There are some wedding videos that are just so emotional, so over-the-top or so absolutely stunning, we feel they deserve a bigger accolade on our site, like the title of Love Story of the Week! We love Amanda and Daniel’s emotional celebration, but they also have one of the absolute best love stories!.
Danny happens to be my high school crush, but not high school sweetheart lol…the short version is that he was a senior when I was a freshman (he attended the all-boys school & played basketball with my brother. And I, the all-girls school with his twin sisters) Naturally I swooned if we were ever in the same vicinity, and he had no idea I existed. He was a stud football quarterback and I was behind a camera on yearbook most of the time…But! We were both visiting “home” in LA one weekend post-college (I lived in San Diego, he lived in San Jose) and made eyes at a local bar where he introduced himself – to which I responded “I know who you are”, in the least smooth way possible. Thankfully it didn’t scare him enough because everything pretty much started from there. We did long distance for about three years 😳, then I moved to Norcal after grad school. We moved in together a few months before he proposed in March of 2019.
He proposed on one of our favorite beaches in Carmel on our six-year “meetiversary”. The non-existent love language we share is dancing and we literally dance everywhere. So it didn’t surprise me that he asked me to dance by the water after sharing some wine, but I knew as soon as he couldn’t stop shaking and smiling that something was about to happen. He got down on one knee and I think I tackled him haha… The surprises just rolled in after that! One of his sisters showed up as his secret photographer and provided us with some really cute memories. After that, we FaceTimed a ton of people while still on the beach and I learned about how he asked each of my parents, grandparents and brother separately for their blessing. Soon after, he took me to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Casanova, and a few of our close friends made a screaming entrance surprise with bottles on bottles of champagne. Just as we were about to leave, he surprised me with a night at a little inn by the beach! (swoon)
Amanda: We are my favorite team of all time. I just love that I’ve found a partner with such a kind heart who makes me laugh so hard AND wants to move mountains with me. The foundation feels solid knowing theirs a mutual investment in each other. He also has the best butt I’ve ever seen.
Danny:We complement each other so well while sharing some really great similarities like being adventurous, laughing a lot and prioritizing relationships with family & friends. Our differences have made us both better people. We love dancing, although Amanda is much better which is challenging for me!
Bless His Heart! Danny came with me to a talk/book signing for a book called “8 Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by some of my favorite psychologists about relationships. (HIGHLY recommend btw) I’m a psychotherapist so I geek out on these things – he had bought me the book the month prior and we went through the dates in the book throughout our engagement. He had no idea what this talk would involve when I booked it in advance and he bought us the tickets anyway and invited our friends lol. Luckily for him, we hit the slopes in Tahoe soon after to celebrate on skis (much more his style).
Woof – holy challenging aspect of this journey. We had said for years how we wanted the bulk of our savings to stay savings for things like a home, future pup, and traveling. We stuck to it pretty well because I love this stuff (planning) and did a lot of things creatively, DIY, & with the help of talented friends and fam. (my mom, in particular, was a rockstar assistant and ‘man on the ground’ in Socal as we planned from afar) Our all-in budget ended up being $50k. We started out being much more interested in an overall budget of around $35-40k (put together by collecting some averages of married friends & current standard rates of things we were most interested in) BUT! Despite our more modern and etiquette-contrary approach to the guest list, 😬 we had too many meaningful relationships we wanted to share this with. Our “firm” guest list of 150 increased to around 200 pretty fast.
-Intentional moments/time together
-Killer dance party // Music – we had super intentionally-crafted playlists for every aspect of the day. Songs that meant something to our relationship from the get-go.
-Videography (I’ve been binge-watching wedding videos & becoming obsessed with their creation & style since I got a laptop lol) Choosing The Quail & The Dove was hands down our best decision.
(Editor’s Note: We’re just a LITTLE obsessed with Amanda!)
Amanda: As you can see from the video, I accidentally got a sneak peek of Danny walking in and went full squeal like it was Christmas morning. So I had my Julia Roberts, “Runaway Bride” moment in the window upstairs before our first look. I honestly just couldn’t wait to hug him, he’s a babe.
Danny: Gorgeous!!!! I was pretty nervous/antsy throughout the day leading up to the first look & ceremony and then seeing how stunningly beautiful Amanda looked in her dress made me so excited for our wedding to really get started!
Absolutely. As you can probably tell, I love to write and had been drafting pre-engagement haha (no shame in my game). For me, it was important to include our general relationship theme of finding adventure in all things, being grounded in our faith, strengthening our team in the face of life’s challenges & growing old together. We also wanted to highlight throughout our ceremony things we had both learned from the book Love Does by Bob Goff – life goals to love each other as a choice & action were sprinkled throughout each of our vows. Danny was the one that blew me and everyone else away. He’s typically much less verbal in his expression and shows his love through action. So when he broke out the most profound love letter of all time including references from our favorite movies and life lessons, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I don’t know where it came from but I’m def hanging onto that surreal moment forever.
