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Wedding Planning

Six months…I’m getting married in six months! So much to do and so little time! I have to get the church, the flowers, the DJ, the hall…oh my gosh…How can I get all this done? The thoughts ran through my head night after night and day after day. Just breathe Sarah…you got this. I told myself.

“Sarah baby, why are you still awake?” Ian asked me after I woke him up moving around trying to get comfortable.

“I can’t sleep,” I replied.

“Come here,” he said holding his arm up to allow me to cuddle against his chest. After I settled against him, he wrapped his around my back and rubbed his fingers up and down my arm.

“I’m sorry I woke you,” I whispered.

“It’s OK baby, but we both have an early day tomorrow, so try to get some sleep,” he whispered back. He kissed the top of my head and I wrapped my free arm around his torso and closed my eyes.

Tomorrow morning, or should I say this morning, was our first day back to work after the holiday break and I knew I needed to be up early and it was already after two and I was still awake. I took a few deep breaths and at some point, I finally fell asleep.

I groaned when the alarm went off. I felt Ian get out of bed and I rolled over and pulled the blankets up over my head. I must have fallen back to sleep as I was shocked awake when Ian pulled the blankets off of me and yelled “It’s time to get up Princess!”

“I don’t wanna,” I whined.

Ian chuckled out loud and said, “I know you don’t, but you have to. Think of the kids.”

Ian knew that the kids adored me at the hospital and he discovered months ago that I couldn’t let them down and he uses that against me often. “Fine,” I responded and dragged my butt out of bed and to the shower.

“I’ll go make us breakfast while you get ready,” Ian hollered into the bathroom.

After getting showered and dressed, I joined him in the kitchen and we ate together before gathering our things and heading out of the apartment. He kissed me goodbye when we reached our cars and we went our own ways.

All week long, I kept myself busy at work and didn’t have time to think about the wedding much, which was good. The evenings, on the other hand, allowed me too much time to think and I jotted notes everywhere. Ian was too relaxed about it and he often laughed at how anxious I was over this. Guys just don’t get what all has to be done to make things perfect.

When the weekend rolled around, I made a plan to spend Saturday with Mom to go through everything we needed and to get started on booking the venues and people we needed. I know June is a popular wedding month, so I wanted to have the big things taken care of as soon as possible.

“Ian, I’m heading to my parents now, are you sure you don’t want to go with me?” I said as I gathered my purse and wedding planning book I purchased this week.

“Nope, I’m good,” he replied coming over to give me a kiss. “I trust your judgment.”

I shook my head and smiled. “Alright, but no complaining if I do something you don’t like,” I said.

“Baby, I don’t care if we get married on the street corner wearing garbage bags, so whatever you come up with, I’ll be happy with as long as it ends with us as husband and wife,” he said wrapping his arms me.

I looked up into his eyes and wrapped my arms around his neck. “That’s all I want also, but I will not wear a garbage bag on our wedding day,” I replied, “I have to draw a line somewhere.”

“You are going to look like the princess you are. No, the queen you are I’m sure of that,” he said and I rolled my eyes.

“Thank you baby,” I replied with a slight blush.

He chuckled a little and said, “Go have fun with your mom and call me if you need anything.”

“OK, I will,” I replied and stood on toes to give him a kiss before I left.

“Love you,” he said as I stepped back.

“Love you too,” I replied before I left.

I drove to my mother’s place and I saw another car in the driveway and I wondered who else was visiting. She didn’t say she had other company coming.

“Hello,” I hollered when I came into the house.

“Hey sweetie, we’re in the dining room,” I heard Mom reply.

I hung up my coat in the closet and walked into the dining room. Emily was sitting with Mom at the table with several magazines laid out in front of them.

“Hi Mom, hi Emily,” I said as I sat down. “What is all this?” I asked pointing to the stuff on the table.

“Oh, we were just looking at some magazines to see what is out there for weddings,” Emily responded. “I’m just so excited for you and Ian, I hope you don’t mind that I’m here,” she said with a big smile on her face.

“Not at all Emily, thank you for helping,” I replied. I set my planner on the table and pulled out a pen and pencil from my purse with all my notes that I’ve been writing down over the past week.

“What do you have there?” Mom asked me.

“I got this Wedding Planner last week to help me organize my thoughts and what we all need. These pieces of paper are of some of my thoughts and ideas that I jotted down wherever I was when they came to me.”

“We know this is your wedding but we are here to help you so don’t feel like everything is on your shoulders sweetie,” she said putting her hand on top of mine.

“I know Mom. I just have had so many thoughts and I wanted to organize them and have you both help me if I missed anything or give suggestions or even help contact people and places. Ian and I have the money put aside for everything, so we hold things on my card if need be…”

“Sweetie, we already have everything covered,” Mom and Emily both said.

