Shannon and Emily have been together for six years. They met for the first time on May 4th, 2013, at Shannon’s cheerleading banquet; Shannon’s cheerleading captain was Emily’s cousin and later her Matron of Honor.
Shannon was a UC Davis cheerleader, and both she and Emily were enrolled in UC Davis at the time. The next day was Cinco de Mayo, and they went to a party together. They spent most of the party sitting on the roof of the house, talking, and falling instantly in love. From that day forward, they couldn’t imagine life without each other. It was love at first sight.
Both acknowledge that they met their soulmate that day.
The proposals were extra fun because there were two!
Shannon proposed to Emily first. Choosing November 5th, 2016, because it marked their three-and-a-half-year anniversary. She went back to the roof where they’d been on that fateful day years ago, covered it with rose petals, and came up with a plan to get Emily up there so she could propose.
Shannon chose Emily’s engagement ring from Shane Company, and it is a three-stone setting with a round center diamond and vintage detailing, set in white gold.
A few weeks later, Emily returned the favor by proposing to Shannon in Shannon’s parent’s backyard in Humboldt County, deep in the Redwood forest. Emily had a family friend in the jewelry industry create Shannon’s engagement ring – a completely unique design. It’s set in white gold and features a three-stone setting and a round center stone, similar to Emily’s.
The brides wanted a wedding day vibe that was uniquely and deeply personal, representing their love and personalities. They wanted it to be romantic, adventurous, playful, and fun. Combining both their personalities into an event that demonstrated their love and connection to each other.
They used bright pops of color in the bridal bouquets with pink peonies, Shannon’s favorite flower, rusty rose bridesmaid dresses, and then incorporated a clean, elegant look in the barn with creamy white roses and plenty of greens. The barn was like a fairytale with tons of white draping, chandeliers, and fairy lights, along with the hand-painted votives and candlesticks.
There were about a million DIY projects. Shannon’s dad, Blaine, sourced the wood and built the brides’ personalized beer bar from scratch. Shannon’s mother, Brenda, found and painted over a hundred votives, vases, and candlesticks for the dinner tables. Brenda also designed the table settings, including the cream-colored roses in the vases and the greenery.
Much of the greenery used in the décor was picked and brought all the way from Shannon’s hometown in Humboldt County, hours north. The seating chart was written by one of Shannon’s best friends who specializes in freestyle handwriting, and the windows the chart was written on belong to Shannon’s family as well. Maybe most spectacular of all, the trailer used to transport guests was built by Shannon’s family and family friends. It featured a couch and chairs attached to the trailer’s surface, and the trailer was pulled up and down the hill to move guests and family. The trailer also drove both brides to the bottom of the ridge after their ceremony, and was driven by their close family friends.
It was the most magical day. One of the very best moments for the brides was the time they took ahead of the ceremony to be alone and read each other their personal vows. They met for the first look on a sea cliff overlooking the ocean, held hands, and poured their hearts out to each other. It was one of the most emotional moments of the entire day.
Also, the brides came up with the best hashtag ever: #nomannforshan. It was perfect because Shannon is taking Emily’s last name, which is Nomann, and because what more perfect name is there for two girls marrying each other than Nomann? It was just too good.
They danced the night away with all their friends and family, made s’ mores, sang their favorite songs, and in general, had the best day ever.
To quote the brides’ written vows: marriage means sharing a home, your morning coffee, and a life together in love. It’s absolute trust and security. It’s putting each other above all else. When it’s the right person, you do all these things without thought, anyway. The person you marry should be just your favorite person, ever, and that’s true for Shannon and Emily.
Their differences complement each other, and there’s no one they’d rather be within this world.
Emily and Shannon are each other’s greatest adventure.
Photography by Anni Graham