How One Couple Steered the Yacht (Literally) at Their Own Wedding
When a relationship is built on the thrill of adventure, it’s almost certain there will never be a dull moment.
Jamie and Amando met with little time to spare—she was set to leave the state one week from their first date—so they packed months of exhilarating experiences into seven days and built mountains of memories before saying farewell. But not all goodbyes last forever and distance had nothing on the likes of their love. Jamie and Amando lasted three months apart before closing the geographical gap and diving in head first.
After three years together, they hopped aboard a Hornblower yacht and said “I do” to a life of adventure together. Hear how they decided to get married (spoiler: he didn’t get down on one knee), what went through their heads day-of and so much more about this sweet couple’s dream wedding.
Tell us the story of how you met.
Jamie: We met on OKCupid! Amando was living in Fremont and working at Tesla; I was living in Milpitas and working with the Computer History Museum. Before Amando messaged me, I had a week left on my contract and was getting ready to move to Portland, Oregon. Here’s the email he sent:
“Hello, you sound like quite an adventurous lady. I recently took a trip to Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. I can’t wait to go back to Latin America; I wanted to spend more time in Guatemala, and go to some other countries there. Have you traveled much outside of the states? I also enjoy hiking a lot. I try to go hiking or sailing every weekend if I can. I especially love going to my parents’ cabin near Yosemite and star gazing. I had a bunch of friends up for a meteor shower party back in, August. Have you hiked around the Bay Area much, yet?”
After reading countless OKCupid profiles, I saw Amando’s message and for the first time thought, “woah, this is a guy I could fall in love with.” So we met and ended up having a whirlwind week of dates: a sunrise hike, a sunset hike (on the same day), a day of sailing on the San Francisco Bay, a block party and rock climbing. Then I moved to Portland, but Amando and I kept in touch and less than three months later I moved back to the Bay Area to be with him.
What is the story of your engagement?
It was the start of a new year, we had just returned from vacation in Hawaii and were planning what we wanted to do in 2016. We knew we wanted an extended vacation in New Zealand, where we would hike, sail and visit a friend who lives there. During one of our common pillow-talk trip-planning chats we jested that this trip could make an awesome honeymoon. So we decided right then, “What that heck, why not? Let’s get married and make that trip our honeymoon!”.
Being thorough planners, we held off on announcing our engagement for about two weeks and took that time to research the best time of year to sail on the bay, as well as what the moon phases and tides would be. We locked down a mid-September date and called around to different boating companies in the Bay Area, eventually choosing Hornblower. We then called our parents to let them know—they were so surprised we already had a date and location!
Amando, the first look was so sweet. What did you think when you saw Jamie in her dress for the first time?
It was a beautiful sunny September day and I was waiting in the shade of a tree when Jamie walked up behind me and put her arms around me. We stayed that way for a bit, talking about how we couldn’t believe the day was finally here after so much planning. Then I turned to catch a view of my soon-to-be wife and life partner; she looked so beautiful in the late afternoon sun and the dress fit her perfectly. She had the biggest smile on her face and I’m sure I did too, I could not have been happier.
Tell us the story of planning your wedding!
When discussing wedding locations, we had always gravitated toward outdoor venues and Jamie’s one requirement for the wedding was she wanted to be married by a ship’s captain. Also, since we sailed the Bay for one of our first dates, a wedding on a boat seemed like a great way to celebrate our union. We called around to a few companies in the Bay Area and were happy to find that Hornblower had some boats leaving out of Berkeley, which was perfect since we and most of our family are East Bay locals.
We scheduled an appointment to meet with Polly at the Berkeley Marina, looked at the available boats and started discussing details. We were really impressed that it was basically a one-stop-shop for everything we’d need in a venue and for the day-of so we put down a deposit to secure our wedding date and went to lunch at our favorite bakery/cafe, Casa Latina, where we decided we wanted their tres leches cake for our wedding.
Your wedding had so many personal touches. How much of it was DIY?
We crafted so many of our own decorations, from binding our guest book to laser cutting name tags (which doubled as luggage tags) and making assigned table locators. In addition, we stuffed our own treat bags with our favorite sweets from Littlejohn’s Candies. The rest was effortless since Hornblower is all-inclusive, and Polly made everything so easy.
Amando, what went through your head when you saw Jamie walking down the aisle?
Everything was happening so fast and I was nervous about our closest family and friends witnessing our marriage. Then Jamie’s entrance song came on and everyone turned to watch her come up the stairs. As she came into view, I could hardly believe this was all happening, that we were finally taking the plunge! I’m sure I had a big smile on my face and as I watched her walk down the aisle I couldn’t stop thinking of all the fun and adventure ahead of us.
Jamie, what was going through your head when you were walking down the aisle?
I couldn’t believe it was real life! It was so wonderful to see everyone who came out to celebrate our day, Amando looked so handsome and I was thrilled we were about to leap forward in our relationship.
How closely did you work with your wedding coordinator, Polly, up until your wedding?
As soon as we had booked the wedding, Polly set up a meeting for us to walk through our package options. She made it super simple and made sure we had everything we needed for our wedding, with every single detail planned out. Over the course of eight months, we met up a few times to go over planning and had dozens of emails back and forth to make sure everything would work out on our big day. Polly was great and we were so thrilled with her help on every detail.
What was the best part of the day?
So many things. To start we were just thrilled to be marrying each other surrounded by our friends and family on a gorgeous Bay Area day. Also, our parents’ touching and teary-eyed speeches were so wonderful to hear. And the captain let us steer the boat for a little bit!
Finally, what’s one word you would use to describe your wedding day?
We can’t choose just one! How about, delightfullysuperblywonderful?
Photography: Chris Arson
Suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Groom’s Shoes: GoodByeFolk
Dress: Alt. Brides
Makeup and Hair: beGlammed
Cake: Casa Latina
Boat: Sunset Hornblower
Venue: Hornblower Cruises and Events
Catering: Hornblower Cruises and Events
Stay tuned for our upcoming posts where we will be featuring real weddings on Hornblower yachts across all of our ports!
A Hornblower wedding is truly a departure from the ordinary. We would love to chat with you about your unique wedding, browse our wedding packages at any of our ports: San Francisco, Berkeley, San Diego, New York, Marina del Rey, Long Beach or Newport Beach. Or fill out the form below and a Hornblower wedding coordinator will help you get started.
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