Amanda: THANK YOU! Appreciate the observation haha – one of my top 3 requirements was a “danceable” dress and scored when I was ultimately introduced to what is apparently known as the yoga pants of wedding dresses. Olvis Lace is a goddess of a designer in my opinion. I was on the hunt for something vintage-looking with unique lace details and a low back. I’d drawn myself in a long-sleeve wedding dress since I was little and definitely benefitted from the trend being on the rise during my hunt present day. The original design was stunning but slightly more risqué than I was going for. The fabric was a dream to work with so I customized different aspects for the dress to fit more my style. (closed up the plunge, widened the neckline to the shoulders, lined the front, slimmed the sleeves & added buttons, added wrist “bustle”) I won’t lie, the process itself was very challenging, but the result was fabulous.
Danny: I had bought my tux a few years back and was very particular about the fit & tailoring and planned to have it for a long time. So when I was deciding what to wear for our wedding, I kept coming back to the look of a classic black tux & bowtie, especially since I feel so comfortable in it. For the details, I upgraded with new velvet slippers, new tux shirt, new bowtie & new suspenders. (all the details were from Brooks Brothers) – Danny
We did gift our moms custom necklaces and framed their favorite baby pictures with us. We were both born in May so we gave each of our moms a necklace with two emeralds joined together. I gifted my girls a monogrammed clutch courtesy of Etsy, boozy bears & a “love” embroidered white tee for getting ready. And Danny gifted his guys the maroon velvet bow ties, pocket squares, courtesy of TieBar.com and a sleeve of golf balls. The girls rocked a gorgeous navy slip dress from Petal & Pup and the boys looked dapper in black suits of their choice.
We sure did. I had seen the idea years ago in a wedding magazine and sobbed my eyeballs out. This decision was made early and a no-brainer. Though both grandmas thought we were kidding, they ended up being the absolute hit of the ceremony. We couldn’t use rose petals so they tossed dried eucalyptus saved from my bridal shower. We’re both extremely close with our grandparents and wanted to honor these leading ladies in a way that was special to all of us. A favorite moment for sure.
Every aspect of this venue was swoon-worthy to us. Originally, we were both pretty firm about getting married outside amongst redwoods in NorCal (very different vibe). But we were perhaps more attached to a fall/winter wedding. The two don’t necessarily jive weather-wise unless you have the extra cash lying around for a tent/heaters or you equally love the backup indoor options. We had a hard time achieving either. The hunt brought us back to our SoCal roots and looking at the only indoor venue on our list. I’d seen it after a close friend & goddess planner, Vanessa Michelle Co. nailed a wedding there long before our engagement and tucked it away as a backup. We walked in and were speechless. I’m half Cuban and the Old Havana vibes were definitely calling our names. The full skylight ceiling & gorgeous greenery made it feel like the most outdoor-feeling indoor-venue in existence. Not to mention the combination of stunning Spanish tile & architecture feel, exposed brick, artsy details, and VINTAGE decor everywhere—we knew we didn’t need to look any further. We wanted our guests to feel transported back in time into an old love story from the moment they walked in and the venue didn’t need much from us to do that. Additionally, they were so wonderful to work with and allowed us to customize so much! Biggest perk by far: the venue is owned by the catering company, TrèsLA, and they seriously know what they’re doing. We had SO many guests say that this was not only the best wedding meal they’ve ever had but potentially the best meal they’ve ever had. Foodie couples, these are your people!
Yes! It feels so good to not only see your detailed vision come to life but to also have it appreciated! (Thank you!!) Since we spent so much time as an initially long-distance couple, we loved the idea of old school love letters. Don’t get me wrong, we also FaceTimed every day haha but the love for vintage love was established early on for us. Even after I moved to Norcal we wrote to each other and we thought this was the best ‘ode to our love story’ detail. All of these poems & or quotes about love meant something to us. Danny’s grandfather gave him his old typewriter (displayed on our welcome table) when we first started dating and it helped serve as inspiration. Other vintage items from grandparents on our welcome table included my grandmother’s makeup case from her honeymoon to Havana (held our cards), my other recently-passed grandmother’s baking scale used for decades of family recipe pumpkin pies, and Danny’s recently-passed grandfather’s old video camera. Each item was accompanied by the pair’s wedding portraits. (Still stoked about that table!)
Yes! Neither of us are really cake people and were initially resistant to a cake in general. Ice cream & cookies, however, are our jam and we were super committed to that. But along the planning journey, I was bumming just about the idea of not having an eventual vintage photo of us cutting our cake haha. Go figure. We compromised for the photo lol (& our love for Polaroid helped)—we both agreed that cheesecake is the only cake that excites us and went for it when Ebell gave us the green light. Despite all the detail you see, this was our way of sticking to minimalism. Classic. Simple. Us (We took the Polaroid during portraits pre-ceremony) Long Beach Creamery made our unique ice cream flavor dreams come true and allowed us to customize the cups with stickers of our faces. What more could we ask for?
