WHAT A WEDDING… A handmade wedding gown, insanely colorful florals, and an amazing couple was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the awesomeness of Shannon and Hunter’s wedding. It was definitely one for the books, and not to mention some of the most unique details we’ve ever seen. Enjoy this gorgeous wedding featured in The Knot magazine!
SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROPOSAL AND ENGAGEMENT RING(S). We got engaged in NYC while visiting. It was on the Brooklyn Bridge and our friend was there to take photos. It was magical. I knew I always wanted something very unique for my engagement ring. I had my eye on Anna Sheffield’s designs for some time as I loved how she incorporated color and unique shapes. It is a 2 carat black diamond with rose gold.
HOW LONG WERE YOU ENGAGED?
WHAT WAS YOUR PLANNING EXPERIENCE LIKE?
Did you hire a planner or day-of coordinator, or did you DIY all the way?
We hired Molly Boyd Event Design and I couldn’t have done it all without her! Since I am an illustrator I knew that I would handle making all of the creative touches. Molly helped so much with the big things and keeping my timeline for booking vendors and making decisions on track!
Where did you get married, and why did you pick the venue and the city specifically?
We got married at the Powel Crosley Estate in Sarasota, FL. We were both born and raised in the area (Bradenton) so it made sense to do it at home.
DID YOU HAVE A FIRST LOOK?
Where and when?
We had a first look at our venue. We had a friend bring our dog and it was fun to have him involved in this! We did it about an hour before our ceremony to allow some time for photos with our pup and the bridal party.
DESCRIBE WHAT YOU BOTH WORE.
I wore a custom made gown by one of my best friends from high school who has a clothing line, Camilyn Beth (she is the bridesmaid in red in our photos!). I had somewhat of a vision for what I wanted to wear. I basically told Cami the fit I was looking for and that I wanted long sleeves and mixed lace patterns. She knows me so well so I let her take it from there. We went to NYC to source fabric from one of her suppliers. It was so great to have this experience with her and get samples of different fabrics. We went both went to fashion school, though I’m in illustration now it was really fun to help sketch and design with her and be a part of that process. My gown was totally different from Cami’s collection so it was a really unique project for both of us to do together. After the initial sketching, I watched it come to life at each fitting and was so in awe of her talent. I’m so grateful and honored that she was able to take this on. It was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined! I wanted Hunter to wear something fun and ended up finding his burgundy tux at express. I fell in love with a pair of Gucci shoes that had pink and red embroidered flowers on them so I planned all other accessories around those! I ended up getting Hunter a pair of Gucci loafers that coordinated with mine. My grandpa let me borrow my grandma’s wedding rings to wear on my right hand, she passed a year ago and I never imagined getting married without her there so it was special to have a piece of her with me. They had given me my great grandmother’s wedding ring several years back, I am wearing that as one of my bands. Then I had simple white flower earrings from Anthropologie.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING PARTY.
How many people did you include and what did they wear?
The fashion for the girls was my absolute favorite part of the wedding! Again, I worked with Cami to design custom gowns (she has since added some of the designs to her bridal collection). I knew I wanted the girls to be colorful to fit the theme of the wedding and florals. We decided to do the girls looks in an ombre of pinks to burgundys. Cami made each piece so perfectly, from the pink sequin jumpsuit to her own bright poppy retro-style gown. She made both of our mom’s gowns as well. I let the girls choose if they wanted to wear flower crowns or not and everyone chose something a little different. I love that they all ended up having a bit of floral in their hair. I let them pick heels in any shade of the dresses, nude or gold. Having them feel comfortable and choosing what they wanted was really important to me. I loved how it was an ombre fashion show coming down the aisle! We had 8 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, 6 ring bearers and 2 flower girls! Everyone in the wedding party who had kids, their kids were in the wedding too. This was important to us as all of the bridal party was either siblings or friends we’ve had since we were kids! The boys all wore sleek black Micheal Kors tuxedos from Something Blue Bridal. The flower girl gowns were also custom made by Camilyn Beth with some of the same fabric from my gown. The little girl’s glittery shoes were from The Gap.
YOUR WEDDING DESIGN
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR OVERALL THEME/STYLE?
If you were to give your theme a name, what would you call it?
Rainbow wildflowers with a touch of bohemian, ha! The florals were a huge part of the inspiration for me., being that I am an artist and use a lot of botanical and nature themes in my work I put an emphasis on illustrated elements, flowers and using all colors of the rainbow. My personal and home style is pretty boho eclectic so we incorporated some touches with patterned rugs and rattan furniture rentals.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COLOR PALETTE?
