It happened…

So, where do I start?

I’m sure you’re all wondering how the big day went and if it actually happened? Well, of course it did! After a week of final planning and the arrival of all our guests from England, last Saturday I finally got to wear my wedding dress, walk down the aisle and marry my very handsome husband once more.

It was the most amazing and perfect day ever and I have so much to tell you about, but right now, with our mini-moon just around the corner I simply don’t have the time. But, I don’t want to leave you in the dark totally! Our amazing photographer, Jono Symonds Photography, gave us a sneak peek at one of our pictures so I thought I would share that with you. Brace yourself people, here it is:

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Sadly, that’s all you’re getting right now – this girl needs to get some holiday shopping done and get packing for that all important mini-moon! Destin here we come!

I won’t be leaving you completely though, I’ll schedule a little post and keep you updated on some of our adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Stay tuned people, the big wedding update is on its way!

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Time to go and get married (again)!

Love

I can’t quite believe the time has come for me to write this post, it doesn’t seem like 2 minutes since the big day was 7 months away, now it’s just 7 days away! Today we’ll be boarding that plane to Germany ready for our wedding day next weekend.

It doesn’t seem like 2 minutes since we first said ‘I do’ on a beach in Destin nearly a year ago, but in just 7 short days we’ll be saying it again, this time though all our friends and family know about it and will be there to celebrate with us!

As with most weddings, it’s taken months of planning. Thanks to my lack of German language skills most of this has fallen on the shoulders of the German, he’s been the one waking up in the middle of the night thinking about what he needs to do not me, but he’s done an amazing job and thanks to his huge spreadsheet with about 20 different tabs it looks like we have everything sorted, we just have to meet with the wedding planners, florists and a couple of other people this week to finalize a few things.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting creative, making table numbers, seating plans and programmes so I’ve done my fair share too! I’ve also spent the last week by the pool catching that all important wedding tan – essential for a wedding day and when you’re lucky enough to have 80 degree sunshine the week before you leave you have to make the most of it!

Hopefully it will all come together nicely on the big day, and, despite arranging this whole thing from a different country and having to (somehow) get everything from here to Germany, this thing will work and be beautiful. To be honest, right now there’s nothing I can do about it so fingers crossed the vision in my head looks just as pretty in reality!

Right now though, our bags are packed (everything we need for the big day is in a separate hand luggage suitcase for just in case a checked bag disappears en-route!) THE dress is in my hand (well probably the Germans – it’s pretty heavy!) and not leaving my sight unless a lovely member of the Delta cabin crew hangs it up for me and, depending on when you read this, we’ll either be trying to bag that all important wedding upgrade (if you don’t ask, you don’t get!), chilling out at the airport, freezing cold and trying to sleep on the plane or in the German’s homeland where the final planning is about to commence.

I can’t wait to walk down the aisle with my dad by my side to marry my German again and to have all our closest friends and family in one room at the same time. Living in the States means we don’t get to see people as often as we’d like, so having them all together will be amazing! I’m so lucky that my friends from England are making the trip over to Germany to celebrate with us too – I really can’t thank them enough.

So if things go a little quiet around here over the next couple of weeks you know why but keep popping by, I do have some posts scheduled while I’m away. Keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram feeds too and I’ll keep you updated on our progress, along with some trips we may have planned, it just so happens we’re in Germany during Maiwoche, I describe it as a kind of Christmas market with a spring theme. Don’t worry, I’ll definitely be writing a blog post on that one!

Cluck cluck…happy hens!!

It happened. That there hen do of mine actually happened and let me just tell you it was amazing!! Those bridesmaids of mine pulled out all the stops and made it fabulous and for that I can’t thank them enough. I am one lucky lady to have friends like mine.

