Rob and Mandy's Wedding Extravaganza………….. May 26, 2012

Blogging my way to our wedding day.

81 Days to Go – Wedding Rings! March 6, 2012

Filed under: Wedding — mandyshaner @ 10:39 pm
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Another big item was checked off of our to-do list tonight! We headed out to Jared right after Rob got home from work (I somehow really like that place even though they have the most annoying jewelry commercials EVER). I really like that they have their lab right on-site though, which means that if we need work done to our rings it doesn’t have to be sent out anywhere and we get them back very quickly.  I had my engagement ring re-sized last year and got it back the next day, so awesome.

We found Rob’s ring first. He tried on a bunch of different styles in a few different materials that really didn’t fit the bill, but the last one he tried ended up being the winner. It’s titanium, which is pretty neat. I didn’t even know they had titanium wedding bands.

Rob’s titanium silver and black wedding band

I was sort of dreading trying to find a band to go with my engagement ring because of the unique design of my ring. It has an awesome filigree pattern on the sides, and I knew it would be difficult to find something that didn’t cover it up or take away from it. I tried on several that had diamonds on the band, but they just weren’t lining up right. Half the time there was an obvious gap between the wedding band and my ring because of the center of my ring being slightly wider than the band.  But the jeweler came to the rescue! He found me this awesome enhancer ring (that is basically two rings!) that my ring will go in the middle of. It looked so perfect when I tried it on! the band is thin enough that it doesn’t cover up much of the design of my ring, and basically makes a little platform for it. It was so sparkly and awesome 🙂 And WAY cooler than what I thought I would end up getting.

This is my engagement ring, the design on the sides is what I was worried about.

My white gold and diamond enhancer wedding band

We couldn’t be more excited!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait till we get to put these beautiful rings on each others fingers 🙂


129 Days to Go – Menu Decisions! January 18, 2012

Well today was our wedding menu tasting and I was so looking forward to it! Not only to taste what was sure to be amazing food, but also just to get a chance to go back to the gardens. It’s so beautiful there! I was also looking forward to getting a glimpse of the gardens covered in snow since we might never really get another chance. The gardens are closed to the public from October to April so most people will never get the chance to see them snowy. We couldn’t walk the paths or anything, but we could see quite a bit from the giant windows in the reception area.

Our tasting was scheduled for 11am. We got there about a half hour early which kind of worked out because we had a little time to look out the windows and take photos before they brought the food out.


After enjoying the beautiful scenery for a bit, it was time to taste the food we had chosen. We were allowed to taste 3 entrees plus 1 vegetarian meal. Here is what we tried 🙂

Our tasting menu

Grilled Salmon

Five Spice Chicken

Grilled Pork Chop

Grilled Vegetable Rigatoni

Everything we tried was SO delicious! It was kinda hard to narrow down our choices. We already knew we wanted the Prime Rib, but we didn’t get to taste it because they can’t really make just one serving. We were also pretty sure that we wanted the Grilled Vegetable Rigatoni as our vegetarian choice, but tasting it certainly solidified the decision. As amazing as everything was, it might have been my favorite thing (but I am a huge fan of cheese)! So between the 3 other things we tasted we had to pick only 1. I initially wanted the Grilled Pork Chop, but tasting the other items made it much more difficult. In the end we chose the Grilled Salmon. We all really liked everything on the plate. The black bean-sweet potato hash was a surprisingly tasty side dish!

So hopefully everyone enjoys the menu that we have chosen. If you don’t like steak or salmon, the pasta dish really is a surprisingly delicious alternative! There will also be a chicken tenders or macaroni and cheese option for the kiddies, and appetizers will be served during the cocktail hour (we still have to decide on those). We will also be hosting an open bar for an hour before dinner and an hour after (during dinner and later in the evening drinks can still be purchased). So get excited people, this thing is really coming together!!


262 Days to Go – Everyone Loves a Great Deal! September 7, 2011

So I have this wonderful friend named Carley, and she just called me from her local Michaels store to tell me that they are having a moving sale. Apparently they are taking 50% off the lowest ticketed prices, awesome! She found a coordinated set of wedding goodies that includes a garter, pen set, guest book, ring pillow and flower basket….all for only $6! She asked if I wanted her to pick it up, and for that price how could I say no?! The brown satin ribbon fits right into our color scheme and I can always add my own personal touches to make it unique.

We hung up so that she could pay for everything and then call me back. When she called the first thing she said was, “Are you sitting down?” and started laughing. She said I would never guess how much she ended up paying for that set. I laughed and figured it must have been 50% off of the $6. Nope. It rang up for 1 cent! Apparently since it rang up for that price the cashier had to honor it! HA! How stinking awesome is that?! I think those sets normally run around $25 +. Needless to say, her little random adventure to Michaels has made both of our days :). We’ll definitely have to head there again when I go hang out with her on Friday 🙂 Who knows what kind of wacky deals we’ll find!

