When Rich Thomson slapped Amanda Teska on the back with a ruler to get her attention that day in middle school, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Rich was “the new kid,” and although they ran in the same social circle, the sparks weren’t exactly immediate for Amanda.
It wasn’t until sophomore year of high school when word wiggled through the grapevine—thanks to one of Amanda’s best friends and future maids of honor—that Rich really wanted her to ask him to Snowdays (the annual girls-ask-boys dance). It was then that Amanda began to think of him as more than just a friend.
The two continued their relationship throughout high school, and when college decisions were made—Amanda packed her bags for Madison and Rich headed to Cornell in New York—that’s when it clicked. “Seeing how hard the decision was to attend separate colleges, that was when I knew,” she says. But separation didn’t last too long. After a short stint in Madison, Amanda repacked her bags and transferred to Cornell to once again be close to her beau.
For nearly six years the couple spoke openly about the idea of marriage, and during a romantic dinner to celebrate nine years together, Rich finally proposed—after spending a majority the evening attempting to lure Amanda away from the table. When she finally obliged to his strange behavior, she returned to find a ring sitting on her chair.
Planning a wedding from out of state is never easy, but with the help of a wedding planner and a supportive mother, Amanda was able to do everything from afar without the stress of constantly traveling back and forth. “I went back to Minnesota in March and fell in love with Mi Mi Design. Plus, my mom had just retired, so I gave her a lot of projects,” she laughs.
While many decisions were quick and easy, finding a location was the most difficult for Amanda. The couple had several friends coming from different parts of the country, and Amanda wanted to make sure to present them with the best Minnesota she could muster. “We wanted to showcase Minneapolis at its best. Initially I was set on the Walker, but it was under construction,” she says. At the suggestion of family and friends, Rich and Amanda landed on the Calhoun Beach Club and fell in love with the space.
It was a beautiful, laid-back summer ceremony when Amanda and Rich said, “I do.” Surrounded by a crowd full of love and support, the couple solidified their long-standing relationship. “Knowing it was our wedding day was so special since we’d been together for so long,” Amanda recalls.
Pink, purple, white, silver, gold, and champagne colors were weaved throughout the venue, creating the ambiance of a perfect romantic wedding with just a touch of modern that Amanda craved for her special day. “I love sparkle, so we had to add a little shine,” she says. “We also had flags for people to wave after the ceremony that my mom made.”
When the ceremony was over, Amanda and Rich entered the reception to the high-energy beats of Katy Perry’s “Friday Night.” It was a day that captured the very essence of the couple—family, friends, and whole lot of fun. And despite their newlywed status, their 10-year relationship prepared them for marriage. “We know each other very well,” Amanda says. “We know how to make each other laugh. If one of us is struggling, we support each other. If I ever feel discouraged, Rich picks me up. He believes I can do anything, which is such an amazing feeling.”
Date: July 7, 2013
Ceremony/Reception: Calhoun Beach Club
Bride’s Dress Designer: Vera Wang
Bridesmaid Dresses: The Jersey Maid
Groom's Attire: My Suit
Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse
Photographer: Jeff Loves Jessica
Rings: Albers Jewelry
Invitations: Mi Mi Design
Caterer: D’Amico Catering
Flowers: Mi Mi Design
Hair/Makeup: Emily J.
Music: Vanguard Variety Band and Brian Schroeder
Entrance Song: “Friday Night” by Katy Perry
First Dance Song: “Marry Me” by Train