Model and actress Shantel VanSanten has shown off her ultra-glamorous wedding dresses as she recalled tying the knot with Victor Webster three times over the course of three months.
The couple, who met filming the Hallmark movie Love Blossoms in 2016, said ‘I do’ in Pasadena, Napa, and Minnesota, Shantel said in a Brides profile.
Shantel, 36, initially planned on tying the knot with Victor, 48, twice – once in California and again in Minnesota – but decided to say ‘I do’ three times following the death of her grandfather, who was set to walk her down the aisle in one of the weddings.
They said ‘I do’ again and again! Model and actress Shantel VanSanten has shown off her ultra-glamorous wedding dresses as she recalled tying the knot with Victor Webster three times over the course of three months
The couple decided to tie the knot for the first time with a civil ceremony in Pasadena on the day of her late grandparents’ anniversary.
‘When my grandfather unexpectedly passed away on Father’s Day, the heartbreak was unbearable; I had been planning on him walking me down the aisle in Minnesota,’ Shantel told the site.
‘In the midst of my grief, I looked at Victor and said I wanted to do a spontaneous civil ceremony on my grandparents’ wedding date, August 9. The idea of my grandparents being reunited and watching over our ceremony from above gave me some peace.
‘They were married for 63 years had such a special, deep love. They were the example to me of how love is a choice and takes work. It wasn’t perfect, but their love was always pure.’
Intimate: The couple first tied the knot in a civil ceremony in Pasadena
Here comes the bride! Shantel married Victor a second tying wearing a Galia Lahav gown
The couple’s first wedding was held at Pasadena City Hall and ended up being the only ceremony her mother was able to attend after she landed in the ICU, where Shantel says she was ‘fighting for her life.’
‘We knew this was going to be a very intimate ceremony where we could be as honest and real as we wanted to,’ Shantel told Brides. ‘It wasn’t about entertaining anyone or telling any stories; instead it was about the raw, real and honest road that we have taken to get to this special day.’
The couple paid tribute to Shantel’s grandparents, and Victor even ended his vows with a line from a letter Shantel’s grandfather had written her grandmother during World War II.
‘With all my love and kisses, I remain your ever loving sweetheart and faithful husband,’ the touching line read.
Meaningful: The civil ceremony ended up being the only ceremony her mother was able to attend after she landed in the ICU, where Shantel says she was ‘fighting for her life’
The couple also exchanged rings once owned by her grandparents.
‘I had called my mother and asked if there was a ring of my grandfather’s I could give to Victor. She found an old vintage turquoise one from the ’40s and—unbeknownst to me—gave Victor a band of my grandmothers’, which he surprised me with. I was shocked when we went to exchange our rings and we each pulled one out from my grandparents,’ Shantel said.
Only three guests were present for the civil ceremony – Shantel’s mother, stepfather, and Victor’s mom. But her grandparents were not left out.
‘In so many ways, I felt their presence with us,’ Shantel said. ‘Although it was not planned, it ended up being the most beautiful day. We didn’t overthink it—just went with our hearts wide open. It was beyond memorable.’
The couple’s second ceremony took place two months later at Zakin Family Estate, a winery in Napa County, in October.
Paying tribute: Only three guests were present for the civil ceremony – Shantel’s mother, stepfather, and Victor’s mom. But her grandparents were not left out.
I do again! The couple’s second ceremony took place two months later at Zakin Family Estate, a winery in St. Helena, California, in October
She walked down the aisle wearing the Galia Lahav gown the Giovanna, which she described as a ‘celestial ball gown that is fully embroidered and scattered with crystal beads that replicate a galaxy.’
‘When I put it on, I was reminded of stargazing in the cornfields of my grandparents’ home in Minnesota. I knew we would be under a star-filled sky on the wedding night and it would feel seamless. The veil had a huge North Star embroidered on it to remind me of Victor, who is my light guiding me home.’
The couple exchanged vows a second time beneath two trees which they said represented them with their dog Nova serving as ring bearer.
‘Here were two trees which, when planted, were left to set a strong rooted foundation—and now after growing they found their branches intertwined and reaching to find sunlight together,’ Shantel said.
