Save the Date



Staci Friedman was born April 17, 1981 in New Hampton, Iowa.

She is the daughter of Robert and Maxine Friedman of Floyd, Iowa. Staci graduated from Nashua-Plainfield High School in Nashua, Iowa in 1999.

She then went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in May 2003, from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. In 2003, Staci was working as a Customer Service Representative for GMAC Mortgage in Waterloo, Iowa.



Doug Jansma was born June 18, 1978 in Esterville, Iowa.

He is the son of Clif and Linda Jansma of Sheldon, Iowa. Doug graduated from Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, South Dakota in 1997.

He then went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree in May 2001, from University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. In 2003, Doug was working as a Physical Therapy Aide at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, Iowa.


The Proposal Story

Doug and I met through my best friend, Jacci Preuss. Thank you Yahoo! Messenger!

Jacci introduced Doug to Staci and even though Staci was so focused on her studies at Wartburg and hanging out with her friends, Doug managed to make an impact on her life. Months went by and Doug and Staci decided to finally meet – face to face. Read about He proposed… Enjoy!

proposalWill You Marry Me?

the day Doug proposed… we were visiting Dan at the Kay’s Store in Des Moines two weeks before graduating from Wartburg College. Doug kept insisting that we go visit him soon, I was thinking true – especially since we were moving to South Dakota within a month. So we went.

Once we arrived we walked the long way around, because Doug insisted that we had too. I kept telling him but this is closer – the store looks to be right over here – anyway we did end up walking past the store opening to a window that they place jewelry in for the window shoppers. And to my SURPRISE… there is a sign by a teddy bear… HEY STACI, will you marry me?

But guess what happens now… I had the ring on for 2 minutes Dan packages it up with a pretty red bow on the top for Doug to carry… Note: not on Staci’s finger.

And so we get home… sits on top of our computer desk… and I wait! and wait.

I wait and wait.

Two weeks later getting ready for graduation from college. That morning I had graduation practice and by the time I got back to Cedar Falls where we were living, Doug’s parents and Doug were ready to head out for the morning. As I am getting ready… switching into a dress for graduation ceremony… Doug wants to take my pictures with my Cap and Gown… so I hurry to get that on before we have to leave and then Doug says… OH by the way – I think this is something you may want.

And I just stand still and SMILE!

it was the engagement ring that has been sitting downstairs on the computer desk and was still wrapped with that red bow on top.

Not much time left… we head to Wartburg College for my graduation ceremony and as soon as we get there I run into Jacci and show her.

How to Plan a Theme Wedding

Planning for a theme wedding is one of the most important things that you will do in your lifetime. If you are not interested in planning a traditional wedding, you should consider a theme Wedding. Theme Weddings are a great way to take you away from the norm and into something a lot more fun. Here you will learn about Theme Weddings.

A good theme wedding package can be made available in every shape, budget and size. You can look for all-inclusive theme wedding packages, which cover everything from your flight reservations to hotel rooms to outfits for the entire wedding party should your wedding take place out of town. Or you might be interested in a smaller package, which includes the chapel service, flowers, and a cake for your special day.

If you’ve ever been to a theme before, your best bet is to do some of the legwork yourself. Pick out your favorite hotel and make a reservation for yourself and anyone else who might be coming with you. You might also want to arrange a limo from the airport so that transportation and carrying your luggage won’t be a worry. Everything else for your wedding, you can leave up to the wedding people.

Picking the right theme can save you a lot of time and hassle. Most of the good theme weddings offer several different types of packages for the guests. The cheapest them weddings available usually include the chapel fee, flowers, and photographs of the ceremony. The more expensive ones can include a lot of details you may not have even thought of.

If you’re interested in more all-inclusive theme wedding packages, they’re available, but they are a bit more expensive when you hire a planner to do the work for you. You can get a professional video of your wedding ceremony, custom-made photo albums, and even a wedding garter and all of them can be included in a single package.

In this How to Plan a Theme Wedding blog post series, you have learned:

  • How to choose a theme for your wedding
  • How themed weddings can be cheaper
  • What types of themes are popular
  • How to plan the entire wedding steps
  • To write your own wedding checklist
  • Which mistakes to avoid
  • How to plan a wedding shower
  • How to choose a wedding planner and much more!

How to Plan a Theme Wedding – A Backyard Wedding

Some bride and grooms would rather elope than have all the expense and aggravation of an elaborate wedding. This is especially true if they are on their second or third weddings.

If this is the path you choose you will learn that you may be tasteful and frugal at the same time. After all, the brides and grooms of yesteryear were quite resourceful when it came to getting things done. Of course, many of them still want to have the reception when they get home. This is a special section that will cover putting together a back yard reception.

Before the expenses of the huge wedding there were simple ceremonies and a few friends and family members got together to celebrate the union of the happy couple. Many families have a few musicians or a least a DJ in the family. And women never need an excuse to get together and whip up a feast for 50 hungry people.

