{Real Bride Series} Meet Amanda!

Meet Amanda, our newest member of our Real Bride Series! 

How did you and your groom meet?
My groom, Kyle, and I met playing music at church. He worked at the recording studio on campus at the University of Arizona, and I was an aspiring singer-songwriter. We spent long nights playing music together and arranging songs I had written. We had an instant connection.

We are dying to know, how did he propose?!
We were at his parents' cabin in Payson. It was a quiet afternoon, and I awoke from an afternoon nap to see him kneeling down with the ring. He said, 'You're the most important person in my life, and I've never loved anyone as much as I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?' It was the biggest surprise, and of course I was so happy to say yes! He said, 'It took me 5 minutes just to open the door and another 3 minutes to kneel down without making any noise.' 

What were your wedding colors? Did you have an overall theme?
Our wedding colors were blue and gold. I've always loved that rich lapis blue with the light champagne gold. Our overall theme was simple elegance (and whatever my mom convinced me would be best). I've never spent more time on Pinterest in my life.

 How large was your wedding party?
I had 6 bridesmaids, and my husband had 6 groomsmen.

Where did you find your dress? Would you say that finding your dress was a relatively easy or a difficult process?
I found my dress at David's Bridal. The woman who helped me narrow down a style I liked was extremely helpful. It was relatively easy to find a dress, because I had my mom, my mother-in-law, and my sister there with me. They gave me the encouragement I needed, and I felt very comfortable. 

Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of venue(s)?
Our ceremony took place at St. Mary's in Chandler. I've grown up at that church, and it made sense to make another major spiritual step within its familiar walls.
Our reception was at the DoubleTree by the SanTan Mall. We were very lucky that our date was available, and it all seemed to fall into place. When we visited the venue, it felt right, and it was very easy to imagine our reception taking place there.

What kind of flowers did you have in your bouquet and the ceremony/ reception?
I honestly have no idea what kind of flowers I had in my bouquet. Our florist was absent minded, disorganized, but a brilliant artist. (To be fair, most artists have a difficult time being structured.) I was so happy with how the flowers turned out, and I sort of enjoyed not knowing what they were going to look like ahead of time. Placing trust in an artist's vision is exhilarating. 

What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Did you have a groom’s cake?

Our wedding cake had two different flavors. One layer was almond vanilla, and the other layer was chocolate raspberry. We got our cake from Piece of Cake in Gilbert, and we were incredibly happy with both its appearance and taste. To be honest, I catch myself fantasizing on a weekly basis about busting that thing out of the freezer on our 1 year anniversary and digging in.

Did you provide favors to your guests? If so, what were they?
Our wedding favors were little M&M baggies with our wedding colors and our names on the M&Ms. They were taste tested before the wedding by my parents and parent-in-laws. It was nice of them to take one for the team. :)

What details from your wedding that made it unique to you?
As a wedding gift, my aunt gave me a handkerchief that had been passed down in the family. I wrapped it around the base of my bouquet. It was a nice moment when I started crying happy tears during the ceremony and I picked it up and dried my face. I wondered how many happy tears had been absorbed by this little thing. I wondered what it would be like to someday pass this on to a child of our own. I use to think that material things were meaningless, until I thought about the memories which we use them to catalog.

Other than marrying your husband, what was your favorite moment from your wedding day?
My father and I are very close. He held it together surprisingly well throughout the entire ceremony. But when it came time for the father daughter dance, he lost it. My father is a passionate musician, and it was always our bond. We experience music in a very intense way. When Sam Cooke came on with 'Nothing Can Change This Love,' he started sobbing, and a million emotions were on his face at once. I saw sadness, I saw joy, I saw confusion, I saw a very intense and genuine love.

When the line came on, 'oh, your're cake and ice cream,' I started bawling too. Memories of eating ice cream with my dad while watching passing monsoons on our porch came to mind. He said, 'I am so happy for you and Kyle. I am so happy.' It was a strong father daughter moment, a painful moment of transition. I think fathers are happy to see good men take care of their daughters, but the thought of no longer being needed is painful. But what dads don't know is what a special and timeless role they play in a daughter's life.

Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go?
We took a road trip through Santa Fe, NM and Ft. Collins, CO. Kyle and I are getting into homebrewing and craft beer, so Colorado was naturally the place it go. We're both Arizona kids, so it was a very, very, very cold adventure. We had a great time eating out, going beer tasting, and letting the day take us where it wanted.

This summer, we're planning to take a honeymoon round 2. We're saving our money to go to Ireland! We have dreams of traveling together, and an English speaking country with beautiful country side and good beer seemed like the place to start. 


What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides?
One piece of advice that I would give is don't stress the details. Kyle and I went through a marriage prep program through our church, and their saying was, 'The wedding lasts a day. A marriage lasts a lifetime.' And that is so true. So, when your mom orders the vase you don't want or when your bridesmaid drops out at the last minute, take a deep breath and spend some quality time with your love. Enjoy the process and soak it up. You're not going to care what your wedding cake looked like in 10 years, but you're definitely going to remember the deep look your husband gave you when he saw you walk down the isle. 

Who were some of the other vendors that were a part of your dream team?
A vendor I haven't mentioned yet is Snap Lovely Photography. They were incredible! They were reasonably priced, and we were so happy with our pictures. On top of it, they gave us mugs with our initials as a congratulatory gift when they delivered our pictures. We loved working with them, and they made us feel very comfortable.

Thank you so much for sharing your special day with us Amanda! We loved every minute of getting you and your maids ready!!

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