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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.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
8 Comments
  1. avatar Leon reply

    That cake looks incredible! Beautiful wedding photography. :)

  2. avatar Shelby reply

    I use to work for a wedding planner in Atlanta, and I’ve worked at numerous events at Atlanta History Center. I have NEVER seen quite a transformation! So beautiful! Bold did an amazing job.

    Also, I LOVE the dessert first. Such a cute touch

  3. avatar Samantha reply

    Loved this wedding. I really could see the couples personality in it. Congratulations to the happy couple and great job to all the vendors involved.

  4. avatar Amy reply

    Wow!! The bride and groom in this wedding are stunning!!

  5. avatar Lexi reply

    The bride looked positively glowing! And the wedding cake, it’s gorgeous! Seemed like a really fun wedding event :)

  6. avatar Sergio Goncharoff reply

    Muy intresante vision en B&W! Great job!

  7. avatar Happy Father's Day: Precious Father-Daughter Wedding Day Moments – Munaluchi Bridal Magazine reply

    […] iloveswmag.com via Enraptured on […]

  8. avatar Cyprus wedding photographer reply

    Amazing wedding pictures! Really like your style

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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.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
13 Comments
  1. avatar Sukey reply

    What a fabulously stunning wedding! I love that the bride had such clear vision for her wedding day and stuck to it –from the feathers to those amazing bridesmaids’ dresses. Her gown and his custom attire are pure elegance – so sharp together!

  2. avatar Jen O. reply

    One of the most stunning weddings I’ve ever seen. Jon is amazing and captured it beautifully. I love, love, love this.

  3. avatar Desiree reply

    This was my favorite wedding from V5 — it’s to die for!! The bridesmaid dresses and the swag that was shown off as they processed…you can’t duplicate that. That’s all natural. I would want to party with these ladies all.the.time. And don’t even get me started on Shannon’s veil/hair piece. I gasped when I saw it!!! SO excited to finally see it on the blog!! ahhhh

  4. avatar Ursula reply

    Now that is what I call pure fab!! Absolutely gorgeous. I love that the bridesmaid carried a feather clutch instead of flowers. Original and breathtaking!! My favorite pics this year.

  5. avatar Emily reply

    The two page spread of the portraits from this wedding were hands down my two favorite pages in the V5!!! Ok, actually I cannot pick a favorite, but they were definitely near the top!

  6. avatar Southern Love Weekly Wrap Up « U.Breyn – Freshwater Pearls and Gemstones reply

    […] Southern Weddings and photographer Jonathan Canlas shared pictures of a fabulous wedding that took place in Atlanta, GA recently. Details, details, details! The location, the dress, the […]

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  9. avatar kate reply

    Hey! can you tell me what brand the groom’s tux is? I am having trouble finding a nice-looking white/ivory dinner jacket for my upcoming wedding :)

  10. avatar Pasha Belman Photography reply

    This is one gorgeous couple and the photos are just amazing.

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    […] Expressions/Berns & Black via Magnolia Rouge; 4- Jonathan Canlas/Bold American Events/Yasmine Ferguson and Scott Miller/Tracy Moss via Southern Weddings; 5- Vivid Blue/kraak/Fralene hair & Make-up on SouthBound […]

  13. avatar Maurice Roberts reply

    This is one great and awesome pics!

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