Lake Tahoe, CA || The Chateau at Incline Village || 8.15.15
For a couple that stood the test of time and distance, Shannon and Noah’s special day was the most amazing way to celebrate love they have for each other. They chose Lake Tahoe because it’s a place they both enjoyed visiting when they were younger and say it’s somewhere they plan on bringing their future children as they grow up.
With a picturesque backdrop that included gorgeous greenery and never-ending trees, Shannon and Noah exchanged vows in front of about 200 family and friends at The Chateau at Incline Village. I’d never been to Lake Tahoe before and was blown away by the venue they chose. On top of that, I was really happy to see my dear friend get married to the love of her life.
But on this very happy day- my friend Shannon felt some heartache. Someone very important to her couldn’t be there: her dad. In the months leading up their wedding, he had to be hospitalized because of complications from cancer treatment. About a year before their wedding, doctors diagnosed David with a rare form of skin cancer. After undergoing surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, doctors declared him cancer-free but it came back. He ended up taking part in an experimental study that shut down his body, including his heart. At one point, he was in a coma for more than a month.
In the weeks leading up to their big day, Shannon says she was in denial her dad would not be able to attend. When she eventually came to terms with the realization that he would HAVE to miss out, she and Noah came up with a plan to make him a part of their celebration.
An iPad set up in the front row enabled David to watch the ceremony beginning to end via skype. At one point Shannon and Noah acknowledged his presence, even waving to him to show him some love!
During the reception, the father of the bride made another cameo with a prerecorded message for the couple and to guests. In the clip, he offered advice to Shannon and Noah and congratulated them on the very exciting step they were making in their relationship. There was not a dry eye in the room.
Throughout the night, Shannon’s cousin carried the iPad around, so he could feel like he was a part of the celebration. David watched from a rehab facility in San Francisco with a friend by his side and says he appreciated their efforts to make him feel like he was there.
And on her first day as Mrs. Grassi, Shannon took a detour on her way back home in San Diego, to surprise her Dad in San Francisco… in her wedding gown.
A year later, David is cancer free and has gained back much of the weight he lost (60 pounds)! He’s now making up for lost time by traveling with his wife, Shannon’s mom Joanne. This week, they will all make their way to Lake Tahoe along with Noah’s family.