Monday, April 26, 2010

The Vineyard

So a year ago, Tara invited me and Isaac to join her friends at this music on the lawn thing at Mackinaw Winery. Me and Isaac didn't even know there was a vineyard near by. . . and we were pretty skeptical. We were so skeptical in fact that we drove our own car in case it was lame and we needed a quick getaway. I mean, honestly, how cool could this place be? A vineyard right outside Bloomington? It couldn't stand a chance. But as we pulled up to the cute little house and caught a glimpse of the rows of grape vines, we realized that we were a little too quick to judge. To our surprise, the vineyard was pretty cool. . . no, really cool. Who knew that the prairie farm lands could actually look so beautiful? The more Isaac and I sat there on the lawn, watching the old people dance on the dance floor, the more we liked this place. As we walked hand in hand down to the lake, we found a little pavilion, sat down in a little swing, and began dreaming about the possibility of having our wedding here.

That's the one thing through out this whole wedding planning thing that I am so grateful for; Isaac and I are always on the same page and have the exact same vision of what we want our wedding to be like. I know this process would be a lot harder if I had to continually convince Isaac of this or that or compromise with him . . . but he's been great and is game for anything I suggest. I love that boy.

When it came time to choose a venue a year later, there was no question of where we wanted to have our wedding. So last Friday, we met up with the owner of the vineyard to discuss the wedding and ask her some questions about the set up.

This is the cute little house on the vineyard.
Behind our heads is the lake, and where the ceremony will be. (It was a little bright outside)

My wedding planner.

After the meeting, we went frolicking through the vineyard.... and Isaac found Mars.

I know it may only be a vineyard but to us, it's one small thing that had such a large impact when we first saw it. And we are sure you will feel the same.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Engagement . . . Isaac's side of the story

Isaac: Since Whitney explained the whole engagement process; I’ll talk about the pre-engagement process/decisions.

Here we go. It all started a couple years ago when I asked Whitney “Hey if we decided to get married what type of ring would you want?” It didn’t take her long before she started sending me emails at work with websites leading to this ring. She only showed me a couple because she knew exactly what she wanted. I don’t go ga ga over jewelry but I fell in love with this ring.

Side note- I have expense taste, and after viewing Whitney’s choices I figured out Whitney also has expensive taste. But this is the one time where making such a big investment is worth it because this will last a lifetime. J

So I kept my eye out for a year or so trying to find the best design that suited us both. After a long search we both came across the perfect one. And now that ring is on her finger. J

I couldn’t just go to any store and get this ring. It had to be a store that had Ritani, (the specific designer that we liked). So I found a place up in Chicago called Marshal Pierce and Co., I started talking with one of their workers named Anne and told her exactly what I wanted and got the quote right then. O yea, they also gave State Farm employee’s discounts! That helped…a little. By this time I think Whit had a hunch that I was in the process of getting a ring but for the most part I kept it secret.

I needed to go up to the store and pick out a diamond but I never go to Chi-town with out Whit. So we went up there and I went to the store while she went shopping. I told her I was going to look at rings but never said exactly what I was really doing. When I arrived at the downtown building, the security officer made me sign in and checked if I had an appointment. I was afraid they were going to going to ask for my passport and pat me down! But I knew that I was going to find what I was looking for in a place like this. When I made it to the sixth floor, I had to be buzzed in before I entered the large glass doors. When I walked in the store I was greeted by Anne who then showed me 4 diamonds. After only 5 minutes, I found the perfect diamond (of course it was the best one) J and left the store very happy.

By this time I didn’t know when I was going to propose. I was just super excited that I got the second of three major things out of the way. (the first thing was talking to her dad, third asking her to marry me) I wanted the right proposal idea to come to me and it did 3 days before I asked!

It took a month or so to make the ring and when I got the call saying it was done I was very happy but also scared! I didn’t know how I was going to get it without Whit knowing! But then it came to me… I had planned to go to a concert in Chicago with one of my friends the very next day. Thank you Jesus! I picked it up, kept it very close to me at all times and brought it home and gave it to my mom so she could hide it. J (o yea I had my mom try it on a couple times so I could see how it looked)

A couple weeks later that ring was on my babys hand and I was the happiest person on earth. I bent down in the parking lot of a delicious steak house (we’re simple like that, plus we like FOOD) and asked her to marry me. She said “Of course.” Then I laughed because she would say that, then tears of joy filled our eyes. I called my mom and she called and texted her whole phone book! J

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The engagement

We figured since this blog is about our wedding and the days leading up to it, we needed to post a little something about our engagement.

