F's mom talked to her astrology guy and found us a good date, so the wedding is officially going to be the weekend of July 24th next year. We also went back and forth a lot and decided to have it in the Chicago area. Sure, I'm not in Chicago, but I explained to F's mom how important it is to me to get to plan this, and I think she got it. We worked out some ideas about how to go about things logistically (for instance, they'll get a whole lot of pandits, and we'll phone interview them) that make me pretty comfortable with the plan. Having his family nearby does make some things easier, too: I'd been looking at getting wholesale flowers (like from fiftyflowers.com or something) and arranging them ourselves, and if there are a lot of family people around that will be a lot easier.
I just ordered some sample invitations from Saima Says Design. F. and I looked at some last night, but he doesn't know I have ordered samples. It'll be a nice surprise for him when they arrive. It makes the whole thing seem like it's finally getting started!
F. and I also agreed on what colors to use for decorating (red and orange). I found a photo of a mandap that I really like, too. It's so graceful. Imagine this kind of frame with orange, red, and white flowers & fabric.