They have submitted paperwork to the US govt for a K-1 Fiance visa. Sarah's PC assignment will end in December and if Ivan's paperwork comes through in a timely manner, they will be both come to the US this winter and establish residency.
The K-1 visa will require them to marry within 90 days of arriving in the US so they plan to have a small, informal, wedding shortly after arriving in the US and then having a traditional wedding celebration in the summer.
So in August, we started to make plans for the wedding celebration. With Sarah and Ivan overseas, Bob and I became their eyes and ears in selecting venues for the ceremony and reception. If you know me, you know that this type of thing is right up my alley so I was more than happy to dive in and get going. First step - a spreadsheet of course. Sarah decided she wanted a 'feet in the sand' ceremony and an evening reception (with a band.) She wanted to have the wedding in the 'north shore' area of Boston, ideally in Cape Ann, an area that includes towns like Gloucester, Manchester by the Sea, Rockport and others. It's near where she went to school and where most of her American friends live. It's a beautiful area known for rocky, hilly views of ocean. It's also known for art colonies and seafood. When you think of coastal New England, this area is what comes to mind.
So, I hit the internet and started inquiring about all kinds of options. There were farms, country clubs, function halls, hotels, yacht clubs and even properties on college campus's. Each had something interesting to offer, but most of them were quite pricey. Some had minimum catering requirements (at least 100 people or $10,000 spent.) Others were fully booked for all Fri/Sat and Sun's in June. We visited a few and ruled out most of the places based on price or lack of availability.
And then we found the Rockport Art Association. It is a historic building that is used as an art museum during the day and is rented out at night. Way back when it was a house and two barns. Now it's converted into a beautiful space with high ceilings, exposed beams and 'character.' The price was right, they had availability in June and when we visited it, we had a feeling it would be 'just perfect' for Sarah and Ivan. They are both so artistic, it seemed so natural that their wedding would be at an Art Museum.
So, without any hesitation, we decided to have the ceremony at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester and a reception to follow at the Rockport Art Association. There are still many decisions and actions to come, but this one was a biggy and we are happy with the choice. Next step - have Ivan and Sarah's engagement photo's taken and get out the 'save the date' announcements. We also need to establish a wedding blog to provide options for accomodations and choose a caterer.
Oh and a word about Good Harbor Beach. This is a beautiful sandy beach with a rustic boardwalk leading from the parking area to the beach. The path to the beach is lined with seagrass and wild roses. I think it will be beautiful for a wedding ceremony in June. We are already praying for a nice sunny day.