There are those people in your life that have been around for a long time. If you’re lucky, those people were raised alongside you. I am lucky to say that I have a couple friends in my life that I was raised with. At my home church, Nor’kirk Presbyterian, a small group of us were all born the same year, and our parents were close friends. Under these circumstances, we were raised up together with the church family. Ashley was born a few weeks after me, then two years later, our mothers each gave birth to a daughter. Ashley and I each became a big sister in 1994! Shannon, Ashley’s second sister, and Emily, my sister, joined Ashley and I whenever we would go over to each other’s homes on weekends or after church. The four of us were raised together. Ashley and Shannon’s mother eventually gave birth to another girl, Tara, but my mother kept our small family to two children.
Over the years, we’ve each grew into our own person and developed separate interests. It is funny though, how the four of us each found a creative passion for our lives! Emily went to Texas State and just graduated with her BFA in Acting; I went to St. Edward’s and graduated with a BA in Graphic Design and minor in Communication; Ashley went straight into the working world as a professional ballerina for the Los Angeles City Ballet; and Shannon went to Oklahoma University and just graduated with a degree in Costume Design.
When Shannon went to OU, she met her now-Husband, Matthew. Shannon and Matthew started dating during her second semester Freshman year. Matthew and Shannon met because they were in the same program at OU - Matthew was studying Theater Tech, but is a year older than Shannon. Since Matthew started OU before Shannon, he graduated a year and a half before she did. The couple stayed together the duration of her schooling. Matthew went to work for a Theater Troupe, traveling the country and working on their sets. When he was back in town and right before Shannon’s Senior Year, Matthew proposed to Shannon. The two decided to get married as soon as she graduated. To this day, I don’t know how Shannon did it: going through her Senior Year, preparing for graduation, and trying to plan a wedding. However, she did it.
Matthew and Shannon were married on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 10:00 am. Having grown up with Shannon, playing Super Smash Bros, pretending we were dogs, playing bumper pool, and many other things us and our sisters did together, made shooting her wedding so much more special. I arrived at Narges Salon at 7:30 to meet with Shannon and her bridesmaids as they had their hair done and did their makeup. When I first saw Shannon sitting in her chair with a stylist hovering around her, I got really excited and squealed. I literally let out a high pitched noise (that happens sometimes when I get get really excited). Shannon’s bridesmaids included her two sisters (Ashley was Matron of Honor), Matthew’s sister, and friends from OU. The entire morning was a bit of a whirlwind, from a photographer’s perspective. I was the only shooter for the wedding, and this meant always being on my feet. I didn’t mind it though, I enjoy making sure I have enough coverage and grabbing the interesting photos to correctly portray the Big Day.
One of my favorite moments from this wedding was when Shannon saw her grandparents for the first time that day right after she put on her dress. Her grandparents stopped by the Bridal suite before waiting outside the chapel hall. Shannon's smile immediately erupted as she hugged her grandmother.
Matthew and Shannon were married at The Windsor at Hebron Park, luckily right next door to Narges Salon. The venue provides a ceremonial site comparable to a church sanctuary and a reception hall that is incredible large with high ceilings; high ceilings and lots of windows allowed for a lot of light to come through, and the large reception hall meant plenty of room for guests! Outside there are golden nuggets of places for natural light shooting. I loved shooting their portraits by the vine covered walls and stone staircase! There was some touch of greek architecture on the terrace outside and the staircase which I adore. Most of the bridal portraits were done outside next to the staircase.
For their grand exit, Shannon and Matthew purchased lavender pellets for people to throw as they ran to the car. I've never heard of lavender pellets being used in a wedding before, but it has the same effect as rice without the harmful effects to birds. Photos also look great with them!
It’s been some time since Shannon dropped Davis as her last name and took Barnard, but part of me still can’t believe this little girl I ran around with is now married!