BRIDE– Amanda Hart-Gaddis

GROOM–  Kenny Gaddis

WEDDING DATE– September 4th, 2010

CEREMONY LOCATION– The Cannon Point in Akumal, Mexico (about an hour south of Cancun).

RECEPTION LOCATION– CEA (Center of Ecology) in Akumal, Mexico.


When did you first meet: June 2006

Where did you first meet: I was working as a waitress at Sal’s Famous Pizzeria in Plainfield.  One of my friends brought a group of her friends in to eat and Kenny was with them.  By the end of their meal Kenny was asking my friend if I was single, and then asked if he could take me out some time.  Our first date was in the same weekend, and we could not stop hanging around one another.

When did you know you were going to marry him: When Kenny and I began dating in June 2006, I made it clear to him that I did not want anything serious because I was leaving in August to complete a 6 month internship at Walt Disney World.  Throughout that summer we were inseperable.  When it came time to pack my bags and move to Florida for the Fall semester I knew I loved him, because I did not want to go without officially being his “girlfriend”.  And we are thankful for that 6 months apart because as difficult as it was, it forced us to talk to one another every day and we became best friends.

How did he propose: Every time I thought he was going to propose, he didn’t.  It became a joke because I felt like I waited sooo long, haha.  But, the night before my birthday he told me he wanted to take me out downtown for a special dinner alone.  As we drove downtown I had no idea where we were going, but then we pulled into the parking garage of Hyatt and I knew we were going to the Eagle’s Nest.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner, and then the waitress asked if we would like dessert.  Kenny replied, “Actually, it is her birthday so we get free dessert, right?”  Embarassed, I said, “Oh no, that’s okay… I am pretty full. Thank you though.”  The waitress said, “Your birthday? Yes, you do receive a complimentary dessert.  I will go get it for you.”  We waited a moment as she went to get our dessert and Kenny said, “Cover your eyes.”  I placed my hands over my eyes and when they said it was okay to open them I saw a beautiful quarter-sheet cake that said, “Will you marry me?” in my favorite color pink.  And I looked over to Kenny on his knee holding the most beautiful engagement ring.

Favorite thing to do together: Travel!  We visit Mexico together every year, and Disney every other year.  We are currently planning a trip to Europe for our 5 year wedding anniversary.


Wedding colors: Bright Pink and Bright Turquoise

Number of guests: 25

Number in wedding party: 4 bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen

Wedding style: Beach

Beauty style: “Beach Princess”?

Dress style: “Beach Princess”…strapless, ivory, beaded

Most unique wedding personalization: When my new husband and I walked into our reception to be announced Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis, we threw on Bride and Groom Minnie and Mickey Mouse ears!

Something you did very different: We offered two very unique experiences for our guests.  First, when the sun went down my wedding planner took all of us for a long walk down the beach for a surprise.  We had no idea that she was getting ready to provide a once in a lifetime experience for us and our guests.  We were able to witness a baby sea turtle release…it was really beautiful, especially because the baby turtles were beginning their new life adventure, just like Kenny and I were together.  When we returned from the turtle release my wedding planner had the most beautiful white leather couches set up outside, surrounded by beautiful chinese lanterns lit above.  We sat down and got to see one of the most amazing acrobatic fire shows, with drums playing and women hoola hooping fire around their bodies.  Those are two different parts of the evening that come up in conversation over and over again by our guests.

Something you did very traditional: Although our wedding took place in Mexico, we still wanted to keep many of the common American traditions.  My Father walked me down the isle, we had a first dance, we cut the cake, had best man and maid of honor speeches, and much more.  We even had “Just Married” written all over our rental car.

Something you would do all over again: The entire experience.  We went back and forth about the pros and cons of having a destination wedding, and we would not trade the experience for the world.  The great thing about a destination wedding is that it is not just one day of fun, it is a vacation full of making lifetime memories with the people that mean the most to you.

Something you would never do again: Haha, I just laughed out loud thinking about the one thing that I would not do again.  You know how they say, “Don’t make any major beauty changes right before the wedding”?  Well, I decided that because my eye brows are so light that I wanted a little bit of color on them so that I did not have to worry about sweating off the brow liner in the hot Mexico sun.  I had my eye brows colored before, but it was years prior.  The day before leaving for Mexico I went to get my hair trimmed and my stylist put the color on my eye brows.  She left me to sit and forgot about me as she worked on another lady.  I should have stuck with the brow pencil because I spent the next couple of days before the wedding scrubbing my eye brows and trying different tricks to lighten what looked like large lines of permanent marker above my eyes.  It was a brides nightmare! Thankfully I tried putting lime juice on them and laid out in the sun, and it worked!

Most memorable wedding moment: It is the most beautiful thing to read your vows to your best friend.  It goes beyond beautiful when you are surrounded by your closest family and friends, and you have the most beautiful beach as your back drop.

Best wedding decision: This is a toss up between having a destination wedding in Mexico, and hiring Joe DeFabis to document our day.  I know everyone feels like their day was the best and they would not change it, but man… ours was SERIOUSLY like a fairytale.  And we are so blessed that Joe and his wife flew all the way out there to document our day.  We have photos that look like they are supposed to be on the cover of a romance novel, and I frequently have people contacting me to tell me how beautiful the photos are and to ask who our photographer was.

Best wedding overall advice: We originally placed a deposit on a wedding venue in Indianapolis, and as the guest list continued to grow with people we hardly knew we felt like the control of our day was quickly slipping out of our reach.  We realized we weren’t happy with what our wedding was becoming, because we were trying to please everyone else.  We wanted a wedding that we could make special memories with the people we love the most, and having a destination wedding made that possible even though it wasn’t everyone’s favorite decision.  With all of the money that goes into a wedding, take the time to step back and make sure you are doing what will truly make both of you happy and not what will make everyone else happy.


Ceremony/Reception- Central Ecological Center, Akumal (CEA)

Dress- Nancy’s Bridal on the Northside

Shoes- they were my “something borrowed”

Make-up Favorites- Bare minerals facial bronzer; MAC eye shadow, liner and lipgloss, and of course California Tan bronzing lotion

Photographer- DeFabis Photography

Wedding Planner: Jenn from Turtle Bay Café, Akumal