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Now, as you know I had no idea where I was going or what was going to happen – this hen do was a magical mystery tour! I found out on Saturday morning (well Friday night if you take into account the Facebook status of one of my hens that I pretended to ignore that revealed the destination!) that I was going to Manchester – yay! An hour later we rocked up to the Palace Hotel and started the celebrations off in style with some prosecco:

Bestie love

Bestie love

It was so lovely to see everyone – I hadn’t seen some of my hens since before I moved to Atlanta so we had a LOT to catch up on! There was my bestie from school, my friends from working in radio, my housemates from university and of course Ma Cook, my aunty (also known as my second mum!) and my sister-in-law.Perfect!

After that the civilised hen do continued with a lovely lunch at an Italian restaurant, again complete with prosecco:

Cheers!

Cheers!

This is looking like a pretty well behaved hen party so far isn’t it? Well, lets say things didn’t quite follow the same theme later on! So, after lunch we all headed back to the hotel to get ready for a night of fun filled hen do action. I still had no idea what was in store for me…

We were told to be ready by a certain time, we walked through Manchester and ended up at another hotel. The girls told us to stay in the reception area whilst they went to organise things. About 10 minutes later they strolled back, giggling, and said ‘Right, we’re ready!’ and off we trotted through the hotel and into what looked like a conference room. We were greeted by a man named Sam who told us to take a seat and we’d get things underway, right about now I was thinking ‘What are we about to do?!’ Now, this is when things moved from a civilised hen do to a hilarious one! After a few minutes Sam got things underway and a man walked into the room looking like this:

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I think I nearly wet my pants laughing!! Yes people, we were about to do a nude art class! We were handed sketchbooks and charcoal and given some tips on how to draw life models (I don’t think any of us took the advice on board!) before I was given the task of taking off his towel. Yep, being the bride to be I had to get this man naked! I did what I was told and the drawing commenced, complete with wine of course! It was the funniest art class I’ve ever been in! We drew a series of poses, with the person who had the best drawing choosing the next. My friend Mark then posed with him before it was my turn as the bride to be! So, I did my duty and sat on his knee whilst the others attempted to draw us! It was kind of weird when he was talking to me and I was looking at the German’s face! I had to look away! Ma Cook’s drawings were like stick men (I think she was the worst in the class and eventually gave up!) my bridesmaid Rose and friend Jen drew some amazing pics, mine were questionable! But it was an amazing start to the hen do and so much fun:

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Once Jason the model had done his stuff we ate some cake made by Ma Cook and had some more drinky poos (this was a hen do after all!) and then headed to our next destination. I was told to that as the hen I had to wear the mask of the German and fly the flag at all times:

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Yes, that is me walking the streets of Manchester with a mask of the German on and a flag in my hand! It had to be done! After walking for about 5 minutes we ended up at…wait for it…The Bierkeller! I’m marrying a German so where else would we go? We went in, took our seats and settled in with a some sort of shot before ordering our steins of cocktails. Yes you did read that right, our steins of cocktails! I think mine was called a Dirty Helga, it went down very well with Ma Cook and the aunty:

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Then came the pretzels, the oompah band and the dancing on the benches…for the next few hours!

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After drinking for more than 12 hours and dancing until our feet hurt and our heads were a little bit worse for wear we called it a night and headed back to the hotel. One word sums it up…AMAZING! I loved every minute of it, well except for the slightly fuzzy head the following morning! The hotel breakfast soon sorted that out though.

As for the German, he also didn’t know what was in store for him but just before I left the house I received a message with the words ‘it’s started…’ and this picture:

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Prisoner Richter was shackled and put on a train to Düsseldorf with his friends (who became his sheriffs looking after him) where he met with my Big Bro, his Big Bro and Pa Cook (who’d got on a plane for the first time in 14 years! The German was honoured!) and had to complete a series of different tasks to get himself out of the chains. If he failed a task the chains got tighter. Obviously a lot of alcohol was involved in all of this. I think he had to do things like get a choir of girls to sing to him, sweep bottle tops off the town hall steps because he wasn’t married before he was 30 and many others that I don’t think any of them can remember! Eventually though it was mission accomplished:

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I think he eventually made it back to his hotel at 4am, along with Pa Cook and the Big Bro who definitely did the Brits proud! I don’t think he was feeling very clever the next morning though!

