Today's real wedding is unique and fun! Amanda and Zach got to feel like local royalty with their wedding being held at two iconic locations in WI, that boast the wealth and success of the Ringling Family Circus World. The support of their love and family is tangible. Enjoy this Circus World Royalty Wedding! Xoxo, Jessica
Amanda + Zach
May 5th, 2018
Baraboo, WI | Al Ringling Theatre and Mansion
What was your total budget? Please give us a budget breakdown.
DJ and Officiant: $2000
Piano player: $200
Gifts for bridesmaids: $300
Gifts for groomsman: $100
Miscellaneous items: $100
How did you meet?
We met in high school, you could say we are high school sweethearts. My mom was working with Zachary at a local grocery store during the fall of our junior year at high school. She would always come home and tell me how nice he was and that I should ask him out. At the time I wasn’t looking for a relationship but I would always listen to my mom talk about him. We would chat here and there, and then one day in our chats. We had two sets of cast members so we would perform on opposite days. Anyways, Zach made mention that he went to see the play but missed the best part. He had got to see the play when the other set of cast members were performing. I thought it was cute! He was cute. So I got to thinking about him and prom was coming up. Prom was the day I had been waiting for my entire high school career. I was planning to ask him to prom. Our love story flourished after that. He wound up being quite the prom date and just over five years later my prom date turned into my hubby.
What is your proposal story?
What is your proposal story? It was 5 am on Easter morning. I was still in bed but I noticed Zach was up moving around. He told me to get dressed full hair and makeup, he said, “just make sure you look nice”. So as he would put it, over one hour later I was ready for whatever he had planned. So he handed me a letter that was handwritten. He described our relationship and how thankful he was to be able to be by my side through our lives. He then stated that I was to go look around our apartment for a “golden egg”. The letter didn’t say anything else but, “happy hunting”. Here I was dressed up in a beautiful Easter dress with my hair and makeup done…searching for an egg…at 5:30 am in the morning. About 10 minutes later I found it though, I opened it up, and there was a ring pop. That’s when he laughed and got down on one knee, he opened up the Kay box that held the most beautiful engagement ring I have ever seen. He asked me to be his wife. At that moment I was thankful I woke up at 5:30 am in the morning to find an egg. I was the happiest women in the world. I didn’t stop glowing all day.
Tell us about your wedding vision.
Our vision through the whole thing was to have it in a ballroom beautifully decorated with an “old Victorian” feel to it. We did not want everything traditional, we wanted to add our own flare to it, and that is when we decided to have our ceremony at the Al Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, WI. I have performed theatre there on that stage before, and could not have picked a better wedding venue. As for our color scheme, that changed at least three times. In the end, we decided on Navy Blue, Blush, and Grey. We decided on the month of May because when we had gone to pick out our wedding bands our wonderful ring lady at Kay Jewelers had stated that May was the best month to get married in. We know that everyone has their own opinion but we thought it was cute that she told us that and so we had just had that in the back of our minds when we were picking a date, we went with her word and we were pleased with the results.
Tell us about your attire choices.
For myself, I had always envisioned a beautiful ball gown. I wanted to feel like a beautiful princess that was being swept off my feet by my handsome hubby. After five dress appointments and many dresses later, I found the dress of my dreams at Vera’s Bridal in Madison, WI. For the men, there was no doubt in my mind that they were going to be wearing tuxes. Everyone looked handsome and put together in their grey tuxes we found at Nona’s tailoring. Lastly, my bridesmaids, I wanted them to all feel beautiful. We decided the colors after we found these beautiful navy dresses at Brides and Belles in Reedsburg, WI.
What was most important to you while planning? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
The most important thing to us was that both of us would be happy with what we chose. Zach knew I was a planner going into this and trusted my choices perfectly. I wouldn’t say that we splurged on just one thing. We would say the whole wedding was a splurge because we deserved to have a beautiful day. We have worked hard to get where we are so whatever we wanted we had got to make our day beautiful and special to us.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
The whole day was so beautiful! A few of our favorite parts were reading our notes to each other before we walked down the aisle, walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time, having the bride's brother sing to us during our sand ceremony, and sharing our first dance.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
Our flowers were beautifully done by Edgewater greenhouse in Portage, WI. Our bouquets had the blush color and orange colors throughout them. They were nice big bulbs for the bouquets. Family members had wrist corsages and boutonnieres. We had a huge draping centerpiece that went in the middle of the theatre stage for the ceremony and got transferred to the reception hall for our head table. In the middle of the tables were beautifully arranged flowers that had candles in the middle. After the wedding, the flower centerpieces were donated to the local nursing home for residents to enjoy them in their rooms.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Our wedding cake had three layers. It was done with a flower pattern at the bottom, a K symbol in the middle, and a decorated top cake. Very traditional cake with a cake topper on top that had our date with a bride and groom on it kissing and a cat in the back pawing up on the dress. We love cats and we have two of them at home, this was the only way we could incorporate our cats into the wedding per my hubby’s request.
What did you do for favors?
We actually did not do favors. But for everyone that booked with the hotel we had set up, got a thank you bag that had water, treats, mints, kleenex, and a sudoku game.
Please describe any handmade, DIY, or personal items.
We did not have a ring bearer or a flower girl. Instead, we had a running joke that instead of a ring bearer we would have a ring Bear. It turned into a reality when my sister and I went to Build A Bear Workshop and made a ring bear dressed in a tuxedo and a flower girl dressed in a white flower girl dress and veil. It was the funniest little detail that brought out our quirkiness in our relationship. Everyone loved it!
Another personal detail that was incorporated was my personal journal. I saved the journal that I had written in when Zach and I first started dating. I used our journal to write my vows. In my journal, it had read “someday I am going to marry this man”. I knew from the very first year that he would become my hubby. Bringing in that personal touch meant a lot to the both of us.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
My now mother-in-law let me borrow the earrings she had worn on her wedding day. It was the most beautiful gift she had given me. I was so thankful to add those into my bouquet that I carried down the aisle.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
I would just say really plan it out. We spent just over a year planning the wedding, and it was so worth it. We were so blessed with the beautiful weather and fantastic family to celebrate with. When the day comes just relax and enjoy it because it goes by so fast.
Photography: Blu Photography & Design LLC • Ceremony Venue: Al Ringling Theatre • Reception Venue: Al. Ringling Mansion • Event Design:I Do – A Decorating and Rental Service • Floral: Edgewater Home & Garden • Catering: Broadway Diner • Wedding Cake: Craig's Cake Shop • Rentals: I Do – A Decorating and Rental Service • Hair: Spa Serenity • Makeup: Spa Serenity • Officiant: You Had Me at I Do • DJ: You Had Me at I Do • Other Services: Cinderella's Carriage LLC • Wedding Dress: Vera's House of Bridals • Groom's Attire: Nona's Tailoring • Veil: Vera's House of Bridals • Bridesmaid Dresses: Brides N' Belles • Headpiece: The Wedding Tree • Bride's Shoes: Keds • Submitted via: Matchology
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.