeweler (Sam's Club didn' t have the right width).  I will be wearing the band, my engagement ring and my grandmother's platinum channel set diamond band.

My engagement ring

Our wedding bands

Bella likes jewelry too (and getting in the middle of photos)!


What I wear now - my engagement ring, my grandmother's wedding band in the middle and my wedding band on the bottom.

b r i d a l  b e a u t y ...

The original plan was to wear my grandmother's wedding dress circa 1934.  It is gorgeous, classic and stunning.  But as the alterations progress, it was looking less and less likely that it was going to work.  The lace was literally ripping with each touch. 

With our seamstress, Aiko, my grandmother's dress and an original photo when I was first worn. We put in our best efforts to make it work!

So after a minor panic attack that I now had no dress (about 2 months before the wedding!) my mother and I headed for David's Bridal which worked out beautifully!  I was able to find a wonderful dress that was just what I was looking for and in my budget.  I purchased style T9512 in ivory and walked out with the dress that day.

I will be doing my own make up for the wedding but we went to Merle Norman for a trial/tips and purchase some new products for me to use.  The final result was lovely so I'm practicing to get it right for the big day - going well so far!

Grey tones on the eye, a deeper lip than usual, well matched base and cheeks!

In natural light


a  l i t t l e  i n s p i r a t i o n ...

(Credit: The Knot)

(Credit: MrsKurtz)

(Credit: The Knot)

(Creit: SadyLady)

 (Credit: Jeb721)

 (Credit: personal file)



t h e  w e d d i n g  p a r t y ...

In the interest of saving my sanity and not making all of our lives more difficult, we've decided to have just a Matron of Honor and Best Man in our bridal party. 

So many of our close friends will all be there so that is the important part.  We are just excited to have each of our oldest, dearest friends stand by our side during the ceremony.

 b e s t  w o m a n



As Casey's maid of honor in her January 2007 wedding


Casey will be wearing a style 107, a tea length dress in "aloe" from Aria

After wedding note:

We were even included in the Aria wedding album (fourth row, first on the left)!

b e s t  m a n

Nick with Chad, in the middle,  and usher Curtis


Both Nick and Chad, the ushers, fathers and my escort will be wearing traditional, two button black tuxes with Tuscany Black vest and tie from Men's Wearhouse. 


 r e a d e r s

My college roommate and sorority sister, Ashley, will be doing The Old Testament reading. 

With Ashley in college

The reader of The Epistle is Nick's college roommate and good friend Luke.

Nick with Luke in St. Louis at a Cardinals game (they didn't plan the matching shirts!)


u s h e r s

Our ushers will be Nick's friends Curtis, from high school, and his father, Joe.

g r e e t e r

My dear friend and sorority sister, Melissa, will be the gretter at the door of the church and will be handing out the programs. The hostesss with the mostess!

Nick and Melissa in Fort Myers

s o l o i s t

We're taking advantage of the beautiful singing voice of Nick's sister, Leah.  She will be singing "In My Life" by The Beatles at the ceremony.

Nick and Leah in St. Louis


 w o m e n ' s  g i f t s


Gifts for matron of honor, reader, greeter and soloist - pewter Tiffany & Co. picture frames with their monogram and  cute picture of me and her

Bachelorette hostess gift for Melissa - Vera Bradley ID tag

Wedding shower hostess gift for Casey - Vera Bradey lingerie hangers

One for me one for maton of honor, Casey - spa wraps with monograms for gettng ready the morning of the wedding


a  l i t t l e  i n s p i r a t i o n ...

(Credit: PDXDFWBride)

(Credit: Aria.com)

(Credit: MrsPDXBride06)

(Credit: The Knot)

(Credit: The Knot)

(Credit: Mrs.Anayismin)

(Credit: MommySurprise)

 (Credit: The Knot)

 (Credit: The Knot)

  (Credit: The Knot)

  (Credit: The Knot)

  (Credit: The Knot)


  (Credit: The Knot)


r e c e p t i o n ...

As noted earlier, the reception will be at my childhood home and that is the exactly feeling we want to express to our guests. We'll have a tent in the back with a live band, dancefloor, some tables and high tops.  The buffett in the back of the house on the porch and then tables and chairs spread out on the wrap around porches.  The bar and additional round tables will be on the lawn in the back too. I wouldn't say that it's informal, just not traditional.

Our guestbook sign - the guestbook will be Clyde Butcher's Florida Landscapes book.


a  l i t t l e  i n s p i r a t i o n ...

 (Credit: The Knot)

(Credit: The Knot)

(Credit: MrsDonkey)

(Credit: SnowBaby1226)

 (Credit: Academybeldam)

(Credit: PuppyMommy)

(Credit: CaliCayman)

(Credit: Unknown)

 (Credit: The Knot)


c e l e b r a t i o n s ...

