Real Wedding | Shannon & Paul

Personally, I love when you can sense how grounded a bride really is.  Then you know that the wedding is just the beginning of a long and happy life together.  That’s how I felt after reading about Shannon and Paul’s wedding.  Read on and I think you’ll agree.

Shannon & Paul | June 27, 2009 | June Lake, California

How we met
Paul was working for the water department of the tiny little beach community I was living in. He had noticed me around town walking around with my pet rats on my shoulder. A couple weeks later, I was out with friends and this guy came up to me and asked, “Where are your rats?”  We ended up talking for hours and the rest is history.

How he proposed
When we had the opportunity to start up a new business in South Carolina, we jumped at the chance but I had to do the move without him. Paul worked for a busy medical sleep practice that books patients months in advance. This meant that not only would he stay behind and work for 6 weeks, we would be apart for the holidays as well. We had been dating for about 14 months and had never spent more than two nights apart. On top of all this, Paul agreed to move from California to South Carolina without ever visiting his new home. The move was a huge step for us and I was worried he would not like it. The minute he stepped off the plane, I took him to my favorite beach to show him the beauty of Charleston.  I packed a picnic and we watched the waves and embraced each other for hours.  When he asked me to stand up, I thought he wanted to go home but all of the sudden, he was on one knee telling me how much he loved me, how he never wanted to be apart again and asked me to be his wife.

The ceremony
Paul has been going to June Lake since he was a kid. When he brought me up there to go camping the first year of dating, I too fell in love with the quaint little town. In fact, we went to the Double Eagle for a drink and as we sat on the lawn by the stream, we thought about how nice it would be to get married there. Three years later, we did just that.

Real Wedding | Shannon & Paul

June was the perfect month to get married as there was still snow on the mountain tops and there was a waterfall rushing behind us on the mountain. The funniest moment was walking down the aisle after being pronounced husband and wife and my shoe came off after getting stuck in the grass. Paul just plucked it out of the grass and we continued on our way. We had a small, intimate party with only 65 guests. We loved the small wedding feel and everyone got to know each other which really made it a fun party when it was time for the reception. We kept everything simple and natural as to not compete with the stunning surroundings. The whole wedding day was better than I could have ever imagined.

Shannon’s favorite detail
We had many simple touches which helped the wedding feel more personal and unique. One that stands out was naming the tables after our pets. The head table “Zuma” was for our beloved great dane who passed away suddenly a month before the wedding.

Real Wedding | Shannon & Paul

Another favorite was the bag my mom made for me to walk down the aisle with. It was made of her own wedding dress, decorated with a handmade butterfly my great grandma sewed and filled with mementos to remember family members who have passed away. I also had a handkerchief my great grandma made with me at the alter to dab away the tears.

Her advice for other brides
Forget about all those things you are ‘supposed to do’. Do what you want. We left out a lot of ‘typical’ things people do on their wedding day because they didn’t feel like us and we didn’t miss them a bit.

Get a massage the morning of the wedding. I was in such a mellow mood, my bridesmaids were more stressed than me. I practically floated down the aisle.

Don’t ask for too much advice. Your wedding day is your day. Not your parents’ or friends’ wedding. Look to each other for what you want in your wedding.

Keep things simple and don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on your partner, friends and family. Everything else will fall into place.

Real Wedding | Shannon & Paul
Real Wedding | Shannon & Paul

Shannon’s Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston Platinum PL136