Hi! My name is Shannon Carroll. I’m an artist, filmmaker, and Creative Director at Vivid Story. I grew up in Maryland, Vermont and Michigan, and I’ve lived in Brooklyn for five and a half years. I enjoy art, tea, dancing, strolling, and connection. Craig is originally from England and moved to the states to pursue a PhD in Comp Lit at UMass Amherst, and now works in civic tech.
What was most important aspect to you about the wedding day?
The most important aspect for us was that it would be authentic and easy. Originally we tossed around a few ideas, from the financially unrealistic (a castle in England!) to the very practical (City Hall in NYC). Once our friend Sally graciously offered to officiate for us, we knew we would have the ceremony at one of our favorite places in NYC just a few blocks from our apartment: Transmitter Park on the pier overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
I love how you guys alternated sharing your vows and exchanged crystal necklaces instead of rings. How did you write them and choose which sections to read together or separately?
Early in the process we were looking at rings online...and then quickly realized that neither of us actually enjoys wearing rings. Or earrings or bracelets. But we like necklaces. Maha Rose, a center for healing that opened up a block away from our apartment in Greenpoint when we moved here over four years ago. It’s a special place, and they sell beautiful jewelry handmade by the owner, Lisa Levine. It was a natural choice to source our wedding necklaces.
We wrote the vows to convey the sense of abundance and connection that we feel for each other. They started with a nested inside joke, referring to a scene in the sardonic British sitcom Peep Show, when one of the main characters deadpans the lyrics to The Shamen song Move Any Mountain during his vows. But we wanted to say them together to bask in the fun, and then we alternated sentences to balance our words equanimously.
One moment that sticks out to you?
We were all sitting in Transmitter Park by the river when we realized that there was another larger wedding party congregating at the start of the pier. We jumped up and rushed to the end of the pier to stake our place, flowers and vows and cameras in tow. It ended up being the perfect spot. Apparently another couple had the same idea of eloping at the end of the pier during an Indian summer Saturday in late September at sunset (d’oh). It was a very New York City moment.
Do you have a favorite photo from the day?
In the single hour we were with Quyn she captured a spectacular array of precious images. Hundreds of which we fondly look at and consider of eminent worth. Each one holds greatness.
When I think of my favorite there’s one I keep returning to. It’s ethereal with a soft focus and the tones of the sunset are gently caressing the contours of our bodies as we look out into the distance, enveloped by the mysteries and joys of life and the city. It looks like a photo I would have taken.
Any advice for someone about to get married?
It was liberating to sidestep the conventions and do what felt authentic to us. My advice to those who are about to get married is to follow your truth. Weddings are an important life ritual and opportunity to connect with those who matter in your life. There is something incredibly moving and beautiful about a traditional wedding. That said, be self-aware of what you want to do versus what you think you should be doing. Your wedding day should be a seamless transition into a married life motivated by honesty and fulfillment. What happens after the wedding day is the most important part, as Alain de Botton advises.
See more of Shannon & Craig's elopement photos here.