Story by Liesel Schmidt + Photography by Emily Ann Photography
Social media is famous for reconnecting people who haven’t seen each other for decades, and it was no different for Amanda Hayes and Isaac Rudolph. Having met as children in the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution in the early ’90s, they lost touch until they reconnected in adulthood on social media, finally meeting again in Isaac’s hometown of Belleville, Illinois, during Amanda’s third year of law school while she was visiting family.
Three and a half years later, they knew that they wanted to be one another’s family—and Isaac had the perfect plan. “He proposed on March 3rd, 2018, on my family's farm in northern Illinois,” recalls Amanda, now an attorney with Redmon, Peyton & Braswell LLP. Meanwhile, Isaac is a merchant mariner with the Potomac Riverboat Company. “He took me by the hand downstairs to my parent's basement, where there were a couple of video cameras set up next to the TV. My parents were also there, next to us with their phones. Isaac had put together a video photo collage on the TV from our childhood together and our dating years, with the first half of the video providing snippets of what he loved about me, set to the song Thinkin’ Out Loud by Ed Sheeran—which was our song. That was followed by snippets of what he wished for our future together, set to Marry Me by Train, ending with his proposal down on one knee. I’d always told him that if he were to ever propose, I just wanted the family to be present, pictures to be taken, and for my nails to be done. He made sure all those things happened!”
Just over two years later, on March 15th, 2020, Amanda walked down the aisle at DAR
Memorial Continental Hall in DC wearing a beautiful off-the-shoulder lace gown with long sleeves and a sweetheart neckline. While friends and family were gathered on the portico, she and Isaac exchanged vows and were pronounced man and wife.
The guests adjourned to the O’Byrne Gallery and were later joined by the newlyweds, who were up for a bit of fun—and a lot of sentiment. “We played the shoe game so that our guests could get to know us better as a couple,” Amanda says. “Also, during the father/daughter dance, my dad and I had my mother and Isaac join us, so the four of us were all dancing together by the end of the song. My dad then presented Isaac with a ‘HODAR’ pin (Husband of a Daughter of the American Revolution), which my mother had given him many years ago.”
After dining on brunch food and a giant donut in lieu of the traditional wedding cake, the newly married Rudolphs were sent off to start their honeymoon in picturesque Luray, Virginia, where they rode horses, fished, played board games, cooked together, relaxed in the hot tub, and sat by the fireplace. As one of the last weddings of the year before COVID, they look on that day with even more fondness—and to the future with great hope.
Venue: DAR Memorial Continental Hall • Gown: David's Bridal (Oleg Cassini) • Suit: Jos A. Bank • Rings: Belmont Jewelers • Photographer: Emily Ann Photography • Videographer: Ellen Bee Productions • Catering: Bittersweet Catering • Donut "Cake": Elizabeth's Counter • DJ: Imani Entertainment DJ Service • Decor: Liz Decorations • Hair/Makeup: Glam by Shekiba, LLC