It’s wedding season here at Moxley Carmichael! There must be something in the water, because when we counted earlier this year, five of the women who work here were engaged. It’s going to be interesting to watch because each of the brides has her own unique ideas about the perfect wedding — and these are experienced event planners.
Things got off to a beautiful start last month when account executive Amanda Shell married her longtime boyfriend, Mark Jennings, at Calvary Baptist Church, where the two had met five years earlier. A sweet and festive reception followed at The Foundry on World’s Fair Park.
Amanda invited everyone on our staff to the wedding and everyone went. We could have had a staff meeting there, if we had wanted.
Amanda is extremely special to us. We have known her father, Max Shell, for more than 15 years when, as senior vice president of marketing and community relations for Covenant Health, he hired Moxley Carmichael to represent the largest hospital system in East Tennessee. Amanda came to work for us in 2009 as a summer intern. We were so impressed with her abilities and personality that we hired her for another internship the following year — and she wowed us again. After she graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2011 and spent four months in Argentina, we welcomed her to our staff as a full-time employee.
Meanwhile, she also was wowing Mark Jennings.
At the same time Amanda started her first internship with us, she was singing in the choir at Calvary Baptist Church when she (or, more accurately, her legs!) caught Mark’s eye.
A theater buff and aspiring actor, Mark asked her to go to dinner and a play for their first date. The play, at Theatre Knoxville Downtown, was terrible, Amanda says. But the date was great — it lasted eight hours. On Labor Day of 2009, they decided to see each other exclusively. But it was not exactly smooth sailing after that.
In order to pursue his acting career, after he graduated from UT in the spring of 2010, Mark moved to Washington, D.C. He and Amanda stayed together in a long-distance relationship. Even when Amanda graduated and moved to Argentina for four months in 2011 — putting 5,000 miles between them — they stayed together, thanks largely to spending a LOT of time on Skype.
After Argentina, things came to a head. Amanda returned to Knoxville and accepted the job at Moxley Carmichael. But Mark planned to stay in Washington to keep after that acting career. At this point, the pair decided that with no prospects of living in the same city, they should do the practical thing and break up. But this was not exactly smooth sailing, either. They found they were not good at staying apart. They spoke every day.
Finally, Mark made a proposition. If Amanda would agree that they would look to a permanent future together, he would leave D.C. and come back to Knoxville. So, after two years of living apart, in February of 2012, Mark moved to Knoxville and he and Amanda got to live in the same city for a change. A year later, he proposed to her during a trip to New York City.
We at Moxley Carmichael have grown fond of Mark, as well. He comes to many of our company functions and is smart and funny. We had a great time celebrating with Mark, Amanda and their families last month.
I love Amanda and Mark’s story. Mark’s vows were outstanding and funny, but true. Amanda was a stunning bride, of course. It was a great night for the MoxCar family for many reasons.
I agree, Shaun. Amanda truly was radiant. And it was so special to be with everyone on such a joyful occasion.
They are a beautiful couple, and it was a grand event. I wonder if Max had a hand in the management of the whole evening. I believe he did.
Alan: Good thing he retired from Covenant just in time to take on this big project! What a great job, indeed. Although, Amanda is quite the event planner herself.
Everything from the ceremony to the reception reflected Amanda and Mark beautifully — and that was no surprise, given Amanda’s outstanding event planning skills! They were both beaming all evening. We had a wonderful time, but I just kept thinking, “Man, this is going to be a tough act to follow!”
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