If you could imagine what a down home southern wedding would look like with a healthy serving of sophistication, we think it’s Shannon and Christian’s wedding, hands down. Our hats are off to Molliner Photography for capturing the sumptuous images we get to share with all of you. This Jekyll Island fête is one for the Pinterest boards (and don’t be afraid to add all of the images!). It’s draped in neutrals galore; set against the couple’s picture-perfect venue, Crane Cottage; and the blooms by Straton Hall Events are stellar. We can just imagine dancing the night away under the mesh of the palmetto and oak trees. It’s giving us all the heart eyes, y’all!
In their own words
How did you meet?
Christian and I met playing knock out basketball at Relay for Life during our time at the University of Florida.
What is your proposal story?
Christian was busy traveling around the country interviewing for residency positions. Between finishing up fourth year of medical school at the University of Florida and taking multiple flights a week to attend interviews, I still can’t quite figure out how he found the time to plan–what I consider–to be the most perfect engagement proposal. He wrapped up his interview trail in New York on February 3rd, and to celebrate this huge accomplishment we decided to spend the weekend in one of our favorite cities and the place that we visited our very first time as a couple.
The idea of getting engaged that weekend had been thrown around by friends, but knowing that it was so far from our loved ones, I put the possibility out of my mind.
Saturday, February 4th, we woke up and Christian asked if I wanted to take a walk through Central Park. I remember thinking he seemed a little preoccupied as he continued to lead me through the park as if there was somewhere we were supposed to be, but every time I would ask, he would assure me we were just exploring. We came upon Gapstow Bridge and stopped to overlook the water. It was 32 degrees and by this point we had been walking for about 45 minutes, my fingers were numb and my feet were sore (I stupidly thought heeled boots were a good idea for a day of walking around the city). I was ready to head to the nearest coffee shop to sit down and thaw out, but Christian told me he wanted to hang around for a few more minutes. He then walked over to a group of three guys who were feeding the ducks and began talking to them, leaving me out of earshot so I had no idea what he was doing. Unbeknownst to me, he had handed them his phone and said please take as many photos as possible of what I am about to do. He walked back over to me, and as I turned to face him, he got down on one knee. If I’m being honest, I was in such shock I could not tell you a single word he said in the next 30 seconds. It was such a perfect proposal! To make things even better, those guys Christian had given his phone to didn’t take off running and did an exceptional job of capturing the whole thing.
After leaving the park, Christian told me that to top off the best morning of our lives, he had made reservations at the Loeb Boathouse restaurant for brunch. The first time we came to New York together, five years prior, we had both fallen in love with the Loeb Boathouse restaurant in Central Park and it quickly became one of our favorite spots in the city. When we walked in there after our engagement, there was a long line of people but Christian led me to the front assuring me that we had reservations. He told me that we had the best table in the back overlooking the water. As he pointed it out our parents all stood up and waved. At this point, I absolutely lost i. This wonderful man who had just asked me to spend the rest of our lives together had not only planned the most thoughtful engagement, but knowing desperately how much I wanted to be able to celebrate with family, had secretly planned for both his and my parents to fly to New York to share in the happiest day of our lives so far.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
As a lot of our family and friends live out of town and would be making quite a trip to celebrate the two of us, we both agreed that we wanted to make our wedding a weekend long celebration. Jekyll Island Club Hotel had absolutely everything we were looking for and we loved that everything was right there onsite. We were able to host multiple events throughout the weekend and will forever cherish this beautiful island.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Shannon: Leading up to our big day, Christian and I had gone back and forth on two things; a first look and writing our own vows. I was strongly in favor of a first look but the idea of having to write our vows seemed like a tall task (I hate public speaking!). On the other hand, Christian loved the idea of seeing me for the first time as I came down the aisle and really wanted the opportunity to share personal vows. We finally compromised and decided to do both, which now looking back, I couldn’t be more thankful we did! The day of our wedding, I was far more emotional than I had ever anticipated but the moment I saw Christian I instantly felt at ease and knew in that moment, no matter what, our day was going to be absolutely perfect. When it was time for the ceremony, we both exchanged vows that looking back really made it all that much more personal to us both.
Christian: For me, I’d have to say that my favorite moment from the wedding was our first dance. Yes getting to exchange vows that we wrote ourselves in front of all our closest friends and family was incredible, but there was something uniquely special about that moment. No we did not practice before hand (although we were advised) and no we did not have any stunning choreography. It was not a tango, or a waltz; it was simple, and I got to hold my new wife close and tell her with each turn how lucky I was to be with her.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Make sure to take time for yourselves leading up to your big day. Life gets busy and the last thing you want to do is spend every moment you have together discussing seating charts or floral arrangements. It is a day to be anticipated and looked forward to; and at the end of the day, it’ll all work out! You’ll have each other and finally be husband and wife.
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- Wedding Planning
- Jekyll Island Club Hotel – Cates Mock