Amanda Davis considers Fernandina Beach her hometown, even though life has taken her down different paths. She spent every summer on Amelia Island, and she attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville. But it was her education at Boston College that would eventually lead her to meet and fall in love with Chris Barber.
“Strangely enough, I didn’t actually meet Chris while in Boston. We met in Washington, D.C. through a Boston College alumni network,” says Amanda. “We had both attended BC at the same time, but we had never met.” She and Chris started dating in spring 2010, and immediately hit it off. “We had so many things in common, and we loved the D.C. area,” she says. “We spent as much time as we could exploring the city, its parks, and nearby vineyards.”
Amanda and Chris became engaged on October 1, 2015. “We had talked about getting married for quite a while,” shares Amanda. “But it was such a wonderful surprise when Chris proposed. It was a rainy morning, and I was tired, and there he was, kneeling and proposing. He knows me so well. He knew that’s the kind of engagement I would have wanted. It was
In planning the wedding, Amanda and Chris both knew that an Amelia Island destination wedding was the best idea. “I have so many friends and family here,” says Amanda. “And Chris’s family is mostly from New England, so it was an ideal vacation for them. We enlisted the help of Lorna Meehan from Amelia Island Weddings and Events. She really helped us connect the dots. Many of our vendors had worked together before, and everything was coordinated so well.”
Amanda and Chris booked rooms at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort for all their guests, including a small house which served as a staging area for the bridesmaids to prepare for the wedding on Saturday morning. “That worked out very well. It was nice to have a lot of space to get ready before the wedding,” remembers Amanda. “And being so close to Walkers Landing, our guests didn’t have far to go after the reception.”
Amanda and Chris held their wedding ceremony at St. Michael’s Catholic Church on May 27, officiated by Father Jose Kallukalam. “St. Michael’s is my church home, and it’s very special to me,” says Amanda. “We held our reception at Walkers Landing because of its great natural beauty. Our flowers and décor were created by Shea Hopely.”
Directly after the ceremony, the 150 guests were treated to a cocktail hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., accompanied by a crab cake station. An interesting twist to the menu was serving a duel dish of lamb and fish, and having the salads pre-set before guests arrived. “This allowed everyone to start eating at the same time, and it worked out really well,” notes Amanda.
The wedding cake was provided by Delores Gilyard, and guests enjoyed dancing to the tunes of The Faze Band of Jacksonville. A very special moment during the wedding celebration was when Amanda and her mother danced together. “My mother was my primary parent growing up,” says Amanda. “Our mother-daughter dance was a tribute to her and how much she means to me.”
Since Amanda did most of the wedding planning, Chris agreed to plan their honeymoon, and plan he did, putting together an 11-day tour of Italy that included Tuscany, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast. “I was so impressed with the trip,” says Amanda. “We were unplugged the entire honeymoon. It was romantic and simply perfect.”
Happily married for nearly six months now, Amanda and Chris divide their time between Washington, D.C. and Evanston, Illinois. Chris is a vice president at Rock Creek Group, a global investment firm in Washington, and Amanda is completing her MBA at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston.