Excited to be matched with Amanda Carr on a dating app, John Giardino sent her a message right away. Upon finally meeting in person, the pair was quickly smitten. “From the moment we sat down and started talking, it felt like we had known each other forever,” confides Amanda. “We drew the night out and ended up splitting a grappa-cherry dessert. We liked it so much we shared it with our guests at our rehearsal dinner!” 

The two became closer and John knew he was ready to spend his future with Amanda, prompting him to secure blessings from Amanda’s father and stepfather. “Amanda and I found we shared many of the same core values, and we both very highly valued our families. It literally brought tears to my eyes when I saw how wonderful she treated my two sons,” confides John. Wanting a memorable moment when he popped the question, John surprised his bride-to-be with a romantic proposal outside of her childhood church where they would later be married. 

Due to Covid, the couple chose the private residence of the bride’s mother and stepfather as their wedding venue. “We knew it was a beautiful, intimate location where our guests would feel comfortable,” explains Amanda. “I do not have much experience with event planning, but I love interior design. In my home, I love a classic style with a mix of cool tones and patterns.” With this concept in mind, Amanda hired a wedding planner to help design an event that suited her and John perfectly. Since the groom was busy with his pediatric practice, Amanda’s mother and stepsister stepped in to assist with big-day decisions. “They were instrumental in helping me!” she confirms. 

The couple opted for a dreamy wedding invitation suite made complete with a custom monogram showcasing shades of muted blue and vanilla. The lovely motif was worked into the details of the décor, beginning with a hand-painted aisle runner crafted by The Original Runner Company at the church ceremony. Bridesmaids, wearing regal gowns in a pretty shade of light blue, preceded Amanda who walked down the aisle to the sweet sounds of a live organist. She was resplendent in a strapless gown and fingertip veil paired with sprigs of lily of the valley that mimicked the florals in her bouquet. 

“We worked together to plan a ceremony that celebrated our shared faith as well as the joining of two special families.”

“Seeing her for the first time was such an incredibly special, magical, and wonderful moment!” shares the groom. John, standing at the end of the aisle alongside his two sons, wore a smart tuxedo complemented with a blue bow tie. The service honored loved ones the families had lost and placed an emphasis on togetherness. “We worked together to plan a ceremony that celebrated our shared faith as well as the joining of two special families,” illustrates John. 

Once at the backyard tent wedding, guests found their seats at beautifully decorated long tables were bedecked with lush checked linens and floral centerpieces in white clay pots filled with a mix of garden roses, Eskimo roses, Italian greenery, sweet peas, and viburnums. Votive candles lent a romantic feel and embroidered linen napkins with the couple’s custom monogram completed the look. 

Guests enjoyed a delicious supper followed by pieces of wedding cake. “The big day took place on the 95th birthday of my grandmother, who was in attendance. We had a custom birthday cake made for her in honor of the day!” exclaims the bride. 

Amanda admits that because of Covid, they really had to be flexible during the course of wedding planning. “Our wedding-day vision changed dramatically, but we were able to stay true to our original goal of celebrating our new life together with our family and friends,” she says. “Standing in the church with John, I had always assumed that I would be nervous or anxious, but in the moment I felt so calm and at peace. Everything felt right.”

This real wedding was originally published in the Spring 2022 issue of Inside Weddings magazine. 

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