All shades of pinks ,red and burgundy with a touch of rainbow ☺ I was okay with using all the colors!
WHERE DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR STATIONERY?
Share a little bit about your invites, programs, escort card display and menus.
This is what I do for a living so I really wanted to go crazy with the stationery details! I just started sketching all of my favorite florals in all colors. I create a lot of custom pet portraits for clients so I knew I had to incorporate our three fur babies into the design somehow. I ended up making a fun monogram with our initials and put them at the top surrounded by flowers. I created a tri-fold piece for the formal invitaion that all of the smaller pieces fit into. It was tied with a burgundy velvet ribbon. I made a map of our area using very Bradenton/Florida-esque illustrations to make it fun and quirky. I used red envelopes with liners that matched the floral design I created. I hand painted each guests address in white paint, sourced all vintage stamps from Etsy that fit our theme and then sealed them with a pink wax seal that I had engraved with my hand lettering of our initials. For the day of, I made illustrated menus and sourced flower seed packets for place cards. I found the perfect mix of pink and red varieties and hand painted each guests name on them with watercolor. I made booklet style programs and tied each one with fun red tassels I got on Etsy. I hand painted red cards with white lettering for the excort cards and Hunter assembled them on a big board he made. We had florals across the top. I wanted personal touches everywhere so I ended up making a lot of signage for the dessert table, bars, and welcome table.
LET’S TALK BLOOMS. SHARE THE EXACT FLOWERS USE IN YOUR CENTERPIECES, BOUQUETS AND BOUTONNIERES, ETC.
What inspired your flower choices?
I worked with Jeanne of The Anti-Bride who is one of the most talented people I know. She came to me and said ‘I think we need to just bring your paintings to life’ thus inspiring our all colorful floral theme! Poppies and anemonies are my favorite flowers (and favorite to paint) so aside from requesting those I let her do her thing. I love her loose, wild stlye and knew that everything she created would be perfect for me. I knew I had to have a big floral arch for the ceremony but again, I just told her colors and let her take the creative lead. My bouquet was huge! It was so amazing. She did mine in a rainbow of colors with a giant poppy being the center focus. She added clippings from my parents yard and little kumquats last minute. I was obsessed when I first saw it. The girls bouquets were all a little different with mostly red and pinks. She tied all of them with long burgundy silk ribbons we found on Etsy. I asked her to make each bout and centerpiece a little different and free flowing. She worked with Fifty Flowers to supply some of the varieties. We ended up with icelandic poppies, red and white anemonies, coral charm peonies, pink, burgundy and white peonies, several colors of ranunculus (peachy watermelon, red, fire red), multiple varieties of garden roses (Miso pretty, cabbage garden rose romantic pink, hues of pink garden rose, seashell beach garden rose, garden rose rene goscinny, garden rose raspberry red, deep peach garden rose, white cloud spray garden rose, garden rose red velvet), spray roses and roses in red, coral & white, burgundy berry dahlias, thistle blue flower, pink and red astilbe, blackberry scabiosa, thistle flower magic purple, yellow solidago, star asparagus greenery, willow seeded eucalyptus, italian ruscus greenery, gunni eucalyptus greens, feather eucalyptus greens and finally, 3,000 rose petals in peach, pink and hot pink!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CEREMONY AND RECEPTION DÉCOR.
The Crosley is so beautiful and scenic that it really didn’t need much. I wanted the estate to stand out so other than being heavily floral, we incorporate a couple of different seating areas with fun bohemian touches from The Reserve Vintage Rentals. I wanted mostly white linens so that the floral centerpieces would stand out. We used gold chavarie chairs for both th ceremony and reception. We had gold lanterns throughout and floral print vases from Anthropologie around on some of the smaller tables.
DID YOU INCORPORATE ANY CULTURAL, TRADITIONAL OR SENTIMENTAL ELEMENTS INTO YOUR WEDDING DAY?
At my parents request, we had a more traditional ceremony lead by the pastor of the church I grew up in and who is a family friend. We added an ‘in memory of’’ section on the back of our programs to honor family members who are no longer with us.
DID YOU INTENTIONALLY BREAK WITH TRADITION IN ANY WAY?
Yes. We really did not want a traditional wedding. We wanted it to be funky and unique and tried to base decisions of off what we really loved rather than trying to fit the mold of a traditional wedding.
CEREMONY & RECEPTION
WERE EITHER OF YOU ESCORTED DOWN THE AISLE, AND IF SO, BY WHOM?
