Stand There and Watch it Burn Then Plan the Wedding Anyway
Newburgh, NY: Shannon Tremper and Kevin De Gennaro were re-introduced at a rooftop party in the summer of 2011. It was the kind of moonlit moment that can spark a lifelong romance - especially for Kevin who became determined that it was his destiny to win Shannon as his future wife despite any obstacle.
Tough words to swallow for the single Mom of a young 7-year-old girl, even harder to believe after a series of dating disasters and failed relationships that left her wanting to raise her young daughter in solitude.
Shannon's daughter, Ava
"I think I was fed-up. Kevin was the opening door type, bringing me flowers. He was just so much different, brought up with respect. His father taught him that. His father brings his mother flowers like once a week,"
The De Genarros, Kevin explains, are obsessed with each other and the best of friends. The two have been married over 30 years.
Shannon's parents have faced some obstacles in recent years. Her father, now in remission, battled cancer and financial woes caused by the medical bills that accompanied the illness. They lost their house under the burden but worked through it together as a team. Most recently, the couple just celebrated their 25th silver wedding anniversary.
The family was in need of some good news, and it was well on its way by spring 2012. In May, while on their way to a cupcake festival, Shannon nearly uncovered the engagement ring papers that would reveal Kevin's plans. Instead, his Hudson Valley proposal from the top of a scenic tower several months later took her completely by surprise.
The couple began saving for what they hoped would be a lavish beach wedding on 4th of July weekend in 2013. Plans changed when Shannon's 1800's farm house apartment burned to the ground due to the negligence of a neighbor this past March. Everyone, including her two dogs, escaped unharmed, but they lost almost everything in the blaze to smoke damage.
Thankfully Ava - Shannon's daughter - wasn't home at the time. A friendly fundraiser brought in a few hundred dollars for the couple - just enough to rent a moving van to take what little was left and relocate to Long Island near Kevin's family. The landlord refused to credit Shannon the remainder of March's rent or return her security deposit. The series of unfortunate events left her 6k out-of-luck. The wedding was signed away on the dotted line of first and last month's rent at the new house.
So there were a few cutbacks. First the guest list, then the location, next the menu. But, thankfully not the dress. Shannon will be draped in the finest of white beaded gowns on July 4th when she marries Kevin in the borrowed backyard of a family member with a house on the bay in Long Island. Ava will have a matching mini bride gown to show support for Mom's decision to marry someone who loves and adores her.
What is the bride looking forward to most of all? Well, marrying her best friend of course....
"I love the way I fit into his arms, I can’t fall asleep without him. I tell him everything, completely trust and just want Him.
Shannon and her Dad will dance at the wedding to Heartland's 'I Loved Her First'
Kevin, Shannon and Ava live in Long Island with their two dogs: Henny - and 8-year-old mini Doberman pincher; and Rio – a 1-year-old Red-nosed pitbull. Shannon will begin pursuit of her bachelor's degree at Long Island University in the fall, and Kevin is a member of the carpenters union local 290.