Once in a while, you get the chance to meet a couple who is so clearly made for each other, and this was the case with Amanda & Aaron. Although I only met the couple in February to talk about becoming their month of coordinator for their May 19th wedding, it was obvious from the first moment I met them that they have the kind of relationship people hope for. Relationships are built on so many different emotions and factors, but one of the strongest foundations is that of a true friendship, a desire to walk through life side by side because they’re friends before all else. From their adventurous, outdoorsy spirits, to their love of board games and craft beer, their hobbies and passions align and make for a love built on enjoying life together.

Amanda & Aaron are the kind of couple who weren’t going to let a little rain get in their way, and they said their vows while a light rain came down in the middle of Mordecai Historic Park in Downtown Raleigh, in front of 125 of their closest friends and family. Many of the guests – and even the bridesmaids – traveled from Amanda’s home state of Vermont, and this group of people were so excited to be reunited for the purpose of celebrating Amanda’s great love that they would have partied and danced the night away in the middle of a hurricane.

Surrounded by amazing people who truly adore this special couple, Amanda & Aaron were able to bring in some amazing friendors (friend-vendors) who worked diligently despite the weather to make the day beautiful and seamless. Their friends Dylan and Emma Harver were the ceremony musicians, and they performed the most beautiful version of the Skype Boat song on guitar and violin when the bride walked down the aisle; Scottie Taylor, a close friend of the bride, officiated the ceremony. Scottie was kind enough to share her transcript of the ceremony with us, which shares just a small but beautiful piece of who this couple is.

“Good afternoon, and welcome to this day that will have Amanda & Aaron’s names forever written upon it. Thank you for adding your own signature to this page of their story that celebrates the love and commitment they share.
“Despite all of our differences, love is what we all share. It’s the great connector — our one universal truth. No matter who we are, where we’ve come from, or what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right. [attention to A&A] That’s why you both are standing here. [Attention to crowd] That’s why we’re all here. All of us have our own love stories. Some are short stories, others, novels. Some are yet unwritten, while others are just getting to the good part. And just like Amanda & Aaron, there are chapters in all of our stories that are exciting and full of adventure.
“We have all loved in our lifetimes, and on this day, we’re reminded that the ability to love is the very best part of our world.
“We are here, not to witness the start of a new story, but to continue to trust and support an adventure that began seven and half years ago. We are here to ensure Amanda & Aaron start their married life surrounded by their people: those of us who respect and trust their decision to officially become a married couple.
“Marriage is not the beginning of what will be; rather, a celebration of what already is. Marriage may be the greatest, most challenging, and most rewarding adventure that humans choose to embark on. Amanda & Aaron – please remember, no single act will define your marriage. Only you two can define it – together; through many acts of love and honesty; patience and support; and belief in each other’s ability to play any and all board games competitively and fairly. [pause]
“Amanda & Aaron have so many moments that have shaped their journey to this day. There are the big moments: the first date, moving in together, buying a house, the engagement… Today will be added to this list. But there are so many little moments, everyday moments, that matter just as much: starting each day together waiting for the coffee to brew, allowing your partner to try the beer you just ordered (perhaps even the first sip) [pause], taking Bernice on walks together, and binge watching X-Files and The Great British Baking Show [pause]. We are all here today because we want those moments for you: the big moments and the small, for they are what helped shape your journey here and they are what will add to the pages that write your story for years to come.
“Amanda & Aaron recognize that this day holds more love and honesty with us in attendance. [shift attention to A&A] But we are not only here as your witnesses, we are here to love you, to hope for you, support you, and be proud of you, and to help today be one of the biggest moments in your adventure.
Amanda & Aaron – your loyalty to each other is enviable. You are announcing to one another, surrounded and supported by friends and family, that you are choosing to be together forever. You are also honest about your independence and individuality within your relationship. You compliment each other beautifully. [shift attention to Amanda] Amanda – you are confident in yourself, you are one of the funniest people I have ever met, you are beautiful inside and out. You expect and encourage the best out of people, in a way that we all feel challenged to rise – to be the best version of ourselves. [shift attention to Aaron] And Aaron – you are selfless and compassionate while being so level headed – you provide a sense of comfort whenever you share space with people. You are kind, and genuine, and so very thoughtful. These traits combined impact each and every one of us and together they provide a powerful presence in all of our lives. I know that when I am with you, I feel comfortable, respected, challenged, and loved. I leave your space feeling like my best self. I share these thoughts and insights today, recognizing that although this adventure focuses on the two of you – we are all so lucky to be a part of the journey. Your story is yours – but I can promise you, that you have and will continue to help write many paragraphs and chapters in all of our lives.
“You two have always shared a sense of adventure – from scoping out new breweries, to hiking and camping, to traveling… These adventures have led you here… to a time where you can reflect on all the memories and moments you’ve shared: you have shared your burdens, you have mingled your stories, and you have been lighting the path for one another. That path, your story, has led you here, to this beautiful day.
“And now, I ask each of you to promise to each other, and in front of the loved ones here today, to join your lives and your stories together, and commit to trusting that the greatest chapter of this adventure lies ahead…
“Do you Amanda, promise to live courageously and honestly with Aaron? And love him without limits?”
Amanda: “I do.”
“Do you Aaron, promise to live courageously and honestly with Amanda? And love her without limits?”
Aaron: “I do.”
“Amanda & Aaron have written their own words expressing their unwavering devotion to each other. After they share these words, hand in hand, they will place the ring on each other’s finger – the symbol of their promises today; to be worn as a daily reminder of their commitment to the other.”
“I love you because you are patient and generous and kind.I love you because you love your family and friends just as fiercely as I love mine.I love that your family has become mine and my family has become yours.You are my best friend and I am so happy we are on the same team.You make me happier than I could have ever imagined and more loved than I ever thought was possible.You make me unbelievably proud and I promise that I will make you proud as your wife.I vow to listen to you and learn from you.I vow to laugh with you and cry with you.And I vow to value our differences just as much as our common ground.I promise to put all my effort into strengthening our marriage and giving you the best version of me. You will forever and always be the hero of my heart, the love of my life.
Amanda – you have voiced your love and commitment to Aaron, please take this ring and slide it onto his finger, so that it can forever carry the loving promises you have made to him today.”
“Amanda,I love you unconditionally and without hesitation. I am fully aware of how lucky I am to have you in my life, and am overjoyed to finally formalize my commitment to you and our life together.I promise to respect, admire, and appreciate you for who you are, as well as for the person you wish to become.I promise to support and protect your freedom; because although our lives are intertwined, your choices are still yours alone.I promise to seek a deep understanding of your wishes, your desires, your fears, and your dreams.I promise to strive to meet your needs; not out of obligation, but because it delights me to see you happy.I promise to be there when you need me, and to nurture your goals and ambitions; to support you through misfortune and celebrate your triumphs.I promise to keep our lives exciting and adventurous.I promise to be your partner, in every sense of the word. We are a team, now and for always.”
“Aaron – you have voiced your love and commitment to Amanda, please take this ring and slide it onto her finger, so that it can forever carry the loving promises you have made to her today.
“Amanda & Aaron have now promised their lives to each other. They have promised to love and honor each other equally. They have promised to continue to write their stories – all of their chapters and all of their adventures intertwined. They have promised to laugh with each other and cry with each other. To actively listen to each other through good times and hard times. They are and always will be each other’s best friend.
“As J.K Rowling says, “The stories we love best, live in us forever.” As Amanda & Aaron’s love story continues to live and grow in their hearts, may it also bless and brighten all of our lives.
And now, I, Me, Scottie Taylor… pronounce you, married. Aaron, Amanda, please enjoy your first kiss as a married couple.”

