Amanda and Samuel May found love in a beach bar. While around them was the destruction of Hurricane Michael, they were determined to grow a love that was strong. They built a home and a family together, deciding to commit to forever at an intimate ceremony on the shores of where they met in Mexico Beach, Florida, on August 27, 2022.
“After hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle was devastated. A few buildings remained but everything needed repairs. Being from the Midwest, I had no real idea what a hurricane could do, let alone category 5. I had a trip planned with my friend that we scheduled months in advance.
When the time came for us to leave for vacation, we wondered if the hotel we reserved would even still be standing. We called and checked and sure enough it was still there. We drove down to Panama City and checked in our hotel. We discovered quickly there was a curfew and everything would shut down by 10 p.m. We still wanted to go out and get a couple drinks together, so we hit up the nearest bar, Coyote Ugly.
Everywhere we looked were construction workers and FEMA workers, and 99.9% men. They were all working their butts off responding to the storm damages. I noticed one other female having drinks, so my friend and I went up to chat with her and we quickly hit it off. Shortly after she introduced me to her brother, Sam, who is my now husband!”
“We left the bar at 10 o’clock because of the curfew. Luckily we exchanged phone numbers and Sam and I texted the entire next day and now every single day since. We made plans to see each other again and it was like a Taylor Swift song, sparks were flying. We ran to each other and hugged, and it was like we had known each other for so long even though we only met a week before and spent just a few hours together.
They say when you know you know and we were drawn together our energy was so strong.”
“We started our lives together in Mexico Beach, worked together and helped families to rebuild their lives in their homes after hurricane Michael. We grew more in love each day.
We bought a house and a year later we had our daughter. We did everything backwards it seems like – we got a house, had a baby and then got married, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!”
“Our photographer was my best friend since preschool and my best woman. Sam‘s best man was his best friend from his hometown since he was very young. We had a small, intimate wedding with very close friends and family of about 75 guests at the Sandy Beach Estate in Miramar Beach, Florida. We rented the venue from Friday through Monday and just had a blast all weekend with our loved ones.
Sam has two sons and they had a special moment with the pastor. They asked us each individually if we accept each other in each of their lives.”
“For our wedding, everyone was local so it was easy to correspond with vendors. They were all generous and helpful.
I recommend, booking a venue for the entire weekend if at all possible because time passes so quickly, and you’ll want to cherish every moment.”
Photographer: Elle May Photography https://www.ellemayphoto.com/
850 Events, 850eventrentals.com
Townsend Catering, townsendcatering.com
Diamond Gulf Rentals at Sandy Beach Estate, diamondgulfrentals.com
Destin Elite Carts, destinelitecarts.com
Parlor Doughnuts, parlordoughnuts.com
All photos courtesy of Elle May Photography