Bride & Groom: Amanda & Michael
I am very excited to feature our first Real Wedding! I met Amanda on the wedding forum, Project Wedding, about two years ago. At the time I was planning my own wedding, and was very involved on the site, as was, Amanda. We developed a friendship through the site and since have become "close Facebook friends", lol, meaning, we've never met in person, but I often go to her for advice with my own business in the event industry. Not only does she have a beautiful Spirit, she was a gorgeous bride and she is a fabulous Event Planner. Amanda is my first "Real Bride" on the blog, she is also, my first "Real Vendor"! So let's delve into the Fab!
How did the two of you meet?
Michael and I met through a mutual friend. I went to high school in California with our friend and in turn, he went to college with her out in Nevada. When making a weekend trip to the busy city, I met Michael at one of our friend’s parties. I remember liking how goofy he was and the way that I felt comfortable talking to him after meeting him and then during our courtship.
Tell us about the proposal.
It was a miserably hot summer day in California (ridiculously hot), but Michael and I took a trip to Disneyland and California Adventure for the day. I remember starting the day off hot, tired, and really annoyed. He was very weird about his pockets when we left for the theme park, because I remember reaching for his phone and him getting very agitated that I was reaching in his pocket. And he was fumbling around in his suitcase before we took off. I had an idea.
Once we got off of the tram, Michael suggested we start our day at California Adventure before it got crowded for the day. I had completely thought nothing more about the pocket situation, and focused on the day at Disney (which is my FAVORITE place in the world!). We walked around the park for a while before he asked me if I wanted to get on the Ferris Wheel. Once in line, you have the choice to sit in the cart that spin and rock throughout the ride, or sit in the cart that does not move. He gave me the choice, and naturally I chose the cart that rocked!
We sat in the cart, Michael sat very still across from me, and I rocked the cart like a monkey in a cage. I still have no idea why I was so wound up on that Ferris Wheel! The ride pauses once it gets to the top, and I had my back to him as we got to the top. I was in the process of describing to him the surrounding cities and sites that I could identify from our view at the top. I really cannot remember what he said to me, but as I turned around when he called my name, he was on his knee, in that little rocking cart, asking me to marry him. I was surprised, a no one ever surprises me!
This is the photo right after the engagement, in that little rocking cage. I did get a bigger ring three months later, but still happily wear my smaller ring on my right hand.
Let's talk about the wedding!
In what month did you get married?
We were married in Las Vegas, and really the only good time of year to get married is in April. It is not extremely hot like the summer months and then not extremely cold like the fall and winter months.
Where did you choose to hold your wedding, and how did the location influence your decor decisions?
We researched practically all of the wedding venues in the area trying to find the right location where I could have free reign designing our perfect day. We decided on Silverstone Golf Club in the northern Las Vegas area. We loved the amazing views and the clean Mediterranean feel that the golf club has. The ceremony sites were located right on the green and the reception space was a blank slate where I could transform the room into anything I wanted it to be. It was the perfect choice!
Tell us about your gown. Who was the Designer?
The most memorable moment about my wedding day was the way I felt when I put on the dress. You absolutely know that your gown is meant to be when you feel like you do not want to take them off. I wore Maggie Sottero’s Fiorella in Oyster. The sheen of the gown was a perfect compliment to the ladies deep eggplant purple dresses. I loved the Swarovski detailing of the one-shoulder strap on the gown- and the Swarovski embellishments on the train and at the hip; that had to be my favorite aspect of the wedding gown. I was fortunate to have a wonderful friend that I met on the wedding community website, Project Wedding, lend me her amazing ivory veil that worked perfectly with my dress.
"I know many people don't like to do the first look. But I honestly thought it would be better for us to capture good shots before the wedding with the whole bridal party. I didn't want to do it after the ceremony, since the site was 35 minutes from the strip. Realistically, it wasn't going to work. We were staying and getting ready at the Aria Hotel, and walked over to the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino for shots around the hotel. They have great sites!"
Did you have a decor or theme that embodied your wedding? What was the inspiration for that particular idea and how was it unique to you and your groom?
I can honestly admit that I had changed my idea of what our wedding would look like and the color palette, about, a good 8 times! The inspiration that I loved was a wedding photographed by Greg Bumatay at Bumatay Studio. I was blown away! I loved the vibrant and clean color palette (Gray, Fuchsia, Eggplant, and Bright Teal) that the couple used, and I knew that I wanted to mimic those colors in my wedding plans. And as many times as I changed our colors, I kept coming back to these colors.
How many guests attended your wedding?
We both have a large family, coming in from Arkansas and New York; and were happy to see 102 of our family and close friends in attendance for our wedding.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?
M-O-N-E-Y. It is ALWAYS the biggest challenge in wedding planning?
After making a realistic budget to not exceed 10,000 we were able to have a wedding for a total of 8,000. In addition to creating the budget to suite our needs, I am the most indecisive person in the world, and I could not settle on the right color, dress, and centerpieces. Sadly, I was a mess to deal with!
What is the one thing you are happy you splurged on?
Out of all the items and services I tried to reason in not purchasing or contracting; I am very happy that I splurged on Up Lighting. The room had butter yellow colored walls and the color just was not working too well with our colors, so we paid the extra money for purple Up Lighting. Best investment for any wedding, and I highly recommend it!
I am the biggest and most diverse music fan you will ever meet. And I was THRILLED when I learned my husband’s music taste was diverse, much like my own. When I say I listen to everything, I listen to everything. I tried to make sure our personality was expressed in my music choices for the whole night. But the selections for the traditional wedding events were pretty traditional.
Processional: “Clocks” by Twelve Girls Band
Recessional: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve
Entrance: “Forever” by Chris Brown
Cake Cutting: “Candy” by Cameo
Last Dance: “Spend My Life with You” by Eric Benet & Tamia
First Dance: “Stay with You” by John Legend
Bouquet Toss: “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé
Garter Toss: “Super Freak” by Rick James
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?
I think the most memorable moment of our wedding day was seeing all of our family and friends together to spend the day with us. Loved the dancing, and that everyone could relate to the music choices that they DJ played. And not to mention the fact my mother, who isn’t very mobile, was dancing pretty wild down the Soul Train line at the reception!
Your favorite detail?
I loved the sparkler exit and was so glad that we decided to do that. Many of our guests later told us that it made them feel like they were kids again and they haven’t played with a sparkler in years. It really was a nice touch and surprise at the end of the night!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future?
We are looking forward to starting a family together, very soon! We both want children and are excited when the time is right for us to be parents. We are also working to enhance our wedding and event planning business- and to hopefully do very well in our future endeavors.
Photographer: Andrea Takeoka Photography of Southern California
Event Planner: AJB Events
Ceremony Venue/Reception: Silverstone Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada
Officiant: Julie Nourish from A Ceremony to Remember in Las Vegas, Nevada
Invitation Designer: Signatures by Sarah
Catering: Silverstone Golf Club In-House Catering in Las Vegas, Nevada
Florist: Oceanic Flowers in Orange County, California
Cake: Creations Bakery in Las Vegas, Nevada
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero Fiorella
Bridal Accessories: Shoes: Paris Hilton Destiny, Garter: Hobby Lobby, Bracelet & Earrings: TJ Maxx and White Aisle
Bridesmaids’ Apparel: Love byEnzoani in Eggplant
Hair & Make-up: J’z Hair Design of Pasadena, California
DJ: Terry Mason Mobile DJ
I hope you all enjoyed this Real Wedding, I know I did! I found myself smiling big at the images as if I were there, especially the first look photo...priceless!