Family Tradition

A Thousand Islands Wedding


September 7, 2018
Words by Kinsley Brown
Photos courtesy of Erika Parker Photography

Shannon and Jonathan first connected over coffee as “skeptical online daters,” but it turns-out that their being a 99% match was 100% true! Once engaged, there was only one place the Philadelphia couple considered to host their wedding. “The Thousand Islands is a stunningly romantic and atmospheric place for a wedding – with majestic sunsets, a wonderland of islands to explore, vintage wooden boats and otherworldly beauty everywhere you look,” says the bride. “Its relative seclusion keeps many modern intrusions away, so it has a timeless serenity.” The destination also holds sentimental value, as Jonathan’s family has vacationed there since the early 1900s when the groom’s great-grandfather first purchased an island home. 

With the bride planning the wedding herself, she underwent the task with precise focus. “I wanted to have a unique vision for the weekend that honored and celebrated our loved ones and made them feel like treasured guests. Aesthetically, I wanted the natural beauty of the island to be the central idea that everything else complemented.” This concept came to fruition come W-day in the form of wooden chairs, stone place markers and terracotta floral urns.

What makes Shannon and Jonathan’s wedding particularly spectacular is the way it was crafted by the bride and the couple’s many family and friends. “The amazing thing was how much [our guests] gifted us with their unique talents and contributions during the weekend…nothing warmed my heart more than to see my favorite people loving us by adding to our creative vision. Guys climbed trees and hung twinkling lights for our sunset candlelit dinner, my bridesmaids made the most unique floral crowns that suited their personalities and style, endless boat driving by our uncles, and many hands laboring in the kitchen all weekend. We will never forget all the thoughtful details that came together because of the kindness of our friends and family.”

The bride maintained her sentimental approach when it came to her bouquet. She worked over the summer to grow Dinnerplate Dahlias that were added to handpicked perennial blooms planted on the island decades ago by the groom’s grandmother. For the ceremony, the two exchanged vows in front of 140 guests at sunset in a meadow memorializing Jonathan’s grandfather.

After such an amazing day, emotions reached their peak at the couple’s reception. “Entering the grove filled with candles and twinkling lights for our sunset dinner was such a special moment. The scene was so gorgeous and, as bride and planner, I was so happy to see my vision come to life.”

Vendors: Photographer: Erika Parker Photography, Day-of Coordinator: Soirée! NNY, Ceremony/Reception Site: Private Residence on Owatonna Island, NY, Florist: Bouquets & Floral Crowns by Bride & Boutonnieres by Kristyna Hulland, Stationery Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Clare Roos, Gown Designer: “Briar Rose” gown by Willowby & from BHDLN, Bride’s Reception Look: “Elsa” Tulle Skirt by Theia & from BHLDN and White Top from Forever21, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Angelo Rossi Tuxedo, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Blush Gowns & Earrings from Rent the Runway, Officiant: Pastor Sherwin Kwon

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