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Amanda + Kyle’s Gatsby Themed Wedding

Amanda + Kyle

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Amanda for a long time and one of the things I love most about her is her ability with words. Her background in journalism and writing in response to my questionnaire perfectly captured the day and the beginning of their love story.

Location of Wedding: Schauer Arts Center and Chandelier Ballroom – Hartford, WI

December 2017

1.)	How did you two meet?

We met on OkCupid, chatted for about a week before having our first date. Amanda actually noticed Kyle on OkCupid a few months before actually reaching out to talk to him. She thought he was way too handsome and out of her league. They officially met at Barriques, a coffee shop down the street from where they live now in Madison. They hit it off so well that, when Barriques closed the night of Feb. 1, 2016 they headed up the street to The Flying Hound. Between the coffee shop and pub their first date lasted almost 5 hours. They both knew the other was special after that initial date.

2.)	How did he (or she!) pop the question?

Kyle popped the question on Jan. 22, 2017 after previous attempts were thwarted by fate. He wanted to propose at Christmas 2016, but Amanda’s ring hadn’t arrived. He thought to do it on New Years, but the ring had still not arrived. Amanda thought it might happen on their special anniversary trip to “Hamilton” and Disney World in Feb. 2017, but Kyle wanted to catch her off guard — which is especially hard to do. Kyle suggested they go on a nature walk in the Arboretum in Madison on Jan. 22. Something Amanda had wanted to do for NYE. It was a mucky and gross day. It was icy all along the nature paths and the two got their pantlegs covered in mud. Amanda suggested they go back home, but Kyle insisted they keep going on the trail. He wanted to take Amanda to her favorite spot in the nature preserve, a lovely little pond where wildlife often hang out. When they got to the pond they spent a few minutes looking around the beautiful wintry nature. When they decided to turn back, Kyle got down to tie his shoes. Amanda was very concerned he was going to lose his balance on the dock and fall in the water. While Kyle was tying his shoe he announced, “since I’m down here anyway…” and pulled a ring box out of his pocket. Amanda was stunned. She was speechless and just stared at Kyle. Eventually he stood up and asked “is that a yes?” and Amanda nodded while crying. They embraced and headed back down the mucky trail.

3.)	What was your favorite moment(s) from the wedding?

The vows. Kyle was so excited to use ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ in his vows and Amanda very much wanted to tell everyone the story of her and her grandfather when he told her about his wedding before he passed away. We also loved our lightsaber battle grand march. It was a way to incorporate Kyle’s fandom into their otherwise very theatrical event. And the photos turned out so fun!

4.)	How long have you been together?

Since Feb. 2016. Kyle did “officially” ask Amanda to be his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, however, so the two consider that their dating anniversary.

5.)	How would you describe your overall wedding experience?

It was beautiful. Despite the things that went wrong which we had no control over (the reception venue boiler catching on fire and having no heat for our reception) we had everything we could’ve wanted. There is no experience quite like having people you love from all parts of you life gathered in one room.

6.)	What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?

Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior about your decisions. If you want to have the craziest, most off the wall wedding of all time, go for it. Like Amanda’s grandmother wisely said, “if you want to walk down the aisle in a swimming suit, do it. It’s your day.’

7.)	What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple?

Communicate everything with your photographers. You might think you’ll remember that super special photo you want on your big day, but I promise you that you won’t. You’ll be too busy greeting everyone or having fun to remember to take a picture with your great-great aunt or whoever. Trust your photographers. It’s why you hired them.

8.)	Tell me about the dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?

That dress was everything I never thought I wanted. I went to Vera’s in Madison with my mom and my bridesmaid Amanda to look at dresses, but not necessarily buy one that day. We looked at 10 dresses and found one that was fine. We were going to settle on that. As I was saying how I wouldn’t be the bride who sees a dress and cries, my shop attendant snuck in with a dress, hung it up and snuck back out. I looked at the dress hanging and began to get teary eyed. I put it on and got more teary eyed. My mom cried, I couldn’t stop smiling and I knew it was the one. I thought I wanted a simple, vintage dress and ended up in a lacey, gorgeous vintage inspired dress instead. I don’t regret it a bit. It was like a work of art.

9.)	How was your experience taking photos/working with me on your wedding day?

How could I possibly summarize this? I knew from the moment we got engaged that we needed Kara to be our photographer. I’ve always loved her work and her as a person and knew if anyone could make our wedding into a set of gorgeous images it was her. Ever since college when I gained weight I’ve been so self conscious about having my photo taken. But there wasn’t a single moment during our wedding when I felt that way. Even photos we have from angles I wouldn’t consider “my best” are beautiful beyond reason.

10.) Did you see each other before the wedding? If not, did you like waiting or would you have rather done it differently? Tell me why or why not!

We did a first look. I can’t imagine not doing one. As soon as our first look was over ALL of my nerves were gone. I had a hard time walking down the aisle without crying, but I would have been a mess if we hadn’t done a first look.

11.) Any tips on how to prepare for the wedding photos?

Relax. Your favorite photos might be like mine, completely spontaneous moments captured forever just for you. Like laughing at something silly happening or making funny faces with your best friends just because.

 12.) We love to hear about vendors you love. List any vendors here and feel free to share your experience. Be sure to include the name of the vendor, their profession, city/state, site or Facebook page and how your experience was!

MEGAN HOLSTINE, makeup artist, Hartford, WI. I will sing her praises everywhere. She was a dream to work with. She made all the ladies look so, so beautiful. I credit her 100% with making me feel as beautiful as Kyle always says I am.

 13.) What were you most anxious, nervous or fearful about regarding your wedding day and what was the outcome?

Crying through my vows. I didn’t! I have no idea how, but I didn’t.

14.) What’s one piece of advice you would give to other couples for planning their wedding?

As hard as it is, enjoy it. I genuinely miss planning my wedding even though parts of it were stressful. Please enjoy it. Bond over it and share the responsibilities.

 Laughter is the most beautiful part of any marriage, and I know these two will have lots of it. I am so lucky to call them friends and I feel honored to have been a witness to their wedding day.

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