John Owens and Amelia Stamper met in a Barcelona hostel in June of 2008 while Amelia was on a an excursion from her study abroad in London and John was on a weekend getaway with a friend. Having just graduated from the Naval Academy, John spontaneously found himself in Spain during his graduation trip and remembers the moment he first saw Amelia: “We caught one another’s eyes in the hall of our hostel one day and shared several chance encounters over the next two days. A late-night chat and a day of touring left both of us knowing that we needed to know each other.” The duo proceeded to email back and forth throughout their respective trips and agreed that “we had to see each other again. The best way I know how to describe it is that we were destined to find each other that night,” says Amelia. “I love telling people our story because it is such a great reminder that the best things in life are the things that cannot be planned.”
While Amelia was raised in southern California, her parents are from Mississippi and John is from Texas so it was very important to marry California casual with southern elegance. Additionally, to honor John’s Naval background, they chose a color palette of primarily navy blue and opted to incorporate many classic military traditions like the sword arch and cake cutting. With faith being a central component of their relationship, and equally important to both of their families, “it was so important to us to use every aspect of our ceremony to glorify God.” During John’s eight-month deployment he became very close with his ship’s Naval Chaplain and attributes a lot of his spiritual growth to him, “so it was so meaningful to have him preside over our premarital counseling and wedding ceremony,” says John. Other memorable moments include taking communion to symbolize their unity as husband and wife before Christ and a special blessing where both of their parents laid their hands over the new couples.
The reception was a tremendous celebration. Inspired by the natural elegance of the plaza and the shimmering night sky, chandeliers were strung overhead to emulate the stars above. Dancing outside, Amelia remembers it being “magical.” Both huge fans of live music, hiring a band was an obvious choice and, after a successful go-round at a local bar with friends, they agreed on Undercover Live Entertainment because they could envision all 220 guests dancing the night away. “They were so fun and engaging that the dance floor seemed too small for the huge group,” says Amelia
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