Destination Beach Wedding: Carissa Loethen and Shanon Culiner

Featured Sliders / Stories / Travel / May 11, 2016

Engaged on Christmas Eve 2014 at Nobu, a famous sushi restaurant in the iconic beachside community of Malibu, California, Carissa Loethen, and Shanon Culiner were married in March in Key West, Florida. A honeymoon in the Grand Bahamas followed their nuptials.

The E! News Now host for E! Online in Los Angeles, Loethen (featured in the January/February 2014 issue of HER), a Jefferson City native, chose the destination because it was part of the couples history.

“We had vacationed in the Florida Keys and just love the atmosphere. It’s a place that forces you to relax. It’s beautiful, sunny, fun, everything you’d want for your wedding!”

They chose the Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey outpost in Islamorada, a village of islands off the Florida Keys, for their laid-back wedding and reception.

“We wanted our event to reflect beachside elegance,” Loethen said. “We wanted the wedding to be both beautiful and romantic, but still we also wanted it to be a true party.”


All six were from Jefferson City. Andrea Strong served as maid of honor and the bridesmaids were Kelsey Lenox, Jessica Vossen, Lauren Holt, Kristin Crane and Carolyn McKinney. “They wore gorgeous Joanna August gowns for the wedding, and I think they all looked stunning.”
Kelsey Lenox, cousin and bridesmaid, from Marshall & Company in Jefferson City did Loethen’s hair. Lenox and Melissa Chick from La Sienne in Jefferson City did all the bridesmaids’ hair.




Three were from Jefferson City–Loethen’s brothers, Kyle and Chad, and Derek Patten. The groom’s brother, Devon Culiner, served as best man, and his two close friends Ben Eng and Faustino Villavacencio.
“They wore Perry Ellis linen pants, white button-up shirts and light pink ties. They wore canvas-colored Tom’s shoes. All of the guys looked very handsome.”


The Dress

Love and Lace Bridal Salon in Irvine, California.
“I was about to give up on finding my “dream dress” until I found this one. It was fitted, with a long train, and had a slight embellishment around the waist. I truly felt like me in the gown.”

Groom’s Attire

Perry Ellis linen suit, white button up shirt, light pink tie and a “sweet” pair of Robert Wayne slip-on shoes.


Photo by Roberto Ojeda
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Reception Decor

“Pink linens covered our tables and we had beautiful string lights hanging from above.
In lieu of traditional table numbers, we named each one after something with significant meaning to us…like our dogs’ names, my alma mater, the University of Missouri, and favorite ice cream, etc.”


Floral Fantasy & Gifts in Islamorada, Florida


Sweet Savannahs created the cupcakes, cake and s’more bar. The bride and groom had their own small cake. Guests were served multiple flavors of regular-sized and mini-sized cupcakes, as well as the groom’s cake, which was in the shape of a football and represented his two favorite teams: The Miami Hurricanes and The Miami Dolphins. A s’mores bar featured different marshmallow flavors and a variety of chocolates. A variety of Italian ice flavors from New York’s Italian Ice King were also served. “We had lots of desserts at our wedding!”


DJ Buggy
“Rusty Lemmon sang on acoustic guitar for the ceremony. He was joined by steel drum player, Van Bertie for our cocktail hour. “We also surprised our guests with a traditional Bahamian dance performance by Sunshine Junkanoo. It was also a surprise to the bride!”

Rehearsal Dinner

Islamorada Fish Company
“The rehearsal dinner was gorgeous! We sat right by the ocean. The tables were decorated with multiple colored vases and flowers. There was a full raw bar for appetizers, which included shrimp, crab, mussels and more. Dinner had steak, tuna, pasta and delicious sides.”

Football Game

The day before the wedding we had a bride versus groom flag football game! The groom’s team wore green and orange jerseys to represent Shanon’s favorite, The Miami Hurricanes. The bride’s team’s colors were black and gold to represent Mizzou. “It was actually a close game, we ended in a tie.”

Special Guests

Scotty Cox from “Scotty and Cara in the Morning” on KCLR-FM, Clear99, attended the wedding. Loethen used to serve as his co-host of the popular, award-winning country music radio show.


Grand Bahamas
We spent a lot of time relaxing in the sun, and now that the wedding diets were over, we treated ourselves with great food, drinks and desserts!

Wedding Favors

Guests received welcome bags in their hotel rooms, which contained locally made Key Lime cookies, sunscreen, chap stick, bottled water, rubber bands, chips, mints, Advil and specially made Koozie cups. “We also gave out flip-flops to the girls at the wedding dance.”


Roberto Ojeda


White Orchid Studios

Wedding Consultant

Liz Seligman with Island Life Events
“We never could have pulled off this very special day without her!

Story by Shelley Gabert | Photos by Robert Ojeda

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