This is the first in yet another series of stories about weddings that this windy publisher would like to share.

     Romantic, exhausting, exciting, expensive, fun….just a few emotions a bride may go through when planning a wedding, present company included.  

     Well for those of you who don’t know, yes, I am doing it again, walking down the aisle but this time I am doing it the way I always dreamed it would be!

     Facebook Marketplace and Pinterest have become by new best friend, sorry Bridget Loyd, although you are allowing me to use some burlap material, you don’t have an endless amount of used stuff for sale and ideas like those sites but I still love you!

     After three years together on July 26, Steve Teale, asked me to be his wife. I was stunned, shocked and amazed all at the same time.

     Getting down on one knee he asked me right there in the middle of our living room as we were talking about what we were going to have for supper that night.

     Having never lost my thought of true love, I think I knew longer than he did that we would end up at this point. But I still asked, “Are you sure?” when he popped the question. He said yes too! From that moment on a whirlwind of decisions and a timeline to October 12, 2019 has been created. No, this is not a shotgun wedding folks, but more of lets just do this and I want an outside wedding so time is of the essence.

     Everyone one knows a few things about me…

 • I am a planner. Once I have a mission then it is on. This goal will be met with ambition to say the least.

• I have matchy-matchy issues. I am so bad that at Christmas I even have to have wrapping paper that matches the color of the ornaments on the tree. Yes I need help, I know but its me!

• Lastly, when I get an idea there’s no stopping me.

    My first thought went to decorations.  I wanted to decide on colors of flowers, vases, candles and all that fun stuff first. Stuff that I knew I could get cheap and do them up neat with a little bit of imagination.  

     My original thought was fall, ok easy, mums, sunflowers, pumpkins, leaves you know the traditional fall wedding decor. Simple matching vases for everywhere, the flowers all the same in those vases…..Well that went out the door real quick upon my first visit to Goodwill.

    I’ll just start of by saying Goodwill needs to pay me to be their spokesperson I’m telling you!  Visiting every Goodwill from Richmond to New Castle to both stores in Muncie and even Indy my frugal heart is overflowing!  

     Upon visiting the first store in Richmond I thought I knew what I wanted in a vase and votives. I get there and bam there they all are in abundance. Great this will be easy! A visit to Hobby Lobby and I will get the flowers and be on my way. Well not quite that easy.

     I am looking around at all this beautiful cut glass with different designs and I look at the poor clear glass ones in my cart and think these are so plain.  I am not normally a glass and metal type of person. Our home is decorated in primitive styles and that big cut glass compote bowl has no home amongst the grapevine and crates.

     So I send a picture to my daughter, Mallory, asking if these are too plain. She agreed, yes, we agreed, imagine that. Those plain glass pieces got put back on the shelf and I started scouring for the many different designs that did not match each other but still complimented each other. Cut glass, vases, cups, votives, you name it I started grabbing.

    Now keep in mind these patterns are all different and they are not something that I would normally buy for my house, but I am in heaven and planning a beautiful outdoor ceremony and cannot stop myself. My mind is racing as to what I could do with the various items. That was in the Richmond store!

     The next week I found a plant stand for $5 on Facebook for sale. $5! There is my cake stand! So one evening I go to pick it up in Centerville and think the Goodwill in New Castle is just a bit up the road I should go, so I do.

      Then knowing I have to head home, my mind says you can hit the southside Goodwill in Muncie, then heck you’re am already in Muncie might as well hit that one too! I am like a pirate on a mission following a map to score my treasures and I do!!!!

     Having found my dress at this point (that story will be in the next series) and figured out what my color scheme is so I move onto the flower selection.

     Noting what i have mentally, I travel to Indy with my mother, Pam Shinn, and we search high and low for the flowers and more various bowls, vases, that are still needed.  

     The frugal sense I have sets in and I am bound and determined to buy as many flowers that I can as these stores. Vowing to not buy flowers at retail high prices, we go to a box flower store next to a Salvation Army and find discounts at 70% off at a Joann Fabrics and I grabbed all that matched my vision. I am set or so I thought.

     Going home that day I unload my truck and find that my back room has now become ground zero for all kinds of wedding goodies. So much so I feel I missed my calling as a event planner!

    Needless to say the backroom looked like I had robbed a few Hobby Lobby, Salvation Army, Goodwill and Joann’s trucks. Now to arrange and organize before my next shopping trip to make sure I don’t over buy, (Overbuy…. can you really ever overbuy on something like this? I say no!)

     My next step was grouping.  What were you thinking… just put it together the day of, you know, just set it out and go from there. Uhhh no not me. I took all the vases and votives and for at least three days left them on the back porch in groupings to see if I liked the way they all looked together. I told them to not get attached as I wasn’t sure about their mates just yet! Some families survived and some were rearranged. But now they are all in it together!

     From glass platters for the dessert bar to silver platters for other things, the decor is coming together quite nicely. I am also very lucky to have found and made new friends who had just had a wedding for their daughter and were selling some flowers. When I went back to get them, they had pulled out a whole slew of more stuff and contributed it to our wedding wanting to make sure that my day was all I hoped for! They are forever appreciated!

     So the arranging is done and organization is well  mostly complete. Knowing how consumed I was becoming and how much I wanted to make everything perfect for this day, my son Elijah Chalfant enlisted a good friends mom, Cyndi Ertel, to come and help me through this! Cyndi and I have a lot of the same decorating tastes and ideas. She has the time and innovative eye to create something that I think is magnificent. Flower arrangements and groupings are all done now but if I happen to pass a

    The ideas are spinning and we have so much more to do. Until next time.....