After Katie tuned me in to The Winter Park Farmers Market, I downloaded all of the brochures that their website had. I found out that it was affordable, considering that Winter Park is known to be a pretty expensive area. I decided to inquire more about availability and contacted Janet at the WP Civic Center.
Janet promptly replied to my e-mail with a more detailed pricing and rules and regulations. She was super nice and accommodating. I actually wanted to do it on a Thursday [waaayy cheaper to do it on a weekday, if y'all don't know that yet]. But Chuck thought we need to have it on a Saturday so that our guests wouldn't have to worry about having to rush to our party after they got off work, only to have to to go home early to go to work the next day. Made sense...
So I decided to call Janet and check on availability dates for a Saturday in August. I figured an August date would give us enough time to space vendor payments out [since it was early June already] and not have to be strapped. Janet got back to me with two available Saturdays in August and she was kind enough to put a 1-week courtesy hold on those dates while I discussed things with Chuck.
Silly me... I was so excited about the dates that I totally overlooked the fact that there was a chance Honolulu would call in August. [D'oh!] Chuck pointed that out so back to Janet to see if there were any Saturdays available in July. She told me there were none, but she had 2 Friday dates available--July 17 and July 24. I told her to transfer my hold for those dates instead of the August dates.
[FYI: If you're considering hosting your venue at any of the City of WP locations, DO IT! Their customer service is AWESOME!]
So I told Chuck about the 17th and the 24th. The 24th was his regularly scheduled shift and he was trying to save as much of his vacation days that were still available in case of HI. So the 17th it was then!
At this point, I had only been corresponding with Janet through e-mail and Phone conversations. Nothing had been signed yet and Chuck had never really been to the Farmers Market building before. If you go back to this post, you'll recall how we signed the contract and set our date that same day those pictures were taken.
That day, I told my boss that I was taking a longer lunch to look at our possible engagement party venue. I met Chuck and Jen #1 there and after the contract signing, I went back to work and Chuck left to run some errands.
This is my dad's all-time favorite picture of the two of them. It hung in the living room of our old house. When my dad died, this was the picture that I chose to be blown up and framed and showcased at his funeral. That larger framed copy is now what's hanging in our new house on the wall that's right by the front door.
What's the significance of this picture, you ask? Well... When I got home that day from work, Chuck was already home and was sitting in the living room. He asked me how the rest of my day went and then he said: "You wanna know what makes me even more happy now about July 17th?"
"What?" I smiled and said. And he got up, and walked me over to the picture. He said that he came home and he placed his hand on the wall where the picture was. He was trying to hold himself up while he was taking his shoes off and something told him to look up at the picture.
Scroll back up and see if you see what's coming up next.... Don't see it? Well, I didn't either at first until Chuck pointed this out to me:
See that? Hidden in plain sight over by mom's arm. My father's favorite photo, taken on a July 17th way back in 1988. I welled up (and STILL do every time I tell this!) and tears came. Chuck hugged me and told me that he took it as my dad's way of telling us that he's happy for us and was giving us his blessing. I also love the fact that Chuck was the one to notice it. Like dad was talking just to him. I've always told Chuck how much dad liked him and now I think Chuck knows for sure.
We knew then that it wasn't a mere coincidence about our special day. God had already written this for us and all the things that led up to it was just His way of making us realize how even more amazing He really is.
We wanted to honor dad on our day. I put several of my little tea lights at the table where my mom would be sitting, a special place right next to her. We incorporated the picture and placed it prominently by our cake table. BIG thanks to Jen & Gretchen for making the table so lovely!
In case you're just tuning in, here's what's happened so far:
- How this all came to be
- Who we told
- How we fed & entertained our guests
- Will you marry us?
Stay tuned for more wedding details! =)