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Through Fitness & Family
Shannon and Enea met at Xperience Fitness in Waukesha about eight years ago. They had some mutual friends at the gym, but it took Enea a while to get up the courage to talk to Shannon. When he eventually struck up a conversation, the two never looked back.
Enea proposed in 2018 in the presence of both their families. “We have pretty large families, so it’s difficult to arrange gatherings, especially around the holidays. However, we had a big family dinner the night before Thanksgiving of 2018.” The entire family knew that Enea was going to propose that night. He had even asked for her father’s blessing. Just as dinner was about to begin, Enea grabbed Shannon’s arm to stand up as he got down on one knee.
In Sickness & Health
Even before exchanging their vows, Shannon and Enea’s relationship was tested. “We had a rough start to 2019.” In February, Enea suffered a groin injury while playing basketball. “We thought nothing of it at the time, but the injury never really went away.” Shannon is a nurse and thought his symptoms were concerning. Following an ultrasound, Enea was diagnosed on March 6th with Stage 3 testicular cancer.
On March 10th, he and Shannon were legally married. Enea went in for surgery, but it wasn’t enough to cure the cancer—he had to endure four months of aggressive chemotherapy. “It was four long months of struggling mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. We made it work.” On July 15th, about one month before their original intended wedding date in August, Enea’s oncologist officially declared him cancer-free!
The August Wedding
Shannon says they went for a “classy, modern style” with flowers that celebrated the transition of summer into fall. The flowers were one of her favorite parts of the day. “Our colors were more of a color palette: reds, burgundy, hot pink, light pink, purples, peach, and ivory.” The ceremony, reception, and rehearsal dinner all took place at The Ridge in Lake Geneva.
To look their best on the big day, Enea and Shannon both turned to All About the Gown in Lake Geneva to find their finery. Shannon’s advice for dress shopping: “If you have to, try on dresses by yourself and get what you truly want. I wasn’t happy with my first dress because I chose it based off the opinions of the people who were with me. I went alone the second time to a different boutique and fell in love with a dress that was exactly what I wanted.”
Shannon and Enea’s ceremony was held outside at The Ridge under the pavilion. “It was over-cast, no rain—warm, but not too warm! There was lots of greenery and flowers, and a view of the lake in the background.” Shannon says she’ll never forget walking down the aisle and seeing Enea’s face light up. She also loved glimpsing her tearful little brother, who was a groomsman.
The bride and groom made the ceremony special with a glass bead pour ceremony. “It’s very similar to the sand pour ceremony, but with glass beads. We ordered beads from Unity in Glass. We were able to pick a few colors of glass beads that we could pour into a vase during our ceremony. The glass beads were then sent back to Unity in Glass to be blown into a custom-made vase for us.”
Enea and Shannon were particularly impressed by the food and drinks at The Ridge: “It was all amazing and we received so many compliments!” They had decided early on that food and drink would be a major part of their wedding. “Enea’s family is Albanian, so a lot of their food is similar to Italian or Green foods. Many of our guests were Albanian and many of them were from out of the country as well, so we wanted to cater to both American and Albanian tastes.” There was a large antipasto display during cocktail hour, passed hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar. For dinner, The Ridge served salad, a palette cleanser, choice of prime rib or mahi mahi, and cake for dessert. Pizzas were the late-night snack.
Even more than the delicious food and wonderful service at The Ridge, Shannon and Enea say their favorite part of the reception was Shannon’s dad’s speech and general sense of gratitude and celebration in the air. “Shannon’s dad spoke of our troubled 2019. Our entire August wedding was highly emotional. It was about family and friends being close and celebrating life.”
|Chris Mariani Band
|Makeup by Jenna, Milwaukee WI
|Hair by Smash, Milwaukee WI
|Design That Flies, Milwaukee WI
|Rehearsal Dinner, Ceremony, Reception, Catering and Bartending
|The Ridge, Lake Geneva WI
|Julie Michelle Cakes, Harvard IL
|Treasure Hut Flowers, Delavan WI
|DJ Felix Entertainment, Lake Geneva WI
|Weddings by Jennifer Fox, Chicago IL
|Peter A. Wagner Photography, Milwaukee WI
|Lisa Hoppe Travel Consulting, Milwaukee WI
|Old North Film Co., Chicago IL
|Wedding Dress Designer
|Mon Cheri Enchanting
|Bridal Boutique for gown and maids’ gowns and Men’s Formalwear
|All About the Gown, Lake Geneva
|All Linens, Rentals, Furniture
|Elegant Presentations, Chicago IL