Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Selecting the Reception Venue

I have been dreaming of and planning my wedding day for a long time. Tahlequah is home to me and it has been my home my entire life. No matter where life will end up taking Craig and I when we are husband and wife, I have a fundamental truth that Tahlequah is home and I am very happy that my fiance’ Craig loves Tahlequah as much as I do. We made the decision together that we would marry here in my hometown.
Ever since I was a little girl dreaming about my wedding day, I have dreamed about having my wedding reception at the Northeastern State University Ballroom, here in my hometown of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It is the school that would become my alma mater. NSU is endeared to my heart for so many reasons and one of my foremost reasons is that my beloved maternal grandparents, Grandpa A.D. and Grandma Cleva would take me on walks across the campus as a little girl with me not knowing at the time of their shared dream for me to one day be able to attend college there and become a first generation college graduate in our immediate family. Those sunlit days are now lovingly imprinted in my mind.  With their help, I would accomplish that dream and beyond, and accomplish it debt-free, earning  scholarships and a graduate fellowship for my master’s degree. Grandpa A.D. didn’t live to see that dream become a reality, but Grandma Cleva did, and I am so thankful.    
 There’s also a fundamental truth living in Tahlequah that outside of the University’s Ballroom, finding a wedding reception location in Tahlequah to comfortably accommodate the number of people we anticipate to attend our June wedding is a difficult task.        
When Craig and I chose June 4 as our wedding date, I contacted the University Center and inquired about renting the Ballroom that day for our wedding reception.  The Ballroom was booked…I was so disappointed, so let down. I began the task of trying to find another venue in Tahlequah that could accommodate our reception and nothing I looked into was a good fit for us. Each of the venues just wasn’t us.  
Then I received notification from the amazing Karen Ross that the ballroom rental for June 4, 2011 had been cancelled and was now open and available to reserve for that day. I could not believe it I was going to have the chance to fill out the paperwork to reserve it on that date. It felt so amazing to be given even the possibility. I then went to Catering Services and talked with the fabulous Melissa Reeves who helped get me started with their amazing menu choices to look at. I awaited official word we would be given that reserved date for the Ballroom.
That official word came. The day I found out the news, there was something important I had to do before leaving campus. I walked across the campus…this time alone in body but with several loved ones walking beside me in spirit. I walked all over the campus we walked on so many times together in my childhood. Then the campus I walked on as first an undergrad, a proud Delta Zeta collegian, and then as a grad student. I walked there today as a proud alumni and an ecstatic bride-to-be.   
Following our late afternoon wedding at Northside Baptist Church, we will then proceed down the hill to our wedding reception in the NSU Ballroom. We will have a dinner and dancing evening celebration.        
Words alone cannot express my thanks and appreciation to NSU University Center employees Karen Ross and Melissa Reeves who have gone out of their way to make this such a special experience for me. To the love of my life, my fiance’ Craig and his amazing parents who I cannot wait to be my in-laws: Warren and Sharon, who are making all this happen for me by telling me they want to give me the wedding and reception of my dreams.   

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