“What? No Mom, Ian and I can handle this,” I said.

“We know you can, but this is our treat for the both of you. We helped your sister as well and we put money aside for your wedding years ago,” she replied.

“Thank you Mom and Emily,” I said getting up and giving them both a hug.

“You’re welcome dear,” Emily said.

“So, let’s see what the planner says, where do we start?” Mom asked.

I sat down and opened the planner to the first page and filled it out.

Bride: Sarah Michelle Bishop

Groom: Ian Joseph Grant

Date: June 20, 2026

“The first thing we need to fill out is our names and date of the wedding, which I have done. Next is to secure the wedding location and minister and to set the time. Since both Ian and I were baptized and confirmed at the church here in New Salem, we would like to have the wedding there.”

“Let me call the church now and see what we can do,” Mom said.

Mom was able to get a hold of the church office and we were able to secure the 20th of June at 2:00 pm for the wedding ceremony and the pastor that we wanted would be available to marry us.

Emily reached out to a couple of places to hold the reception and we decided on the pavilion at the park where guests could be indoors or outdoors. We then booked a DJ from Bismarck to play music for the dance.

Emily’s niece is a photographer and agreed to do our photos. When I asked about the cost, she told me it would be her gift to her cousin and new cousin-in-law. I began to tear up as I couldn’t believe she would do something like that as I knew it was a lot of work to take the pictures and then get them developed.

One page at a time, we went through the planner and either set up things right away, or made a list of what we still need to do. By the end of the day, we had all the venues confirmed and down payments made. I had a list of my bridesmaids and Ian’s groomsmen that we needed to contact and a start of a wedding guest list.

We still needed to look at flowers, food and of course the dresses, but we had a little time for that. I wanted to confirm who was going to be in the wedding party before we set up a time to look at dresses. Our color theme was white and light green.

Emily and Mom were going to look at some caterers and work on the food so I didn’t have to worry about that. I told them what Ian and had talked about for food and they will take it from there. They also were going to set up a cake tasting at the local bakery for us and let me know when so I can bring Ian along with me.

When I left, I felt much more relaxed knowing we had the main things booked. I had made my to-do list to take home with me and Mom and Emily had theirs. I said goodbye and headed home.

“Hey Princess,” Ian said as I closed the door to the apartment.

“Hey Babe,” I said with a smile.

“How did it go today?”

“Really well actually. We got a lot done; now we just have to finalize who is going to stand up there with us and finish the guest list.”

“That’s good to hear,” he said.

“I have our list we put together, but we need to call each of them to ask them to be there for us. Maybe we can do that tomorrow?” I asked Ian.

“Of course we can, but I’m pretty sure they will all agree,” he said. “Come here and sit; you deserve a break,” Ian patted the couch next to him.

I sat next to him and put my head on his shoulder. He was watching one of his cop shows and I joined in…well until I fell asleep. Ian woke me up for dinner, which he must have made while I slept on the couch.

After dinner, I helped clean up and went to bed early. I didn’t realize just how stressed I had been over this and wore myself out. Ian joined me a little later and kissed me goodnight when he climbed into bed.

The next day, Ian and I called up those we wanted in the wedding party. He was going to call his brother, while I called my sister.

“Hello?” Stacy answered the phone.

“Hey Stacy,” I said.

“Sarah, it’s good to hear from you. How are you?” she asked.

“I’m great and yourself?”

“I’m feeling pretty good, but I’ll admit I’m ready to pop this baby out anytime now,” she said with a slight giggle.

“I’m sure you are,” I said. “How are the girls?”

“They are great and have been a big help to me lately.”

“I’m glad they haven’t been giving you any trouble,” I replied.

“I wouldn’t go that far, but they have been much better,” she laughed.

“So the reason I’m calling is to ask you a question,” I said.

“What is it?”

“Stacy, I know we talked about this when you visited a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to confirm that you will be my Matron of Honor and that the girls will be my flower girls?”

“Of course Sarah, I am honored to be your Matron and yes, the girls will be your flower girls.”

“I also want Kayden to be one of the ring bearers. I know he isn’t even here yet and he’ll only be a few months old at the time, but I’m going to ask Vicky if Bobby will be one as well and I was thinking he could push the baby in a stroller down the aisle.”

“I can’t give you an answer on that until after he is born, but I’m sure we can make it happen.”

“Thank you Stacy. One more thing, Ian would love to have Jake be a groomsman, but he is asking his brother to be the Best Man. Do you think Jake would do it if he was paired up with Vicky?” I asked.

“I think he would be OK with that; do you want me to ask him?”

“If you can get him to the phone, I’ll put him on speaker so Ian can talk to him.”

“OK, give me a minute,” she answered.

I waved Ian over since he finished his call with Aiden and told him that Jake was coming to the phone.

“Hello?” Jake said over the phone.