Blushing bride: ‘When I put it on, I was reminded of stargazing in the cornfields of my grandparents’ home in Minnesota,’ Shantel said of the gown
Family affair: She was walked down the aisle by her stepfather as her sister sang At Last with her aunt Diane officiating the ceremony
She was walked down the aisle by her stepfather as her sister sang At Last.
Shantel said she was ‘beyond grateful’ having her stepfather there in light of her mother’s health issues.
‘My stepfather—I call him Dad—has been in my life since I was four,’ Shantel said. ‘He wasn’t going to be able to come as my mother was in the ICU and he didn’t want to leave her side. We had a conference call Saturday morning with the doctors, and she was stable enough for him to come. So he got to be there to walk me down the aisle. I was beyond grateful for this moment with him.’
She also had a private conversation via FaceTime with her mother before the ceremony: ‘Those few minutes I will treasure forever. The memory and her words will live forever in my heart and we know she was there in every heartbeat throughout the day.’
Mr. and Mrs.! Guests celebrated the newlyweds at the Zakin Family Estate
And the wedding was officiated by her aunt Diane: ‘Shortly after we decided when and where [to get married], we asked Diane to officiate and she very excitedly agreed,’ Shantel said.
‘Then a few weeks later, she was hospitalized and we got debilitating news that she had terminal renal cell cancer and it had already spread to her brain. Victor and I flew to South Dakota to be at her side. We wanted to help give her strength as she began the fight and we bonded even more closely. In the midst of all the radiation and treatments, she kept gathering quotes and details from friends and family; she kept planning her speech. She has the best spirit and warrior’s attitude; she has been a shining example of resiliency to us through everything this year.’
Guests celebrated afterwards at an outdoor reception where a long black dining table and plush furniture awaited her 48 loved ones.
‘The main dinner table was one long, black, dramatic wood table for 48 guests,’ she said. ‘The color of the table allowed the softer tones and metal elements to pop.’
Just look at you! Victor couldn’t believe his eyes as he gazed at his bride
Their third wedding was themed ‘vintage and prairie-inspired’ and was held near Shantel’s hometown in Minnesota.
‘We knew for this wedding we wanted it to feel more like home,’ she said. ‘Less glamorous and more grounded; lots of handmade elements and influences from my childhood inspiring our choices. Rustic, approachable, intimate, and, as always, romantic.’
She wore another Galia Lahav wedding dress, which Brides described as a ‘a sculptural French lace mermaid style with mutton sleeves.’
‘I knew,’ Shantel said. ‘It was so clear this was the exact vibe I wanted for that wedding. It was the one thing I kept coming back to for inspiration as I designed the rest of the wedding and reception elements. I could envision the whole wedding when I saw myself in this dress.’
Always and forever: Their third wedding was themed ‘vintage and prairie-inspired’ and was held near Shantel’s hometown in Minnesota
‘It has a lot of meaning for me’: They said ‘I do’ again beside a rock quarry in Blue Mounds State Park which Shantel used to climb as a child
Victor wore a burgundy wool suit from Scotch & Soda which Shantel said ‘matched the surrounding rocks and fall palette we envisioned.’
They said ‘I do’ again beside a rock quarry in Blue Mounds State Park which Shantel used to climb as a child. ‘It has a lot of meaning for me,’ she said.
Aunt Diane was back as officiant, and ‘called on the 60 guests to take a moment of pause to ground themselves and capture the moment,’ according to Brides.
‘Victor and I stood for that minute taking it all in, when all of the sudden the wind picked up and I instantly knew it was my grandparents’ way of letting me know they were there,’ she said.
‘I whispered this to Victor; not five seconds later out of the sky fell a bright yellow leaf, which landed on Victor’s right shoulder. There were no trees around us in the area and he kept looking for where it came from. We now know it was their blessing.’
She was walked down the aisle by her biological father Steve.
Afterwards, the guests danced the night away to music spun by Shantel’s brother’s best friend.
‘We hired my brother’s best friend, who is a DJ,’ Shantel said. ‘He kept us dancing until 12:30 when I couldn’t feel my toes anymore.’
They have chemistry! The couple met filming the Hallmark movie Love Blossoms in 2016