Both hailing from the small town of Windsor, Amanda and Jake had gone to the same high school and shared mutual friends, but somehow never encountered each other. “We met at a bar in Santa Rosa called The Belvedere,” says Amanda. “I basically stalked him and kept staring at him until he approached me and introduced himself.”

While some women are lucky enough to have one proposal, Amanda can proudly say she enjoyed two. “Jake actually asked me twice,” she says. “The first time he proposed was very spur of the moment. We had only been dating for a very short time. We were in a private part of a restaurant. He was telling me how it was crazy, but he knew he wanted to spend his life with me. I said I felt the same way and he proposed right there.”

As he didn’t have a ring at the time, Jake knew there was call for a round two, so he planned a day for Amanda and her two daughters to go to breakfast and then the beach. “Everything started going wrong,” she remembers. “The place where we were going to breakfast ended up being too full, then my daughter got car sick and wasn’t feeling well. We ended up looking up other places to eat but finally ended up just going to Starbucks.” Although they almost called it a day, Amanda’s daughter insisted they still go to the beach. “When we got there, we found a nice little corner with logs set up in a circle. My girls were sitting on either side of me and he got on one knee (with a ring this time!) and proposed again. Then he asked my girls if it was okay with them. They both said yes too.”

Amanda admits she didn’t know the first thing about planning a wedding. “All I knew was I had champagne taste on a beer budget,” she says. “I wanted everything to be elegant and beautiful but also not break our bank. I went into everything with a pretty open mind and didn’t have very many expectations. I was just happy to be marrying my man.”

With only a six-month engagement, Amanda says it sometimes felt like the whole thing wouldn’t come together in time. ”I was very fortunate to have so many people contribute their talents and professions to help with the wedding,” she says. “My favorite time was the night before when we had everything set up. It wasn’t until that very moment that I realized we were actually going to pull it off.”

The couple enjoyed a simple and beautiful ceremony with loved ones. “We both wrote our own vows, and Jake also had vows for my daughters,” she shares.

The reception was held at the Deturk Round Barn with a second floor that wrapped around the top in view of the dance floor. “The whole reception was a blast! I don’t think I have ever had more fun in my entire life,” says the bride. “Everyone I love and care about, all in the same room celebrating mine and Jake’s love for one another. My oldest daughter, who was four at the time, sang the whole song ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, while my younger daughter danced around her with all 150 guests watching.” 

—Darren Elms