REAL WEDDING | Romantic Whimsy meets Vintage Rustic in California | Michele Shore Photography


Y’all this wedding has caught my heart strings because I just love the thought of combining all the themes that that couple loves all in one fabulous event. Amanda and Derrick merged their love for all things romantic and whimsical with their love for vintage and rustic and what was created is just pure magic.  From her stunning Jenny Packham dress from David’s Bridal to the gorgeous decor that incorporates their love for all things vintage and rustic, it’s just so good! Enjoy all the amazingness for your self below.

Amanda & Derrick








Tell us about your wedding: Our wedding was a bit of a mix of different styles; we picked what we liked from various themes, including whimsical and romantic elements with some vintage and rustic/woodsy touches. We incorporated candles, greenery, fairy lights, metallic accents, soft colors, and some sheer drapery to create an elegant yet cozy, warm, and intimate vibe. Our venue was a bit isolated and near a beautiful redwood forest and the ceremony location was surrounded by a little farmland. Marin County is just a gorgeous place, with a lot of natural beauty in so many various forms which is what made us pick that area for the wedding. We kept our guest list under 70 and we felt it was the perfect size. We decided to do a Polaroid guestbook and the guests really enjoyed that, and we also spent a lot of time picking out super fun dancing songs for the reception. We made sure to include a lot of oldies we enjoy because we waned everyone to be on the dance floor all night, and it worked!

Wedding Colors: Pale neutrals and metallics: ivory, silver, champagne, grayed jade, and just a touch of blush.


How did the two of you meet? Derrick and I met at 19 through friends. Neither of us had planned to go out that night and had to be talked into going; of course, as soon as we laid eyes on each other we were glad we went! We were instantly drawn to each other, and Derrick went from sitting across the table to slowly making his way next to me. We ended up talking until 6 AM that night, and the following few nights as well. Since then, we’ve been completely inseparable.

Describe your Engagement: We had talked about getting married for about a year before he proposed. We went together to pick out a ring but he said he had to pay it off before he could give it to me. Little did I know, he was creating fake receipts to show me that it wasn’t paid off yet when it actually was. The day he planned to propose, he took the day off work and had an entire day planned, but unfortunately, I had stayed up late the night before and slept in very late. We only had enough time to do one thing that day–go to the beach, a beach where one of our first dates took place. We went under the guise that we were meeting his friend there, but when we arrived his friend’s car was nowhere to be seen. As we walked down the beach, I told him, “We need to turn back, I think we’re at the wrong beach!” He kept telling me we need to go just a bit further. By that time, I was being a bit of a grump! Eventually, we passed a little formation in the sand, with rose petals, glass lanterns, and a message in a bottle. I walked right passed it and then whispered, “I really want to open the bottle and see what’s inside but I don’t want to ruin the set-up for whoever made it.” Derrick said, “I made it.” I laughed and thought he was joking, but then he convinced me to open the bottle; inside was a poem he had written. Did I mention it was April Fools Day? I asked him, “Are you pulling an April Fools joke on me?” He assured me he wasn’t, but I was skeptical. But when I looked up after I finished reading, he was kneeling down, ring in hand, and asked me to marry him. By then, my hands were shaking and I was crying with joy! Of course I said yes. He had had his friend come and set everything up for him before we arrived and they had been planning it for a few weeks. He even planned a surprise Engagement BBQ for us when we got back to my house, with all of his family and mine, so we got to announce our engagement to everyone at once!

Personal or handmade details: I made the escort cards; they were leaves handpicked by Derrick and me, in the rain, at midnight the night before we left. I almost forgot to do them, and I ended up staying up until 5 AM doing the names in calligraphy for them all! I carried my grandmother’s rosary as I walked down the aisle, and I wore her wedding ring on my right hand in her memory. The wedding dress I purchased was actually sleeveless and I had my seamstress add the sleeves because I knew I always wanted them but couldn’t find one that had sleeves I liked.

Describe your flowers: We chose to do smaller arrangements, so our guests could easily see each other across the table. They were small clusters of blooms and greenery on top of wood slabs. Our florist used little antique vases, which made the arrangements look very dainty, elegant, and romantic. I spent a lot of time picking out what type of flowers I wanted, so she was sure to use Queen Anne’s Lace, Ranunculus, dusty miller, and eucalyptus. In my bouquet, I chose to also incorporate brunia berries and succulents. My mom actually did the flowers for the ceremony; she used white hydrangea and handmade the ribbons for them also, which we placed on the cocktail tables during cocktail hour. All the flowers had a soft, dreamy vibe to them.

