Luxury Ballroom Wedding with Last-Minute Venue Change Due to Woolsey Fire

Amanda Piligian and David Lovely

Photographed by: Jana Williams PhotographyLocation: Henderson, Nevada, United States

Though he didn’t realize it at the time, David Lovely’s trip with friends to Los Angeles from his home in England led to him meeting the love of his life, Amanda Piligian. “One of his friends said he should meet up with my best friend, [but when] his friend started to show him her Instagram and he saw a picture of me with her, he asked for my number!” smiles Amanda. The pair began a long-distance courtship, utilizing FaceTime to get to know one another for a few months before David traveled to LA for their first date.

Splitting their time between London, England, and Santa Monica, California, the pair was stateside for their one-year anniversary. Having secured Amanda’s dream engagement ring and receiving his future father in law’s blessing – “He’s an amazing guy who I look up to – I was honored he said yes,” reflects David – the groom-to-be prepared to propose on the night of their anniversary dinner. The moment Amanda heard their song “Birthday” by JP Cooper while she was getting ready, “I ran down the hallway yelling, ‘Oh my God, is it happening?!’ to find David down on one knee laughing at my enthusiasm,” she muses. Of course, she said yes.

Though they had planned to get married at a country club in Westlake Village, California where the bride’s family resides, the devastating Woolsey Fire forced the couple to move the location of their nuptials just five days prior. Thankfully, the father of the bride was able to secure Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, Nevada as a last-minute venue with just days to spare, and the entire team worked hard to make sure the day went off without another hitch. “Our wedding coordinator Bella Vita Events, my mom, and David showed up on the Tuesday prior and mapped out our entire wedding weekend in one day,” says Amanda of the incredible feat of organizing the logistics of moving the fête to another state.

In light of the wildfires, the couple was thrilled with how everything was pulled off by their support system and team – even providing last-minute flight changes and hotel accommodations for all 125 guests. On the day of the celebration, it was as though everything was as it was meant to be. Loved ones found their seats for the classically beautiful ceremony as a string quartet played instrumental versions of the pair’s favorite songs. At last, the bride and groom joined together in front of a lush wall of blooms and verdure to recite their vows. “David and I are both very spiritual, rather than religious,” explains Amanda of the sentimental service. “We decided to have a mix of crystals for everyone to hold during our ceremony and say a prayer for us.”

Following cocktail hour, friends and family joined together in the ballroom for a sit-down dinner service. Desiring a timeless design that would never go out of style, the room featured a glamorous color palette of ebony, gold, and white with fresh greenery accents. Centerpieces designed by The Hidden Garden featured both high and low arrangements of white blooms showcasing roses and hydrangeas accented with fresh foliage. Tables were adorned with gilt-rimmed charger plates, black-and-gold flatware, mirrored décor elements, and candle votives that added to the romantic ambience. 

Though they had rehearsed their first dance for months, Amanda ended up crying in David’s arms to the tune of “Turning Pages” by Sleeping at Last. “It’s an emotional time planning your wedding as it is, but to add the stress of our family being evacuated and moving the venue out of state, it had been beyond a normal wedding week,” she reveals. “I’ll never forget our first dance.” When it was time for the party to start, bridesmaids changed into white gowns, and Amanda reemerged on the monogrammed dance floor in a stunning long-sleeved dress. Revelers danced to the sounds of a live band provided by Bob Gail Music & Entertainment, who exceeded the newlyweds’ expectations. “Their flight from LAX to Vegas got canceled last minute and as a group they decided to drive,” confirms the groom. “They also did this without concerning us, which I thought was a classy touch. Very professional.” 

With so many curveballs thrown their way in the days leading up to their wedding, the bride offers one piece of advice for future couples: “Let loose and enjoy your day! You’ve thought about your guests during all of the planning and now it’s time to celebrate you.” Her groom encourages others to be prepared and supportive throughout the process. “All the things that happened that you could consider ‘going wrong’ made the day even more memorable,” he shares.