• Posted by Matt & Natalie •
To help get everyone in the holiday spirit, we wanted to share a long overdue post of one of our most unique weddings. Looking back through these photos reminded us just how much we love this crazy couple. Brian and Shannon's big day started off with a pretty traditional church wedding, but by the end of the day they had danced with a flash mob, taken vintage wedding portraits outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art (completing the look with a Rolls Royce, fedora for the groom and faux fur shrug for the bride), had their wedding cake delivered to them by the Phillie Phanatic on the stage of the Electric Factory and had their first dance on that same stage in front of a few hundred (maybe thousand?) people dressed up as Santa Claus and various other holiday characters. To say it was a memorable day may be a bit of an understatement.
Shannon was one of Fairmount Photography's very first clients when we began as a sports team photography business. We've been taking portraits for Rising Stars, her dance and cheerleading school, for the past 5 or 6 years, and it's been so fun to watch our businesses grow together.
We were so excited when Shannon told us she was getting married, and even more-so when she filled us in on her plans. She and fiancé Brian were going to ditch the traditional wedding reception and celebrate at the event where they had met two years earlier and where Brian had proposed the previous year: The Running of the Santas.
Their mid-December wedding day started like any other normal celebration with a traditional ceremony at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Millville, NJ. Shannon definitely looked the part of the winter bride by topping her beautiful A-line gown with an elegant white faux fur stole and a bouquet of red roses. Brian and the guys sported plenty of their own style, wearing gray-striped cravats instead of ties, dark gray, striped pants and jackets with long tails.
After the ceremony though, they threw tradition to the wind, and their personalities really started to shine through.
Everyone filed into the school hall for a holiday-themed flash mob featuring many of the students from Shannon's Dance Studio, plus Santa, a giant gingerbread man and the bride & groom right in the middle. Then the happy couple hopped into the back of a vintage Rolls Royce headed for Philly.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art was the backdrop for their bridal portraits, and Brian totally worked the camera. The antique car was such a perfect accessory to complete their classic look. Their hotel was right next to Philadelphia City Hall, so we took a few more portraits there before the real craziness began.
Next stop was Finnegan's Wake Irish Pub, where the Annual Running of the Santas kicks off. This is where a couple hundred, maybe thousand, people dressed up as Santa and other holiday characters, who have all been drinking since about 1 in the afternoon, "run" about 5 blocks from Finnegan's Wake to the Electric Factory for a huge music festival to wrap up the night.
At the Electric Factory, Brian & Shannon were invited up to the stage so that the Phillie Phanatic and the founders of the Running of the Santas could present their wedding cake and they could have their first dance. It was a truly awesome experience, and these two definitely enjoyed every minute!
This past year, we had the chance to catch up with this great couple two more times as Brian's sister tied the knot in September and then his brother in October. Since Brian's oldest sister is already married, 6-year-old Troy is the last unmarried Vallery sibling.
Shannon & Brian, Happy 2nd anniversary! We're so glad that you're part of our Fairmount Photography family. Thanks for including us in your truly epic wedding day, and then recommending us to Brian's siblings. We look forward to catching up with you again in 20 or so years when Troy ties the knot (and hopefully a few times in between) :)