As the ceremony ended, guests walked with umbrellas overhead to the tented reception area, where they were greeted by a table full of board games, space to mingle, and a canoe full of wine and craft beer. The couple and their bridal party explored Mordecai Historic Park with their photographer, Krista Moll Photography, another talented personal friend of the couple. By the end of the night, noticing how muddy Amanda’s dress had become, Amanda and Krista chatted about the possibility of bringing the dress on a hiking trip in the near future to do a trash-the-dress shoot with a waterfall in the mountains.
As cocktail hour ended, the couple was introduced into the reception by a local band, Urban Soil, who provided the entertainment for the remainder of the evening. Guests were invited to choose their dinner from two food trucks that were brought into the park, Porchetta and Gonza on Wheels. As the rain died down and guests finished their meals, many took to the dance floor while others played a game of Polish horseshoes or cornhole. The dance floor was filled with excited guests for the remainder of the evening, except when the band took a break for the bridal party to give their speeches. Groomsmen Ricky and David and bridesmaid Dana all shared the sentiment that Amanda & Aaron were a simply perfect couple, and that each person in their respective friend groups knew that this marriage was going to be something special.


The Vendors:

Venue: Mordecai Historic Park, Raleigh, NC
Wedding Coordinator: Beauty & the Budget Events
Officiant: Scottie Taylor
Cake: Publix
Stationery: Minted
Florist: Lilybird Flowers
Rental Companies: DeeJay’s Rentals, Queen Bee Rentals
Ceremony Musicians: Dylan & Emma Harver
Hiar & Make Up: Pin & Blush
Transportation: Crank Arm Rickshaw