Mandy and Vanessa met at Ikea. Yes, Ikea. Vanessa was there with her son, and Mandy was shopping with her friend, Sonia. “Sonia, who was a mutual friend, saw Vanessa from across the store and yelled ‘Nenna!’” remembers Mandy. The pair had met a couple of times prior at mutual friends’ events, however, this time it clicked. “We both told Sonia we thought the other was cute, and we hung out that night, and the rest is history.”
Mandy proposed to Vanessa on a hiking trail behind their first home. Mandy told Vanessa that they were taking pictures for Aiden’s sixth birthday, but really she had her ring on a cupcake, to propose. “Aiden got a little proposal cupcake, too,” the couple shares. “The whole thing was photographed by Nikki from Nikki Hancock Photography, and [was] one of the most special moments.” Vanessa proposed to Mandy soon after at Grace Patriot Winery, where she took Mandy for a walk through the vineyard. “It was beautiful, intimate and perfect,” says Mandy. “We both cried and couldn’t wait to get started planning our future.”
They wanted their wedding to be intimate and about their family of three uniting. Vanessa’s Godmother, Monica, married them during a beautiful ceremony. “It was centered around acceptance, love, faith and coming together as a family,” says Mandy. “There was not a dry eye in the house, and the venue was just breathtaking.”
The reception was at the same location as the ceremony, at Lawley Ranch. “It was so fun and went by way too fast,” says Vanessa. “The speeches were the most memorable part, but the food and desserts were outrageously yummy, [and] getting to see all of our guests enjoying themselves.” There were so many memorable moments, but the highlight of the day was the moment when Mandy, Vanessa and Aiden became a family. “The look on Aiden’s face after we were married,” says Mandy. “He was so proud, and we were so in love with our little family.”
First Dance Song
“Romance” by CRSB
Father/Daughter Dance Song
“Alright” by Supergrass and “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole (Vanessa)
“Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle (Mandy)
Mother/Son Dance Song
“Humble & Kind” by Tim McGraw (Vanessa and her son, Aiden)
Bouquet Toss Song
Vanessa – “A Milli” by Lil Wayne
Amanda – “Run the World” by Beyonce
Last Dance Song
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
Details about the cake
Our Cake was a lemon zest cake, with buttercream frosting. Brandy was able to make it gluten free!! (as I, Amanda have a food allergy). It was DELICIOUS. She also made gluten free berry pies, orange zest cheesecake, and chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.
Details about the flowers
We had gorgeous flowers, that varied. The most special part was that my cousin did our wedding flowers, and they were absolutely the most gorgeous flowers we could have imagined! Our greenery was the center of our table, with pops of color and candles throughout. The most special part of the flowers, was that some of the greenery and flowers were gathered from our private family estate.
Details about the favors
Our favors were made up by Brandy West of Go West Baking. She created mini mason jar pies, and crafted the ‘thank you’ sticker for the top. They were displayed in a large slot cabinetry, and it was the absolutely perfect dessert and cake display! Plus EVERYONE loved the pies, cake, cupcakes, and orange cheesecake!
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
Lawley Ranch was an absolutely amazing venue, the flowers had bloomed, and the grounds were absolutely incredible. Not to mention, the owners are simply the most wonderful people to work with.
Jacki Spellman and her team were incredible, and brought such fun to getting ready that morning, it was crazy but Jacki NAILED our looks, and we both felt gorgeous, all day!!
Chef Keith with Culinerdy was amazing, the food was to die for, and guests are still raving about it!!! He and his team were so nice and made the dinner portion of our event amazing.
Nikki Hancock got wonderful pictures of our special day!
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
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