Amanda Macchiarella and Brett Cramer

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Engagement Info

November 10, 2011

Wedding Info

November 10, 2012
Riverview UMC
Ormond Beach, FL

Port Orange, FL


Port Orange, FL


U.S. Army Reserves


Ardmore, OK


Ardmore, OK


U.S. Army Officer (JAG lawyer)


Amanda's Parents

Dan and Sue Macchiarella

Brett's Parents

Bert and Nancy Cramer

Here's how we met

They met in the sweltering hot Anbar Province, Iraq, while walking to work from breakfast. Their relationship truly took off when they found themselves running side by side on treadmills at the gym, and Amanda tirelessly tried (unsuccessfully) to keep pace with Brett. Brett was sneaking peaks at Amanda's treadmill to ensure that she did not keep pace with him! After sweating profusely for nearly an hour in efforts to impress one another, they slowed their pace and began talking. Brett eventually asked Amanda out on a "date" (for whatever that means in Iraq), and he proceeded to woo her with gifts of strawberry milk and extra cookies from the chow hall.
As the doors to Iraq were closing Brett was scheduled to return home to conclude his year long deployment, while Amanda was sent to continue her mission in Kuwait. This was a huge turning point where Brett decided to see what could come of this girl he met on a treadmill, so he finagled to get his orders changed to Kuwait at Amanda's location. As they continued to get to know each other in Kuwait by hanging out in tents and chow halls...oh, and there was a Starbucks... they realized that God had brought them together for a reason and they were soulmates!

Our best date

Any date with Brett was the best -one that really sticks out was my 25th birthday in Kuwait. Brett planned with my mom through Facebook a surprise birthday party. She mailed decor and Brett coordinated with my roommate to let him in to decorate my sleeping area. He then invited other friends and soldiers to meet at the pizza trailer to share some pizza on a picnic bench decorated with princess birthday stuff. It was a great surprise and Brett made sure it was special for me.

Our worst date

Can't think of one. :-) We make the most of any situation!

Here's how we got engaged

Brett snuck down to Florida after spending Christmas with his family in Oklahoma earlier than he informed his fiance to be. It was Amanda's dad's 50th birthday, so the plan to celebrate was a family day on the boat. As they pulled up to Disappearing Island, Amanda noticed a man sitting in the middle of the island in a lawn chair, but there was no boat parked on the island. Amanda became suspicious and the next thing she knew Brett dropped his disguise and pulled out a ring box as Amanda jumped off the boat giggling. Brett said he had something to ask her and got down on one knee next to the giant "Marry Me?" he wrote in the sand.

Where our likes overlap ...

Among several things, ultimately we both love the Lord. Secondly we both are really big runners (hence meeting on the treadmill). Sometimes we'll set out on a long run, but Amanda knows Brett needs to run a different pace to get a work out, so it's not exactly bonding time- but at least we're both doing what we enjoy!

... and where they don't.

Brett enjoys golfing, while Amanda claims she will never pick up a club. Amanda enjoys being craft and decorating, so Brett knows not to touch the house until Amanda moves in!

Who's the better cook - and why?

Amanda: Cooking? I can boil a mean egg!!
Brett is by far the better cook! He's recognized Amanda has lived off of cereal and sandwiches for a while now, but she'll step up her game to make her husband-to-be some meat and potatoes!

Why we're excited about our wedding date

Because our reception will be a middle-eastern themed wedding complete with belly dancers and a live camel. It is to remind us where it all began and share that with family and friends...and to mix up the normal wedding experience.