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