We are so fortunate to have wonderful friends who are excited to share our wedding celebrations (or least pretend like they are excited really well!) with us. 

w i s e  w o m e n  d i n n e r 

My mother, ever the etiquette follower, didn't want to host a shower. Instead she invited six of the smartest women she knew. Each came to her home for a great dinner and conversation. Their task - bring the book that was most inspiring to you.  The stack of wonderful books I received was varied but so meaningful with the notes of meaning from each woman about their selection.

How People Change

Allen Wheelis


Man's Search for Meaning
Victor Frankel


Men are from Mars

Women are from Venus

John Gray, Ph.D.


Mutant Message Down Under

Marlo Morgan


Simple Abundance:

A Day Book of Comfort and Joy

Sarah Ban Breathnach


Still Life with Woodpecker

Tom Robbins


The Book of Common Prayer

The Episcopal Church


The Joy of Cooking

Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer

Becker and Ethan Becker


The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint Exupéry


The Log from the Sea of Cortez

John Steinbeck


You've Got to Read This!

Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard


b a c h e l o r e t t e  p a r t y

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida

September 13, 2008

Great view of the hotel - spent the day at the pool and enjoyed dinner and dancing the night away

Arrived at the Hardrock and heading to the pool (the group minus two)

With my bachelorette party hostess, Melissa

With my matron of honor, Casey


w e d d i n g  s h o w e r

At the home of my matron of honor, Casey.

October 4, 2008

Delicious food

My mom finished a many-year-long project of making my late father's shirts and famous back pocket bandanas into a beautiful quilt! 

With hostess and matron of honor, Casey and my greeter/bachelorette party host Melissa



b a c h e l o r   p a r t y

Nebraska Huskers v. Iowa State football game

October 18, 2008

Cutest tailgater I know!

Some of the guys - I don't know why Chad is wearing a mouse nose.


t h e  r e h e a r s a l 

St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church and Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse

November 7, 2008   

Nick and his best man, Chad

With my pretty mom

Nick's sister, Leah, practicing her solo

Now off to dinner!

Waiting for dinner to be served

Nick's sister Leah, Casey and her husband James

Opening gifts - embroidered hankies for the mothers

The ladies wih their gifts from me

Chad and Curtis wearing their gifts (given to the guys in the wedding by Nick) - golf bags with their names embroidered.


My suprise for Nick - we sent an invitation to his favorite horseracing announcer and he RSVP'd! We met him while in California, so with the invite I sent a photo and a note.  He wrote back on the RSVP card and signed both the photo and the card.  So nice and Nick loved it!

 Rocking their "best man" and "best woman" patches. Nick insisted on it but it ending up being a bit (Chad wore it all during the reception).


a t  h o m e  r e c e p t i o n

Hosted by Nick's parents in his hometown in Iowa

November 26, 2008  

Same month as our wedding and very different weather!



v e n d o r s ...

We had the chance to work with some great vendors.  Some were companies I had worked with in the past in my hometown and others were new contacts through wedding planning.  I've included the contact info/website along with my reviews.

a l t e r a t i o n s

Aiko's Alterations (941.925.4491)

Aiko is a wonderfully talented seamstress who is quick and efficent. I had alterations done with her as well as my matron of honor.  Highly recommended, even if it isn't wedding related. 

b a n d

Kettle of Fish

This is a band that I knew of through a friend and also played at my matron of honor's wedding.  They have the music talent and the wedding experience that makes a great combination. Easy to work with the lead singer, Dana, who is the main contact for playlists and contracts. I received so many compliments during the wedding. Highly recommended.

 c a k e

Publix (Store #00022 on Clark Road in Sarasota)

Although I love cake, it was not a top priority in the budget.  Publix offered delicious cake and a great price.  We ordered directly from the bakery with ease after tasting the samples they prepared.  The day of the wedding, the bakery manager personally delivered and set up the cake.  He also placed the flower cake topper for us that came from the florist.  The cake, marble with chocolate pudding filling,  was delicious and nearly all eaten by the end of the night! Highly recommended.

c a t e r i n g

Madfish Grill

From excellent food and plenty of experience, Madfish grill is the best!  The food was delicious and their staff professional.  The manager who worked the wedding quickly adapted to any problems that arose and reworked some set up to best provide for our guests. They provided all set up and clean up staff and the bar service. Highly recommended.

f l o w e r s

Suncoast Florist

The owner, Jeff, and his wife have been in the business for over 25 years and it shows!  We received hands on assistance and wonderful service throughout the process.  Jeff personally made two deliveries (one to the home and one to the church) on the day of the wedding.  Gorgeous flowers and service to match. Highly recommended. 

h a i r

Angie McAlister (941.927.4427)

Angie has been doing my family's hair since I can remember.  Her wedding gift to me was to come to the house the morning of the wedding to do mine, my matron of honor and my mom's hair. She did a beautiful job and it was so nice to not have to leave before we got ready for the wedding. She also cut both Nick's hair and his dad's the week of the wedding. Highly recommended.