So that’s it, the hen and stag parties are complete, all that’s left to do now is get married again. And that big day, oh blog readers of mine, isn’t too far away at all!

Wedding, wedding, wedding…

So, as you know we’ve were in Germany for a few days this week (I made a few observations that you can read about here) mostly for a spot of wedding planning. The big day is just a couple of months away now (oh my lord) so we really needed to get a lot of things finalised and sorted before I headed to England.

Cue a very busy few days…

We met with the organist on Sunday to talk about the music we want during the ceremony. Thankfully, she’s happy to learn how to play an English hymn and she knew all the other music we’d decided on. Phew. Meeting number one went well.

Next was a trip to Münster to meet with the priest who will conduct our ceremony in church. A priest who lives an hour away from the German’s little village is doing the ceremony, purely because he can speak English and the local priest can’t. We’re lucky he’s agreed to it and I’m very grateful he’s happy to do it. So, we spent a couple of hours with him, talking about how things will work in church and what languages the different parts will be done in. We made our decisions and walked out happy.

Our third meeting saw us heading to the wedding venue and involved this:

Wedding 1This was the fun part of the trip – tasting the food for the big day! We tried every thing we’ll be eating on our wedding day and made our final choices, and believe me there was a lot! We obviously didn’t eat everything we had on our plates – I don’t think we could have physically fitted it in plus it didn’t really help our wedding diets, but everything we tasted was delicious! We also chose the wine and made decisions on decoration and checked out the room I’ll be getting ready in.Mission accomplished.

Finally, we headed to the florist before I had to rush back, pack my suitcase and head to the airport. I had to use my pigeon German and some photos but I think I managed to help the florist to understand what I wanted. At one point I was running around her shop trying to find what I was attempting to describe! It worked, and everything should be exactly how I want it on the big day. Fingers crossed, or as they say in Germany, daumen drücken!

Now that’s all done it’s time to get excited for our hen and stag parties. They’re both taking place tomorrow, meaning we’ll both be a little worse for wear at the same time and probably not wondering what the other one is getting up to! My bridesmaids have organised mine and the German’s best man has organised his – we don’t know anything about them, not even where we are going! I got back to Ma and Pa Cook’s house and found this little beauty waiting for me:

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An official invitation to my hen do! How lovely is that? My bridesmaids are the best! However, all I know is that I have to be ready on Saturday, March 15, 2014. I presume all will be revealed then…wish me luck!

Leaving on a jet plane…

Yes people, it’s that time again! I’m heading back to Europe for a couple of weeks! Woop woop! So depending on what time you read this I will be once again either rushing around the house cleaning it for the burglars and packing my last bits and bobs (no doubt forgetting something, that always happens!) or attempting to pass the 9 hour plane trip!

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But the best thing is what we are heading to Europe for…apart from finishing that all important wedding planning (ugh!) we’re having our hen and stag parties!!! Wooooop! (sorry American friends, by hen and stag parties I mean bachelor and bachelorette parties!) Yes, our bridesmaids and best man have organised them for us (phew! One less thing for us to worry about!) and we have no idea where we are going! All the German knows is that he has to be ready for 9:30am next Saturday and I literally know nothing apart from the fact it is next Saturday in England. Let the magical mystery tour commence!! I’ll keep you posted on what we get up to – well mine anyway, the German will be in another country under the close eye of Pa Cook and my big bro!

Before all that though we’re heading to Germany to make sure everything is sorted for this thing we’re calling a wedding! We need to meet the priest and the organist, head to the florists armed with pictures (that I still need to print off!) and of course to the venue where we get to do the fun stuff of trying the food and choosing the wine! Obviously this is the part I am most looking forward to – you know this girl loves food!!

I can promise you this though – it definitely won’t be a relaxing trip back that’s for sure! We have things planned everyday in Germany, then once I head to England I think my calendar is pretty full! Lots of people to catch up with, babies to cuddle and family to see! I wouldn’t change it for the world though – I am so excited to see everyone!!

