Jimmy and Amanda wedding day

Real Essense of Australia Bride Amanda + Jimmy

jimmy + amanda

This love story is a true fairytale, from the proposal to the invitations and the reception! After eight years of dating, Jimmy popped the question to Amanda in a true rom-com fashion during a weekend trip to Wing’s Castle in Millbrook, New York. Therefore, it was no surprise that they found their dream wedding venue at another castle, the Legacy Castle in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. 

After an extensive search, Amanda finally found her dream dress with Essense of Australia Style D3284. She visited nine bridal salons before deciding to special order her wedding gown, and the result was her exact bridal vision coming to life. Amanda paired her long sleeve lace style with a Martina Liana tulle overskirt that elevated her bridal look to a new level of glamour! 

Every elegant detail of the wedding day was flawlessly executed, but the most memorable element was the tribute paid to Amanda’s late dad during her mother-daughter dance. It brought the entire room to tears and continued to be a topic of conversation for the attendees for months to come. It is all about those magical moments that made this unforgettable celebration one for the books! 

jimmy + amanda

Tell us about your proposal… 

We got engaged on October 24th, 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jimmy called me one day, telling me he wanted to take me to a car show in upstate New York the weekend of October 17th ⏤ coincidentally, that was the anniversary of our first date. He became upset when I told him I had his friend’s bridal shower that same weekend. Being a little suspicious and the detective that I am, I did some online research and found all car shows were canceled due to the pandemic.  

He later called me back to tell me he was taking me to a bed and breakfast the following weekend called Wing’s Castle in Millbrook, New York. He said we never get to get away, and this place he found online looked cool.  

We left on Friday, October 23rd for our weekend getaway. My friends and family were all suspicious, thinking this was it, the moment he would finally propose! Jimmy and I had been dating for about eight years at this point. I was nervous but excited. Wing’s Castle was the most magical place I had ever seen! We had a great time at dinner and explored the quaint town of Millbrook.  

On Saturday morning, October 24th, we went to town for breakfast at the local diner. We visited some antique stores and a farmer’s market, then returned to the castle for our wine tasting appointment at the Millbrook Winery.  

When we returned to the castle, we got ready to go to the winery. At the last minute, Jimmy ran back into our room to “change his shoes.” When he came back out, I was taking photos of the castle grounds. The castle has a little area they call “the Henge” because it’s like a mini-Stonehenge. Jimmy asked me if I liked the castle, and he then said, “You know why I brought you here, right?” as he got down on one knee. He then said, “I have to ask you something,” and asked me to marry him! I was shaking and crying with excitement and could only mutter “Mmmm Hmmmm, Mmmm Hmmm” over and over again. Finally, I was able to get out my “YES!”. 

How did you know that Essense of Australia Style D3284 was the one? 

Dress shopping during the COVID pandemic was a very nerve-wracking experience for me. Wearing a mask while trying on gowns made it harder for me to really envision what I would look like as a bride. I had waited so long for this moment!  

Only my mom and I went to look at gowns, as I wanted it to be a surprise for our family and friends. My mom was there every step of the way, even when I tried on what seemed like hundreds of gowns. My mother has always been my rock! 

I knew I wanted glamour, but I also wanted something timeless. I wanted it to be classy and elegant but still show off my curves. I wanted the fairytale wedding with the fairytale gown I’d always dreamt of having! The one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to be original, or at least different than what I was used to seeing.  

We went to nine (yes, NINE) different bridal salons between New York City and New Jersey! None of the gowns I tried on seemed like “me.” I was beyond frustrated. One day, I made an appointment at Arlene’s Bridal Salon, and Debbie showed me several Essense of Australia gowns. There were a few I liked, but I was still undecided. I had been to Arlene’s Bridal Salon for several bridesmaid’s gowns in the past, and Debbie is the best! She treats everyone like family.  

After seeing MY Essense gown (Style D3284) at another retailer, I asked Debbie if she had it in her store. She said she didn’t but had seen it at one of her trunk shows and assured me it was stunning. She tried to order me a sample, but it didn’t work out. I wanted to try it on in the color ivory on ivory, as the one I tried on was ivory over nude. It was now April, and we were getting married in November. I was cutting it close!  

