We invite you into an eclectic, woodland wonderland of a wedding at the Oak Lodge venue! With a rustic backdrop, the Sparano’s tied the knot in a colorful & whimsical style like no other. Spring rings in the start of the wedding season with love & laughter as each couple’s vision comes to life on our Laurel Highlands hilltop. Imagery provided by Kavanaugh Photography – Check out their website to add to your event’s vendor list: kavanaughphotography.com.
Where does the story begin?
Shannon + Keith met each other on the world wide web after both “swiping right” which basically means, “I think you’re cute”. After exchanging numbers, Shannon unintentionally “ghosted” Keith for a week. She was unaware what ghosting meant and that Keith was waiting for her to text him back. After that suspenseful week and Shannon finally texting him back, they met up for a date at the Office Tavern & Grill in Morristown, NJ just before Valentine’s Day in 2016!
Phase 2: Popping the Question!
On December 18, 2020, Keith took Shannon out to one of her favorite restaurants, Tabor Road Tavern, for a COVID “stuck at home pick-me-up” evening out. Unbeknownst to her, a secret team of proposal pawns were decorating the house with 50 balloons carrying photo memories of the couple. Upon their return, Shannon was filled with exciting nerves as Keith presented THE BOX. She of course said YES!
Saying YES to the Venue
Shannon knew that finding a venue halfway between MI, where she grew up, and NJ, where they live now, was the key to the location. The Pittsburgh surrounding area was just the perfect middle spot! They both had similar tastes in a venue: rustic charm, outdoors & woodlands. While swiping through the Wedding Spot app Shannon had secretly hidden in her phone prior to the proposal, she came across Oak Lodge and it was an immediate LOVE. In April 2021 they visited four venues in the Laurel Highlands area, with Oak Lodge being the first. They explain that seeing the following three were difficult as Oak was their favorite going into the tour and leaving. They loved how everything was in one location and ADORED the site accommodations, as they knew their guests would love the cabins as well. They exclaimed that staff was great from the get-go, it oozed charm, and screams “get married here!”
Favorite wedding day memory?
Both Shannon + Keith agreed that their favorite wedding day memory was their First Look!
“We set Keith up in front of the waterfall near the Main Lodge. I warned him ahead of time I would be wearing a tad bit more makeup than I usually do, so be nice. I glanced over as I was walking to him and saw all his groomsmen looking out the windows of the main lodge at us. It was so cute. Keith’s reaction as he turned around, I will always remember. Misty eyed and quiet but whispered, ‘You’re beautiful.’ When he gets quiet, I’ve learned he likes what he sees.” – Shannon
“I was standing there looking at the pond and waterfall, it was just so calm and peaceful. I had no clue so many others were watching. When I turned around and saw Shannon, she took my breath away. From her hair and the blue clip, her ruby red lips, the green floral lace accents, her just-right shade of emerald heels, and the style of her beautiful dress! I held back a tear and had to really stop myself from kissing her right on the lips and ruining her makeup. I only messed it up a tad…worth!” – Keith
Fill us in on the Fashion!
A wedding party with retro, show stopping attire ready to move & groove the night away was another cherry on top for this couple’s big day! The bride’s dress includes part of her late mother’s wedding dress, designed by the bride with help and sewing by mother-in-law, Suzy Sparano. With styles inspired by the 1950’s, the gals wore swing dresses in vibrant shades of green with blue petticoats & guys sported 3-piece, tweed suits from the UK with mismatched green ties gifted from the groom. Shannon’s bouquet & Suzy’s corsage were crafted by Danas Paper Flowers using paper pages from Harry Potter & music sheets. The gals modeled macrame hoops by The Twisted Thread with faux greenery added by the bride. The party isn’t complete without a dinosaur! Boutonnieres displaying a wood shield, burned stitches, mini dinosaurs, and faux greens were hand-made by Shannon with inspiration from Pinterest.
Insight into the Theme
The couple describes their event theme as rustic, retro-inspired, Wes Anderson-esque, with a touch of nostalgia. As guests are welcomed into the Village, I Do Brews crafted IPA & champagne await to cheers to the day for pre-ceremony toasts. Vintage furniture backdrops from Old Souls Vintage Rental invite guests to mingle and bring in their Wes Anderson look. Making sure to include EVERYTHING they love in their lives & that just makes them smile, small details included: their parent’s marriage photos, cats, lite brites, the art of 3D printing, origami, vintage, and quirky, old stuff galore!
Favorite setup in the Village?
The talk of the town was on Happy Camper Cupcakes! The couple raved that their setup was so adorable & the desserts were divine. With the quaint camper parked outside the Chapel, guests could take a stroll after dinner to grab a sweet treat. Cookies, macarons, and a selection of scrumptious cupcakes to choose from were charmingly displayed.
Any special moments to share from the day?
“Something that really set the mood of the whole wedding for me was during the first few moments of the ceremony. When Shannon was walking down arm in arm with her dad, she looked to her left and saw a friend of mine Sean, whom I have called Tiger since college. Shannon had never met him before this very moment and through my stories and jokes, she recognized him. She stopped in the middle of her walk and gasped and said all excited, ‘TIGER!’. Everyone laughed, everyone smiled, and I saw the joy of my life having the best day of hers. The rest of the wedding went off without a hitch and that atmosphere carried right on through to the end. Our loved ones just being part of the entire experience.” – Keith
“A friend had told me that it goes by so fast so make sure to stop and take in moments. I did this during the wedding ceremony! Just stopped, take a look around at all our loved ones who traveled to be with us, and took in the chapel and all its glory… it was perfect. Take your moments! I also included a home video of dad and I from back in the day when we jammed out to a Herman’s Hermits’ song. We included that in our father/daughter dance. It was great being able to show people the good-ole days with Dad. It was a sure crowd-pleaser.” – Shannon
Cheers to the Sparano’s!
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