h o n e y m o o n

Royal Caribbean - Eastern Caribbean Cruise

Probably the best decision we made was to take a honeymoon cruise.  It was so easy to just get on the ship and go!  We noted that we were honeymooners and received plenty of cute surprises throughout the cruise.  Royal Caribbean does a fantastic job from beginning to end and we are already planning our next cruise! Highly recommended.

i n v i t a t i o n s

Seedlings Design Studio

Jenny at Seedlings was recommended by other West Coast Florida knotties.  Since she lives in Ohio we did all of our communication through e-mail.  Lots of e-mails, of course,  but it really was so easy.  The final result was better than I could have pictured and perfectly set the tone for the wedding.  Highly recommended.

 m a t r o n  o f  h o n o r ' s  a t t i r e


I chose Aria because their style and colors were just what I had in mind.  I picked the color and my matron of honor picked the style and ordered herself with no issue. The dress arrived in the time promised and looked beautiful!  Highly recommended.

m e n ' s  a t t i r e

Men's Warehouse 

This was really our only tux rental option because everyone was spread out over the country.  The main order was easy to set up by me and then each man had no issue getting measured and ordering at their local store. We did have a snag with my escort's vest size but it was quickly resolved.  The store manager even said he would personally deliver the correct size to the church if it didn't come in in time!  Any time I had a question I quickly received an answer or a call back. Highly recommended.

p h o t o g r a p h e r

Valerie Joy 

Valerie was recommended by another Sarasota bride and it turns out we grew up down the street from each other!  She is newer to the photography business but the quality of her work, ease of communication and darling attitude spoke for itself.  She not only takes wonderful photos but is a delight to work with too. Valerie also did our engagement photos.  Highly recommended.

r e h e a r s a l  d i n n e r

Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse

Because my in-laws are from out of town, the selection of the rehearsal dinner location was up to me and my mom.  We searched high and low in Sarasota and Sam Seltzer's was the only one with an appropriate private room and banquet menu prices.  It was very easy to arrange and they allowed us to set the room as we wanted.  The staff was very attentive and the food delicious! Highly recommended.

t e n t  &  r e n t a l s

US Tent Rental

US Tent is the company our caterer uses for all of their rentals so it was easy to add in our other rental needs.  They are highly professional and know their stuff!  When the crew arrived to set up the tent and drop off all of the rentals they set up all of the tables and chairs at no additional charge.  They also helped move around some other things outside the house.  We had forgotten to include the dance floor in the quote but once they called back to the main warehouse a second truck arrived with the dance floor within an hour.  If you're going to do rentals, especially to the scale we had to, make sure you use the best! Highly recommended.

t r a n s p o r t a t i o n

1956 Lincoln owned by Randy McGowen (SarasotaStone at verizon dot net)

I was referred to Randy by a family friend in the auto body business.  The Lincoln is personally owned by his family and he drives it for special events. The car is simply fabulous, clean and has A/C!  Randy is also a great driver and makes you feel very comfortable.  Highly recommended.

v a l e t

Southwest Parking Company

With the reception at my mother's home, we knew we'd need some assistance with the parking.  We spoke with the owner who said it would be no problem to set up a round-about drop off for the cars and then have the valets park them away from the house. We asked if he wanted to come out and see the property first and he said no.  Well the day of the event, they didn't do a thing.  Most guests ended up parking their own cars and the valets stood around.  They said no one ever told them what to do.  UGH!  My mom spoke with the owner the following Monday who never apologized or took blame for the fact that we basically paid them to do NOTHING.  They weren't cheap so it just makes my blood boil that we spent all of that money so my guests could park their own cars. She promised that she would make sure she told everyone she knew to never use them, so I'm doing the same.  DO NOT USE!

w e d d i n g  d r e s s

David's Bridal in Tampa

 The original plan was to wear by grandmother's dress but it came to a crashing end when we knew it just wasn't going to come together.  We headed to David's Bridal on a Sunday less than 2 months before the wedding and it was better than I ever expected.  My consultant pulled great options in exactly the styles I was looking for and I walked out with my dress!  Highly recommended.

w e d d i n g  n i g h t  h o t e l

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

 What can I say, The Ritz was wonderful!  This was splurge in our budget but worth every penny. We even met Dick Vitale in the lobby! There are more photos from our brief stay in my married bio. We were treated to first class service and it was a perfect way to spend our first night as husband and wife! Highly recommended.

b i o s  I  l o v e ...

The Knot has been such a wonderful resource during planning and so many of the bios have giving me great inspiration, ideas and hours of time to waste!  There are so many fabulous elements of the these favorite weddings that I just had to share:



























 i n  m y  l i f e

the beatles

There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning

When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them

In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more



 Every bride-to-be I know gets a print out of The Sulla Tips from me. It is a must read!



and just because they make me laugh...