Amanda and Jake’s enchanting Saratoga Springs wedding was set against a backdrop of creeks, trees, and bridges.
How It All Began
Amanda and Jake first met 8 years ago when she held the door open for him on his first day of work at Abercrombie and Fitch. They were both managers at the store and a relationship quickly blossomed. When they were visiting Jake’s parents in NYC in 2017, he proposed to Amanda the night before Christmas.
They started their wedding day at the Aloft San Jose Cupertino Hotel to get ready and have their first look. Amanda had her closest friends, her mother, and her adorable little dog with her in her hotel room, where they all had their hair and makeup done. Amanda’s younger cousin, Carlos Castellanos, is an extremely talented hairstylist in Beverly Hills. Amanda told us that “the previous Thanksgiving he was showing me his work and I knew I wanted him to do my hair.”
She found her makeup artist, Christine Romero, on The Knot. They connected right away and Christine understood exactly what Amanda wanted when she did her first trial. Amanda wanted to look like herself and Christine knew just how to do that. Jake was also getting ready with his closest friends in a hotel room on another floor.
Once they were both ready, we headed downstairs to the courtyard for their first look. As always, we love documenting and witnessing the intimate moment when two people have their first look in private without everyone watching. Amanda and Jake embraced one another in a long hug and were grinning ear to ear with excitement to become man and wife.
This is where we also had the chance to open up Amanda’s wedding dress and admire the beautiful lacework all the way down her long train. Amanda found her dress on Pinterest and just “had to have it.” It was made by Australian designer Made with Love so there were only a few local bridal boutiques that carried it. She said, “I only tried 3 other dresses on and I knew I had to have the one I originally chose.”
Amanda’s bouquet and other flowers were also stunning and went perfectly with her gown and the forest setting. Amanda used Bonjour Bloom and said “she was amazing; she went above and beyond and we instantly clicked. She understood my vision and helped me achieve what I wanted in my budget.”
After their first look, we were excited to head to the wedding venue, Saratoga Springs Events & Weddings. Amanda and Jake chose it because they knew they wanted to be surrounded by nature for both the ceremony and the reception. They loved Saratoga Springs because they could have the day held in one place and “didn’t need to dress up the venue because all the redwood trees and flowing creeks made a beautiful backdrop already.” They were right, this place did not disappoint! There were breathtaking creeks, trees, rocks and bridges all around us. It was perfect for gorgeous portraits of the couple and wedding party.
Saratoga Springs Ceremony
The ceremony was Amanda’s favorite part of the whole day because Jake’s father was their officiant. The ceremony first started with their adorable dog as the ring bearer, happily running down the aisle to his Daddy.
He was followed by Amanda, who made her grand entrance on a wooden bridge through the trees. Then Amanda and Jake finally got their chance to be united as husband and wife. They had such sweet and funny vows that made each other laugh. Jake’s father did a beautiful job as the officiant, with the ”best speech and everyone loved him.”
After the ceremony, the guests didn’t have to go far (we love that!). The reception was held in the same forest, under the huge trees with strands of lights hung all over the place. It was truly magical.
Amanda and Jake dreamed up the coolest little details. There was a basket of scarves and blankets out for anyone who got a little chilly, and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and to warm up a bit. Plus we loved their VW bus photo booth. How could we not, as we offer one just like it! Everyone ha such a blast with it.
During the dinner, there were quite a few speeches made about the happy couple; you could really feel the love everyone had for them. Luckily, they hired Graham from Final Frame Videography to capture the wonderful memories. We personally recommend Final Frame whenever anyone asks for videographer recs.
After dinner, almost every guest joined in the longest Conga Line and danced their way around the area. Everyone was having a great time! Once everyone worked up an appetite from dancing, Amanda and Jake cut their cake made by Amanda’s aunt. Amanda felt it “came out beautiful and tasted just as good” as a professional cake. Following the cake, Amanda tossed her bouquet to a good-sized group of excited single women.
They finished out their night with a sparkler exit. They walked through their fire archway smiling with excitement to start their new chapter together. We wish them all the best.
It’s always nice to see a couple able to have fun and enjoy the precious moments of their big day. Typically, the most relaxed brides we see have a wedding planner. They can help take the stress away so the bride and groom can just enjoy their wedding day. Amanda hired Michelle from Olivia Grace Events as her wedding planner. She made the day even more magical by making it flow as smoothly as possible. Amanda told us that she “couldn’t have it done it without Michelle. The day was perfect and was largely due to her.”
Ceremony & Reception: Saratoga Springs Events & Weddings
Videographer: Final Frame
Makeup: Christine Romero
Hair Stylist: Carlos Castellanos
Event Planner: Olivia Grace Events
Dress Designer: Made with Love
Floral Designer: Bonjour Bloom
Hotel: Aloft San Jose Cupertino Hotel