Amanda Armstrong and Sam Wilson first met as teenagers vacationing with their families in Nantucket. “Our second meeting was in New York around 2005 or 2006 before Sam left for business school at Dartmouth,” says Amanda. “Our third (and pivotal) meeting was at a mutual friend’s apartment on a hot night in July in 2010. We were both in the city for the weekend and used the opportunity to visit our friend’s new baby. We had a few drinks and lots of laughs, but the night seemingly ended there. After realizing Sam was a huge catch, I promptly set him up with a girlfriend of mine. I was seeing someone else at the time so was off the market. Fortunately, it didn’t work out between Sam and my friend, and he and I kept running into each other socially. One thing led to another and we were coupled up by the fall.”
The associate director of global partnership marketing for Starwood Hotels and the vice president of Northern Trust, a company that specializes in private wealth management, dated for almost three years before they were engaged, but moved in together after nine months. “It sounds cliché, but we knew we were in it for the long haul after the first few months,” says Amanda. “In general, our courtship was filled with friends’ weddings, which ended up being great fodder for our own wedding planning.”
Sam asked Amanda’s mother for permission to propose at the beginning of the summer—and they got engaged over Labor Day weekend. “Sam proposed at his parents’ home in Nantucket,” explains Amanda. “The proposal was simple, sweet, and followed by hugs, kisses, and champagne from Sam’s family who were waiting downstairs for us.” Amanda’s mom was also in Nantucket staying with friends that weekend, so she came over to join the celebration and take the newly engaged couple to dinner. “We went to Todd English’s restaurant Figs at 29 Fair (which sadly is now closed) and were surprised with a red velvet cake from The Nantucket Bake Shop after dinner,” says Amanda. “We made sure we had a red velvet cake at the wedding.”
Sam modeled the ring after an antique emerald cushion cut ring belonging to Amanda’s mom. He worked with his mother’s close friend (and boarding school roommate) who happens to be a jewelry designer on procuring the stone and designing the setting. The couple picked out their wedding bands together, working with the extremely talented Lauren Yoon at Betteridge in Greenwich, CT.
They got married at the Belle Haven Club in Greenwich on October 15, 2013. “It’s actually the location of the first wedding I ever attended when I was in 7th grade,” reveals Amanda. “I also attended and worked as a camp counselor at Belle Haven’s summer camp—it’s right on the water and has the most gorgeous views. In my mind, it was the obvious choice.”
“In terms of the aesthetic, we were inspired by The Great Gatsby meets The Secret Garden,” says Amanda. “We love the water, and we’re big believers in black tie elegance when it comes to weddings.” Amanda wore Carolina Herrera’s “Columbine” dress, which is named after the flower and part of the designer’s permanent collection. “I wanted a dress that was chic, romantic, and ethereal,” explains Amanda. “I tried on about 30 dresses and had a few contenders, but knew that the one I ultimately chose was the winner the second I put it on.” To complement the dress, she went for a slightly messy updo that felt informal, but romantic. And for her makeup, she opted for a dewey complexion with a light-colored lip and thick dramatic lashes.
The ceremony took place at 5:00 p.m. Afterwards guests made their way into the tent, where dinner started with a vegan butternut squash soup with pecans, followed by Angus beef tenderloin with oven-roasted potatoes and assorted vegetables. The cake was ombré red velvet with cream cheese frosting from the Brooklyn bakery, One Girl Cookies. “Our band was called Djore, which is managed by Elan entertainment,” says Amanda. “The band was awesome and people were going crazy on the dance floor. Towards the end of the night, Sam and I were crowd-surfing over our guests.”
After the reception, the couple took a boat from the dock right outside the tent to the Delamar Hotel, where they hosted an after-party. “The night was warm and we were in disbelief over what had just happened,” says Amanda. “We toasted ourselves with champagne and dove into a cooler of goodies that the kitchen had packed. In addition to our wedding meal, we feasted on amazing lobster rolls that we still rave about to this day and had a few slices of wedding cake as a nightcap.”