Cristina + Shannon

Love can happen anywhere at all and for Shannon and Cristina, love is well-traveled. For them, it started in Texas, but the story I want to tell starts on the steps of a church in Cuba where Cristina’s father proposed to her mother 40 years prior. How you wonder? Cristina is Cuban, colorful and rich like the culture she comes from and deeply rooted in her family and faith. Shannon needed to think of the perfect way to propose that could epitomize the love she has for Cristina. With some serious planning, she managed to take Cristina back to her mother country. They spent their time there enjoying each other to the fullest extent. Their days were spent lounging together, soaking up the sunshine, wafting through the richness of smells in the streets of Cuba’s colorfully exquisite markets and indulging the senses with bold flavors and rhythmic sounds.

The moment came to Cristina as a total surprise. Shannon took her to the very steps where Cristina’s father had professed his love to her mother. The family roots fortified that day with this recurring demonstration of love. I think after hearing this story, any time I see church steps they will be more romanticized and it reminds me that love can be found anywhere, can travel great lengths, over mountains and across oceans, just to be in the right place at the right time, every time.

Back in the States, they began the planning stages of the wedding. They kept their family and their affections towards intimate and close settings in the forefront of their mind and agreed on exchanging their vows in the privacy of their home. Love had done enough travels for a while; this time it stayed home. Their day solidified the two together so beautifully. Peonies in full bloom gave bright, playful color to the space- Cristina’s favorite flower. Cristina’s nephew and long-time friend walked her down the aisle to Shannon who looked beautiful being in love and watching her bride walk to her with absolute radiance.

The Irish custom of hand fasting was demonstrated during the ceremony. If you have never seen this before, it is something really interesting. Three strands of chord are held together and the chords are then braided together to signify God’s design for marriage. The three distinct chords represent the groom, God, and the bride. Cristina and Shannon had the chords sent off to family all over the United States so they could tie knots in the chords prior to the ceremony.

The ceremony ended with the famous bang of glassware stomping, an ancient Jewish tradition. The lesson behind the stomping of glass is to remind us that even at the height of personal joy and happiness, we are to remember that there is suffering and we live in a world that needs healing.

The story of Shannon and Cristina will resonate with me forever. Walking up stairs to church will become a small act of magic, I will remember how love crosses borders, and appreciate the value people place in our customs and traditions for it is the glue that holds us together.

Shannon and Cristina were married on May 26th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. and are living happily ever after.

Vendors: Coordination- Silver Thistle Events, Flowers: Kismet Flowers (Corynn Key), Photographer: Creatrix Photography (Jenna Avery,) Catering: Root Cellar Co., Rentals: Premiere Events