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Couples on their wedding day

Sarasota native Amanda Leigh Waag met her future husband, Shane Michael Powell, shortly after the engineering company he works for moved from Rochester, New York to Sarasota in 2010.

After five years of dating, Shane took the plunge and proposed to Amanda in the Florida Keys, romantically getting down on one knee on the beach during a night of fireworks and champagne.

For the next two years, this beautiful couple planned their dream wedding on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. For Amanda and Shane, picking their dream wedding location was, in her words, “pretty bulletproof,” because of the great food, culture and scenery this area of the world offers.

All their hard work paid off when 27 close friends and family arrived to experience an epic week of Italian adventures and festivities. Their intimate ceremony took place under lemon trees in the 19th century villa Dimora Di Mare in Ravello. According to Amanda, “It was a dream venue and everything went off without a hitch. We feel so blessed and lucky to have created and experienced our wedding in this way. We couldn’t have asked for anything more!”

So what does one do for a honeymoon when they marry in Italy? Shane and Amanda are planning to celebrate their first wedding anniversary in Greece and Tuscany.Amanda owns Designing Sarasota, a web design and online marketing company. Shane is manager at Pascale Engineering.

Venue: Dimora DiMare and Villa Scarpariello, Ravello, Italy; Gown: Inbal Dror 13-23; Planner: Sloane Sapan McComb; Florist: Whitney Prewitt; Sarasota Officiant: Lauren Crowley of “I Do” ceremonies; Italian Officiant: William McComb; Photographer: Katelyn Prisco; Hair & Makeup: Kelly Anne of Brides by Kelly Anne; Cinematographer: Brian Andrew Wilmott/ Wilmott Productions

Jen, Vice President and Private Wealth Advisor at Synovus Bank, and Steve, Senior Vice President and Principal with Harvard Jolly Architecture, met on a blind date in early 2016 arranged by mutual friend Jenn Stutler. They immediately hit it off!

During Christmas week, Steve and Jen went to Barnsley Gardens, a magical storybook retreat in North Georgia, with beautiful gardens and an old manor home built by Mr. Barnsley for his wife in the 19th century. Two days before Christmas, Steve surprised Jen by proposing in this romantic house, which was, as Jen describes, very sweet and intimate.

The couple chose a destination wedding in Montara, California, located just north of Half Moon Bay outside of San Francisco. Half Moon Bay is one of Jen’s favorite spots in the US, and Steve loves the water, so this was their dream location. They rented a beautiful home for the week called Villa Montara, which was also the location of their wedding.

The festivities started for their guests with a welcome reception at Half Moon Bay Brewery the day before the wedding. The next day, the couple married on the Villa’s lawn with amazing views from the cliffs of the ocean, nearby beaches and mountains. The ceremony was officiated by good friend Kelsey Alholm. They wrote personal vows for each other, and Jen also wrote vows, which she read to Isabella, Steve’s four-year-old daughter.

Guests enjoyed the magnificent setting of the Pacific sun as the cocktail party began, which was followed by a paella dinner cooked on site during cocktail hour. Jen and Steve’s first dance was to “The One” by Kodaline.

The couple took a honeymoon “road trip” and made stops in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Sedona and Dove Mountain, just outside of Tucson. Many fond memories were made as they took in the incredible landscape, dined royally, and relaxed at spas.

Location: Villa Montara, a private home. Wedding Planner:  Small Blue Planet Events. Photographer:  Arnau Dubois Photography. Makeup:  Phi Phi & Yvonne Beauty Team. Flowers:  Flowers by Jane. Rentals: Big 4 Party Rental. Videographer: WDS Visuals. Food:  Paella del Reyes. Musician: Clay Bell

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