Men can be in charge of grilling or moving chairs and tables if the event will take place outside, as well as spreading a few decorations in honor of the happy couple. While some people drink champagne the rest drink beer from a tap. Tapped beer only costs around $150 and will last all night long. Enough champagne for toasting purposes will run under $75. With everyone is in casual or their Sunday best there is really no need for a new outfit.

The bride and groom will want to wear something new of course, but it will be much more inexpensive than a traditional gown and tux. Flowers can be a fresh picked bouquet of seasonal flowers. The cake may not cost you more than $50 dollars if you do not have someone that will make it for you as a wedding gift. There are simple tricks to remember when having a simple affair and that is color coordinating and display.

If you can find that special person with an eye for decorating put them in charge of having things displayed in the right manner, this is half the battle. The ladies can put together their best pieces of china and dishes to make a beautiful table for the buffet style table. A few ribbons and bows will set apart the bride and groom at no extra costs.

The ceremony itself need only be a preacher or a visit to City Hall to be married in the judges chambers the whole set up here will only be the cost of the license and a donation to the official. Someone to decorate cars and take charge of smaller tasks like that will keep others free for more challenging jobs such as lighting for night time and arranging a place to dance or kick up your heals.

All of this might only take a matter of a couple of weeks or a few days if you push it .make sure you haven’t forgot the camera because when all is said an done the most important thing to remember is the people that love each other are together and they have wonderful fond memories to share for many years to come.

The price of some disposable cameras is about $4.00 per 27 pictures if there is no one with a camera you can use this very effective way of preserving your favorite poses. All the way through the beginning of the preparations to the grand finale of the happy couple leaving the guests for the wedding night keep snapping those pictures, it will be greatly appreciated later.

An economical wedding like this will cost you less than $1,000.00 but will be just as beautiful as the hugest weddings ever. Don’t forget to send some thank you cards to all the helpful family and friends that made your wonderful day possible. And perhaps you might offer to return the favor in the future.

A quickie wedding may not be the wedding of many people’s dreams but for a second and third wedding, these are often ideal.

How to Plan a Theme Wedding – Wedding Planning Mistakes

It is very easy to make many mistakes when you are planning your wedding. We all make them, but this section is designed to help you to avoid the most common wedding planning mistakes that are made, which include the following:

1. Going over your budget.

It costs a lot of money to throw a wedding no matter who you are. Excited brides start booking vendors and making purchases sometimes without thinking of the total spending costs. When this happens we are suddenly panicked because out of the blue you realize that you spend all of your money and don’t yet have half the things they need.

If you bounce checks or don’t have the money to pay your deposits, your wedding will not happen. Planning a wedding is serious business. Make a budget and keep track of your spending as you go so that you won’t be left with a half wedding service.

2. Messing up the marriage license

There are so many rules that vary by state in regards to marriage licenses that many couples regularly mess up this one. For instance, if you get your license 61 days before your wedding in Pennsylvania, you won’t be able to legally marry on your wedding day because a license is valid there for only 60 days.

Go to get your license the day before your wedding, and you may not get it in time because some states have a three-day waiting period. The theory here is to check the laws about your license and try to be at least 30 days ahead of that.

3. Ordering your wedding gown too late.

If your heart is set on a couture gown, you had best be sure to order by the six-month mark since your dress will be custom-made. In addition, most off-the-rack dresses will require alterations by your wedding day, so make certain that you have enough time to get the gown fitted properly at least a week beforehand. You’ll want to leave plenty of time for shipping and for your fittings. The same goes for the bridesmaid dresses.

4. Booking hotel rooms too late.

If you are getting married during a busy time and you don’t investigate hotel availability in advance, you can end up with nowhere for your guests to stay. Reserve rooms as early as possible.

5. Inviting too many guests.

Make sure your guest list and your reception site match. You can’t invite 400 people on the assumption that only 250 will accept, because if you end up with 300 acceptances, you may have to turn 50 guests away at the door.

6. Partaking in last-minute beauty treatments and crash diets.

Many people think that scheduling a facial the day before the wedding will help them to look more radiant but you may end up with blisters instead of sun-kissed skin. Last-minute beauty treatments can lead to breakouts, mistakes or, even worse, serious infections.

7. Underpaying invitation postage

You’d be surprised how many brides just stick a regular stamp on their invites and drop the whole batch into a mailbox. All but a few wedding invitations require additional postage so just check the postage rates for your invitations before sending them out.

8. Ignoring religious guidelines.

Inappropriate attire for the church or temple, or skipping the pre-canae, may keep your officiate from marrying you on your wedding day. Take your religious restrictions seriously. Meet with your officiate within one month of getting engaged.

9. Assuming that your guests know what you expected of them.

This can be a costly mistake; especially if you are having a church wedding in one church and your guests are of different religions. You should always meet with your wedding attendees to discuss what they should expect during the ceremony. Its just polite.

How to Plan a Theme Wedding – Planning the Wedding Shower

Bridal showers are one of many pre-wedding parties that are usually for the bride and are great fun.  They are known as parties with a purpose. The purpose of a wedding shower is to assist the couple in equipping their new home or for the bride. Not only that, but they are a good excuse for the bride to get together with her friends and family to play hilarious games and to enjoy the food and wine. She can also use the wedding shower as a way to prepare her guests for the themed wedding idea.

Did you know that a trend has started for ‘couples showers’ which is really cool and even more fun. This is sometimes termed as the ‘Jack’ and ‘Jill’ shower where you shower both the bride and groom with gifts and have fun.   Either way, if you are having a traditional shower party for just the bride, or decide to have a couples shower, then the planning and the checklist will invariably be the same.

Here is an outline of a wedding shower checklist which will help make planning your wedding shower much easier:

  • Traditionally the maid of honor tends to plan the shower festivities.  But today, anything goes and it is perfectly acceptable for both family and friends to work together to organize, host and share the cost of the wedding shower.  It doesn’t really matter who actually hosts the party anyway.
  • If the shower is planned to be in someone’s home, then it’s always a good idea to choose the person with the largest home or garden so that it can easily accommodate all of the guests.
  • Because of the busy schedule the bride and her family will have during the days before a wedding, it is best to hold the shower about four to six weeks before the wedding.
  • Many people are aware that wedding showers are no longer a surprise, therefore it is necessary to include the bride in the planning when it comes to setting a date and time.
  • A traditional ‘girl-only’ party could be a Sunday brunch, a lunch or an afternoon tea garden party.
  • Couples wedding showers are best held on a weekend all people involved will likely not have to work.  If you are having a shower party with work colleagues, then the ideal time would be in your lunch hour or straight after work.
  • Aside from inviting your family members, the host should invite people you know well whether it be friends, relatives or work colleagues.
  • Don’t invite too many people, as a large group tends to split off in small separate groups and the focus moves away from the couple.  You want everyone to interact with each other and be a manageable size for everybody to play the hilarious shower games and not feel left out.
  • A comfortable shower should involve about 10-20 people.
  • You don’t need to buy expensive shower invitations.  You can print some online. These invitations are customized with your own wording and design, and are printed directly from your own printer.
  • As with the actual wedding, it is wise to choose a theme before sending out the invitations.  The theme can then be used throughout the shower and incorporated in with the invitations, decorations, favors and refreshments.
  • The most popular shower theme is the ‘kitchen’ theme as there are endless pieces of equipment and accessories you can buy for the kitchen.
  • One good idea for a couples shower is a wine tasting theme.  This is ideal for a Saturday night party.
  • Food: It depends on the theme of the shower and location for which type of food to prepare.  For example, if you are holding a ‘wine tasting theme’, then a finger buffet with crackers, nuts, cheeses and other nibbles goes down well with wine.
  • If you are holding a garden shower party, consider light finger food – cheeses, crackers, fresh fruit, mini-quiches, blueberry cream puffs, crab dip and a bacon, egg and cheese casserole and salads.
  • Some people choose not to give shower favors anymore.  It really depends on where you live and if it is a tradition in your area or not.
  • Give something small and useful like a scented candle for shower favors.  Most people like scented candles and they are practical.   A potpourri satchel is another welcome and practical idea.
  • Everyone should be included in the shower games.  Shower party games are a great ice-breaker for people to get to know each other.  Games can include bridal shower bingo as this is always a big hit as is ‘what’s in the bag.  Trivia questions about the bride and groom or making a wedding dress with toilet paper are all fun games to be had.
  • A personal note is the only way to make sure that sincere appreciation is expressed.

How to Plan a Theme Wedding – Wedding Planning Software

Your wedding is going to be one of the most special days in your life. But the time leading up to it can be one of the most stressful, especially if you are planning on doing it yourself. You can go into a panic if everything doesn’t work out and keeping all of your information can be impossible. That is when wedding planning software comes in handy.

There’s literally a hundred and one things to do to get ready for your perfect wedding day and the wedding planning software can really make things easier. Smart Wedding Planning begins with staying organized and focused. Wedding planning software can keeps track of all the details for you. It doesn’t forget. It doesn’t get nervous like you do. It’s always there when you need it.

With the right software, you will be able to professionally manage your wedding from beginning the day of your wedding quickly, easily and most of all calmly. No more panicky moments where you can’t remember if you missed an important item or not because your wedding planning software can really help.

Here’s what a good wedding planning software program can do for you:

  • Takes care of guest list, Invitations and RSVP’s!
  • Seating arrangements aren’t a problem as you can create a Reception Seating Plan for all your guests – even last minute responders.
  • Print your own Inner and Outer Envelopes, Labels, Seating Assignment Cards and individual Seating Place Cards!
  • Remembering your appointments by getting reminders of them with the built in Scheduler!
  • Keep track of relatives accommodations and transportation requirements.
  • Print both beautifully and professionally on the Inner and Outer envelopes.
  • Set a budget.

Your wedding planning software can handle everything for you so that you can worry about the day itself and spend more time with your partner! You can find excellent resources online by searching around.