We don’t see many brides describe their weddings as avant garde, but Shannon + Victor have proven to be full of surprises. They even stuck with their guns on shaking things up a bit and breaking the rules that instead of a typical color- or style-based theme, theirs was “the element of surprise.” I love that Shannon + Victor saw their reception as a time to celebrate their guests this way. Among a few other unexpected twists, the gals in the office were quite impressed with the newlyweds’ cake! Shannon said the design became so involved that it required a blueprint! After reading through Shannon + Victor’s interview, though, we are not surprised to see them put so much work into desserts — one of which could be found at each place setting. “We remained true to ourselves by starting the meal with a dessert amuse bouche,” said Shannon. “We truly believe that all meals should start with something sweet.”
The central theme of our wedding was the element of surprise. We wanted to do things a bit differently to keep our guests intrigued and excited. We saw our wedding as a wonderful time not only to celebrate our love, but also to celebrate our guests. In my mind, the bridesmaids’ dresses epitomize the decor scheme. While they may not seem to be the design centerpiece from a coloring perspective, they set the tone for the chic and avant garde experience we created. While the wedding took place in two of Atlanta’s most historic locations, we purposefully decided not to play by the rules. The mix of the classic and contemporary styles is representative of who Vic and I are as a couple. There were no flowers at our wedding except for the South African proteas in my bouquet. The tablescape included sophisticated lamps and exotic greenery to subtly reflect our love of travel. The flower girls were feather girls, as they used feathers for their grand entrance instead of flowers. My bridesmaids held feather clutches instead of bouquets. We also used only estate tables throughout the reception space to create a communal experience for our guests and a backdrop for the equally unique family style meal. I could not commit to colors so we worked with an array of neutral tones.
The band was an amazing highlight. I wasn’t sure I wanted to have a wedding band because I held the stereotype that they could be a bit cheesy. I was blown away by my band, Top Secret led by Shaun Pezant. They played current music like “Love on Top” by Beyonce, “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga and even had a rapper for an awesome version of “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z. They were AMAZING!
The famous cake! The floating tiers and pool of water are spectacular.
Did you include any Southern traditions in your wedding? We included the groom’s cake. I decided to do this at the last minute. The cake had a guy watching football (Army football to specific – because Vic went to West Point and is the biggest fan of their football team).
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to “Just Right” by Robin Thicke. I don’t have much rhythm so I typically don’t dance much. Vic and my parents were surprised by my improv dance moves. I guess I perform well under pressure.
What was your reception like? It was unique and a party. I didn’t want to have a standard reception because many of our parents’ friends attend several formal events and sit-down dinners a year. I wanted this to feel different — more fun, with surprises in terms of décor, food and music. I feel all of these things were accomplished.
Favorite design element of your big day: The black dance floor. I got the idea when I saw a few images of weddings planned by Mark Niemerko in London. I later learned that the specific dance floor I wanted could only be found at the Claridges Hotel in London. But, the Bold Design team was able to find a very close resemblance.
What range did your budget fall into? $100,000+
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? This might sound weird but my favorite line to reference is “Wedding planning is a bit of a dictatorship.” I think sometimes couples add additional stress by trying to treat it as too much of a joint project because they feel that it is a reflection on their relationship/marriage. But, I learned that in partnerships, there is often one person who takes on most of the responsibility for a certain project — and that’s what I did with the wedding. I quickly identified the things Vic felt were most important (food, his attire, the vows) and then managed the rest with my mom and my wonderful wedding planner, Jade.
Who was your favorite vendor and why? It was have to be my wedding planner, Jade Lee. We went through so much together! She was there for every step of the process and always kept my best interests at heart. She provided wonderful ideas, genuine friendship and support.