By Daniela Degrassi
“Wet bride, lucky bride”, that’s what they say in Italy to a woman getting married on a rainy day. And Shannon really made the best out of a misty day like she knew all about this old proverb. She wisely thought it would add just a romantic touch to the outdoor venue she and her groom Quint chose to celebrate their love. So let’s dive in getting to know the happy couple and enjoy their magic day captured by Alicia + Will Photography
Shannon, how did you meet Quint?
Quint was the new kid in high school our sophomore year. We instantly clicked and became friends, but that is all I saw. He had feelings for me and never gave up, I finally decided to try it out our junior year on 02/27/2012 and it has been history since. We are best friends. Our wedding fell exactly on 6 years and 8 months together.
What made you become vegan?
Since age 3 I said I was going to save the animals and always thought of myself as an environmentalist. After finally researching the health aspect, that the vegan diet is actually way healthier and has so many benefits there was no avoiding it anymore. I dove into research and documentaries. I couldn’t un-see the truth anymore. Best decision of my life. My husband educated himself too and quickly followed about a month later. We are both thriving health wise since.
Was your family supporting of you wanting to plan a vegan wedding? Did you go through any struggle while planning your day?
Our families were so excited for us. Comparing other weddings, money was an important factor, and deciding to go against family tradition of a Catholic wedding and having an outdoor nature wedding.
We paid for a lot, but our parents did help a bit financially. Here is where it got tricky… and I hope this does not make my post invalid, but sometimes it is hard to have a 100% vegan wedding when your dad pays for catering and there are only two vegan guests. Everything was vegan down to the cake and more sustainable vendors, except some of the food. My father paid, the blood wasn’t on my hands, but we did make a compromise. We did a pasta bar. The noodles, sauce, salad, and breadsticks were all vegan. There was vegan parmesan, good vegan toppings like roasted mushroom, onion, and artichoke, but there was also meatballs and chicken.. Again a tough decision for me and Quint, but I feel a lot of vegan brides have to make this compromise. If we had paid for the food it would have been all vegan, but at least we had no dairy and the meat option was only being in form of toppings and not a full option; that made me feel a bit better. Just being honest here.
When I received Shannon’s submission I had a slight hesitation in classifying her wedding ‘vegan’ because of the compromise she had to make with the food served, but it only lasted a few seconds. First, I appreciated Shannon’s candor and second, I thought that many vegan brides-to-be out there may be going through the same struggle, especially young couples financially depending on their family to help with the wedding cost. I think it was particularly important to feature her story considering the great effort she made so that every other detail of her day was animal-friendly.
Shannon, tell us about your wedding venue.
We got married at The Marmalade Lily outside Cincinnati in Loveland, Ohio. They are a working flower farm so all the flowers you could imagine are included in the venue price. They practice organic gardening and if not all the flowers were grown on property the others were sourced from local flower shops. We got married outside the venue on their beautiful grounds surrounded by trees, a pond, and gardens. Any florals left behind were donated to nursing homes.
Their team helped with the planning. We had a 6 month, 3 month, and 1 month meeting helping plan the flowers, exact set up, how things will run. etc. Everything ran like a breeze with them. Everything was set up besides my personal décor and they also give you a ‘day of coordinator’ so all my vendors were taken care of.
It’s definitely a very romantic and photo friendly venue! Let’s talk fashion now, what did you, Quint and your wedding party wear?
I chose Allure 9411 as my dress and simple Target nude block heels. I couldn’t pay a ton of money for fancy shoes that I will never wear again and wanted something re-wearable. My bridesmaids all picked their own dress from Azazie in the color dusk. Quint wore a light gray tux, brown faux leather shoes, and a champagne button up. Rented from Geno’s Tux Plus; why buy something you won’t wear again if you don’t have to. The groomsmen wore the same suit with grey ties.
Did you have a vegan hairstylist/make up artist?
I did! AV Beauty Bar from Cincinnati. They use all cruelty free/vegan products. They specialize using the brand R + Co and even their spray tan formula is organic and cruelty free, my first ever spray tan! Tiffany did hair and Kelly did makeup.
Back to the celebrations. What catering service did you use?
Golden Rule Catering for food. At cocktail hour they served fruit and a veggie trays, pita chips and hummus. At dinner they served a salad, breadsticks, and a pasta bar. Bars on Wheels was our drink caterer and provided an open bar, tea and lemonade.
Who made your wedding cake/desserts?
Our beautiful cake was prepared by Happy Chicks Bakery, an all vegan bakery in Cincinnati. It had four layers with vanilla with rose filling, chocolate with rose filling, lemon blueberry, and harvest which was like a pumpkin type of cake. We got SO many compliments that not only vegan cake was good, but it was the best cake ever!
Was your wedding all you wanted it to be?
It was. I feel happiest in nature and I loved being surrounded by trees turning color in the fall and beautiful florals. Really the most romantic setting. It was much colder than planned and drizzled a bit, but the mist and cloudy skies gave a lovely romantic hue in our photos.
Did you want to mention other vendors from the wedding?
We’d love to give a shout out to our videographer Wild in Lace who is vegan too! Also, not be stuck with junk after the wedding, we rented all décor! Florals, vases, and tablecloths were already provided by our venue The Marmalade Lily, but any added decor we rented from Okota Wedding Design which I feel is very sustainable. Truly overall we went very minimal on décor and such and let nature and florals be our beautiful backdrop.
Wishing Shannon and Quint a lifetime of happily ever after and for any bride interested in submitting their vegan wedding please reach out to us, we’d love to hear from you!
A feminist and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California where she lived for 15 years before moving back to her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.