Three newlywed couples look back at what worked and what didn’t.
Brandon Lee and Leslie Cash
Newlyweds Brandon Lee and Leslie Cash both agreed they wouldn’t change a thing about their April 30 nuptials. The modern yet elegant evening of dinner and dancing at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa was exactly what they wanted to share with their 350 guests, say Cash and Lee.
“I don’t think I would have changed anything,” says Lee. “Other than to somehow increase the amount of time I had to say hello to our guests.”
“From the invitations to the decor, it was very modern, very fun. It was very ‘us’,” reminisces Cash.
How did they get such a perfect wedding? Cash gives all the credit to their wedding planner, Talmadge Powell.
“Our wedding planner did an outstanding job for us,” she says.
They chose to hire a professional wedding planner for many reasons. All the time that goes into planning a wedding combined with all the planner’s resources, vendors and ideas made hiring a professional well worth the expense, explains Cash.
“You don’t really know how many details really go into a wedding,” confesses Cash. “The day of the wedding, we did not have to worry about a thing. We were able to sit back, relax and enjoy it.”
For the couple, personalization was everything, from the stamps used on the Save the Date cards to music for the wedding march that Leslie’s grandmother performed on the piano.
“We personalized the stamp for our Save the Date cards,” says Cash. “Since we are huge boating people, we added our little touch.”
Cash grew up in Mannford and moved to Tulsa shortly after graduating high school. She met Lee, a Tulsan since he was 13, through friends. As soon as he had the engagement ring in hand, he was dying to pop the question. So the following morning, Lee left the ring on the steering column of Leslie’s car, hoping she would find it as she left for work.
“I had planned to (propose) on July 4 at Grand Lake, where we spend the holiday each year,” explains Lee. “But, once I had the ring, I couldn’t wait that long, and decided to ask her earlier, as in the next morning.”
“I hopped out of my car, ran into the house and opened the door to find Brandon right there on his knees,” remembers Cash. “Needless, to say, I was just a little late for work.”
Erik McEwin and Rita Lienhart
On April 2, a beautiful spring morning, Erik McEwin and Rita Lienhart began their life together in front of family and a few close friends.
Confident in her abilities and armed with plenty of time and a handy checklist, Lienhart planned her wedding exactly the way she wanted it.
“Rita is so good at planning things,” says McEwin. “She took her time and planned everything beautifully.”
“I knew exactly what I wanted,” confirms Lienhart.
And, what she wanted was a spring morning wedding at the Arrow Springs Wedding Chapel in Broken Arrow, where her guests, mostly family, enjoyed a brunch reception with champagne.
The couple has a few tips on how to have a stress-free wedding.
First, make the most of the time you have.
“Do a little bit at a time so you do not get too stressed,” recommends Lienhart.
“Make a list of everything you need to do and work on it piece by piece,” adds McEwin. “Once you begin to check off what you’ve accomplished, it eases the stress.”
And, enlist help.
“Let people help you on your wedding day,” offers Lienhart. “Your family and friends want to play a part, so let them.”
Start saving early, and you will be surprised how much you can afford, says McEwin.
“If an engaged couple opens a joint savings account early, they can save a lot of money before the wedding,” says McEwin. “Rita and I were able to save a lot more than expected.”
“That in itself lowers the stress and makes the wedding much more enjoyable,” adds McEwin.
Don’t forget to de-stress.
“As the wedding day gets closer, take a weekend where you do not do any wedding planning,” explains Lienhart. “Go on a date and don’t think about your to-do list.”
And, finally, set an early finish date.
“Have everything done a week before your wedding,” says Lienhart. “You need that time to get plenty of rest to look great on your wedding day.”
McEwin says guys play an important your part, too.
“It’s important to make sure the bride is happy and take some of the stress off of her by being part of the planning process,” says McEwin.
Stacy Buck and Anthony Mancuso
Anthony Mancuso and Stacy Buck stood before a packed room Easter weekend filled with family and friends at the Golf Club of Oklahoma in Broken Arrow. It wasn’t exactly what she planned, yet there was so much love in the room, says Buck.
“We were supposed to have our ceremony outside on the lawn, but the weather wasn’t cooperating,” explains Buck. “Our venue held 200 comfortably, but we ended up having closer to 300 (guests).”
The weather wasn’t the only thing to put a hitch in her plans.
“My dad broke his ankle two weeks before our wedding and had to have surgery,” remembers Buck. “And, when I checked on my cake the day before the wedding, I found out they had me down for the weekend after.”
With so much out of her control, Buck says she just kept her eye on the prize.
“When you realize that nothing else really matters and that you’ll be married to your favorite person in the whole world, in the end, you can’t help but be excited,” says Buck.
In fact, one of her favorite memories came from all the changes: a candlelit ceremony.
“There were just gobs of candles on the fireplace mantel. It turned out so beautiful, and it was everything I’d imagined, so lovely and romantic.”
So what would Buck tell a bride-in-planning? Be flexible.
“Very rarely will all the stars align,” says Buck. “Prioritize what is the most important and go from there.”
Looking back, Buck says she would have hired a planner since she is new to the Tulsa area.
“I lived on the internet researching,” explains Buck. “The (wedding) shows were extremely helpful, especially for someone planning a wedding alone with her mother four hours away.”
“Everyone told me to enjoy the planning process. I would give the same advice,” adds Buck. “It’s not always easy.
Mancuso and Buck met in college at Oklahoma State University.
“We met freshman year, but Anthony was still dating his high school girlfriend and didn’t pay much attention,” remembers Buck. “I, however, was in love.”
Mancuso nervously popped the question on a weekend trip to New Mexico surrounded by a picturesque view of the mountains and the setting sun.
“I couldn’t speak for several minutes,” confesses Buck.
But, of course, she said yes.