Shannon + Greg
We met through a mutual friend at SXSW in Austin but we were both living in NYC at the time. It was one long marathon group hang consisting of eating BBQ, driving around in a truck and going to swimming holes. The first time I saw him was one of the first nights in Austin at dinner. I spotted him walking through the door and immediately thought, damn! That is a good looking man. I was holding a baby at the time which I think he subconsciously liked but he claims he doesn't remember that detail.
Our first date was very sweet and slightly silly. We went to see Hot Tub Time Machine and awkwardly held hands in the theater. He hailed me a cab and before I got in, he went in for a big kiss. I remember at the time thinking it felt very New York. My other boyfriends were bearded, and tended to be the flaky DJ/musician type. I loved that Greg was talented and creative but he was also really pragmatic and down to earth. He had a calmness about him that I really loved and felt really different to me than other guys I had dated before.
The first time we said “I love you” I was fishing for it a little bit! I was away on a work trip and I sent him a Ted Talk about vulnerability by Brene Brown. She mentions saying I love you in her speech. He immediately wrote back with "I love you." When I came home we said it in person for the first time. We were both a little nervous to move in together and the whole process of moving out of my apartment was pretty stressful. He helped with everything from dealing with my creepy landlord to helping me scrub the floors and walls. When we arrived to his place to get everything moved in, I saw that he had added my name to the buzzer and the mailbox. It felt so real to see our names printed together and it was the beginning of building our home.
He proposed while we were on vacation in Greece. We hadn't talked about it a lot beforehand because every time I brought it up he would get quiet, which I was beginning to think might be a problem. Little did I know he was quietly planning the proposal, designing the ring and asking for my parents' blessing. We had been dating for five years but I was still really surprised! We were in Santorini in an old hotel called the Sea Captain's House and it was the middle of the night. After he gave me the ring we went out onto the balcony in the moonlight and hugged/laughed/cried.
I fell somewhere in the middle of being excited about having a wedding and being a “fuck weddings” bride. We loved the venue so we were excited to be there with all our friends and family but we thought fuck all the traditional stuff that didn't make sense for us. I had visited our venue, San Ysidro Ranch, with my best friend and her husband for her 30th birthday. Not only was it a beautiful hidden oasis but we saw Ellen having dinner there that night, who I'm a huge fan of. I had no idea that I would be getting married there a little over a year later!
The morning of our wedding I went for a run and then came back, hung out in my pajamas and listened to Joni Mitchell until it was time to get ready. We wrote words of love to each other that we each read and our officiant led us through our vows. We both cried basically throughout the whole ceremony. There were lots of sniffles all around. One of the craziest moments of my wedding was when my dad did an Elmo impression during his toast, he actually ended up really pulling it off.
My parents walked me down the aisle. We had an acoustic guitarist who played "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys. Our wedding was really small, just 55 people so we skipped the wedding party. It felt like one huge wedding party in a way! The menu at the party was tortilla soup, asparagus and mushroom salad and truffled sea bass. The dancing ended around 10pm because Santa Barbara has a pretty strict sound ordinance but we all headed to the bar next door for a nightcap. For our honeymoon we drove north to Big Sur. We stayed in a tiny one room cabin on a mountain overlooking the ocean with horses and friendly wild cats.
I wouldn't change a thing about the experience, it was one of the best days of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was one big love fest. My dad is trying to get me to have an annual 'wedding reunion' with all our friends and family, we'll see how that goes!
Photos courtesy of Lane Dittoe