So anyone who didn’t know that today was a huge day has been living under a rock for the past 6 months.  And for those of you who still can’t guess…in exactly one year, I will be marrying my absolute best friend.  For that, there are no words, but I’ll try to come up with something…

At exactly 5:31 AM, I received a text message from a devout best friend.  Of course, a bit angered (I had 14 more minutes to sleep!!!), I reluctantly checked it, already knowing what it was going to say.  “HAPPY NEGATIVE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY.”  No, it wasn’t from Neil, but none other than the wonderful Emily.  Then, at 8:40 AM, I received an email from my dad.  The subject line simply said: “Happy -1 Anniversary!!!!!!!!!! Love, Daddy”.  Last night, my sister mentioned the significance of this day and today, even my Marian cohort members remembered me saying something about June 10.  But yet, it’s 6:11PM and I still have not seen my one and only.  I was hoping for a rainout at Center Grove Lassie League – you know, so Neil could take me to a nice romantic Subway for our negative one year anniversary – but that didn’t happen.  Instead, here I sit, writing while I wait for my beloved to join me for a romantic Subway dinner at my furniture-less apartment.  The luxuries of being comfortable with the one you love.

I love you, Neil.  I cannot wait to walk down the aisle and meet you for the last time as Amanda Arnold.  You are my best friend, and I could not ask for a better way to spend my life than with you.  Thank you for everything you have given me thus far.  I cannot wait to see where our life will take us.

Now, onto the checklist…because, friends, it has officially begun!!!  Here are our to-do’s, according to

  • Start interviewing caterers.
    • For Scotland, this has already been done.  With the reception location we chose, we were required to use their caterer, which was fine.  We didn’t need any more choices to have to make!!
    • As far as our Indiana reception, we have a few ideas floating around, but nothing set in stone.  We keep going back to a couple, so stay tuned!!
  • Scout out reception sites.
    • Check!!!  At least for Scotland, anyway!!  We will be having our intimate reception at the Old Course Hotel in the Boardroom.  It’s a small room overlooking the Old Course and the town of St. Andrews.  From the look of it, it’s pretty amazing, so we can’t wait!!
    • In Indiana, we have two options.  We’re just having a casual “open-house” type of reception, but we cannot decide if we want the reception to be at my parents or at our house.  We have quite a large backyard, and it’d be nice to have people come see the house, but we haven’t made any final decisions!!
  • Start looking for an officiant who suits your style and spirit.
    • Check!!!  Wendy found a wonderful officiant, Reverend Peter Douglas from the Church of Scotland.  We’re supposed to contact him to go over ceremony details, but we think we’ll save that for later as I’m sure our ideas for the ceremony now will be drastically different from our ideas in a  year.
  • Book your reception site as soon as you see something you love that’s available on your date.
    • MAJOR check!!!  If you haven’t been following along the past six months, you may not know this, but Neil and I were originally going to marry on June 17th, but the day before Wendy went to book the Boardroom, we were informed by our contact at the Old Course Hotel that the entire hotel had been booked for the 16th and 17th.  Talk about miserable luck!!!  Which is why we chose to go ahead and book the reception site ahead of schedule!! Just to stay safe.
    • In regards to the Indiana reception, I haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure both of our options will be open and available…but you never know.  I heard those Arnold’s throw pretty wild parties!!!
  • If you’re having an engagement party, set a date, draft a guest list, and purchase your invitations.
    • We didn’t really have an “engagement party” per se, but we did have a little get-together when Neil graduated, which kind of turned into an engagement party.  Of course, we still have time, so who knows what will happen!!!  We’ll  just put this one on hold!
  • Begin working on a preliminary wedding guest list and decide on your wedding’s approximate size.  Request lists from both sets of parents and create your own wish list.
    • Finito!!!  Of course, it’s kind of a work-in-progress, too!!  We’ve sent out preliminary invitations to inform everyone of our intentions to marry in Scotland and asking if they would like to join us, but that doesn’t mean the guest list isn’t still growing.  Everyday, Neil and I find someone new to add to the list.
  • Get organized!  Start a notebook/file folder to house all your wedding-planning paperwork in one place.
    • Check!! My parents think I’m crazy for wanting to be a school teacher.  They really think my undergraduate degree suits me well because of my ridiculous type-A personality.  Of course, I’m only type-A about our wedding.  You would be absolutely amazed at my organization!!  In fact, I’m pretty amazed and Neil thinks I have too much time on my hands!!!!!
  • Hire a consultant (if you’re having one) and sign a contract.
    • Check and check!!  Dearest Wendy has agreed to plan our wedding from afar and she has been an absolute lifesaver!!!  We are so happy to have chosen her.  Her style and flare are perfect and in all her emails, she adds a little personal touch, such as the weather or her weekend plans.  It really makes us feel like she wants to get to know us as people, not just internet pen-pals!!
  • Find a ceremony site if one hasn’t been determined by your choice of officiant or reception site.
    • Checkity-check!!  We chose St. Andrews Cathedral for our ceremony site.  It was a long process, but we finally came to a decision in about February!!  So not only have we found one, but it’s booked!!!
  • Choose your bridesmaids/groomsmen and ask them to be in the wedding party.
    • Check!!  This one was very easy, but tough at the same time.  Weird, I  know.  Neil and I both have one sibling each, and lucky for us, he has a brother and I have a sister.  So it seems perfect, right?  Well, in theory, yes, but that’s not to say that Neil and I didn’t toy around with the idea of having more people in our wedding.  I would absolutely love to have both of my Emily’s in my wedding, but when I start adding people, then Neil has to add people and then he gets into the situation where if he asks one person, he has to ask another, then another, then another, and before we know it, we’re up to 3 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen…which is a little out of balance.  So we decided to take the easy way out and stick with our original plan, Amy and Troy.  It’s perfect, it causes no hard feelings and it makes things easier!!!
  • Contact newspapers to announce your engagement (you may need to have an engagement photo taken as well).
    • We’re planning to meet with Melinda sometime in the very near future to do our engagement shots.  After we have that done, we’ll announce our engagement.  All of that still needs to be scheduled, but we’ll do it!! 🙂