Both of my dads walked me down the aisle. My step dad has also been my dad since I was three years old so it was important for me to honor both of them and have them be a part of this.
DID YOU HAVE ANY UNEXPECTED CEREMONY MUSIC CHOICES OR READINGS?
Everyone walked down to “January Wedding” by the Avett Brothers, it was a fun choice!
DID YOU WRITE YOUR OWN VOWS? IF YES, CAN YOU SHARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS?
We did not write our own vows. I am a little shy so we let our pastor/friend guide us with this part.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXIT.
What did you leave in and where did you go? Did your guests use any props?
We didn’t do an exit because we wanted to dance and party with our friends for as long as possible. We all ended up going out afterwards!
DID YOU HAVE A COCKTAIL HOUR?
Signature drinks? Craft beer? Special music? Good eats?
We had a cocktail hour. We offered our full bar and had passed hor d’ oeuvres. Matt Walden, a musician from Bradenton, played music for this.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR MENU.
Were any specific dishes a “must” for you?
We didn’t have any dishes that were a must but we wanted a southern seafood style cuisine. Our coastal town is big on fishing and we have some of the best seafood. We wanted to reflect that for our traveling guests.
DESCRIBE YOUR CAKE AND ANY OTHER DESSERTS.
Tell us about the design and the flavors.
We wanted to do a wild dessert bar! We did smaller cakes with florals on them (one was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and the other was lemon with buttercream). Cakes By Ron in Sarasota created these. My planner showed them a photo of my invitations and they were able to put some matching florals, they were so cute. We had a local bakery, Sugarcubed, make custom sugar cookies with the monogram I illustrated printed on them. We had them inidividually wrapped so guests could take some with them. We ordered the most beautiful shortbread cookies with pressed edible flowers from Lori Stern. We finished it off with choolate, coconut, cherry, vanilla sprinkle and old fashioned glazed donuts from Turners (which has been in business in Bradenton for over 40 years!) . I hand lettered signs for each dessert and used floral metal stands from Terrain to display them. Then our florist covered the table in petals.
WHAT DID YOU DANCE TO FOR YOUR FIRST DANCE?
Why did you choose it? Tell us the title and singer too.
We danced to Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran. It’s just our favorite that reminds us of each other.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC PLAYED THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT?
Did you have a live band or a DJ? Did you make a grand entrance? Any surprises?
We had live music, my dad’s band! So that was a very easy decision to make. There are 5 of them and they jammed out the whole time. My little sister (who was a bridesmaid) is also a musician and plays with them sometimes, she got up to sing some songs. Matt Walden who played during happy hour stayed and sang with them too. It was a mixture of all of our favorite songs and we let guests request songs on the RSVP cards. It was just so fun to have them and it really made everyones night!
LOOKING BACK, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT OF THE WEDDING? DESCRIBE IT.
I think dancing with everyone at the reception. When all of the pressure is off and everyone is dancing like crazy. It was the best energy. I looked around at everyone we loved so dearly and couldn’t stop laughing and smiling.
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR WEDDING FAVORS AND/OR THE ITEMS IN YOUR WELCOME BAG?
We did not have welcome bags. Guests took the flower seed packets I made for place cards with them and we had custom printed cookies packaged for everyone to take home.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ITEM YOU REGISTERED FOR AND WHY?
We added a honeymoon fund on zola which was so great and helped us be able to splurge a little more on our trip to Norway, Finland and Denmark.
DID YOU HAVE ANY WEDDING DAY SNAFUS?
Did anything go oh-so-wrong that you can laugh about now? The imperfect moments are just as important to us as those that were flawlessly executed.
A lot of things went ‘wrong’ because of the weather conditions that day but I was okay with it. Everyone had been mentally preparing me throughout the week. It was fine and it all looked so beautiful still. I wish it would’ve been less windy for my florist and her team putting together my arbor, they almost got blown over! We ended up having to use our tent rentals, I didn’t want the tent to take away from the beauty of the estate but it was so cold and windy that we had to make the last minute decision to use it. I’m glad we did because everyone was freezing at the ceremony which was by the water. The winds were 30mph and you could barely hear the music. I was totally fine with how it all went down. Once we were there getting ready I was just so happy to be with my friends and family (and for the planning to be done, ha!). Also, since we 8 kids all under the age of 7 it was chaotic getting them to walk down the aisle together. 2 of them couldn’t walk yet so the bigger kids carried them and the others just sprinted down the aisle holding hands. They stopped half way and put the babies down and half of them sat down on the rugs we had out. All of the guests were laughing so hard. They ended up doing their own thing and it was hilarious!