The Guild Wedding in San Diego

Amanda and Jen Featured on Martha Stewart!

“I saw that you were perfect, and so I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect and I loved you even more.” 

—Angelita Lim

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Where do I even begin? Amanda and Jen’s San Diego wedding at The Guild was utter perfection! I can’t even try to encapsulate the event in my own words because I would fail. Their wedding was featured on Martha Stewart (original text on Martha) and this is what they had to say:

“I often joke that I fell in love with Jen because she came into my house and folded laundry and did the dishes,” laughs Amanda. But it was the routine of life—and the ease of it alongside her—that guided her towards the realization that Jen was her person. “She was able to do those things with me, and we genuinely enjoyed being together. If you can find someone with whom you enjoy washing dishes? That’s a catch,” she says.

As with all relationships, there were joys and hardships, but they embraced both as a team. “I came out later than most, and Jen had to navigate that with me, as I figured out new family dynamics and friendships and my own personal identity,” she explains. “She also knew from the beginning that dating me meant parenting four kids with me, and she did that with such grace and acceptance. In the beginning, two of our kids had 24/7 in-home nursing care. Jen learned about trachs and ventilators and how to prime a feeding pump and how to live with a nurse around all the time.” And while it “wasn’t particularly easy for our family to form,” says Amanda, “Jen is truly their ‘Pops’ and watching those kids love her, and her love them? That just sealed the deal.”

After   the pair became engaged—Jen proposed on Ocean Beach at sunset, surrounded by their children; Amanda proposed right back on the following Valentine’s Day while “covered in flour from making heart-shaped calzones”—they began planning their celebration, but were quickly met with a series of starts and stops. The biggest stop of all, however, was COVID-19. “Nothing really felt secure until we started working with Amorology,” says Amanda, noting that the pair had decided to start from scratch after the pandemic shuttered their original, large scale celebration.”At that point, it all came together and was a dream. They answered every question with such detail and attention it felt like we were the only couple in the world, even though our wedding was incredibly small.”

A micro event, they say, was the only way to go, given their personal values and their children’s health conditions: So, they landed on an April 14, 2021, celebration for 14 guests, their kids included, and made full vaccination a must for the adults in attendance. Their celebration, which was designed around the game Yahtzee, was truly about togetherness, family, and community, they say. It’s likely why one of their biggest highlights is the ceremony: “It was the perfect length (no one wants to sit listening to vows forever), but long enough that we were able to feel settled and pay attention,” reflects Amanda. “I remember listening to Jen say her. vows and thinking, ‘Holy heck, I get to marry this person. Like right now.’ And then just looking out and seeing our kids, and their smiles—it was perfection.”

The couple’s nuptials might have been centered around a family-favorite game, Yahtzee, but at its core, “the true theme was being together,” says Amanda. “Everything was centered around that experience—playing games, eating, talking, laughing—and the goal was that everyone felt like they could enjoy the moment they were in, with the people they loved.” Together, planner Heather and her team at Amorology and stationer and calligrapher Taryn of Twinkle & Toast tackled the more literal vision, hand-painting dice sets for each guest and curating personalized wooden Yahtzee cups.

Nancy Teasley of Oak & the Owl designed her bouquet with a lush garden feel; it was filled with cream, rust, blush, and camel florals and tied together with silk ribbon. The arrangement was also a key part of a big-day highlight, which involved its swift destruction. “Jen tossed the bouquet to the kids, and I knew ahead of time that one of those kids was going to the mat for it,” laughs Amanda. “I even gave them a pep talk and reminded them to be calm and not fight over it. But what are all the photos of? Me pulling our 8-year-old away as she tried to rip the bouquet out of the hands of our 11-year-old. Such is life—some things are just going to be what they are going to be!”

At the end of the evening, the pair exited the hotel under a sea of gold streamers. Since then, they’ve had time to reflect on what truly matters on the big day. For Jen, “paying someone who is very good to do all the things” is a must. Amanda agrees, adding, “Stay focused on what is important to you. For us, that was really celebrating the family we created. We wanted it to feel like our home—but you know, better. And when you take away all the pressure, and really focus on that? All the smaller things that feel so big don’t really matter anymore.”

Photography, Lucy Munoz
Venue, The Guild Hotel
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Heather Balliet of Amorology
Backdrop Installation, Troy Balliet of Backup Backdrops
Flowers, Nancy Teasley of Oak & the Owl
Videography, Current Films
Invitations and Day-of Paper Goods, Taryn Gross of Twinkle & Toast
Officiant, Troy Balliet of Backup Backdrops
Amanda’s First Look Attire, &ForLove via Alouise Bridal
Amanda’s Ceremony Attire, Demetrios
Amanda’s Shoes, Jimmy Choo
Jen’s Attire, Kirrin Finch
Jen’s Shoes, Ted Baker London
Alterations, Margaret’s Cleaners (Amanda), Anita’s Custom Tailoring (Jen)
Hair and Makeup, Sarah of Beauty Bespoken
Guest Book, Fêtefone
Music, Kayla Ray
Catering, Miho Catering
Cake, Hey There, Cupcake
Rentals, Adore Folklore

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