After 10 years of courtship, Virgil Abloh knew he’d have to be especially creative when planning his proposal to girlfriend Shannon Sundberg so that she wouldn’t grow suspicious. Virgil decided to ask Shannon to drop him off at the airport for a work-related trip as she normally did; they said their goodbyes and Shannon routinely jumped out of the car to run over and take the driver’s seat. When she reached the other side of the vehicle, Virgil was waiting for her on one knee. “I was completely surprised – I couldn’t believe it!” remembers Shannon.
The bride and her mother were excited to begin the preparations for the big day. Virgil admits that he let Shannon do the majority of the planning: “I played more of a supportive role, helping to filter ideas and decide between options.” After visiting a handful of possible wedding sites, Shannon chose a luxurious hotel where she undoubtedly felt the most comfortable. “I just sort of felt at home and I made my final decision based on that feeling,” explains Shannon of her venue selection. The stylish couple focused on planning a celebration that was distinctively unique. “We wanted to include interesting design details and fashionable elements,” describes the bride. Shannon’s favorite shade of purple was immediately chosen as the basis of the color scheme, while pink tones were later added to complement her spectacular pale pink Amsale gown.
The ceremony space was warmly illuminated by hundreds of candles in varying heights that edged the ends of rows of seating while dramatic lighting lent an amethyst tint to the room. A gorgeous, slightly curved aisle was created using deep purple carpeting that featured a custom-lit monogram. Bridesmaids dressed in floor-length aubergine gowns carried small nosegays of fuchsia roses, while the bride held a bouquet of maroon calla lilies encircled by roses that offset her blush gown and vibrant purple pumps. Wanting to add personalization to their vow exchange, Shannon and Virgil had written their own special promises to read to each other. “The funny part is that we wrote them separately – and didn’t share them with each other – but they were very similar!” exclaims the bride.
Boasting dazzling crystal chandeliers and lovely mood lighting, the picturesque ballroom was enhanced with an elegant design scheme crafted especially for the reception. Round tables covered in understated lavender linens were balanced with eye catching floral arrangements. Centerpieces consisted of either short silver bowls filled with roses, dendrobium orchids, mini calla lilies, hydrangeas, and lisianthus blossoms in a lively palette of pink and purple shades, or tall silver candelabras adorned with the like. Each table offered a mixture of chocolate truffles for guests’ enjoyment at their leisure.
For a unique twist on the traditional “head table,” the couple’s wedding consultant suggested that Shannon and Virgil sit at a different guest table for each course of the dinner’s French-style service. “We had so many people travel from all parts of the world… we wanted to spend quality time with each of them,” explains Shannon. The couple delightfully shifted to various tables, seated with bridal party members, siblings, or friends. “No one knew what we were doing!” remembers the bride. “There were just two extra table settings at particular tables and once we were finished with one course, we would go surprise the next table.”
After slices of the couple’s white chocolate-filled cake were served, Virgil was handed a microphone for an impromptu speech. “His words were so heartfelt and sincere,” describes Shannon. “He had everyone laughing, crying, and then smiling… it’s the one moment I was dying to see on our wedding video.” Virgil humbly adds that the most unique part of the wedding process was the people involved: “The stress and strain never outweighed their good-natured hearts. More than anything, this was what created the most special evening of our lives, and we are so thankful.”