I wish y’all could have been in the office when Lara and I first received the full collection of Shannon + Victor’s images from Jonathan Canlas. No lie — we screamed a little bit. Something like, “WHAT! Oh. My. Goodness. You must be kidding me!” Then, we’d click over to the next photo and do that all over again. Scroll down and you’ll do the same. This couple is gorgeous beyond words and their wedding day is, as Shannon tells us, a reflection of who S + V are as a couple. Though some of Atlanta’s most historically significant locations acted as the setting for their wedding day, they purposefully chose not to follow the rules. The result is something both classic and contemporary. We think it’s the perfect match for a couple who wanted to celebrate their new life together as well as the legacy of their families.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What is your favorite thing about it? I’m very decisive so when I know, I know. The dress I selected was the first dress I tried on at the first shop I went to in New York. The dress was Vera Wang, and the contemporary but classic style spoke to me. Another important element is that my mom surprised me by having a piece of her wedding dress sewn into mine. That was very special for me.
I didn’t want to do the “typical” bridesmaid’s dress. I searched far and wide to find unique items that would best showcase my fierce and fabulous friends. I fell in love with a Romona Keveza dress I saw on the runway a few years back. The dress was no longer being made so I used the vision (and the help of the wonderful, Linda Sears of TK Designs) to recreate the dresses for my girls.
These portraits are truly lovely and timeless. Jonathan Canlas does such a wonderful job of capturing each personality. We actually featured all of the bridal party’s portraits on two pages of the magazine because we loved them so much! The two above are a couple of my favorites. Shannon + Victor look in love, excited and radiant.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? We included large, canvassed black and white photos of various family members wedding in the entrance to the church. It was a nice sentimental touch that showed the tradition of marriage in both of our families.
I didn’t want flowers because I felt like they were too typical. A big part of the design scheme is that there were no flowers. Various types of greenery took the place of flowers. My bouquet was made of Proteas from South Africa. My mom and wedding planner surprised me with the flowers, which suited me well and worked with my vision to use inventive and international plants that reflected my desire for creativity and love of other cultures. The bridesmaids had feathers, not flowers! They each carried a black feather clutch. The boutonnieres were a guinea feather.
Tell me a bit about the wedding ceremony. Vic and I each selected two couples to do readings based on people whose marriages we admired and hoped to emulate. We asked each couple to choose a passage from the Bible that communicated what they felt it was most important for us to know as we began our marriage. The passages they selected were a surprise to us until the ceremony!
Did you write your own vows? We actually did! And then forgot them. So we said the standard vows at the ceremony.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle was definitely a moment. The minute I saw my dad, I felt a rush of emotion and I couldn’t even look at him. I definitely felt the bigness of the moment.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) We met in Atlanta over Christmas break during our junior year of college. Shannon’s best friend was dating my cousin at the time. They were at a mutual friend’s house and I planned to meet them but got lost. Shannon picked up the phone to give me directions. We had a great time and saw each other again at a New Years Eve party where we exchanged numbers, and the rest is history!
What is a date you will always remember? (From the groom) On our first date, we were both in NYC and just explored the city. We even played in the massive Toys R Us in Times Square. It was all fun and allowed me to see how open-minded and exploratory Shannon was, a trait we both share.
Describe the proposal: (From the groom) I wanted to propose in NYC where we spent a lot of time dating but that wasn’t feasible logistically. I wanted the opportunity to ask her father for his blessing in person and I knew he would be in Atlanta for Labor Day. After I got his blessing, I proposed to Shannon about an hour later at her parents home. I wanted friends and family to be a part of the moment so it worked out well.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Adrenaline, celebratory, sentimental.
What was the weather like on your big day? The weather was perfect. Sunny and mild – which is exactly what we were hoping for.
How many guests attended your wedding? Around 300.
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: The bridesmaids’ dresses. And the groom.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: The bride!
What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding? Clearly communicating my vision. I would have ideas or concepts in my head and often had difficulty explaining them in detail.
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your big day? I woke up feeling like it was any other day. It didn’t hit me until I saw all of my bridesmaids dressed and ready. Then, I started to get a little nervous.
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? The most special guests for me were my grandfather’s and grandmother’s sister. Both of my maternal grandparents passed so to see their siblings there was so important to me. While I know my grandparent’s were there in spirit, it was nice to have them represented in a more tangible way as well.