High-fives. We’ve all shared them with teammates or friends. At the very least, you’ve gotten or given one to a particularly excited kid. They’re a way to greet, to congratulate and to connect with one another. They’re genuine and kind and frankly, fun. But romantic? Not the first word that comes to mind. However, after hearing the love story of Amanda Craig and Joel Borski, it’s easy to see how such an informal gesture could hold romance, but also how it is actually emblematic of the relationship between these two beautiful people — enduring, sincere and incredibly relaxed.
After a year of dating, Joel knew he was ready to propose. Pondering the best way to ask for Amanda’s hand, Joel said that he “knew it was just going to have to be from the heart, in the moment, when the time felt right. No plan and no script.” A lovely sentiment, but one that meant the poor guy carried the ring around in his pocket for several weeks before finding the perfect opportunity. That moment presented itself when the pair relived their first date.
Joel treated Amanda to dinner at Sole Mio, a downtown Nashville restaurant that has since closed, as he had done the year before when they first got to know each other. Great conversation, lots of laughs, and a fun evening together made Joel realize that this was THE night. Just as he had begun to fall for her then, he knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her now. As the evening drew to a close, the two reminisced about how, on their first date, they had high-fived after Joel walked Amanda to the door because they had agreed to no kissing on the first date. Joel says, “And so, this time, ring in hand, as I walked her to her front door, I told her we should high-five for old times’ sake. She obliged, and when our hands met, she found the ring waiting for her. I got down on one knee in the porch light, just me and her, told her all the things on my mind, and she said yes. It was perfect.” Joel, we have to say we agree.
Amanda and Joel’s wedding plans perfectly matched their laid-back romance. They choose a January 2016 wedding date at the Loveless Barn, giving them a year to plan all the details for their big day. Simplicity with pops of color anchored their aesthetic and theme. Both Amanda and Joel had a vision of coziness for their wedding celebration, wanting their friends to feel warmed not only by their surroundings, but also by the love of the newlyweds before them.
Amanda took a very relaxed approach to finding her wedding dress. She took her entire bridal party, as well as her mother, future mother-in-law and aunt with her to The Dress Theory and asked each of them to pick something they thought would suit her. She told us she went into the whole day thinking it would be fun, but not expecting to find her dream dress. After trying all the dresses on, Amanda fell in love with a Simona Christos gown her bridesmaid Ashley Crane had chosen. Ashley’s choice was all the more special as she and Amanda, whose families are close, have known each other since they were very young. For them to share that aspect of the planning process made for a touching experience.
On the wedding program, all the bridesmaids and groomsmen were identified simply as “The Party.” Amanda and Joel did not want to have a single best man or maid of honor or traditional ushers. They instead chose their closest friends to celebrate with them and dubbed them all “Best Men” and “Maids of Honor.”
Amanda also shared her wedding day with the incredible team at Leigh, Edwards & Company salon in Belle Meade. As a celebrity stylist and co-owner of LEC, Amanda was able to surround herself with her close and talented friends as they transformed her on this most special occasion. The rest of the wedding party also benefited, as the LEC stylists worked to make sure everyone looked and felt their best.
After everyone was satisfactorily primped and perfected, the ceremony began. Joel walked his mother down the aisle behind the tail of Amanda’s beloved pup, Ninja. Once the bridal party made its way to the front, Amanda made her entrance. Her father and younger brother, to whom she is very close, both walked her down the aisle. Amanda and Joel chose to write and say their own vows. Amanda described the evening succinctly: “Our wedding was definitely not traditional. We wanted it to be us, comfortable and relaxed, and in our own words.”
Following the ceremony, the wedding party and 350 guests began celebrating the newest chapter of Amanda and Joel’s lives together. Memphis Soul Revue, an amazing band from Memphis, provided tunes and entertainment that kept everyone on their feet. Upbeat, but old school, music appealed to all generations, while backup dancers and a horn section added extra flair.
Amid the dancing and celebrating, guests were able to dine from the buffet. Stations scattered around the barn included gourmet grilled cheeses, beef tenderloin, BBQ sundaes and a casserole car. Following dinner, everyone was able to select the cake pop of their choice. A complete surprise to Amanda, Joel had asked his cousin, Tammy Pierchoski, of Southern Sweets by Tammy, to make chocolate and vanilla cake pops that could surround a beautifully iced carrot cake, Amanda’s favorite flavor. Amanda was thrilled, as were all of their guests! To round out the evening, Loveless biscuits were passed as a midnight treat.
Surrounded by their close family and friends, Amanda and Joel had a fun-filled night. To ensure that everyone really was present in the joy around them, the couple requested that guests turn off their phones and cameras following the ceremony. They wanted everyone to enjoy the evening, leaving the distractions of calls and texts behind to just be present in the moment. With a professional photographer, as well as a photo booth in play, Amanda and Joel knew the night would be more than adequately captured. Great music, good food and the best company made for an evening that everyone in attendance, but especially Amanda and Joel, will never forget. What a way to start a life together!
Congrats to the happy couple! And Amanda and Joel, thank you for sharing your story with us!
Venue: Loveless Barn in Nashville, TN
Catering: Loveless Events
Bridal gown: Simona Christos from The Dress Theory
Hair & makeup: Leigh, Edwards & Company
Groom’s formalwear: Calvin Klein black suit
Groomsmens’ formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding planner: Melissa Dodson
Photographer: Angela Talley
Photo booth: Photobomb Nashville
Videography: Zack and Dani from Dog and Doe Videography
Invitations, programs and menu cards: Kayce Singleton at PopFizz Creative
Flowers: Emma’s Florist
Music: Memphis Soul Revue
Cake and cake pops: Southern Sweets by Tammy
Feeling the love? See more beautiful Southern weddings by clicking here.