Shannon & Jared were married in June in northern Michigan
We first officially met in Algebra II class at Charlevoix High School. Jared was a junior and I (Shannon), was a sophomore. Jared had just moved/transferred to Charlevoix from nearby Wolverine, MI. He sat in front of me in class, and along with several of our other classmates, we often worked together to complete our daily algebra assignments. Though we did not start dating until 3 years later when we were in college, I was instantly intrigued by his ability to make me smile and laugh – an attribute of his that continues to make me fall more in love with him every single day. It is possible that we may have crossed paths during a summer Wolverine Basketball Camp during our middle school days, but the first official introduction occurred in this Charlevoix math class.
Jared had quite an intricate, surprising proposal! We had discussed getting engaged for several months, and I was definitely starting to get a bit impatient! Little did I know, but since November 2012, Jared had been planning to surprise me by proposing on his birthday, February 15, 2013. I am a difficult person to surprise, and Jared thought that the only way to pull it off would be to propose on a day when I would be completely focused on him and not expecting anything – thus, his birthday!
Jared’s best friend (and the Best Man in our wedding), Scott, was crucial to the proposal plan. I received a text message one night from Scott asking if I had thought about what I wanted to get Jared for his birthday. I replied that I had been thinking about getting him golf shoes. Scott then responded that he knew exactly which shoes Jared wanted, his shoe size, and even had a coupon to the PGA Superstore. He then offered to purchase them for me.
Over the next month, I could never seem to get a hold of the shoes. Either Scott was traveling on business or he had forgotten the shoes in his car or at work. The week before Jared’s birthday, I still had not even seen the shoes! Scott told me that after getting them “gift wrapped at work” (i.e. Scott wrapping them himself), he would hide them in the back of Jared’s Explorer for me to retrieve later on.
Meanwhile, Jared had been planning a big Valentine’s Day weekend in downtown Chicago for us. Since I had to work overnight at the hospital on February 14th, we were planning to celebrate on Friday, February 15th by staying overnight in a hotel downtown and going to dinner at my favorite restaurant, McCormick and Schmick’s. Jared picked me up late Friday afternoon to drive downtown, and somehow, no matter how many times I asked Jared to open his present, he avoided it.
When we arrived at the hotel, I made Jared sit on the couch, set the present in his lap, and told him he had to open it right then. He unwrapped the present, got extremely excited when he saw the golf shoes, and knelt down to “try them on.” I then walked over to the window to look at the river below, and when I turned around, Jared was down on one knee and pulling a ring box out of one of the golf shoes. He then proposed! I was completely blown away.
About an hour after the proposal, as we continued to call all of our closest family and friends, there was a knock at the door. It was my parents! Jared knew how much it would mean to me to share this exciting day with my mom and dad, so he asked them to drive to Chicago for the weekend. The four of us then went out to dinner together. After dinner, we returned to the hotel and had birthday cake that my mom had brought for Jared. It was an incredibly romantic, beautiful moment for Jared and I, and it was filled with the love and support of our families as well.
We chose to marry in northern Michigan because Jared and I both have many cherished memories from growing up in northern Michigan, and we have always loved its extraordinary beauty – the blue water of the many lakes, the beaches, the gardens, the forests, parks, the night skies, etc. We deeply appreciate the sense of community, values, and work ethic that smaller, more rural towns tend to offer, and it is still where many of our family and friends live. Growing up in northern Michigan helped shape us into the people we are today, so we could not imagine celebrating our wedding day anywhere else.
- “Something Old”: Flowers from the lace sleeves of my mother’s wedding gown were sewn onto the back of my dress to be used as the landmarks for the bustle of my gown.
- “Something Borrowed”: Tradition of the “Lucky sixpence for your wedding day.” During the wedding ceremony, I walked down the aisle with the same dime and penny in my shoe that Jared’s grandmother, his mother, and his two aunts had worn in their shoes on their wedding days. Jared’s grandma had just passed away last summer, and not only was it an honor to be a part of this tradition, but it was also a beautiful way to incorporate her memory into the day.
- Tradition: “Once upon a time, on her wedding day, it was customary for the bride to place a shiny silver sixpence in her slipper. Good fortune would then be hers, not just for one special moment, but throughout the voyage on the sea of matrimony”
- “Something Blue”: I wore an aquamarine ring that was passed down to me from my grandmother, Barbara. My middle name is Barbara after her, and the aquamarine represents our March birthdays: Mine on March 20th and hers on March 19th.
- Wedding Invitations: Replica of my parents’ invitation. “This day I will marry my friend. The one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love.” I grew up looking at my parents’ wedding invitation on display in our house, and I have always loved its elegance and beautiful message. It was very important to me to re-create a wedding invitation that would be very similar to theirs.
- Maple Syrup Table Favors: The syrup was made by Jared’s dad, Lindy, and his Uncle Luke (and their business Mackinac Bluffs) and designed/packaged by his Aunt Lynelle. We actually got to watch the manufacturing process and taste the actual syrup that was used for the table favors. We have a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for the hard work and passion that his dad and uncle have put into building this business.
- Driving Away From The Church In My Dad’s Cadillac XLR: Going to car shows, cruising through town in my dad’s special cars, stick-shift driving lessons with my dad, and having him drive me in one of his cars for the homecoming court parade in high school have been special, meaningful memories and bonding moments that are extremely important to me. Being in one of his cars with the Just Married sign on the back was another special element of the day.
Ceremony Location: First Congregational United Church of Christ in Charlevoix, MI
Reception Location:Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Photographer: Paul Retherford Photography
Cake: Cakes by Phyllis – A four tier classic vanilla cake with homemade raspberry filling, buttercream frosting with coordinating fresh flowers by Bloom
Centerpieces: Bloom – Bouquets and floral arrangements of peonies, roses, tulips, lisianthus, succulents and seeded eucalyptus
Event Papery/Accessories: Sheila from Tableau Events
Dress: Maggie Stefan Jolie – Bijou Bridal
Color Scheme: Soft tones of pink, peach, caramel, mauve, dusty greens and gray/silver
DJ: Harbor View Entertainment
Videographer: Creative Image
Transportation: Mackinaw Shuttle
Hair Salon: La Dolce Vita
- Submitted by Shannon