October 26, 2019
Venue Revolutions Bowling and Lounge, South Windsor
Photos Jennifer Cardinal Photography
When Shannon Murray and William Hunter Jr. stood at the altar of Hopewell Baptist Church in Windsor to say their “I dos,” there was a very special — not to mention quite handsome — junior best man standing by their side: their son, William Hunter III.
Shannon and Will both spent their high school years at Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies in Bloomfield, but didn’t start dating until the summer between their junior and senior year in 2009. “Will had a big personality, was definitely funny and he knew a lot of people,” remembers Shannon. Truth be told, he was also quite a “ladies man” and “very flirty,” says Shannon. So much so, that when Will asked her to prom junior year his future bride’s answer was a big ol’ “N.O.,” (which Will, of course, has never let her live down).
Nevertheless, Shannon and Will built a lasting relationship out of their friendship and eventually William III came along, which “was definitely a major adjustment for us,” recalls Shannon. “We had to grow up a lot faster than we would have, but in the end we both found our way — we just took a different route. The couple, who actually got engaged back in December 2013, but were just a bit busy raising a son, finally decided to set the date for 2019, the year that would mark their 10th anniversary together.
“The ceremony was the biggest thing for me,” says Shannon, who happens to be the granddaughter of a minister and great-granddaughter of the pastor who founded Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Hartford. “With it, we wanted to get back to the root of what it’s all really about.” After a sentimental ceremony that began with the bride’s brother, Khambrel, walking her down the aisle, and formal portraits in the golden light at Manchester’s Wickham Park, the couple celebrated in a ballroom tucked away at Revolutions Bowling and Lounge in South Windsor. (“You need to shop around when looking for a reception site,” Shannon advises brides-to-be. “You never know what you’re going to find.”)
The mothers of both the bride and the groom helped light a unity candle at the reception, where Shannon designed centerpieces built around photos of the couple from their high school years (sans prom picture, of course) through their engagement. The couple danced to “Spend my Life with You” by Eric Benét, and when the groom danced with his mother to Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You,” Shannon and William III joined them on the dance floor.
Overall, the entire day “exceeded my expectations,” says Shannon. It was “perfect from start to finish.” And the best part? “William III definitely felt like it was his day, too, which as a mom was what I wanted.”
officiant The Rev. David L. Massey
dress boutique Mariella Creations, Rocky Hill
bridesmaids’ dress boutique David’s Bridal
tuxedos JT Ghamo, Hartford
dj DJ Hawk/Hot 93.7 Farmington
flowers JReese Elegant Engagements
cake Sassy Mama Sweets, Southington
videographer EanJay, Windsor
photo booth Luna PhotoLounge, Wallingford
hair Blackberry Brown Naturals, Hartford
makeup Makeup by Ashlee, Windsor
bridesmaids’ hair Extraordinhair, Bloomfield/Charmaine’s Hair Designs, Hartford
transportation Jo-Ryu Security, Hartford