As one of the biggest stars in the WNBA, Elena Delle Donne is used to winning. But a new honor is something different: The Knot named Delle Donne and her fiancee, Amanda Clifton, as its 2017 Dream Wedding Couple.
For the past five years, The Knot has chosen an engaged couple to help throw an amazing ceremony, taking care of everything from the dresses and flowers to the wedding cake. Delle Donne and Clifton’s ceremony marks the first time the site has selected a same-sex couple.
Brooklyn wedding planner Jove Meyer is helping the ladies plan a wedding he describes as both seasonal and sustainable: The food will be locally sourced, and anything left over will be donated to local homeless shelters. (The floral arrangements will be given to area hospitals and nursing homes.)
In lieu of gifts, they’re asking for donations to the Elena Delle Donne Foundation, which benefits people with special needs and those suffering from Lyme Disease. (Donne’s sister, Lizzie, is deaf and blind, and Donne, the WNBA’s 2015 MVP, was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2008.)
“Amanda and I want nothing more than to bring our family and friends together and have the best time ever,” says the Washington Mystics forward, 28.
“Not only are we thrilled to be the first same-sex Dream Wedding couple, we’re excited to have a platform to raise money and awareness for causes we’re truly passionate about.”
The couple met four years ago after being set up by a mutual friend. When it came time to pop the question, each wanted to propose: First Clifton surprised Delle Donne on Lake Michigan, with a ring attached to the collar of their Great Dane, Wrigley.
A few weeks later, Clifton walked into their Chicago apartment to discover an elaborate dinner and their Labrador retriever, Rasta, in a veil next to a sign that read “Marry me.”
Delle Donne came out publicly in a Vogue magazine interview shortly after those dual proposals—and before she headed to the Summer 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“It was just one of those articles where they came into my home, spent a couple days with me, and Amanda is a huge part of my life,” she explained. “To leave her out wouldn’t have made any sense… I’ve been with her for a very long time now, and people who are close to me know that, and that’s that.”
For the big day, both women are working to come up with looks that reflect their personal style while still delivering a few “a-ha” moments.
“My focus is on staying natural with a little something different,” Clifton told US Weekly. Nothing over the top, but I never get a chance to get this glam!”
They’re also making the ceremony unique by designing their own rings: Clifton’s band will be white gold while Delle Donne’s is rose. Each will have the other’s birthstone embedded inside.