Thanks again Carley ❤

UPDATE: I checked out my Michaels store to see how much this set actually goes for and I couldn’t believe my eyes!


304 Days to Go – Our First Visits to Wedding Venues July 27, 2011

Filed under: Planning,Wedding — mandyshaner @ 10:07 pm
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Today Rob and I had our first appointments with potential wedding venue coordinators.  We got up early and were on the road making the hour and a half drive to Rockford by 9am. We thought our trip to the Anderson Japanese Gardens was going to be ruined because not long into our drive we ran into this….

This turned into one heck of a rainstorm, and super fast! Luckily we were able to get through it before we got to the gardens and the rest of the day was beautiful (aside from one other drizzle). While on our tour of the gardens we realized that coming right after the rain was probably one of the best times we could have come. The gardens were simply glowing with droplets of water and gorgeous puddles that had formed in the stone walkways.

This is the gorgeous pavilion where we could potentially be saying our vows. It’s big enough to hold up to 250 people (which we will be nowhere near lol).

There are SO many beautiful places to stop and pose for photos! Also, the entire wedding party & all the guests would have access to the gardens all day. Here is just one of my favorite photos from our day.

The reception area was also absolutely beautiful. Honestly, I can’t convey just how incredible this place is 🙂 The massive floor-to-ceiling windows give everyone an amazing view of the gardens. The room also has two outside deck areas for people to enjoy.

So that was a taste of the Anderson Japanese Gardens, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t our favorite 🙂 But, I also have a couple photos from the other place we visited, the Concorde Banquet center in Kildeer.  We drove another hour and change east to get to this venue.  I didn’t get out to take photos because I wasn’t that impressed overall, but here’s what I got. This is where we would have our ceremony. Chairs would be set up on the pavers and we would stand under the white pergola. There would be no backup plan if there was rain…yikes.

What you can’t tell from this photo is that this is situated about 20 feet (if that) from a VERRRRY busy road. I don’t know why they put it so damn close to the road, it would be so noisy to have the ceremony there! The pergola is on the edge of a cute little pond though, complete with a fountain and swans (and various other waterfowl).

After a long day of driving around to different (and beautiful) venues, we stopped in at our friend Jim’s house for a little visit and then headed home. We stopped out for dinner, and while we were waiting at the drive thru we got to see a pretty little rainbow 🙂 It was a nice end to a wonderful day :).


So We’ve Decided to Get Hitched… June 16, 2011

Well, in all fairness, we actually decided to get ‘hitched’ almost a year and a half ago.  It was Christmas morning and we were hanging out in our nearly finished apartment enjoying some peace and quiet together before the hustle and bustle of the day began. We didn’t even have carpet (just a cold cement floor), but we had our cozy couch and each other, so it was wonderful :). The exact series of events is pretty fuzzy in my mind, but at some point Rob slid off the couch and down onto one knee. He held my hand and said a lot of wonderful and sweet things to me (neither of us can remember exactly what was said, but it was lovely), then opened up the beautiful box holding my ring and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I accepted without hesitation because I already knew exactly where I wanted to be for the rest of my life. It had only been 3 months since I moved to the western suburbs of Chicago from my small town in Ohio to be with him, but we were soulmates from the beginning and I would have said yes even if he’d asked me the day I had moved in.

Our original wedding date was going to be May 15, 2011. We chose that date based on a fortune cookie and some interesting coincidences. However, that date came and went because I was not quite ready to take my walk down the aisle. I have regained the 100lbs that I lost in 2007/2008, and I refuse to be this version of myself on my wedding day. As a result of that, I wanted to work on losing weight, and we hadn’t actually announced the 15th as our wedding date. I figured once I started making progress and I was comfortable that I’d meet my goal we would start making solid plans, but it never really happened. I was very sad when May 15th rolled around. All I could think was that I should be getting married to my best friend that day and that I had screwed it all up. We took comfort in the fact that it was only about 42 degrees and pouring rain all day though, I’m sort of glad we dodged that bullet! (especially since we want an outdoor wedding).

So that brings us up to a couple of days ago, when we finally decided to pick a date and stick with it. Rob actually brought up the 26th, initially because it’s still in May (which we really like) but also because it falls on Memorial Day weekend (3 day weekend, woo!!). I thought it was a great idea right away, and just like that, we had a date! I called my mom the next day to let her know and she was very excited. She joked about having to get a job hehe, but I don’t want to be super-traditional and expect them to pay for everything. I then made things ‘Facebook Official’ as Rob and I both announced our plans to the world. So there’s no going back now! I either lose the weight I want to lose, or I walk down the aisle as an overweight bride. I’ve waited long enough to become Mrs. Mandy Ringe damnit. So as far as I’m concerned, LET THE PLANNING BEGIN! ❤


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