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To Have and To HOLDEN: First Dances with Autumn and Amanda

To Have and to HOLDEN is our series where we interview real couples about their romance, weddings, and whatever else comes up along the way. Enjoy!

Autumn and Amanda were married in a backyard this summer - and yes, their dogs were very much present. They chose matching rings for their California ceremony: The Line in White Gold. Autumn was kind enough to walk us through their story.

How did you two meet and start dating?

Amanda and I were actually working at the same Starbucks about 5 years ago when we met. We would have shifts together, and we eventually bonded over a mutual love of dirt bikes and adventures. We were friends for about 6 months before we started dating. We would drive out to Joshua Tree in the middle of the night to watch the stars or the beach to listen to the waves crash. We even drove through the night to Yosemite to watch the sunrise over Half Dome. We’ve never had a boring relationship.

Autumn and April for HOLDEN

How did you get engaged?

We had talked about the idea of getting married, and Amanda told me that I would have to be the one to propose, which, as a hopeless romantic, I was more than happy to do. When it came to her engagement ring, I asked my mom’s permission to use a ring that my late father had given to my mom after she had me. She enthusiastically said yes (she LOVES Amanda), and I had a ring! Then I just needed a plan. I had all sorts of ideas of how to do it: Yosemite where we watched the sunrise, Joshua Tree where we first kissed, the barn where she kept her horse, our house; I couldn’t decide when or how. I did know that it was going to be low key, otherwise I risked her having stage fright and freezing. So a flash mob was out of the question. We were taking a trip to Maui in May 2019, and I decided to bring the ring with me just in case the moment presented itself. We went to go watch the sunset at Makena Cove, and after everyone left, I got down on one knee. She said yes!

Autumn and April for HOLDEN

What was important to you when planning your wedding? Were there things you pivoted from your original plan?

We wanted our wedding to be ours, through and through, so there were a lot of traditions that we decided to do without. We looked at a few venues around our area and ultimately decided that my parents’ backyard was perfectly beautiful and very budget friendly. We are so glad we decided on that, because we didn’t have to reschedule or cancel because of COVID. Some of our favorite people ended up not being able to make it, so we restructured the bridesmaids’ procession so that one of my sisters actually sat down after she walked so she could livestream on Instagram, which worked out really well. We opted to not have a videographer, but we have the saved video of our ceremony, and that’s all we need! It didn’t deviate too much from our original vision, but the day ended up being everything we wanted and more.

Autumn and April for HOLDEN

What’s a moment from your wedding day that you’ll remember forever?

Neither Amanda nor I are good dancers, so our first dance was giving us both major anxiety, to the point that we almost didn’t do it. But we decided that we wanted to do one and picked Brandi Carlile’s “The Story.” We had agreed to just awkwardly sway for about a minute and a half, but once the song started to ramp up, we wanted to throw in a spur of the moment twirl, which we had NOT practiced. So it could have gone terribly. I started counting quietly and told Amanda which way I was going to spin her, and on three, we nailed it! Our family and friends cheered. We laughed at how miniscule that was but how stoked we were to get it right. I’ll also never forget that we made our grand entrance to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” which was so cool. I have the best wife ever.

Autumn and April for HOLDEN

What’s some advice you have for couples planning a wedding who may have to shift their initial plans due to COVID-19?

This past year has been crazy, and with all the uncertainty, I would say to have a backup plan that you and your partner are okay with playing out if it does come to that. We decided around June that if it was a month before our date and we couldn’t have a wedding, that we would elope and throw a party when gathering was permitted, which we were both 100% on board with. Being flexible with your wedding will alleviate a bunch of stress, and it provides an opportunity to be creative.

Autumn and April for HOLDEN

What was important to you in choosing a ring? What made you choose HOLDEN?

We wanted rings that were elegant yet simple that we could customize. Neither one of us is big on diamonds, but we also didn’t want a plain band. We also didn’t want to have the jewelry store experience where we explain that the rings are for both of us and that we’re marrying each other. We looked at a few places online, but none offered anything we liked. I came across HOLDEN on Instagram, and after looking at their catalog we both fell in love with the Line ring. We decided to get matching rings, and we got the coordinates of where we got engaged engraved on the inside. The service was super fast and the whole process was easy and relaxed without a jewelry salesman breathing down our necks! I’ve recommended HOLDEN to everyone I know getting married.

Autumn and April for HOLDEN

What does love mean to you?

It means having their back and caring for them above everything else. Love is being happy seeing them happy. It’s all the little things that make you think, “Wow, they really love me.” It’s so many things, but love means choosing that person every day, even when it’s hard.

Photos courtesy of: Jesse Madison Photography.

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