Whitney: My side of our stories are never little. They always turn out super long, so I'm sorry in advance if I add more information than you're willing to read.
Well, where to begin? Earlier that day, Friday 2-12-10, I had gone shopping, telling my friends that I needed to pick out my engagement shirt. Valentine's Day landed on a Sunday this year, and since we were busy with the high school ministry, we decided to celebrate it on Saturday. Isaac had been acting kind of fishy, telling me to keep my Saturday afternoon free because he made big plans. I took this to mean that he was going to propose, so I took preliminary action and bought a cute little outfit.

That night we had plans to go to Peoria to have dinner with the high school pastors and student leaders, so I rushed to paint my nails quick, and found a random outfit in Kate's closet. Knowing that I didn't have time to rewash my hair, I tossed my bangs back and clipped them with a bobby pin. I felt a little thrown together but was presentable. Isaac came and picked me up, wearing a cute little vest and tie, ready for the steakhouse, making me immediately feel like I hadn't put enough thought or effort into my appearance, but I knew I didn't have time to change. So off we went. We got to Peoria a little early so we stayed in the car, talking until everyone else showed up. Isaac started to get really anxious, which I attributed to his hunger, but started talking about how much he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. This wasn't unusual, we talked about these things all the time, and I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought if he weren't acting so weird. I knew something was up, I sat there, scrutinizing his face, wonder what he was going to do next. He suggested going into the restaurant, and as we were getting out of the car, Isaac asked me to grab his wallet from the glove compartment. Inside was a little note with my name on it and a little pink bag that had a key chain saying "You hold the key to an open heart." I looked at Isaac who in turn said, "Go on. Open it." The note was all typed up saying, "You thought we were going to have dinner with Drew (the high school pastor) and the crew . . . well we're not. We're going to do two of our favorite things: Dinner and a movie." For those of you who don't know us very well, dinner and a movie is something we do quite often. It's pretty much one of the only things to do in a small town as far as entertainment is concerned, so we do it a lot. Anyways, the bottom line of the note said " . . . . . . . . . . AND ONE MORE THING . . . . . . . . . ." Immediately I started to panic, and although I feel silly about this now, the first thing that I thought was, "OH NO! He's going to propose and I'm not even wearing my engagement outfit! I didn't even have time to wash my hair. I'm not going to look cute on my engagement!" When I finished reading the note, he was at my side, knelt down in the parking lot, holding out a little ring box. I was in shock, and a thousand things were running though my mind. When he asked, "Will you marry me?" I casually responded, "Of course," the moment not quite registering with me yet. He hugged me and started laughing at my reaction saying, "You act like you don't know what's going on right now." He was right. I was so surprised that I didn't know how to respond. It wasn't until a few minutes later that all the emotion caught up with me and I finally began to cry. I hugged and kissed him, still a little dazed from the happenings of a few moments prior. We both stared at the ring, which was now safely on my finger. The ring was beautiful and exactly what I had imagined. To this day, I still find myself staring at it, like right now for instance. Bezel set, emerald cut diamond, double banded, with pave diamonds covering every surface. Absolutely perfect for me. Exactly my style.

After my tears ceased, we called our parents letting them know the good news. This was just the tip of the iceberg. I had a revelation. I realized that I not only had to text my sisters, but my bridesmaids, all my friends, and my close family, and I had to do it right away. I didn't want my closest friends and family finding out through the grapevine or even worse, facebook! I wanted them to hear it directly from me first. So all throughout dinner, much to Isaac's dismay, I texted, and texted, . . . and texted some more. I was so busy texting that I barely ate my little salad I had ordered. After a while Isaac asked me to put away my phone so we could enjoy what was left of our dinner, and I reluctantly obliged even though I was hyper aware of how many texts I was receiving.

(You can see his cute little tie and vest in the picture above)
After dinner, we drove back to Bloomington and stopped by the house to show off my ring before heading to the movie.
In hindsight, it was the perfect proposal for us; secluded, away from the speculative gaze of complete strangers. We are fairly private people and don't really like flaunting our business (making a blog, for one, is a little out of character). But that night shall be remembered as our own private moment that was shared only between the two of us . . . and now all of you!