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Real Wedding: Shannon and Dennis

Shannon and Dennis 11-1-14
The Wedding Style – 1940’s Old Hollywood Glam 
We had so much fun designing this wedding with Shannon and Dennis for their November 1st, 2014 celebration. The bride Shannon has always been enamored by the 1940’s Old Hollywood Glam style, and she wanted to play that up for their wedding.
She carried this look all the way through her gorgeous gown, her accessories, and definitely with the decor. They wanted the ceremony and the venue to reflect a vintage elegance, but wanted the reception to be full of dancing, laughter, and great music. We combined our Ultra-Platinum centerpieces with the beautiful antique finish Mark Alison Photography chose for their photos to create something truly special and unique. Since The Bella Sera was an old twin theater 40 years ago, the couple felt it rather fitting to go with their wedding style and feel. The bride’s veil was true to style also and was very special to her, as an honorary bridesmaid, who could not attend, constructed the entire veil for her by hand. Another honorary bridesmaid who could not make it sent her several brooches for her bouquet, along with a kangaroo and cockatiel to add all of the little touches that made the wedding so special for them.
The Couple
The bride and groom are both complete comic book nerds, and they bonded over that well before they even started dating, and continue to do so. The groom loves her compassion and heart, and she loves his kindness and strength. They have always chosen each other in any difficult situation they have encountered. They met at a high school graduation practice, and reconnected several years later.

It was clear to both of them that they were meant to be together about six months into the relationship when they were casually planning a huge life event together. “That’s what we will tell the kids, anyway” said Shannon. In all honesty, the bride said she knew they were going to be together forever when they spent an entire weekend binge watching Bridezillas, and the groom was just as into it as she was.

The Proposal
They were eating lunch before a movie, and he said “You know…with all of the plans we’re making together, we should probably get married”. She said “Did you just propose to me”, and he said “Yeah, I guess I did”. She was pretty crestfallen, and it certainly wasn’t the engagement story she had hoped for. However, it was “their story”, and one they will always remember happening the way it was suppose to. A few months later he proposed formally as she was getting ready to go dress shopping with his Aunt and Uncle who were in town visiting. He got on one knee and proposed before they visited any bridal shops with a beautiful ring. It was so fitting, as Shannon found her gorgeous gown that same day.

The Ceremony
Dory Pinkham is one of The Bella Sera’s favorite officiants, and Shannon and Dennis absolutely loved her. Dory showed how much she really cares about the couples she works with, and connects with them to ensure that what she’s saying on your wedding day resonates with the couple and all of their guests. Dory made sure to incorporate a passage regarding Dennis’ deceased family in a way that felt organic and sincere. The couple feels blessed to have her in their lives. They absolutely loved her.
The Celebration 
It was very important to them that their wedding be on time, and not be dry and incredibly boring like many weddings can be. While guests were seated for the ceremony Shannon created a truly unique and personalized program telling the story of the two of them that guests could enjoy while they waited for the ceremony to begin. It paid tribute to the day (Day of the Dead) and those who were unable to make it to the wedding.

The groom was incredibly close to his Grandfather, who raised him, until his untimely death. His mother, who also died when he was young, was a very important presence in his life, and they both wanted their guests to know a little more about those who meant so much to the groom. Overall the program was a fun way of telling the couple’s story in a very unique and fun way.

Looking back they both said everything on their wedding day went by so quickly. They were so pleased that the whole celebration really represented “them” so well and that is why it will be so memorable for the two of them. “It was outwardly post and elegant, but at it’s heart, was fun and offbeat too” said Shannon. She said seeing Dennis’s reaction when he saw her for the first time ranks among her very favorite moments of the day. They both also loved the toasts given by their wedding party; this close group, and their toasts, ran the full gamut from completely traditional, to, well, the bride’s friend Jen. The toasts rank among the highest highlights of the night for the couple. Every speech was beautiful and heartfelt. Shannon was in tears by the end of them. She said she doesn’t think people realize the impact their words have, and they were so touched by everything their wedding party had to say to them, about them, and for them.