Memories or stories from the  day: Derrick missed the memo that the photographers would be taking photos of him while getting ready, so when they arrived at his room, he was already completely dressed and ready! He ended up taking off his shoes, coat, and cufflinks just to put them back on for the sake of the photos! The moment before I walked down the aisle, my dad stepped back and said “I need a minute,” while wiping away a few tears. It was a really special moment to me because my dad is not a very emotional man, and even though he and I had done a first look, he still got teary eyed in that moment before giving me away and during the ceremony. He also sang to me during our father-daughter dance, which made a lot of the guests tear up! Derrick also teared up during the ceremony. The way he looked at me was so tender, so sincere, and so loving–we both cried! It was such a beautiful moment, and it really did feel like we were the only two people in the room. I pulled out my handkerchief (my something blue) from my bra for him to wipe away his tears, which everyone saw and laughed at! We knew rainy weather was a possibility in January, even in California, but we had no idea there would be a huge storm that day! Luckily it let up enough to take some gorgeous outdoor photos, but during cocktail hour a circuit blew and the power went out at our reception venue. Julie (our coordinator) and Jennifer (the venue’s event coordinator) leaped into action and found as many candles as possible to light the room. By the time we arrived, the power was back on and we saw the abundance of candles and thought “Wow, this is so romantic!” but then many of our guests relayed the story of the power outage and some even had seen the circuit explode on the street! Since it was raining and dark by the reception, an outdoor grand exit like sparklers was out of the question for us so we had to get more creative. We decided to do a balloon toss on the dance floor; we handed out balloons to each guest and then bounced them around as we all danced! It was the perfect way to get everyone on the dance floor one last time before the reception began winding down. I got Derrick the gift of a saxophone quartet to surprise him by playing at the reception because he loves the saxophone. My dad, the coordinator, and I all secretly worked together to pull it off. They played a selection of some of Derrick’s favorite songs, including “Just the Two of Us” and his face was priceless when he realized what was going on, and our guests really enjoyed the surprise as well! He, in turn, got me the gift of some gorgeous Kate Spade champagne flutes, which we used to toast our marriage on our mini-moon. My grandfather, who was 84 at the time of the wedding, even got up and danced with us during the reception, which totally surprised and delighted me because he rarely even leaves the house anymore. He then went around after and was asking all the grandmas to dance. At the end of the night, our guests were remarking to us and others that it was the most fun wedding they had ever been to! This was such a compliment, especially considering the weather, the drive, and the power outage.

First Dance song: Can’t Help Falling In Love, cover by Haley Reinhart

Things we would have done differently: With all the commotion, we completely spaced out and forgot to give a thank you speech to all of our guests! We both regret that more than anything. I would have also invested a bit more in a videographer, as our wedding video was not what we expected.

Advice for other plus size brides: Get a good photographer and be upfront with them about any insecurities you might have; also ask if they have experience shooting plus size brides/couples! At the end of the day, you are going to feel like the most beautiful girl in the world and the luckiest to be marrying your best friend. Let go of the small stuff–I was 30 minutes late to the ceremony, the power went out at our reception, and we had a few other mishaps, but I didn’t let it bother me. This made the atmosphere really relaxed and makes your vendors jobs easier too; even our coordinator and my hair and makeup artists remarked at how calm everything was, they said I was the most laidback bride any of them had ever worked with. Also, investing in a day of coordinator is totally worth it! The bottom of my dress got soaked in the rain, and she totally saved the day by pulling a towel out of her car and drying it off for me; she also was able to fix my bustle when one of the buttons broke off! And for any plus size brides who haven’t tried on gowns yet, try on EVERYTHING. Every silhouette, every fabric, just be open–you could be completely surprised by what you love and what looks the best on your frame. Disregard the articles on what plus size brides “should” wear. The gowns they say are supposed to look “best” on plus size figures (ballgown and A-line) were not flattering on me at all, but sheath gowns, which all the articles say plus size brides should stay away from, made me look and feel the best! Those “rules” are too general to apply to every body type out there and are too arbitrary and restricting.

Three words that describe your wedding: Fun, Romantic, Dreamy.

What has surprised you most during the first few months of marriage? We have been married a year now, and marriage is so different than I had imagined it would be. The way you argue completely changes after marriage; you’re kinder and more careful with your words. Also, in my family, my older relatives have begun treating me like a “real” adult now, which is so strange to me because I was 26 at the time of my wedding; I didn’t expect that at all. It’s really so amazing to be married. I have a new part of my identity–wife–and despite not thinking much would change, it really has. We are closer, more supportive, and more in love than ever!

Photography: Michele Shore Photography | Venue and Caterer: San Geronimo Golf Course | Bridal Attire: Wonder by Jenny Packham for David’s Bridal | Wedding Stationery: Rachel Marvin Creative | Wedding Favors: See’s Candies | Hair Stylist: Stephanie’s Beauty Artistry | Makeup Artist:  Jocelyn Tabajonda at Hamaholic Studio | Rentals:  Encore Events Rentals | Linens:  Your Chair Covers Inc. | Jewelry: Berricle | Bakery: La Vie Douce Design |


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Shafonne Myers is a certified wedding and event planner who longed for bridal inspiration that looked like her. She has created a website and magazine that brings bridal inspiration to plus size brides. She does speaking engagements educating the world about plus size brides and self confidence.