While her sister attended college in Chico, Amanda paid a visit so she could meet her sister’s new boyfriend at the time. Michael happened to be the boyfriend’s roommate. ”Before I was even introduced to him, I noticed him looking over at me with a big smile on his face,” she remembers. “We ended up laughing all night and hanging out.”
On Christmas of 2016, Michael cleverly orchestrated Amanda’s family and his family to take a picture together in front of the Christmas tree. He took that moment to pop the question. “His stepdad Brad was filming the whole thing and his Aunt Leigh was taking pictures,” she says. “Christmas already feels magical, so add getting engaged and celebrating the rest of the day with your family and it [becomes] the best Christmas yet.”
While planning their wedding, the couple knew they wanted to have the best time with their loved ones. “We have rowdy, fun-loving families on both sides,” says the bride. “We wanted to make sure we stayed true to our own personalities and not just current trends or themes.”
There were moments during the process where Amanda said to herself, “wow, we are really doing this” while checking things off the to-do list. “My favorite time was finding our venue because it is stunning,” she says. For Michael, it was the taste testing. “Who doesn’t love testing cake and barbeque?” he says.
The couple wrote their own ceremony script. Amanda describes the ceremony at Delta Diamond Farm like “floating on cloud nine.” Michael adds that they didn’t want a long ceremony, but wanted to be able to show their personalities and share stories at the same time. “Our ceremony was full of tears, laughter and nonstop smiles,” he says. “I don’t think you can ask for a better ceremony.”
The reception, also at Delta Diamond Farm, was in the barn. “It was simple, fun and stunning,” says Amanda. “So many memorable moments.” The wedding party was introduced through a big metal roll away door by a song of each pair’s choice. The newlyweds walked in to “Function” by E-40. “We played the shoe game (recommended by our DJ) and that had everyone laughing,” she says. “The venue was amazing and we mingled between the dance floor, the open front of the barn under a gorgeous evening, and even in the upstairs of the barn where we could look out over our huge party of guests.”
But the moment Amanda replays in her head was seeing her groom at the end of the aisle for the first time. “It was the starting point to the rest of that amazing day, and there is no other feeling than that rush of excitement and love,” she says. Michael couldn’t agree more. “As Amanda walked around the corner, I felt extremely calm,” he shares. “She looked stunning, and I felt an overwhelming comfort and excitement knowing this was forever my wife. Hands down the best part of the day.”
— Darren Elms
Amanda & Michael's Wedding Resources
Sandals Resort La Toc in Saint Lucia
“It’s Your Love” by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
“My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw
“My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
“Super Freak” by Rick James
“Ignition Remix” by R. Kelly
Almond Strawberry, Red Velvet, Chocolate Raspberry
Ranunculus, Spray Roses, Garden Roses, Sweet Peas, Eucalyptus, Italian Ruscus
The venue coordinators went above and beyond to help us with any questions or difficult situations, and kept us on track the day of. Our DJs were amazing and kept the life of the party going; our Florist Rachael was magical. We can’t say enough amazing things about all of our vendors!
Stay true to yourselves. We are in 2017 and “supposed to” or “traditionally” should not obligate you in planning your day! Know that this day goes by in the blink of an eye so focus on two to three really important aspects. For Michael and I we wanted to invest in the venue, DJ/MC, and photographers/videographer. Of all the weddings we have attended, we never remember how great/terrible the food was or the table decorations. We remember dancing with our friends and pictures with the happy couple.
There WILL be bumps: expect things to go wrong and lean on/laugh/cry with your family and find the best possible solution together. Oh, and we both recommend you leave for your honeymoon right after the wedding! Having “us” time right after the wedding kept us on this wedding excitement high for the whole week we were in Saint Lucia. Don’t postpone it!
Once the wedding day comes, all of the stress and hard work is over. Take a step back and realize all of that hard work really does pay off. Remember to make your wedding day reflect the personalities of you and your wife. Don’t be afraid to dance to E-40 with a Coors Light in your hand during the intro. Don’t be afraid to say “Hell yeah” at the altar. Your wedding day will go by way too fast not to be yourself and have fun.