August 9, 2008, was a miraculous day for a remarkable woman. Carrie Shellhammer married her Knight-in-Shining-Armor, Zach Chown. The wedding was held at The Lodge at Tahoe Donner in front of 120 smiling (and tearful) guests. Carrie is a “miracle” as she had never expected to marry -rather for almost 8 years, she was dying, due to a genetic disorder causing pulmonary hypertension and other complicating disorders. She and her mother planned music for her funeral rather than for a future wedding. In December of 2003 Carrie underwent surgery for a lung transplant, receiving the organ from a 16 year old young man who’s life ended entirely too early. As recuperative months moved into years, Carrie beat the odds and is a survivor of a difficult and unpredicable transplantation.
These are the faces of a very happy couple listening to heartful and humerous toasts of many friends and family members.
The wedding cake design fit with the theme perfectly, and was created by D’lish Catering of Lake Tahoe. Gorgeous!
I love this photo of Carrie’s bridal bouquet. The contrast of the beautiful flowers against the natural mountain pine needles is awesome. All flowers were created by Thrans of Lake Tahoe.
The Lodge of Tahoe Donner is beautiful. Talking a walk to get away from all the wedding excitement is very nice.
All of the above photos were taken by Martin Johanneck. For further reading about Carrie’s story, please click here and read the San Francisco Chronicle article, and also view the video. It’s a very moving story.