Shannon & Drake’s Summer Wedding at the Grand Geneva

November 5, 2018

Shannon and Drake met in college at the University of Illinois. They got engaged during a magical family vacation to Disney World and Universal Studios. “My step-daughter is seven, so it was the perfect time to take her,” Shannon says. Everyone knew about the engagement except for Shannon—even her step-daughter. Once at Harry Potter World, everyone got wands and practiced spells all day. Standing on the bridge in front of Hogwarts Castle, Shannon’s mom requested a photo “for the Christmas card.”

“So we take the picture, and then my daughter starts to wave her wand at me,” Shannon recalls. “She says, ‘Hocus pocus, what will you say? Hocus pocus, turn Daddy’s way!’” Shannon turned to find Drake on one knee. “At this point, life slows down and I completely black out. I don’t remember a thing, except crying and nodding my head.”

Drake and Shannon set the date for a July wedding at the Grand Geneva. Everything from the rehearsal dinner to the ceremony, reception, and catering was handled by the Grand Geneva — even Shannon’s hair stylist and makeup artist! “The Grand Geneva really made our day what it was. They made it so effortless and catered to our every need.”

The ceremony was held outdoors, and Shannon and Drake wrote the entire thing themselves. “We incorporated so much of ourselves into it, and that made it really special,” Shannon says. “I said vows to our daughter and incorporated her as much as possible. My mother gave a speech about ‘choosing happiness,’ which has always been our motto. Even my father, a very Spock-like man, cried.”

Following the ceremony, photos were taken on the green at the Grand Geneva golf course, which Shannon describes as their “playground.” Ideal Impressions snapped the photos and filmed the day. “Ryan from Ideal Impressions really gave us an amazing photography experience.”

At the reception, to fill the space, Shannon tackled a long list of DIY projects. From custom photo and floral centerpieces at each table, to strings of tinkle lights and balloons, to welcome signage, to photo booth props — the list goes on! There was also a kids table with coloring books, bubbles, hula hoops, and glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Outside, guests could enjoy a game of Bags on a set that had been handcrafted by a friend for the bride and groom — or play beer pong, as a nod to Drake and Shannon’s college days, or sit around the fire pit and make some s’mores.

The Grand Geneva dinner included beef short ribs with sides like white cheddar mac ’n’ cheese and loaded mashed potatoes. For drinks, there was Spotted Cow for beer, and Shannon fondly remembers an “amazing Moscato from Caposaldo that went perfectly with the meal.” Dessert, also dreamed up by the Grand Geneva, was a white cake with strawberry filling — Shannon’s favorite!

Following dinner came a moment that sticks with Shannon the most: “Our first dance as the sun was setting. The light hit the dance floor just as everything faded away, and it was just my husband and I.” At the end of the day, Shannon says she wishes she’d known how fast it would go. “The day blew by so quickly, but my husband and I took little moments all day to just stop and smell the roses.”

Make-up & Hair~Cecilie in the Well Spa at the Grand Geneva
Rehearsal Dinner~The Grand Geneva
Ceremony~The Green View at the Grand Geneva
Reception~The Chalet at the Grand Geneva
Catering, Bartending & Cake~The Grand Geneva
Custom Signage~Shannon Quigley
Flowers~Lilypots, Lake Geneva
Music/Entertainment~A Personal Touch
Photography & Videography~Ideal Impressions Photography
Gown~Essence of Australia from Genevieve’s Bridal, South Barrington, IL
Formalwear~Men’s Wearhouse
Rings~James Allen, Rogers and Holland