Debbie gave me the confidence to order it in the color I wanted. She took my measurements, and I pulled the trigger and ordered it right then! I paired it with a Martina Liana tulle overskirt, which had a subtle sparkle and a veil with a similar floral applique and scalloped hem as my gown. My only regret is not taking more pictures without the overskirt to show off my dress and veil’s beautiful matching scalloped detail. 

jimmy + amanda
amanda - D3284 by Essense of Australia

How did you make your wedding personal to your style and love story? 

Sticking with the castle theme, we were married at The Legacy Castle in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. It truly is the most stunning venue I have ever seen. It is overwhelmingly gorgeous in all ways! We both wanted a formal, glamorous wedding and the castle could provide just that. Our invitations were laser-cut black and champagne gold castle gates to mimic the actual doors of the Legacy Castle.  

I chose a stunning emerald green jewel tone for my bridesmaid gowns to go with the autumn season. The groomsmen wore classic black and white tuxedos with bowties and suspenders. I asked my best friend, Lisa, to officiate the wedding.  

Our florals were roses and hydrangea in shades of pinks, creams, and nudes with plenty of lush greenery, like dusty miller and eucalyptus, offset by golden vases and candelabras. Our sweetheart table was on another level, with two stunning vase arrangements, bud vases and half a waterfall tablescape.  

I wanted the fairytale and got it! Jimmy was happy too as he wanted cars, and he got them! Jimmy loves cars, so he had his other love (his Cadillac) and several other luxury cars on standby as props for photos.  

We grew up spending summers at the Jersey Shore, so we knew the music had to be on point for our guests. The dance floor was packed all night! 

jimmy + amanda
amanda and bridesmaids - D3284 by Essense of Australia
jimmy and his groomsmen

What was the most special memory from the day? 

I have so many special memories from our wedding day; it’s hard to pick just one! 
The first look with Jimmy was an emotional moment. The day we’d waited so long for was finally here! Everything we planned and all that I stressed over had come down to this moment! I had butterflies. Jimmy isn’t super emotional, but he was speechless when he saw me for the first time. All I remember is him kissing me over and over again!  

Later, when they announced us as we walked into the reception, we walked onto the balcony overlooking the reception room with our family and friends cheering. At that moment, Jimmy leaned over and whispered in my ear, “just take it all in.” Despite all the hurdles, we were thrilled that this day had finally come to be. 

Another special memory for me, personally, was my first dance with my mom. Unfortunately, I knew growing up that I would never have the privilege of having my dad walk me down the aisle or the first dance with him because he had passed away almost 20 years earlier. Therefore, I carried his baby blue handkerchief and a custom-made rosary with his picture on it.  

I didn’t stop there. I always knew Jack from LJDJS would DJ my wedding. To me, he’s not just a wedding DJ— he’s been a friend for 25 years. We’ve known each other since high school, and I’m sure Jack was in my dad’s presence somewhere along the way. That’s why I knew when I told Jack my dad needed to be PRESENT at the wedding, he could make it happen. Not only did he make it happen, but Jack also made my dad larger than life that night.  

During my first dance with my mom, Jack was able to weave a video of footage into the song that he compiled from my childhood, complete with voiceovers from my dad, designed just so that my dad spoke to us and everyone in the room. Emotional isn’t even the word, but my dad was truly there! He created a miracle, at least for my mom and me. Jack gave me the most precious, priceless gift I could ever receive. Our friends and family are still talking about this emotional tribute to my dad to this day. 

jimmy and amanda first look
jimmy and amanda wedding

Cheers to Amanda + Jimmy! 

Photography: Derek Kerzner @derek.kphotgraphy

Wedding Venue: @thelegacycastle

Hair/Makeup: @beautybynvm @hairpinnedbyjackie @carolynmakeupartistry

Are you still searching for the perfect wedding dress? Take a look at our latest designer gown collections from Stella York, Essense of Australia, Martina Liana and All Who Wander.