Bride: Amanda Reynolds
Groom: David Wrigley
Wedding gown style: Vera Wang Gemma, style number 121411NB
Wedding date: August 2, 2012
Boutique purchased: Chicago Flagship Store
Location: Fontainebleau Inn, Alpine, NY
Photographer: Martha Swann of Martha Swann Photography
First things first, where did you meet your husband and was it love at first sight?
In our case, I think it was actually, love before first sight. My husband and I were set up by mutual friends. To be honest, the set up didn’t make any sense to us initially. I was living in New York City and my now husband, Dave had recently moved to Kansas City, Missouri for a job opportunity. Our friends, Vanessa and Miles first began planting the seeds of a set up in April of 2010. By November 2010, they felt the timing was finally just right for both of and put the plan into overdrive. They had Dave over for dinner and spent the entire evening telling all about me. The second he walked out the door, Vanessa called me to gush the details.
We decided that I should just send an innocent Facebook message and introduce myself. The very next day at lunch I hit send on that first little message. That evening I had the best message back in my inbox! From that day forward we were just insatiable to learn more about the other. We sent Facebook messages, emails, texts, and graduated to a phone calls in about 3 days flat, never missing a single good morning or good night message.
That first weekend we both unbeknownst to the other, cancelled dates with other people so we could just stay in and talk to each other on the phone. After about two weeks of spending just about every free minute getting to know Dave, I knew I was falling for him and that this was very different from any other experience I had ever had. I went home for Thanksgiving, just two weeks after we began talking and told my family all about this wonderful man. I actually remember telling my family, “I love him! I mean, I’m not in love with him, but I love the person that he is.” I also told them that I truly felt that this was the man I was made to be with and would marry. With one look at me, they believed me.
That very next week, just 20 days after my first message to him, he flew to NYC. I was completely out of my mind with excitement! I dropped by his hotel room and left a welcome to New York note and a box of cookies from my favorite bakery, Levain, to be waiting in his room when he arrived. That evening after work I hopped in a cab and met him at his hotel. When my eyes first met his and he wrapped his arms tightly around me, I knew I had found the one.
How did he propose? Tell us the story!
Dave won a silent auction at work for a weekend in a beautiful luxury cabin in Lake of the Ozarks (a beautiful area of southern Missouri). The cabin had two bedrooms and two baths so we invited our friends to spend the weekend with us. In the days leading up to weekend everything was going as planned. Emails were flying around about when each of us would arrive, what our plans would be so I had fully assumed the weekend would unfold much as we had planned.
We arrived on the evening of Thursday, November 10th and Brandon & Cynthia were scheduled to arrive the next afternoon. Finding the cabin proved to be a little bit challenging, so I suggested that maybe we meet them at a restaurant nearby for dinner and then they could follow us back. Dave thought that was a wonderful idea.
Dave made dinner reservations at Chateau on the Lake, a beautiful resort nearby. He said that our friends would meet us for dinner at 5pm, but because the grounds around the resort were so beautiful that we should go early and just walk around for a bit. We arrived a little before 4pm and asked the concierge if we could walk down to the lake. They said it was fine, so we wandered down the hill to the marina. It was maybe 30-40 minutes before the sunset and the glow on the water was incredible. As we began to walk on the docks, I noticed a big, beautiful yacht. We continued past and looked at the other boats. After a few minutes, Dave suggested we go get a closer look at that first yacht. As we approached the boat, I noticed there were two ladies on board. From maybe 15-20ft away they had obviously noticed us admiring their boat. We made small talk and complimented the yacht. They surprised me by asking if we wanted to get onboard and check it out. This did not sound like a good idea to me, I’ve seen too many scary movies, I guess. I looked to Dave and he said, “We’d love to!” I decided since I was with Dave and these ladies looked so sweet that it would probably be okay. We hopped aboard and they showed us all around. They told us that they were a luxury chartered yacht and their next group wouldn’t be there for another hour. Then the next bombshell came. They said it was silly to have such a beautiful boat and just sit at the dock so they were going to head out for a quick little trip and they’d be happy to take us along with them. I of course thought – no way! I politely smiled and said thank you so much, but we’re meeting friends for dinner soon so we won’t be able to. Dave however, piped right up and said “We absolutely have time! Sounds like so much fun!” The next thing you know we were shoving off! I just kept giggling to myself thinking that it was going to be a great story at the very least!
The ladies mentioned the bow of the boat had the most beautiful view of the sunset so we decided to venture out there. We sat down, admiring our prime sunset view. It was a bit chilly so Dave wrapped me up tightly in his arms. The sun was perfectly setting when the yacht slowed to a stop in the middle of the lake. Dave stood and then helped me up. At that moment, Train, “Marry Me” one of our very favorite songs began playing. Dave got down on one knee and said the most wonderful things – most importantly “Will you marry me?”!!!!!! I choked out a yes and dropped to my knees and wrapped my arms around him. All during the cuddling on the bow, the proposal, my shock, the kisses, hugs and tears, those sweet little ladies had snuck up behind us and captured it all with Dave’s camera. What a precious gift to have! The ladies brought us champagne and strawberries and we got to enjoy our special moment as we cruised back to the marina in order to make our dinner reservation. Dave let me know that the weekend would be just for us – and that our friends had been in on plan and wouldn’t be joining us. We had an amazing dinner and then headed back to our cozy cabin with the whole weekend ahead of us to celebrate! In my opinion, it was the perfect proposal
Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown?
I decided on a Vera Wang dress because none of many dresses I tried even came close to comparing to how I felt in the Gemma. Wedding dress shopping was not easy for me. During our engagement, I was living in Kansas City. I found many dresses locally that I liked, but none that made me want to lay down my credit card. I had seen the Gemma online and couldn’t stop thinking about it. After 10+ unsuccessful bridal appointments, Dave convinced me that I should just fly to Chicago and try on the dress to see if it stacked up to my expectations. So I did just that. I flew to Chicago and stayed with my close girlfriend, Julie. Julie and I set off in the morning and went straight to the beautiful Vera flagship store on Rush Avenue. After Wendy clipped me tightly into the dress, I walked down the front area of the boutique and turned at the end to face the long mirror that stood about 100 feet away. When I saw my reflection I was absolutely breathless. That was the ” wow – I am absolutely sure” moment I was looking for.
How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique?
We had briefly considered a destination wedding because we wanted the intimacy that comes with a small destination wedding. However, we decided that it wasn’t right for us because it is so much harder to incorporate small personal touches. For example, I really loved our wedding favors. We were able to get the cookies we had on the evening that we first met. They are hands down my favorite cookie on the planet, and I loved the nod to that sweet first date we had. For our guests, it was love at first bite!
What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?
Elegant, but relaxed was the feeling we strived to achieve. We wanted to have a beautiful wedding but didn’t want it to feel uptight or stuffy. We wanted our guests to be able to relax and have fun celebrating with us.
Did you stay true to the Old English wedding rhyme: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. If so, what were yours?
This wasn’t a big priority to me. I intended to do it, but with all of the many competing priorities, I didn’t end up having a ‘something old’. My new was my beautiful dress. I borrowed a pearl bracelet from my Mom. For my something blue, I wore cute little velvet bows on my shoes that I found on Etsy.
What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress?
First of all, I’d tell a bride to trust her instincts and choose what she loves. Your wedding day is such a magical day and it’s important to feel truly fabulous. Find the dress that makes you feel better and more beautiful than you’ve ever felt.
What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share?
Without a doubt, my favorite part of the day was exchanging our vows. That moment of standing in front of each other, holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes, reciting promises of our love and commitment was the most powerful and tender moment of my life.