Kirstie Shannon’s answer when asked, “How did you know Andrew Bodnar was THE one?” “I have always heard, ‘When you know, you know’, and I’d never really believed it to be true until that moment. In an instant, I knew with a certainty I’ve rarely experienced, and I have known ever since”.
They were friends first. Finding common ground over music concerts, mutual friends, and most of all.. Clemson football. It was when they both decided to grab lunch alone that it hit them both, like a slap in the face, there is something more here. She recalls, “As we stood there facing each other in the parking lot, I looked up at him and realized that we couldn’t hang out like this one-on-one anymore, or I would likely fall in love with him. Before I knew it, I was expressing these very words out loud–just as he bent down to kiss me. To say that we’ve been nearly inseparable ever since would not be an exaggeration. ”
Fast forward three years of falling in love, graduations, new jobs – they found themselves on a flight to the Bahamas with the whole Bodnar fam! For Kirstie the first day was a long day of travel and little beach time. She admits, “It had been a long day and I hadn’t slept much. I was, needless to say, in a shamefully crabby mood by the time we arrived that afternoon.” Andrew, being the pep-in-his-step kind of guy that he is, convinced Kirstie to take a walk on the beautiful beach of Eleuthera, an island in the Bahamas.
As they took a sit on the beach facing the clear blue ocean, Kirstie joked…”Well, are you ever going to ask me?” Andrew’s answer caught Kirstie off guard. Without a beat, Andrew replied. “Yes, now.” Kirstie recalls, “My eyes flew open, I sat straight up, and immediately burst into tears as I threw my arms around his neck and cried, ‘Thank you THANK YOU!!!,’ and ‘YES!!!!’.
They both sat there for a while on the beach, talking about when they would get married and how long he’d had the ring. All of the things one might discuss on such an occasion. As they sat, Andrew began absently filling up a now empty beer bottle with beautiful pink sand from where they sat– they brought the bottle, still full of sand, back from the Bahamas to Columbia SC – now a treasured souvenir. The rest of the vacation was filled with family celebration.
Their big day finally came. On May 5th 2017, Kirstie and Andrew said their vows looking over the Congaree River where the Gervais Street Bridge connects Columbia with the south and west parts of South Carolina. Their bridal party was made of a their siblings and closest friends from either childhood or college. During their bride and groom portraits following the ceremony, they shared, “It was just as we had imagined it would be.” The remaining hours of the evening were filled with laughter, stories, and pure celebration.
Florals – American Floral
Venue – Stone River
Bridal – Jo Lin’s Bridal
Entertainment – Partytime DJ
Hair/Make-Up – Reagan Love
Catering – Doc’s BBQ