Wedding Number 1

Right now I’m back in England and I’m supposed to be telling you about the next stop on our Florida road trip Miami but a LOT has happened since then (hence the lack of blog posts!!) and I need to tell you that first! Brace yourselves…it’s along the lines of the big, huge, mahoosive news so it might just shock you! We’ve already shocked others with it!! Get ready…here it comes!!

So as you know the German shocked me with his marriage proposal and of course I said yes! We then started talking about when we’d get married and decided it would be a year or two. We told our families and they were all happy with the news and the thought of a wedding in a year or so! But then the German and I had other ideas…

Nearly 2 weeks ago we jumped in the car and went back to Florida for the weekend, Destin to be precise where there’s white sand, blue sky and lots of sunshine!! We planned to stay for a long weekend, getting there on Thursday and heading back to Atlanta on the Monday. And here’s the bit that will shock you…we also decided to do this…

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Yep we only went and got married…tied the knot…got hitched whatever you want to call it!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I am officially a wife with a husband and called Mrs Richter!! Does make me feel a little old but I LOVE it!!! Now I suppose you’re wondering why/how it all happened? Well here goes…

So after the proposal the German turned to me and said why don’t we make the most of the place we’re in at the moment – bearing in mind we were heading back to Europe in a month or so – and get married…on a beach…with white sand and blue sky? I thought about it for a moment and of course I said yes! And with a time frame of a month the planning immediately begun!

But we had a problem, our friends were visiting and we were heading on that road trip to Florida! Now the fact our friends were visiting and we were going on said road trip to Florida wasn’t actually the problem – that was fab! The problem was that we needed to get a wedding sorted and fast! We were leaving to Europe in less than a month! Oh and here’s something I forgot to tell you – nobody knew we were planning this!! Well apart from my best friend, Toby’s best friend and Toby’s boss Rob who somehow managed to keep the secret – a mahoosive achievement for him!!

So whilst on the road trip Toby and I were secret squirrels and managed to decide a date and book the wedding! Result!! But we still needed rings, a dress, a shirt for Toby, a hotel and a photographer so once we got back and our friends left we set straight to work!! We had just over a week but Toby found a hotel and a photographer, I finally got an engagement ring a week before the actual wedding along with wedding rings for both of us and within one shopping trip thanks to my fab friend in Atlanta I had a dress and some jewellery ready for the big day! Oh I also got a shirt for Toby too…don’t worry he wasn’t going to be half-naked on his big day!! We were ready to head off and get married…in secret…with nobody knowing!! Sly dogs I know!

So off we trotted and we visited a new state on the way…

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Yep we drove through Sweet Home Alabama (I know you’re all singing that song now, I know I am!!) and after 6 hours on the road we made it to the courthouse in Okaloosa County in Florida where we needed to get a marriage licence before we were allowed to get married the following day! So into the courthouse we went and filled in the necessary forms before trotting out with the legal documents to make us Mr and Mrs Richter! This thing was getting real!!! (Oh and while we were in there a couple got married at the window next to us in literally 2 minutes…I kid you not! They were just in normal clothes and I think they even went in there without the intention of getting married! Talk about doing something off the cuff!!) Anyway back to the story!

So then we headed to Destin, checked into the hotel and checked out where we were going to get married…it looked a little bit like this…well it did look like this, this is the spot we actually got married!!!

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Beautiful isn’t it? I decided it was the perfect spot to say I do! We woke up that morning, looked at each other and said…’We’re getting married today!!!!’ The wedding day had arrived but it wasn’t your typical wedding day! For a start we were with each other – that’s obviously not the norm! We went out for breakfast like normal people on holiday, went to the supermarket for emergency snacks for the German (he’s like a child and gets miserable when he’s hungry!) and I had my nails done – that bit is typical of a wedding day at least!

