A Forever Team: Christian & Shannon

Love isn’t something that just happens. It’s a team sport, an act of giving and receiving. Of laying down our desires and working harder to please our spouse than ourselves. It takes work, but it’s worth it … like our couple today said – “Nothing easy is ever worth doing.”

from the photographer, Molliner Photography: “This couple tied the knot with a grand ole southern affair. They knew from the moment they visited the Crane Cottage on Jekyll Island that this breathtaking location would be the perfect location to promise their forever’s to each other. Shannon knew that she wanted every decor element to be very neutral as to allow the many naturally beautiful elements of the cottage to be highlighted. Grey clouds threatened to ruin this day but this bride and groom were intent on allowing nothing to steal the joy of their day. Every moment of this love story was sweet. Tears flowed from the bridesmaids eyes when the bride came out in her wedding dress, during the father daughter first look, the bride and grooms personalized vows that made everyone cry [including me!] and the most epic dance party on that pretty black and white checkered dance floor! This couple went out of their way to make sure their families, friends, guests and even the vendors were loved on and appreciated during their day!”

How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Christian and I met playing knockout basketball at Relay for Life during undergrad at the University of Florida. It took him three games to finally talk to me, but once he finally did, we spent the next two hours learning everything we could about each other.
My first impression of Christian was that he had a great jump shot, ha! But the moment he turned around and smiled, I was smitten.
My first impression of Shannon was that she was stunning and I would do just about anything to talk to her.

Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship!
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 repeat pre-determined vows seemed like a tall task, let alone vows that I wrote myself. 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! With that said, there was definitely a glass or two of champagne needed prior to walking down the aisle and reading my vows!

Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
The biggest hurdle for us would have to of been finding time to dedicate towards planning our big day. With Christian completing his residency program and me working full-time, it was difficult to find opportunities for us to taste possible menu options or discuss seating charts. To help overcome this, we took 15 months to plan our wedding and I think we would both agree we appreciated that extra time to allow us to enjoy the process.

What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?
Celebrating with the people whom we love the most and have shaped each of us into the people we are today.
We were very fortunate to have a lot of family and friends join us. Guests traveled near and far to celebrate our big day, and it truly meant the absolute world to the both of us. I had family and friends travel from places as far as England and Dubai. While Christian’s entire family from North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania made the trip to Jekyll Island to join in the festivities. Looking back the joy we and our guests had is what we remember and cherish most.

What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
We are a forever team in this thing called life.

What is your favorite thing about each other?
Christian has far too many attributes to count that make him the truly wonderful man that he is today. But, if I had to pick, I’d say his determination and work ethic. Since the day we met, Christian has never taken the easy route and has always set exceptionally high goals for himself. One thing I’ve learned over the eight years of knowing Christian is that there is absolutely nothing he can’t accomplish when he puts his mind to it.
My favorite thing about Shannon is how much she cares about those around her. She has always nurtured our relationship and will go above and beyond to support me anyway she can. Shannon is the type of person to give those close to her, everything she’s got.

What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
Picking the venue! 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. Christian and I began touring different venues in each of our hometowns but didn’t quite find what we were looking for. 10 years ago, I had taken a trip to Georgia and came across the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, instantly falling in love with its history and charm. I pitched it as a possible wedding venue location and thankfully everyone was onboard to check it out. We made the two and half hour drive to the island and I have to say the moment we pulled up and parked the car, I knew this was it. It had absolutely everything we were looking for and we loved that everything was right there onsite. We were able to host multiple events and will forever cherish this beautiful island.

If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
In regards to planning a wedding, our biggest piece of advice would be, 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.

What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
It’s not always easy, but it most definitely is always worth it. Plus, nothing easy is ever worth doing.

Photographer: Molliner Photography / venue: Crane Cottage at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel / floral designer: Straton Hall Events / dress boutique: Something New Bridal Boutique  / dress designer: Pronovias  / cake designer: Jekyll Island Club Hotel / makeup artist: Mikaya Dionne Enterprises  / hair stylist: Sarah Taylor / men’s formalwear: The Black Tux / rentals: Beachview Event Rentals / film lab: The Find Lab / videography: Adam Lora  / calligraphy – Lynette Rose Calligraphy


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