By Jennifer Florendo
Photos by: J and J Photography
When Syndal Gorden met Chad Gaudin, the last thing on her mind was dating, yet alone marriage. Gorden was in Scottsdale, Ariz. celebrating her 21st birthday. And Gaudin, a professional baseball player, was in town for spring training. Gaudin struck up a conversation with the blonde beauty and she found him, “super sweet and different” than any guy she had ever met, but she wasn’t buying his southern charm, just yet.
At the end of the night, Gaudin asked for her number and ignored the unwritten rule of waiting two-three days before calling. He dialed her up the next day, asking for her last name and left her tickets to his game. “I said ‘No, thank you,’ but he left us the tickets just in case,” recalls Gorden.
And they’ve “been together happily ever after since.”
Family is more important than anything to Gorden, which is why Gaudin chose to pop the question at her dad’s birthday party. “He got everyone’s attention, gave the sweetest speech that thanked everyone for always making him feel like part of the family, and then he got down on one knee. It was so him!”
The wedding theme was classic, elegant and sexy, which personifies the alluring couple. This was a compromise to the mossy oak and camouflage that Gaudin would have wanted. She played up her love of all-things-glamorous and combined it with his love of all things natural. “I’m not a flower person and Chad is a nature person. We both liked the manzanita trees with crystals on them. It was the only thing Chad really wanted and loved the idea of it representing our tastes.”
The bride left the first dance up to the groom, who not only picked a fitting tune, but also surprised the bride with dance lessons from A Perfect Wedding Dance in Las Vegas. He chose “Home to You” by John Michael Montgomery because “it just felt right and described my life,” says Gaudin. To let him know how special it was, she engraved his ring with “Home to You.”
Gorden searched endlessly for the perfect bouquet. Not being a flower person, she fell in love with a bouquet of broaches and soon sent out a request to friends and family asking to borrow any special pins or broaches. The most special one was from the parents of her childhood friend who had passed away. “It was nice to have a piece or her there and be able to remember her on my special day. Her name is Hayley Horn, and she is very missed, along with a lot of other very special friends and family who couldn’t be there,” recalls Gorden.
Of the whole day, her two most memorable moments come from the two most important men in her life. “Waiting before the wedding with my dad and dancing with him was pretty special. It’s something I’ve never experienced; you can’t really put it into words. I’ve never seen him so happy and so proud of me. That was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” she recalled. “The best thing Chad said was, ‘I’ve always felt we got married a long time ago and this is just our wedding day,’ and how happy he was to be married and sharing it with all the people so dear to us.”
Today, the newlyweds are enjoying life in the Washington, D.C. area where Gaudin is playing for the Washington Nationals. The couple is also excited to announce the anticipated arrival of their first child in the fall.
Bride: Syndal Gorden
Groom: Chad Gaudin
Wedding Date: January 29, 2011
Bridal Party: About 35 total
Number of Guests: 300
This Couple Recommends:
Venue: Hard Rock Hotel
Photographer: J & J Photography
Floral: Jason Kenneth Designs
Dance Lessons: A Perfect Wedding Dance
DJ: All Night Long Entertainment
Cake: Las Vegas Custom Cakes
Hair: Hard Rock Hotel
Makeup: Sarah Cabrera Hernandez
Décor & Rentals: Jason Kenneth Designs, BBJ, Classic Party
Dress: Kleinfeld Manhattan
Transportation: Earth Limos
Tuxedos: Tuxedo Junction
Wedding Planner: Stephanie Smith