Then at about 4pm we started to get ready – this obviously took me longer than Toby! I locked myself in the bathroom so the German couldn’t see me because it’s not allowed on your wedding day! The German had no idea what I was wearing, I kept that a secret (Well I think I did, I gave him strict instructions not to go into the spare closet but he wanted a screwdriver one day and forgot the strict instructions! He reckons he’s a boy and was focused on finding his screwdriver so he didn’t see it – I wasn’t so sure!) Eventually I emerged…as his bride! I think he was impressed with the transformation!!

We then walked out of the hotel, got in the car and went to the beach where we met our photographer Larry and the most important person, our minister Mary Lou (Yep I loved the American name too!) This was it…we were getting married!! We wandered onto the beach, found the perfect spot and said our vows! Within 10 minutes we were officially Mr and Mrs Richter and the German was allowed to kiss his bride!!! Wooooooooohoooooooooo!!!!!!!! Best day EVER!!!

Then it was time for photos…here’s a little selection for your perusal…

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Within an hour and a half we’d made it to the beach, got married and had loads of pictures taken! It passed really quickly and seemed kind of surreal but I can asssure you it did happen!! And it was the most perfect wedding ever!! Now it was time to celebrate! We went back to the hotel and cracked open the champagne which resulted in this picture…

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Yes we are idiots! Well myself more than the German! He’s the sensible one of the pair!! After that we trotted out to finish off the celebrations with a beautiful meal at Mitchell’s Fish Market (If you’re ever in Destin (well it’s actually in Sandestin!) you NEED to go there!! AMAZING!!!) The German chose well!

Newlyweds!!

Newlyweds!!

Amazing desert!!!

Amazing desert!!!

But the next day came around and we had the lovely task of informing people of what the secret squirrels that were myself and the German had been up to…oh dear. This I was kind of worried about but we got on with the task and started with the FaceTime calls to Germany. First up Mutter und Vater Richter. We called, put our hands in front of the camera and once they’d realised what we’d done we waited for a second and yay there were smiles!!! Phew!!! Then it was the brothers and sister of Toby, all smiles there too!! Phew again!! Next up was Mum and Dad Cook, except they weren’t in. Balls. So we skipped them and went to my brother and sister-in-law who also weren’t in! But they were heading back from the pub and would be home in 5 minutes! We made the call and there were shocked faces all around but they were happy with the news! The next question was ‘have you told mum?’ Erm no she wasn’t in…the brother replied with ‘oh Lord’ and put his head in his hands! How was this phone call going to go??

After hanging up with the brother we made the call again, and they were in…we sat them down, slowly raised our hands and there was some definite shocked faces…but once they realised nobody else was there they were happy bunnies and pleased to have the German as their son-in-law!! MAHOOSIVE PHEW!!!! Huge relief there!

Now everybody knew – well the important people anyway…it was time to enjoy the rest of our mini-honeymoon! And we did it in style…here’s what we did in pictures – it’s easier than writing and probably more fun for you!!

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Sun, sea, sand and food was the main theme!! And it was ace!!! The best time ever!! But then Monday came around and we had to trot back off to Atlanta, but this time as Mr and Mrs!!!! And when we got back the German carried me over the threshold and everything! Best husband EVER!!!

Oh and what I failed to mention was the reason why nobody went mad when we told them we’d got married…we’re doing it all again next year in Germany! The big wedding day will still happen – we just got the civil ceremony that has to happen before getting married in a church in Germany out-of-the-way in the best way possible!! And it was absolutely perfect!!

So there you have it…more big, huge, mahoosive news for you to digest!! Next up for me is a new passport and another trip to the US Embassy for a new visa – remember the last trip? Yep I’m not looking forward to it much either so expect more blog news from that one!!! Oh and there’s that wedding to plan in Germany next year!! That’s bound to throw up some more interesting posts for your perusal…especially with my German skills!! Busy but very exciting times in the Me, Myself and Atlanta camp!!!

Big, huge, mahoosive news!

