This was one of those Murphy’s Law days. One where almost anything that could go wrong for me did. My backup gear was lost in transit and of course there’s nowhere to rent Canon equipment in Knoxville (come on, f/32!), I got stuck in parking garage traffic for so long that I almost missed the beginning of the ceremony, and the trolley was M.I.A. making the wedding party late for their reception. I was praying to the photography gods for mercy!
Luckily, Joe and Amanda are the coolest, most laid back people on earth. Amanda’s laugh is contagious and her smile lit up every room. After meeting Joe in Italian class, the two became great friends. It wasn’t long before she knew, “This guy is intelligent, honest, loyal, and a genuinely wonderful person. I don’t want to be without him. What am I doing? We should be together!” ~ Amanda
After getting ready at the Oliver Hotel, Amanda chose to walk to the church in her stunning Anne Barge dress, along with her ladies who wore shades of gray by Jenny Yoo (swoon!).
The wedding ceremony was held at the beautiful Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in downtown Knoxville. If you have never seen this piece of 1855 Gothic Revival architecture, I urge you to stop by for mass sometime. Afterwards, we trolley’d to World’s Fair Park for more photos then on to Mabry-Hazen House for a sunset reception where Amanda’s family lavished guests with Filipino culture, food, and traditional dance.
Although starting out a bit crazy for me, it turned out to be a fantastic day. Joe & Amanda couldn’t be happier.
“I love Joe so much and I feel like I hit the jackpot by being his wife. His strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. We’re both so proud of each other and truly want the other to be happy. I’m excited for many more adventures to come as Mrs. Dinwiddie!” ~Amanda
Thanks, guys! And P.S., my second shooter is a king (thanks, Dave!).
Catering: KC’s Catering, Kathy Chippendale. Reception: Mabry-Hazen House, Calvin Chappelle. Florist: Powell Florist, Stacey Hunley. Cake: Cathy Lowden. Planner: Misty Cooper, Simple Bliss Events. Wedding dress: Anne Barge, Buckhead Bridals by Guffeys. Tux: John H. Daniel & theblacktux.com. Hair: Sher Smith, Salon Azure. Makeup: Kathy England, Salon Azure. Transportation: Knoxville Area Transit Trolley. Rentals: All Occasions. Bartenders: The Pour Guys.
And some advice from our bride, Amanda:
Your favorite and least favorite part of planning?
“My favorite part of planning was research! I’m a bit of a nerd so I liked spending time googling DIY ideas, browsing pictures, color schemes, shopping, and cost-saving techniques. My least favorite part was all of the manual labor! We had a limited budget so we did a lot of DIY stuff. That called for many late nights and early mornings. Luckily, I wasn’t alone. Joe and I recruited our family members to help. My parents are wonderfully artistic and spent countless hours creating beautiful pieces. For example, they created the design and concept from scratch for our invitations, my mom made my veil by hand as well as the flower ribbons on the church pews, and my dad cut/painted wooden signs for the reception as well as cut all the burlap for the tables. They stayed up late with me to wrap/hot glue paper on the succulents and bring our bulk Costco flowers back to life for the centerpieces. I am beyond blessed to have such an amazing family. Even with all of our exhaustion, we had a lot of fun together.”
The most memorable moment of your wedding day?
“There were so many! I think the most memorable was the traditional Philippine dance (Tinikling) my Uncle Metz and his family performed. They were incredible! It was so fun to watch our friends try it and also dance a little ourselves 🙂 My family and I have done that dance together for years and it meant so much to have them show a piece of our Filipino culture at our wedding.”
What you would change, if anything?
“If I could change anything, it would be my stress of wanting everything to be perfect. I had nightmares of being attacked by burlap and running out of beer. My anxiety was at a level I didn’t know I could reach. I wish my current self could tell that girl everything is going to end up great and it’s going to be the best day of your life.”
Where your budget was best spent?
“The coordinator! Worth every penny.”
Any advice for future brides?
“After you pick your venue, book what’s most important to you next. Some vendors get scheduled much quicker than you would think. You really want fantastic photos? Book your photographer first. You want great food? Book your caterer first. Prioritize, because you may not be able to get everything you want.
Create a separate email account for communicating with your vendors. It makes emails much easier to find and less likely to get lost!
If you haven’t planned your honeymoon yet, I’d recommend waiting until 2 days after your wedding to leave. You and your new husband are going to be pooped the next day, so it’s nice to have a day to sleep in, have a meal with your family/friends still in town, and gather all of your stuff.
This advice came from a friend and I’m so glad I took it, give someone close-by your cell phone on the wedding day. You don’t want to be on it all day. I gave mine to one of my bridesmaids and she kindly let me know if a call or text was important. I felt bad asking, but she didn’t mind. It was so helpful!
On your wedding day, let all of the stress and worries go. I promised myself I would and with the help of God, it worked. I walked down the aisle with a smile on my face and as soon as I saw Joe all of my nerves disappeared. It’s a day to celebrate your love. Enjoy it and live in the moment!”
Thanks, Amanda. And congrats, Mr. & Mrs. Dinwiddie!