“Hey Jake,” Ian said. “I was wondering if you would like be one of my groomsmen.”

“You want me as one of your men?” Jake asked.

“Absolutely,” Ian answered. “You would most likely have to be paired with Sarah’s cousin Vicky, if that is OK with you?”

“Yeah man, I’d love to; as long as I get to dance with my wife at some point during the night,” he said.

“Of course,” Ian chuckled and I heard Stacy swat Jake’s arm through the phone.

“Jake, Stacy will be all yours after the ceremony. Well during the Grand March you might get separated for a few minutes, but otherwise she is yours,” I said.

I heard him laughing, “I can live with that.”

“Great, thanks man,” Ian said.

“You’re welcome.”

“You two have a good afternoon and we will talk soon,” I said.

“Bye Sarah and Ian,” Jake and Stacy said before hanging up.

“Is Aiden good to go?” I asked Ian.

“Yes, he was actually excited about it and is already making plans for the Bachelor Party,” he answered. I smiled and shook my head.

“I’ll call Vicky now, and then we can call Shelby, Sean, Craig, Marci, Ricky and Angie?”

“Sounds good.”

Everyone agreed to be in our wedding party and another thing was checked off of my list. I filled out the Wedding Party section of my book:

Matron of Honor: Stacy (Sister of the Bride)

Best Man: Aiden (Brother of the Groom)

Bridesmaids: Vicky, Shelby, Marci and Angie

Groomsmen: Jake, Sean, Craig and Ricky

Flower Girls: Hope and Haley

Ring Bearers: Bobby and Kayden

Over the next couple of months, we met with the baker and tried a variety of cakes and settled on a marbled cake for the main cake and chocolate for our anniversary cake. We also finalized the meal plan and sent out the wedding invitations. Most of our family lived right here in New Salem, but my mother’s parents and family in Wisconsin.

I invited Jodi, Nikki and Bethany from school and a few co-workers that I have become good friends with. Ian invited a few friends from St. Paul and also some co-workers as well. There are only a couple hotels/motels in town, so we booked as many rooms as we could to accommodate our family and friends from out of town.

Stacy had Kayden on the 1st of March and like his sisters, he is a beautiful baby. Jake was a proud papa holding his son and the girls really took to helping mommy take care of their baby brother. She still didn’t give me a concrete answer on him being in the wedding, but we still have time.

Unfortunately, Stacy wasn’t able to travel to go dress shopping with me, but she was able to video chat with us. Mom, Emily, Vicky, Shelby, Marci, Angie and I drove into Bismarck to look at dresses in early April.

I tried on a variety of dresses and fell in love with a dress that was tight in the bodice and flowed from the waist down and formed a short train in the back. The sleeves were off the shoulders and it had a very low neck line. There were clear straps to hold up the dress over a strapless bra. Mom wasn’t thrilled initially with it because it may show a little bit more than she prefers, but the girls convinced her it looked great on me and she finally gave in.

For the bridesmaids, we chose a light green dress that also had sleeves off the shoulders with clear straps to hold the dress up. The skirt flowed from the waist to the floor and we chose green shoes with small heels so the dresses didn’t drag on the ground. I wanted them to be comfortable so no high heel shoes.

We ordered the dresses after getting sized and we were assured they would be ready for a final fitting in early May. Stacy had lost most of her baby weight, but was hoping to lose a little more before then. We planned on sending her dress to Chicago to get fitted there, while the rest of us would come back here to the shop.

Lastly, we chose the jewelry they would wear and that was my gift to each of them. I bought each of the girls a pair of earrings, necklace and bracelet set as well as a little clutch that matched the dresses.

Before everyone left the city, we stopped to get the flowers ordered since we now knew the colors of the dresses. We settled on white flowers with green and yellow accent flowers and ribbons. I placed the order for the five girls’ bouquets, my bouquet for the wedding and one to toss during the reception and two small bouquets for the flower girls. I also purchased boutonnieres for the men including Dad and Joseph and corsages for Mom and Emily.

Everything was now set and I could finally relax and let go. We went out for lunch together and the girls told me about their plan for the Bachelorette Party. I wanted to keep it small and simple, but they wanted to go dancing and convinced me it would be fun.

The last weekend of April, Mom and Emily held a Wedding Shower for me and they invited all my close friends and female family members. The ones from out of town couldn’t make it, but did send cards and gifts and said they would see me at the wedding. Stacy was able to attend but could only stay for the weekend and she brought Kayden with her, who stayed with Dad during the shower.

Our dresses did arrive in early May, and we went for our final fitting together. As I was standing there in my dress and veil in front of the mirror, I finally let it sink in that this is really happening and in a little over a month, I will marry the love of my life. I had been dreaming of this day for so long and I couldn’t wait to be Mrs. Sarah Grant.

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