Bridal Bliss: Amanda and Drae

Amanda reluctantly joined her friends at a bar to have a little fun. When she got there and locked eyes with her future husband Drae, she was instantly glad she came.

Charli Penn May, 22, 2013

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“I knew Drae was the one when I figured out that he had become my best friend in the world,” says Amanda. “He was the one that I wanted to share my day with and he was the one I wanted to share both good and bad news with. I realize that I did not want to be without him in my life.”

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"My sister is a big fan of Pinterest," says Amanda. "I got the idea for my updo from the site."

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Beautful bride-to-be Amanda snuck in a little sunbathing by the pool before her big day begun. What a classy bridal portrait.

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Amanda chose a stunning Allure gown for her tropical wedding day. “I actually wet to the store to try on another dress, but it had already been sold,” she says. “The saleswoman picked out this dress. I put it on and immediately thought it looked great.”

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Amanda looked to the team at Paradisus Punta Cana’s spa to style her wedding day hair and makeup. “They really did an excellent job,” she tells us, and we couldn’t agree more.

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"I searched online for something for my husband to wear and he found something similar to what I picked out," Amanda explains. "It was a tan linen suit with a white linen shirt.  He helped the best man pick out his outfit too."

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"We decided that we wanted to have a destination wedding," explains Amanda. "Our first choice was to go to St. Lucia but we realized it would be too pricey for all of our guests. We googled resorts and the Paradisus Punta Cana looked amazing and had really good reviews." When their 40 guests arrived, they were greated with custom welcome bags from the happy couple.

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We just can't get enough of Amanda's classic lace gown. Click that "like" button if you love it too!

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Amanda and Drae's his and hers wedding bands are a perfect pair. "We planned the wedding together," says Amanda. "He helped with the location, the decorations and the overall feel and theme of the wedding and he would always provide his input if I needed it.  He even helped put the welcome bags together.  It was a good experience."

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“The night I met Drae, I was expecting maybe a little eye candy, but I definitely did not expect to find the man I would share the rest of my life with,” admits Amanda. "I am truly amazed at how things work when you least expect it."

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Amanda chose a romantic bouquet of white roses for her special day. It complemented her stunning lace gown perfectly.

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Amanda's sister Angela was her matron of honor. "I let her pick out a dress she liked," she recalls. "I just requested that it be blue and flowy."

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"We met by sure fate," says Drae. "I'm glad I found her when I did."

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Drae's brother was the best man. We love how both the bride and groom chose to have their siblings stand beside them on the special day. Plus, could this photograph be any more lovely? #bridalbliss

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"Amanda is so great and she has so many amazing attributes," says Drae. "Hence, it's the reason why I love her."

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“Our original plan was always that the ceremony had to be on the beach,” says Amanda. “We both love the color blue so that had to be incorporated.”

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"We went a little over budget because we had planned for just 25 people, but almost 40 came," Amanda tells us. "It was a great turnout."

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"I love how Drae can stay calm in the middle of a hurricane," says Amanda. "He just has the best demeanor and the ability to make you feel safe in any situation."

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Amanda's father passed away when she was just 21, so her brother, whom she calls "the man of the house," walked her down the aisle. The sounds of "When I First Saw You" by Jamie Foxx played in the background. It was a very sentimental moment for all those present.

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"When we looked into each other's eyes at the altar, I felt like my life was just beginning," says the bride. "Like, I love this man so much and we can do anything and everything together." The couple wrote their own vows to each other. "I felt so at peace and happy to start our new lives together," says Drae.

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"It felt wonderful to be the bride," says Amanda. "But the best part was who I was marrying. It felt almost surreal at times."

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"I felt so very honored to be her groom," says Drae.

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Amanda and Drae pucker up by the beach as guests make their way to their intimate reception party.

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The picturesque Dominican Republic coastline helped to make the couple's wedding portraits absolutely breathtaking.

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"I remember immediately feeling attracted to him and something told me that somehow he would be a part of my life," says Amanda.

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This might just be our favorite photo from Amanda and Drae's big day. Too bad it's just so hard to choose.

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“We would have liked to have had the reception on the beach, but the area wasn’t available that night,” says Amanda. “Our reception was by the pool instead. It turned out very nice. Everything looked so nice with blue accents.”

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Guests happily greeted Amanda and Drae as they entered their reception party with matching smiles.

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For an added island feel, the chargers were a dark rattan with blue napkin accents.

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Centerpieces were created with cylinder glass vases in varying sizes filled with submerged orchids and floating candles. Romantic all the way!

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"Our wedding cake was simple and elegant," says Amanda. "It was accented with pink and white orchids."

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White linens and paper lanterns gave Amanda and Drae's wedding reception an ethereal feel.

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"We were not stressed out at all that day," says the bride. "I think we both were just happy to be married and you could not take our joy away."

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Before the wedding kicked off, Amanda and Drae had a chance to sit down with the deejay and share their ultimate playlist.

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As things heated up at Amanda and Dra'e reception prty, guets found fun and exciting ways to stay cool and keep the party going.

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"We were already on our honeymoon the second that the wedding was over," says Amanda. "That's the beauty of a destination wedding!" Did you love Amanda and Drae's laid-back wedding style as much as we did? Leave your congratulatory messages below! Want to see your wedding featured in Bridal Bliss? Email us now!

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# Weddings

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# Weddings