SHANNON MILLER TURNER & JON TURNER
The grandfather of Shannon Turner (née Miller) met Jon Turner’s grandfather back in the 1930s, when they were both 17. As the daughter of legendary country artist Roger Miller, Shannon was born in California and spent her early childhood in Los Angeles. Her family then moved to Texas, where she grew up down the street from Jon. Yet they didn’t meet until they were adults, running into each other in an office while Shannon was home from college. “She was beautiful,” Jon remembers. They went on one date before she returned to school. Though Shannon didn’t think much of it at the time – “I was just enjoying my dinner,” she laughs – Jon knew he was with the woman he was going to marry. When the school year ended, they continued dating, and Jon proposed after six weeks. The couple wed in 1995.
For a while, Jon had suggested they renew their vows, but Shannon never thought it was necessary. Then, at the wedding of a friend’s child, she was so moved by their love that she knew she was ready. “I quietly leaned over to Jon and said, ‘Will you marry me?’” Shannon shares. The family had been through a lot together over the years – in 2008 they tragically lost their son at two months old. The vow renewal would be about “celebrating the strength of our family and that we made it,” the bride confides.
The event was intimate, with just 11 guests from three generations of friendships. “They are the people who mean the most to us in our lives. Because of them, the day was absolutely perfect,” Shannon muses. To show their appreciation, the Turners, who reside in San Antonio, Texas, flew their loved ones to Los Angeles, and then suprised them with a helicopter ride to Santa Barbara for the festivites. “They had no idea where they were going!” Jon exclaims. “It was, by all accounts, magical,” adds the bride. With the guidance of Alyson Fox of Levine Fox Events, the celebration was organized in just two months. “I can’t even imagine how she put it together so quickly,” Shannon gushes. “She absolutely created magic with very little time to plan.”
At sunset on a beautiful July evening, the bride walked down the aisle towards her husband of 21 years. Their 16-year-old son stood as the best man, while their five-year-old daughter served as flower girl. The spirit of their departed son was all around them, even in the design of the bridal gown. “Butterflies have always represented our son,” she explains. The bodice of her dress featured butterfly appliqués, and the ceremony overlooked Butterfly Beach. “I’ve been visiting for years and I never knew that was the name,” Shannon smiles. Though their loss was mentioned in their vows, the bride and groom made sure to highlight the strength of their family and their ability to hold each other up as a couple. “It was a celebration of life in a thousand different ways,” affirms Shannon of the day. “We felt his blessing on this reclaiming of joy.”
Following the emotional vow exchange, the Turner family and their loved ones enjoyed a candlelit dinner with the stunning Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. A wooden structure with verdant greenery and crystal chandeliers was suspended over the table, which featured lush white flowers with pops of lilac. “Shannon has perfect taste,” Jon says of the design scheme chosen by his wife.
With a wedding, a vow renewal, and over two decades of marriage for experience, the couple is especially suited for providing advice to future brides and grooms. “Relax and enjoy the journey of planning such a special occasion,” Shannon suggests. “I learned at our original wedding how stress can steal so much from your big day. I truly loved every minute of the vow renewal – even the unexpected ones!” Jon advises, “It really adds to the day if you just let it unfold rather than stressing over things you shouldn’t worry about.”