Jason Stewart and Amanda Williford (soon-to-be Stewart) met two-and-a-half years ago in Orange County, California, when Amanda took a job at Horiba Instruments, a scientific instrument manufacturer where Jason also worked. Amanda sat about 100 feet away from Jason, and he noticed her immediately. After bonding over a shared love of movies and books, they began dating and became exclusive almost right away.
Jason proposed on Thanksgiving weekend, 2010. When the couple started to plan their Big Day, they knew they didn't want to do it during the summer because, they said, everyone else gets married then. When they realized St. Patrick's Day was on a Saturday in 2012, they knew it was the perfect date for them. The couple will tie the knot on Saturday March 17th at the Muckenthaler Mansion in Fullerton, California. Though neither Jason nor Amanda are Irish, they both love the tradition of getting together and celebrating on St. Paddy's Day, which is exactly what they wanted from their wedding -- a big party to fete their love.
HuffPost Weddings spoke to the spouses-to-be to find out why they chose the Irish holiday as their Big Day.
Why are you having a St. Paddy's-themed wedding?
Amanda: We got engaged on Thanksgiving 2010, and already this past summer one of my best girlfriends, who is in my wedding, got married in July. My brother got married in August so we knew we wanted something that was about six months away from their weddings but not too far in advance. I definitely liked the idea of doing something in March because there's always a thousand weddings in the summer; I really like the colors green and purple and St. Paddy's Day just happened to be on a Saturday. I was like, 'What better way to celebrate?'
Jason: We really wanted to make our wedding a big party. My mom is first-generation American, and her parents are from Scotland, so that's as close to Irish as I get. But it's less St. Patrick's Day as a tradition and more just the idea that it fit with when we wanted to have the wedding and it's kind of traditionally a day that you have a big party, and we wanted to make sure that our wedding wasn't particularly formal, that it was just our friends and family coming together to celebrate our marriage and be as happy as we are.
How'd you start planning your St. Paddy's Day wedding?
Amanda: We started with the 'Save the Date' cards. We sent those out back in November, and they looked like movie ticket stubs. They said "Save the Date" and had a shamrock [between each word]. They were green and purple (our colors are hunter green and violet purple). Our official invitation didn't have any theme to it -- it was basically one of our engagement photos with information written below. We're both writers, we're both obsessed with movies, and Jason has actually written some screenplays. Originally we were going to have the invitation look like an old-fashioned movie ticket stub. We were going to do a subtle St. Paddy's theme, maybe a shamrock, maybe somehow utilize green in a cool way, but not an in-your-face theme.
Jason: The friend who was originally going to do the invitations for us had a family emergency and she couldn't do it at the last minute so Amanda had to find a way to get them together; they looked pretty amazing for her having to do them so fast.
What can your guests expect?
Amanda: The groomsmen will have green vests and green Converse shoes. The bridesmaids will be in violet purple strapless dresses with ballet flats. For the reception, we're going to have tables and seating arrangements labeled with an important Irish or St. Paddy's Day movies. One of the tables is "The Departed," [another is] "P.S. I Love You," "Circle of Friends," "Leprechaun in the Hood" -- that table is all Jason's movie friends who write horror scripts. Our wedding favors are going to be frosted shot glasses, written in green they say "Jason and Amanda," then it has a shamrock, then the date of our wedding. Inside there's going to be a green bag filled with Lucky Charms marshmallows.
Jason: We thought about green beer, but the bar is doing bottles so we couldn't really do that. We are being introduced at the reception to the Dropkick Murphy's "Shipping Up to Boston," which is in "The Departed." There's actually a big instrumental in the beginning of the song and we're coming in to the instrumental part; it sounds very punk-Irish. I'm also wearing green converse. I wanted to wear a kilt but she wouldn't let me.
Amanda: Yeah, no. My friend married a guy from Glasgow; he has a Scottish accent and he's actually wearing a kilt but since [Jason] doesn't have an accent it would like kind of... I don't know.
Jason: It's an ongoing disagreement. But, I gave in.
Amanda: [My dress] is off-white, there's no green or anything. The dress is off-limits with regards to St. Paddy's.
Jason: We didn't want to get married by a leprechaun or anything like that.
Amanda: We have two pugs in the wedding, and they're going to be the ring pug and the flower pug. The florist is making a little lei for each of them, so they're going to have that. Hopefully they won't eat the flowers before they walk down the aisle, but they're dogs so you never know. The ring pug's name is Miles Davis and the flower pug is Roxie King.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Jason: Some couples light a unity candle or mix sand together to represent the joining. We've got two different spools of ribbon that are green and purple and there's a central wooden pillar that's on a base, and we're going to be taking the ribbon and wrapping it around the pillar and crisscrossing it so the ribbons are joined together. I actually had a dream about it, and I woke up and was like, 'Wow, that's a great idea!'
Any other reason you're excited to be having your wedding on St. Paddy's Day?
Amanda: Yes, when we're drinking at 8 a.m. on Saturday, it's not because we're stressed out it's because it's St. Paddy's Day.
Jason: We'll take pictures of her with a Jamieson's bottle next to her make-up case.