Amanda Jones met Kevin Vaughan in Italy during the summer of 2010. They were both college athletes—she played lacrosse at Duke, he at Harvard—so neither was able to study abroad for a whole semester during the school year. They both decided that doing a one-month program before the beginning of their junior year was the perfect solve. Her first night in Italy, Amanda and her roommates hosted a party that Kevin and his friends attended. “While sparks certainly flew, we definitely were not riding mopeds into the sunset and splitting bottles of wine,” Amanda, who is now the influencer marketing manager at Net-a-Porter, remembers.
They remained friends post-Italy and kept crossing paths throughout college. “There were plenty of ‘Florence reunion dinners’ over holidays that ended up just being the two of us,” Amanda says. Her parents and friends joked that she referred to Kevin as “my friend Kevin” for so long and so frequently that it was obvious to just about everyone that things were more than just platonic.
“Amanda often says that she went all the way to Italy to meet an Irish-Catholic boy from Jersey,” Kevin laughs. “I would like to point out that a small percentage of Italian heritage does exist! That said, I do believe the first night we met we went to a karaoke bar, and I chose Bruce Springsteen, so that doesn’t help my case.”
From the beginning, Kevin had a hard time playing it cool. “We graduated, and I was originally working in Boston and would drive down to New York and back on a weeknight to take Amanda out on a date. After about the third 8-hour road trip, the facts were kind of hard to deny.” He soon found a job in hotel investment in New York, and they became official shortly thereafter.
Six years later, the holiday season had just started when Amanda headed home after a long day at work ready for a night of Netflix at home. “Kevin mentioned that he got a gift for the apartment,” Amanda remembers. “We had just moved into a new place in Chelsea. Whether we needed a new bath mat, a paper towel holder, or an ice tray, we’d write it off as a gift for the apartment. So needless to say, my highest expectations for the evening were maybe a new Swiffer and some Chinese food.”
She was aimlessly scrolling through Seamless when Kevin handed her an envelope. “I thought maybe it was concert tickets or a gift card,” she admits. “Not until I read the first line saying: To Amanda Marie Jones on the day of our engagement did I even come close to understanding what was going on! He wrote a beautiful letter that took me triple the normal time to read because I kept having to reread lines as my head spun and vision became blurry. He kept going to pull the ring out of his pocket, but I kept needing an extra second to read.”
After the proposal, Amanda did a few sprints around the apartment. Once she’d calmed down, Kevin explained the rest of his plans for the evening, which involved dinner at their favorite Soho spot, the tried-and-true downtown staple Raoul’s. Then they went uptown to the piano bar at the New York Athletic Club—the same place where Kevin had asked Mr. and Mrs. Jones for their blessing to marry Amanda. There, they were greeted by a rowdy group of friends and family. “We closed down the bar and headed into a week of celebrating and Thanksgiving feasting!” Kevin adds.