So it’s been a while since my last blog…I’m not gonna lie and I’m probably gonna make you all jealous when I tell you why – I’ve been sunning myself in Florida for the last week! I know…I’m a lucky girl!! The good news is this means I have LOADS to blog about so get ready for an influx of posts! Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store…

Yes you are looking at 2 idiots on Miami Beach!!

Yes you are looking at 2 idiots on Miami Beach!!

First of all though I have something MAHOOSIVE to tell you about!! For this I’m gonna take you back, waaaaay back to Cinco de Mayo…remember I told you about this at the end of my last post and how I was hoping to get in on the celebrations but that the weather could prove a little difficult? Well here’s the story of Cinco de Mayo in the Cook-Richter household…

So after a very, very, very wet Saturday the sun shone on Sunday morning…also known as Cinco de Mayo! And after a disappointing Saturday that saw any plans we had rained off we decided to go to the Museum of Design Atlanta and check out the exhibition by Eero Saarinen. Now I’ll keep this history session brief as I know you’re dying to hear exactly what the MAHOOSIVE news is but this guy created the tulip chair – the one that looks a little bit like this…

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Yes that is the one that has just one leg! He was also an amazing architect, designing many airport terminals, the Saint Louis Gateway Arch and other public and private buildings.

History lesson over…see I told you it would be brief! So after the museum we decided to head to the Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Now the museum was in Midtown, the Cinco de Mayo celebrations were in the Centennial Olympic Park in Downtown so I suppose the logical thing to do would have been to drive or take the Marta. But it would appear I am not logical and despite the German complaining about his aching legs (he’d played football on the Friday evening and used muscles he hadn’t used for a while!) I insisted we walked all the way from Midtown to Downtown, especially as the sun was now shining and it had been raining all weekend! The German reluctantly agreed and we trotted off down the road!

Now I was obviously unaware of what was going to happen (that MAHOOSIVE news I was telling you about!) as we walked towards the park but the German kept telling me to slow down because of his achey legs and we kept a close eye on the weather that looked like it was about to turn nasty…probably as soon as we hit the Cinco de Mayo celebrations!

We eventually made it to the park about an hour later and as soon as we stepped through the gates it started spitting (EVERYBODY IN!!! A little bit of Peter Kay there for my British friends!! You need to fast forward to about 1 minute 54 seconds for the actual It’s Spitting part!!) but it wasn’t too bad so we carried on in! We took a little look around and noticed the Olympic fountain was turned on – yay! Now I’ve seen this before but the German hasn’t so, following his complaints about his achey legs he suggested we go and take a seat and watch the fountain for awhile…sounded like a good idea to me!

So off we trotted and found a spot right in the middle that looked a little bit like this…

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Then, catching me completely by surprise, the German turns to me and says…wait for it…here’s the MAHOOSIVE news… “I’ve got a question to ask you.” So me being me just looked at him with my usual goofy look and said “Go on then…” and the German replied with “Will you marry me?” WHAT?!?!?! Now this I was definitely not expecting! I mean I kind of was expecting it at some point, maybe in a year or so but definitely not in front of the fountain on Cinco de Mayo! So I then replied with “Are you being serious?” Yes ever the subtle one I did actually come out with those words! Anyway, turns out he was being serious and he was asking THE big question so I then replied with a big, fat “YES!!” and suddenly we were engaged!!!!! Yep, me and the German, we’re getting married!!! Here’s a snap of us following the big proposal…

Happy people!!

Happy people!!

So it was a very typical Toby proposal…no one knee and no little speech before hand but I wouldn’t have expected anything less…it was perfect!! Also, in true half a job Richter style, there wasn’t a ring but this means we get to pick something together…that mission is already on! And from the looks of it the German would have picked the perfect ring if he’d have got one beforehand! He’s a good un!

So now the fun part starts…we have to decide where to have our wedding and how we’re gonna incorporate both English and German traditions…it could be a disaster, it could be the funniest wedding of all time, we shall see!

What I do know though is that I am one very happy lady right now and I’m going to be Mrs Richter!!! One word…WOWZERS!!! See I told you it was  big, huge, MAHOOSIVE news!!