It meant the world to the couple to have people at their wedding who wanted to share the experience with them, front and center, and enjoy themselves. The guests were mostly from out of town since they are part of the military community. Most of her childhood friends attended too. Besides a wedding on the beaches in Hawaii, Shannon said this was her favorite wedding she has ever attended, even though she may be completely biased. Her guests said how beautifully decorated the venue was, and how amazing the food was. The couple demonstrated the importance of creating a celebration that truly represented who they are by offering a taco bar and chips, salsa and queso station for their food. This was a joint venture between Dennis and Shannon, as they have always loved tacos and thought it would be fun and a little quirky for their guests.  Everyone absolutely loved the taco bar.

The Music with DJ Done
Bella Sera’s amazing DJ Done, Joe, rocked the house. He played everything they loved from the 80’s and 90’s, and everyone loved him and had a blast. The bride and a few guests were shocked and delighted to hear a few songs come on that none of them had requested, but were talking about wanting to hear. Joe knew exactly what their tastes were. He happened to graduate the same year Dennis and Shannon did, so he knew exactly what to play.  He even started beat boxing the first time they met him.  As for the wedding day itself, he was completely on point.  Their guests were gushing over how talented and in touch he was. In fact, they had mentioned a few songs they wanted to hear in passing to each other that night, and within the hour, ALL of those songs had been played, even without them having to request them. The couple said, “He’s a genuinely nice guy, and we could not have been happier with his performance”.

“Mark Alison Photography, and Mark specifically, was really fun to work with on their wedding day”, said the bride. He really appreciated and enjoyed their theme, and was receptive to a few ideas they had. He had a strong concept of what he was doing and looking for, and the couple absolutely loved their photos and the beautiful antique treatment he put on the photos to match the era, theme and their style. Shannon wanted candids and shots of everyone enjoying themselves and being natural and not in stuffy, awkward shots. He accomplished this for them very well.

The Venue (written by the bride)
The Bella Sera was instrumental in the execution of our Wedding. We came in with a strong sense of what we wanted, and The Bella Sera made those ideas come to life. With us living so far away from the venue in Colorado Springs, knowing that our vision and any subsequent concerns were addressed, put our minds at ease. There was very little work on our part that needed to be done after our planning and design session last December. All questions and concerns we had between then and the wedding were addressed and taken care of very quickly and efficiently. The Bella Sera is truly a diamond in the rough. For the pragmatic brides out there, I will say this: “You will be hard-pressed to find a venue that will give you your dream wedding for a reasonable price”. We had looked at venues closer to where we live, and we would have gotten far less for far more. One of the highlights of my night was hearing how beautiful the place was and what an incredible job I did finding and picking this place. I worked directly with Sari and Elisabeth, who were absolutely amazing. They recommended all of the vendors we worked with, and they were a perfect fit. The staff at Bella Sera takes the time to get to know you and then works to ensure your day is as near to perfect as possible.
Overall, it was a perfect day for the couple. They truly want to share life’s adventures together, and they are looking forward to sharing the journey ahead of them. It was so wonderful to express their love and commitment for each other in front of those they love and care about the most.
The Bella Sera was truly blessed to share in this celebration with Shannon and Dennis. Their style was so much fun to work with, and everyone loved their creative program that told their love story and showcased their personalities in such a creative and unique way. We wish you all the love and happiness marriage brings! –The Bella Sera Staff
The Wedding Professionals & Details:
Officiant – Dory Pinkham
DJ – DJ Done, Joe
Photography – Mark Alison Photography
First Dance Song – “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones
Dress – Allure Bridals from Something Beautiful Boutique
Tuxes – Mens Warehouse
Design and Decor – Elisabeth Montoya, Lead Designer – Bella Sera Event Center
Catering – Bella Sera Catering
Cake – Sugar Plum Cake Shoppe. The flavors were chocolate with mocha filling and a buttercream frosting. The design of the cake was a nod to a gorgeous Australian cake the bride saw last year, although the original was copper.
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