Mandy and Lucas Artz Wedding Story
Saturday, November 17, 2018
The day started bright and early with all the girls getting ready at my mom and dad's cabin. The boys spent the morning getting ready at Luke's mom's home. With 12 ladies (bridesmaids, mothers and flower girl) needing their hair done, I had 3 of the best hair stylists taking care of us. Jessica Lee from Infinity Salon in Bottineau, ND did an AMAZING job on my hair and makeup. I also had Jasmine Rosecrans from Revive Salon in Mandan, ND and Ginger Lautenschlager from Prescriptive Trends in Minot, ND making my girls look completely gorgeous. Mandi Carroll photography and videography was there to capture all the fun throughout the day. I couldn't wait one more second to put on my dress from Mary Me in Minot, ND. My dress couldn't fit me any more perfect if it wasn't for Patty Monson from Bottineau, ND doing my alterations. The girls looked stunning in their rose gold dresses from Alan Evans in Moorhead,MN. I almost forgot to open my present from Luke before we left for the first look. I hadn't the slightest clue what he got me but he is always full of surprises. The chest I opened up had inside the most beautiful rose gold and black pistol, personally engraved with our name and wedding date. Everyone laughed as I opened it because a pistol is a pretty typical present from Luke to me. Luke's gift from me was no surprise to him as I am terrible at keeping anything from him. I got Luke a black and rose gold Bulova watch from Riddles in Minot, ND. One of my personal attendants, Kelly Albertson, was my right hand when it came to going to take pictures. We went to a road behind our home at Lake Metigoshe for pictures, as it was quiet and away from the wind. You never know what kind of weather you'll get in November, but we were blessed with a brisk, slightly snowy and sunny day. It got to be a little chilly for everyone but we were able to tough it out. The only downfall to the beautiful day was that it wasn't the ideal temperature for our flowers. I couldn't have been more in love with how our flowers turned out from Flower Central in Minot, ND. The boutonnieres were made by my mom's friend, Sharlatte Marchant. They were absolutely perfect. All of the flowers and boutonnieres had a pheasant feather which came from a bird shot by Luke's weekend hunt or my dad's weekend hunt. These feathers were in memory of Jim. After pictures everyone drove to St. Marks Catholic Church in Bottineau, ND. People started to pack into the church an hour before the ceremony. We had 650 people RSVP to the wedding so we knew it was going to be more than full but it was still a shock to see all the people there to celebrate with us. The ceremony was beautifully officiated by my Uncle, Deacon Terry Guilbert and Fr. Michael Hickin. I am so thankful my Aunt Linda Guilbert was there to keep us in line before the ceremony. After the ceremony, the wedding party loaded onto a big white school bus, surprise purchase by Luke. We bar hopped in town before going to the reception at the Cobblestone Inn & Suites. It was beautifully decorated by Lynell Tagestad and her husband from "I Do" in Hazen, ND. With having above max capacity packed inside the Cobblestone, the wedding party needed to be in a location that was seen by all. My dad had the great idea to have Docks & Lifts of North Dakota from Bottineau put together a stage, built by lake docks, big enough for our wedding party of 18. We got so many compliments of how nice it was to see the wedding party. Our delicious and gorgeous wedding cakes were made by Jessica Johnson from Bottineau, ND. Market Place in Minot, ND made 600 donuts in 4 different flavors, which were a hit. Since we had SO many people stuffed into the Cobblestone, we had Hometown Elegance from Minot set up a tent to attach to the reception for people to cool down but it ended up being quite a popular spot later on in the night. The delicious meal was catered by Groves Catering from Rugby, ND. They were able to keep the buffet full for all those people
How We Met
It all started the summer of 2016. I was living in Fargo, ND working as a social worker at a nursing home while Luke was farming in the Souris/Westhope area. I would come home frequently to visit my family located in St. John and Bottineau. We knew of each other growing up, as both of our small towns were less than an hour away, but we never officially met. My brother, Kurt Carpenter, kept trying to get me to come home so I could meet ""his friend"" but he wouldn't tell me who (Luke). I knew all of my brothers friends, so I wasn't convinced. In the meantime, Kurt was also trying to convince Luke he had a ""friend"" he wanted Luke to meet but wouldn't say who (his sister). Kurt is known to be quite a jokester so Luke wasn't convinced either. Well, all thanks to the match maker, Kurt, we officially met on June 25, 2016 at a wedding reception in Bottineau, ND. We haven't went a day without talking since that night. Before I knew it I was planning on moving back home months later.
After a year and a half spending almost every day together, people started to ask when it was our turn to ""get hitched"". The person that would ask every time he seen me was Jim, Luke's dad. For one Christmas, Luke got me a (Tiffany blue) pistol, but Jim wanted to know if I threw the gun back at him and asked for a ring. Jim fought a hard battle with cancer during the entire time of Luke and I being together. I'll never forget sitting in the duck blind with Jim, waiting for Luke to come back, and him saying, ""I love ya Mandy but Luke needs to put a ring on that finger! I want to see some little bears while I'm still alive, damnit."" Luke's nickname has always been Bear. On December 25, 2017 our world flipped upside down. Jim was already battling with cancer, but then a brain tumor was found on Christmas day and he was immediately flown to Milwaukee. I texted Jim and told him to let us know if there is anything he needs done back home and that we will be there in a couple days. Jim replied, ""Yes there is. Get a ring on that finger, it is what I want more than anything. No one is perfect. Marriage is a lot of give and take. You guys will be great fun parents."" After Jim was out of surgery from removing the tumor, Luke showed Jim a picture of a ring. After things settled down, we planned to have a supper with both of our families at Luke's parents new home on Lake Metigoshe, since my parents hadn't seen the new home yet. On February 17, 2018 we got together for a delicious lasagna supper. Luke looked like he wasn't breathing and told me to stand up, which was odd but at that moment I knew what was going on because everyone pulled out their phones. As soon as I stood up, Luke got down on 1 knee and I replied ""Well yeah!"" before he could even finish his sentence. Luke's dad, Jim, was able to capture the proposal on his phone before he passed on March 22, 2018.
Planning for Our Day
God bless anyone that chooses wedding planning as a career. I think way too much about every little detail being perfect that I couldn't wait to see everything put together and definitely couldn't wait to be done wedding planning. I am all about checklists so I was very thankful for Pinterest ideas and The Knot's helpful checklist. We got engaged February 17th and were married November 17th so we had exactly 9 months to get everything done. At times I felt like I didn't have enough time, but looking back I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I probably would've changed my mind on decor more times than I already did if I was allowed any longer time. I knew I didn't have time to drag my feet so I went dress shopping with my mom the weekend after getting engaged and luckily found my dress.
Hint for Brides
The best advice I ever received was to enjoy the night WITH my husband. It is so easy to get excited about all the people and get caught up visiting everyone you haven't seen in years. We would catch ourselves doing this and would immediately find ourselves locking eyes then meeting each other on the dance floor. Your heart will be absolutely full with all the love and support but people understand that the day is about you and your husband. Our best memories that we will cherish forever will be the ones that we spent with each other.
Also...have an itinerary! Ask your photographer for their itinerary and their order for pictures then make yours from there. Give everyone in your wedding party a copy including your photographer. I can't tell you how many times people will ask for one and it prevents everyone from asking you "the plan".