Amanda + Raul
How did you meet?
We originally met in Grade 9 Geography class, but we never really talked. Our high school was huge, so all four years of it we were in different friend groups and only just waved to each other in the halls. I was a keener, spending most of my time in the library, whereas Raul was as far away from the school as possible LOL. We were complete opposite of each other. Fast forward to years later after high school, Raul was driving in downtown Toronto and saw me, my mom, and my sister walking down the street and he says I caught his eye. Years later, Raul slid into the Instagram DMs and commented that my pet cat named Massimo was “majestic”. And now, flash forward to today, Massimo sleeps on his side of the bed every morning.
Our first date was a John Legend concert. At the concert, we hit it off right away and drank a ton of wine. In the middle of the concert, John Legend was about to perform the song Surefire and he said “You may not know it, but the person you are here with tonight you’ll fall in love with them if you’re not already.” We both awkwardly laughed and continued sipping our wine. Today, “We’re surefire” is engraved on the inside of my engagement ring and Raul’s wedding band.
When did you know they were the one?
Raul always says he knew I was the one after our first date. After the John Legend concert, we were walking down the streets of Toronto (a little buzzed after all the wine) towards a restaurant to eat nachos, singing “I feel good” by James Brown, and holding hands. He knew at that moment I was it for him.
It took me a bit longer after that to know he was the one. My grandmother was in the hospital and was having trouble walking around. Raul called my uncle, who was with her at the time, and offered to drive across the city after work to pick up my grandfather’s old walker from their house and drive it over to them. I was so touched that he did knew at that moment that I wanted him to be in my life forever.
What are your three favourite attributes of your partner?
I love Raul’s ambition, humour, and selflessness. Raul owns his own advertising agency and has the strongest work ethic of anyone I’ve ever met. He thinks differently than anyone I’ve ever known – always outside of the box. He inspires me and motivates me to always be a better version of myself. In the pandemic, he pushed me to start my own business and has always helped me along the way. He’s really shown me how to dream big and he faces every obstacle with a positive attitude. He always makes me laugh, even on the tough days. The way he loves and cares for me makes me feel like the luckiest woman in the world to have him as my husband.
Who proposed and how?
In the middle of the pandemic, one of my best friends Xaine and I went out for the evening. While I was out, Raul scrambled with my sister Nicole and his brother Alex to completely transform our home with rose petals, hundreds of candles, and big Marquee letters that said “Marry Me”. Travelling is our thing, so he had an extravagant trip planned to propose, but COVID, so he lost his deposit LOL. He decided to propose in the first home we built together and it was everything I could have ever dreamed of. I was in so much shock and Raul was so nervous that we both don’t remember at all the speech Raul gave. Looking back, the whole week prior, Raul continuously made fun of my nails and kept trying to get me to paint them myself. I naturally snapped and said “What does it matter?! Nail salons are closed. We’re in a pandemic! No one is even going to see them!” … Needless to say, I regret that decision.
Where did you fall in love with your dress and why?
I fell in love with my Ryder dress at The Modern Bride – a stunning boutique in Guelph, Ontario, Canada (@tmodernbride).
People always say that you’ll just know when your wedding dress is the one and I have to say, they’re 100 percent right. I just KNEW. Ryder honestly feels like it was made for and meant for me. It hugged my body and accentuated my curves perfectly. It isn’t a traditional dress by any means and I am NOT a traditional girl! The hand beaded, sparking lace is the perfect amount of glam and class together. When I put it on, I took off my mask in the change room (I know it wasn’t allowed, but let me have my moment!) and I immediately became teary-eyed. I felt like me in every single way. I could see myself walking down the aisle and marrying my forever. So, I said yes to my dress and it was as magical as I imagined it would be. It was my second favourite ‘yes’ of all time.
What was the best moment for you at your wedding?
There are way too many moments to count, but I would have to say the moment I walked down the aisle and saw my future husband is the moment I will never forget. All the wedding planning stress and worries went out the window the second our eyes locked at the aisle. His face when he saw me in my dress is something I will always remember.
What were your favourite details?
Our florals were so dreamy – all white and cream flowers with greenery throughout. The ceremony was perfection, with a white aisle covered in white rose petals, lined with high top bouquets in gold stands and candles of varying levels, all met with a huge floral arch at the front. We had a violinist play our music throughout the ceremony, which was the perfect touch. We then used all of our ceremony decor and more in our reception, which tied the whole event together beautifully. We also had a huge flower wall of the same white/cream colour and greenery, with a neon sign in the middle that read “The Linces” (our last name). The dance floor was covered in white vinyl and gold writing that also read “The Linces” and our wedding date. Every little detail was so so perfect.
My hilarious uncle was our MC and him and my sister (my Maid of Honour) put together a beautiful video compilation of my childhood to the song “All Star” by Smash Mouth. My uncle also found video footage of my grandfather who passed away (who was my favourite human being of all time) giving a cheers and used it in his speech – it was a beautiful moment and it felt like he was there with us. My father-in-law also surprised me with a family ring to welcome me into the family. There are so many wonderful details and moments throughout the night that made our wedding day so much more special!
What advice would you tell other brides?
My one piece of advice that I could tell other brides is to just take the time throughout the entire day to truly enjoy it. The day flies by and it’s so important to take a second to look at your partner and process what is truly happening – you’ve married the love of your life! You’ve done everything you possibly could to make sure the day runs smoothly and on the wedding day itself, little hiccups are beyond your control. Invest in a Day of Coordinator, so you have zero things to worry about on your special day. Someone told me to take a moment during dinner to just pause and look at everyone who is there to celebrate you and your love – I followed that advice and am so glad I did. Oh and if you can, try to limit your number of guests to no more than 100! We had just under 100 people there and we had time to actually talk to everyone, as well as enjoy one another! Plus, our photos and memories of the most special day of our lives are filled with only people who are super close to us!
Any standout vendors?
All of our vendors were honestly fantastic and I would hire them again in a heartbeat!
Florals & Decor – VintageBASH @vintagebash
Day of Coordinators – Events Your Way @eventsyourway
Signage – Signed By Ellie @signedby.ellie
Photographer – Greco Photography @grecophotoco
DJ – DJ Bryan Fontez @djfontez
Cake – Devuyst Cake Artistry @devuystdesserts
Makeup – Emalee Casserly Beauty Studio @emaleecasserly
Officiant – Aaron Milic @trueceremonies
Venue – The Guild Inn Estate @theguildinnestate
Dress – @tmodernbride @madewithlove (DUH!)
Alterations – @tanisemmettweddingstyle