Oh, man. It still baffles us that people don’t go for this invaluable memory. We are both huge fans of film and had zero doubts about wanting to remember the day in this way. Among SO many in my opinion, we think one of the biggest takeaways is that you get to experience the day not only over and over, but in a way that you simply couldn’t day of. Danny and I kept saying we wish we could’ve attended our wedding as guests to take in everyone’s individual experience; see little moments of love, fun and everything in between. No matter how much you try to be mindful and present (something I work on literally every day as a therapist), the adrenaline and overflowing joy just get the best of you. You will miss things. We wanted to see so much more and its the best gift we could’ve given ourselves. The Quail & The Dove delivers genuine experience of the day like no other. I think we’ve watched our video a million times already and still see new things that make us swoon.
Amanda: So many to choose from. Top three? Haha #1: The moment we walked out of the ceremony and it was just us, I lost it. Danny’s tall so we have this thing that we’ve always done where we kiss with me on one step up, like on a curb (most often for us was outside airport drop-off). We walked out and I sobbed into his face, from one step up haha. #2: My Abuelo (grandfather) is typically so quiet, observing things from afar somewhere and very introverted. He’s also my favorite man on earth and he knows it. The first salsa song of the reception came on and Danny and I were getting down—Abuelo swooped in so fast and spun me around the dance floor like I’ve never seen him move, the place erupted and I was just crying with joy. #3: We wrote really intentional & personalized place cards for everyone at their seat. We figured there was no better time to tell these people how we felt about them. Seeing our loved ones react to these and share their experience with us was priceless.
Danny: I’d have to narrow it down to two: Our vows and every minute of the dance floor!
Call me haha. I seriously have so much to say/share about my experience and I’m still grieving that it’s over. There’s a lot no one talks about within this process and it was challenging to not have a ton of resources from my seasoned bride friends turned moms. It’s so easy to get swept away in the stress of making things just right. I Monica Geller-ed the heck out of this wedding in 10 months and I’m proud of it. But things will still go wrong and there will be moments missed. Everyone’s style and approach will look different so it’s hard to provide blanket advice…to keep it simple – be intentional about the things that matter to you as a couple and let go of all the rest. We crossed a lot of lines and made decisions people weren’t stoked about – but we stuck together as a team and continued to remind each other that the day was about us.
Oh! And something more specific—do the first look. I was sooo against this my whole life. We were pretty attached to the idea of seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle…but nothing changed/impacted how exciting and special that moment was like we thought it would. The day goes by stupid fast and we were so grateful to be apart of our cocktail hour by taking most of our photos pre-ceremony. Our bridal party was pretty stoked too 😉
The Quail & The Dove obviously. We can’t say enough good things about this amazingly talented duo. They work so intentionally, communicate clearly, they are so warm and kind and deliver magic.
I Dew Flowers pulled in every single aspect we asked for and respectfully helped us stay within budget. She went above and beyond to bring that warm & colorful, tropical vision come to life.
Krammer, our coordinator from Sugar Plum & Co., made all my literal wedding dreams a reality day of. She delivered exactly what we asked for. This 👏🏼 girl 👏🏼can 👏🏼rock a tablescape 👏🏼
Mirage & Light Photographycaptured so much genuine emotion from our day the way we wanted AND provided us with so many fun & unique ways to enjoy the shots post-wedding day. So, so thoughtful.
Not an official vendor… but our groomsmen and epic winemaker from Healdsburg, Matt Iaconis, supplied the best liquid courage for our epic dance floor from his labels Brick & Mortar & DeltaSugar Plum & Co..
-Among our favorite details was our guestbook. We had guests fill out prompts/well wishes and roll them up to put into a “Paradise Falls” jug designed after the one in the movie “Up”. Our recessional song was “Married Life” from the movie.
-Being that we’re big film fans, a lot of the day included various soundtracks from our favorites. The pre-ceremony, champagne hour featured songs from the movies “La La Land,” “Lion King,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Out of Africa.” Our bridal party processional was the theme from “Jurassic Park” and the bridal entrance was “La Vie En Rose” (my brother walked me down the aisle and stood by my side during the ceremony). Cocktail hour and dinner featured songs from “The Notebook,” “Sandlot,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “Remember the Titans.”
-We had re-designed “The Story of Us” library card detail from another we’d seen and made it our own. Guests got to check this out at our bar where they could order one of our signature cocktails inspired by our middle names. “Enrique Suave” for Danny’s martini, and “Spicy Lisette” for my tajin margarita.
-We were both stoked to wear velvet shoes haha. Mine were something blue, and his were Italian-inspired slippers.
-Our wedding hashtag was #aprèsalfaro—inspired by our ski-focused honeymoon in dreamy Banff, Canada. It was featured on our ice cream cups as well.
Fun Fact: Our dear friend and hilarious officiant was so committed, he broke his foot on the dance floor 🤣
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