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Engaged couples share wedding planning duties

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Jan. 8, 2012 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 8, 2012 at 7:09 p.m.

Danny Linden, 19, of Victoria, and Lauren Cotter, 19, of Dallas, take a look at a cupcake vendor at the annual Pilot Club of Victoria Bridal Showcase at the Victoria Community Center on Sunday. The couple was engaged a week ago when Danny proposed at the Japanese Garden in Houston.

Wedding trivia

Peas are thrown at Czech brides, rather than rice.

There is no law or religious stipulation that requires American women to take their husband's last name, though about 70 percent change their names after marriage.

"Tying the knot" came from an ancient Babylonian custom where threads from the bride and bridegroom's clothes were tied in a knot to symbolize the couple's union.

On average, American weddings host about 175 guests.

About 40 percent of couples plan their weddings together.

Three out of four grooms will help select items for a wedding gift registry.

Source: Advocate research

One week has passed since Danny Linden popped the question to fiancée Lauren Cotter.

And since Linden's proposal last week at the Japanese Garden in Houston, the couple, both 19, managed to cinch a wedding date and agree on reception venues in both Dallas and Edna.

"We have a lot of family and friends in this area, so we decided to have a reception here for the people who can't make it to Dallas, where she's from," Linden said, perusing a catering vendor booth Sunday at the Pilot Club of Victoria's Annual Bridal Showcase.

Linden, who attended the showcase with Cotter and his mother, Anna Linden, admitted he isn't like most newly engaged men who yield their wedding preferences to the bride. The Texas Tech University junior said he's interested in sharing the decision-making with Cotter, if only to offer support to his soon-to-be wife.

"For the most part, as long as she's happy, I'm OK with what she wants," Linden said. "I want to be supportive. I don't care as much as she does about the details. But if I don't like something, I'll let her know."

While in town visiting Linden's family, the pair decided at the last minute to audition wedding caterers at the showcase, held annually at the Victoria Community Center.

"We wanted to try the food. And nail a caterer down," said Linden, excited about the impending food tasting.

Linden and Cotter, who met more than a year ago at Texas Tech in Lubbock - where they're both currently earning undergraduate degrees - will marry in a Dallas butterfly garden on May 24, 2013, after Linden graduates college. The following week, a second reception will be at the Edna County Services building. Cotter is scheduled to graduate college one year after the wedding, she said.

Linden wasn't the only fiancé at the bridal showcase offering support to his bride-to-be.

Victoria resident Eugene Holst, 37, also attended the event with fiancée, Michelle Hysquierdo, 41, to browse wedding vendors, and narrow down a wedding cake and reception DJ.

"We're in this 50-50," Holst said, smiling. "Most guys really don't care, but I think it's fun. I had no idea it was this much work."

Pointing to a black and white four-tiered cake, Holst said, "That's what I picked out, but I don't know if I got it."

Since proposing in May, Holst said the couple has worked well together, deciding as a team what their wedding day will look like.

"It is overwhelming, but that's what makes it fun," he said. "It's a party, so we're trying to make sure everyone has a good time."

When Holst and Hysquierdo marry on July 7, 2012, it will be a second marriage for each of them. But Holst said he's excited about marrying Hysquierdo because it's the pair's first big wedding.

"We both got married in the J.P.'s office the first time, so this is our first real wedding," he said. "I just want to make sure she's happy and make it a celebration that everyone enjoys."

Like Holst, Linden said he too, was comfortable with many of his fiancee's planning ideas.

"She has more opinions than I do," he laughed. "Most of the time when she comes to me with something, I say, 'I don't know, whatever looks good.'"

But whether the opinion comes from Cotter or Linden, they both agree their wedding day should represent the couple equally.

"I know this is about a celebration of us. It's not just about me," Cotter said.

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