Photography by Ruth Hendricks
Shannon Smith and Brian Vukmir grew up just a few blocks apart in Highland Park. Brian was a friend of Shannon’s older brothers, but being four years her senior, Brian nary considered her more than a friend. “She was the little sister!” he explains.
They might have remained just friends had Shannon not made the first move. She bravely asked him out in July 2004, and their relationship made its first move from platonic to romantic.
Brian affirmed their amorous status in March 2006. The pair stopped at a bed and breakfast while vacationing on Amelia Island, Fla. Shannon entered the room to find Champagne and dozens of red roses.
Twirling around in surprise, Shannon received an even greater shock — Brian down on one knee, proffering an engagement ring.
“Are you serious?” she said.
“Is that a yes?” he responded hopefully.
“Yes, it’s a yes!” she exclaimed.
They wed at Sacred Heart Church in Shadyside on April 21, 2007, in a ceremony Shannon describes as “surreal.”
The bride wore an all-lace Eugenia gown from Anne Gregory for the Bride. She carried white and hot pink hydrangeas, roses, and tulips. In raw-silk gowns of apple-martini green, her 10 bridesmaids brought a bright burst of color to the altar as well.
A reception followed at Fox Chapel Golf Club. Neon pink, green, and orange flower arrangements popped against dazzling white tablecloths. Hundreds of candles added sparkle.
The John Parker Band performed after the newlyweds’ first dance to Van Morrison’s “Someone Like You” as 230 guests then delved into dinner and dessert. The cake was a four-tier confection adorned with sugar orchids and infused with raspberry filling — Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery prepared a feast for the eyes and palate.
They honeymooned in St. Thomas and now reside in Fox Chapel, where their relationship proves, with matters of the heart, it doesn’t matter who makes the first move.