WV Weddings Spring Summer 2020

A amanda leslie walsh spends her days designing events. It would make sense, then, that her own wedding might look like it belonged in the pages of a magazine. It absolutely did, and here are those pages. Amanda and Jordan met as theater students at the University of Pittsburgh in 2009. They were cast as factory workers in a severe-sounding play called Gas Masks. Amanda describes it as a translation of a Russian propaganda play and says it was every bit as ominous as it sounds. Jordan kept his crush on Amanda a secret until the last night students were on campus before summer break. He sent her a text that night admitting to his affection for her. The next day would see her return home to Petersburg and him to Bethel Park, Pennsylvania—and three hours between them. The pair spent the summer exploring their newfound coupledom during visits with one another in her hometown and his.

burning love—take one The church was an important part of Amanda’s life growing up, and the couple chose to return to her childhood church for their wedding ceremony. The pastor presiding over the congregation when Amanda was a child returned to officiate the wedding. Amanda’s uncle played the piano for the processional as the mother of the bride was escorted by Amanda’s older brothers and Amanda was escorted to the altar by her father for a traditional Protestant vow exchange. She wore a wedding gown that was designed by her mother, Kay Leslie, and her aunt Jo Chaconas. She searched for a dress in the usual places but never found one that felt just right. Her aunt, also her mother’s twin sister, offered to create something for her. The trio went through a couple revisions before they arrived at the final version of the simple yet elegant crepe, bias-cut dress that she wore with a white veil encrusted with pearls. The bride fashioned a statement necklace from her grandmother’s brooch, offering a touch of art deco and a perfect complement to the simplicity of her dress. During the ceremony, Amanda’s high school friend read a passage from Song of Songs, and a college friend of Jordan’s read a passage from Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. The couple was presented as husband and wife and departed the church to the day’s first rendition of “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley. A second, livelier rendition would come much later in the evening.

It would take Jordan almost 10 years to propose. Not because he wasn’t ready, Amanda says, but because he thought she wouldn’t say yes. She was focused on her career, she explains, and he knew that. Their relationship was long-distance much of the time after their graduation from Pitt. She was waiting to see where they would land before giving any indication she was ready to settle down. That signal finally came and, in the fall of 2018 during a planned hike in Dolly Sods Wilderness, Jordan asked Amanda to marry him.

44 | WV WEDDINGS Spring/Summer 2020

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