The Jessica Ryan Bride Diary: Amanda

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Amanda is a past Jessica Ryan Bride and is on the blog today writing about her wedding planning tips, tricks and advice for all of the Brides out there reading today! If you are like Amanda and myself and are taking on a lot of DIY decoration for your wedding day than you will want to read all of her advice! If you are planning a wedding that most of your guests live out of state, like Amanda, then you will enjoy reading just how important the reception and celebration was to her and her husband Jeremiah.

What has been your favorite thing to plan or decide on for your wedding day? My favorite thing was probably picking out the venue and deciding on what decorations to make to fit the venue. ​williamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom portrait

What were the three most important details to you on your wedding day and why? They were my wedding dress, the wedding photographer, and the people we invited to our wedding.The wedding dress because that is what you wear on the day you should feel most beautiful! 🙂 I got a Blush By Hayley Paige wedding dress! The wedding Photographer because they are the ones capturing the happiest day of your life and creating lasting memories. We did not do a videographer, which made the photographer even more important to me! ​Photos are what we have to look back on and someday show our kids. The people we invited and chose to be part of our wedding are equally important. We wanted the most special people in our lives to have a big part of our day with us like they have throughout both of our lives. This was especially important for us since 95% of our wedding was from out of state so it meant so much to us to have so many people go out of their way to celebrate with us. williamsburg winery wedding virginia blush by hayley paige wedding dress detail What were the three most important vendors to book for your wedding day and why? The PHOTOGRAPHER! – Jessica Ryan Photography; creates lasting memories to cherish for years to come (and same as above!)

Venue – The Williamsburg Winery; so important to pick a place that represents the couple and makes you instantly happy and excited when you walk in. This is a place you will always remember as part of your day so you want it to be very special to both of you. williamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom portraitwilliamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom portraitDJ – Colonial DJs; very important to find someone that represents what you as a couple want the mood of your day to be. Our wedding was so much fun and a big part of that was working with such an awesome DJ that kept the event running smoothly and everyone out on the dance floor! ​

What is your opinion on DIY decor? Did you do any? LOVE IT!! Everything that we had at our wedding, as far as decor, I made except for the live flowers​. My friends and family say I’m crafty so I decided it would be fun! I love doing something so creative to have as a part of our day. I will say that you need to plan accordingly! Look for sales and make sure you budget enough time for everything so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute! It’s fun to have a little party to have friends/family help put everything together too! williamsburg winery wedding virginia detail portrait bridal jewelry wedding invitation wedding paper divas williamsburg winery wedding virginia reception detail williamsburg winery wedding virginia reception detailWe’re there any amazing ways you saved money on things that you’d like to share? ​I did all of our decorations and got TONS of ideas from Pinterest – it is seriously your best friend during wedding planning for EVERYTHING! We also saved money by finding a venue that ended up allowing us to purchase our own liquor for the caterer to serve. We also did mini cupcakes instead of a huge cake and ended up saving quite a bit of money by doing it that way – plus everyone got to try multiple flavors! ​We also saved money by doing the ceremony and reception at the same location (didn’t have to get transportation, etc.). It also didn’t cut into our reception time.williamsburg winery wedding virginia reception detail wedding cakeAre there any experiences you had with a particular vendor that you would like to rave about? I absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED our photographer 🙂 She is AMAZING! She was so professional and easy going and super great to work with. She made everything so stress free for us and made us both very comfortable. She gave us a timeline and helped us stick to it and worked with us if we fell behind. Not to mention our pictures were gorgeous and I can’t tell you how many compliments we got from people (and are still getting).Can’t say enough good things about her! ​williamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom portrait williamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom portraitColonial DJ’s – Jeff – is outstanding as well. He was also professional, worked with our budget and schedule, and kept our wedding on track with his timeline. Their website is also extremely easy to work with and has some great planning/music tools! ​

What was your favorite memory of your wedding day? (No matter how big or small) The first look was perfect. We were both so happy and it was nice to have just a few minutes with just us and no one else around.williamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom first look portrait williamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom first look portraitwilliamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom portrait  I also loved when my grandpa got up to do a reading and told us that the one he picked was actually one that was read at his and my grandma’s wedding. I don’t think there was a dry eye anywhere! That was a very special moment I will always remember.​ I also couldn’t have imagined our day without my dad and stepdad both walking me down the isle. My step-dad has been part of my life for over 20 years and due to major unexpected heart surgery was unable to attend my sisters wedding in 2015. It was amazing to have both of my dads there to walk me down the aisle. ​ williamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom ceremonyIs there something that you still can’t stop thinking about or reminiscing about your wedding day? How much fun the party/reception was!! The pictures help to go back and remember it all over again!!
williamsburg winery wedding virginia williamsburg winery wedding virginia williamsburg winery wedding virginia reception williamsburg winery wedding virginia receptionWhat one thing/person/item that you invested in that you are still over the moon about with your investment for your wedding day? Absolutely the photographer. She was worth every penny and then some! Also very happy with the day of Wedding Coordinator  She gave me a ton of ideas for things I never would have thought of and wouldn’t have known to do had she not told me to! Her name was Lynne Buggy and she works with our venue, the Williamsburg Winery. ​williamsburg winery wedding virginia bridesmaids portraitOn a scale of 1-10, how handsome did your groom look? 100!! ​williamsburg winery wedding virginia groom portrait U.S. Navy dress whites williamsburg winery wedding virginia bride and groom portrait classic weddingOn a scale of 1-10, how beautiful did you feel? 10!williamsburg winery wedding virginia bride portrait blush by hayley paige wedding dresswilliamsburg winery wedding virginia bride portrait blush by hayley paige wedding dressHow fast did your wedding day go by & what moment helped slow it down even if just for a little while? ​It FLEW by! It felt like 2 hours instead of 4-5 for the reception! The father daughter dance(s) and our first dance were the only times I felt like anything slowed down! ​

Thank you Amanda! I hope this helps a lot of other brides planning their special day! To see the rest of Amanda and Jeremiah’s wedding day at the Williamsburg Winery and the rest of the vendors involved you can go here: Williamsburg Winery Wedding