An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh’s Most Famous Sites: Laura & Joe

Now you know this wedding blogger is totally loving this engagement session at some of Pittsburgh's most famous sites…

Pittsburgh is famous for a lot of things.  Steel.  Six Super Bowl rings.  French fries on sandwiches.  You know…all the important things in life.  But what do I personally love the most about our city?  The landscape.  You can go from mountaintops to waterfronts to urban gridlock to green spaces pretty quickly (and you might even take an incline to get there).  That's what makes us so special.  Pittsburgh is varied and unique and full of surprises.  Put them all into one engagement session and I'm one happy yinzer.  Laura and Joe took in some of the best sites that Pittsburgh has to offer when they shot their pre-wedding photos with Ayres Photography.  From Mount Washington to Station Square to the Clemente Bridge to Heinz Field, and so many places in between, this soon-to-be-married couple wanted to pay homage to the city where they fell in love and started their life together.  I'd say mission accomplished.  Pittsburgh, you've never looked better.

An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides An Engagement Session at Pittsburgh's Most Famous Sites from Ayres Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the photographer…

When and how did the these two meet?
Joe and Laura met through a mutual friend/family member who thought they would make the perfect couple.  The matchmaker is Laura's cousin and one of Joe's best friends.  When asked about the possibility of a set-up, Laura responded she was “too busy” for a boyfriend, and Joe (like a typical man) asked to see a picture.  Well, he must have liked what he saw because two years later he popped the question!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
The proposal was a complete surprise!  Joe planned to propose on New Years Eve in Buffalo, where they spend each year celebrating with Laura's closest friends.  Because the couple lives in Pittsburgh, it was important to Joe that the proposal would be in a location that was special to Laura.  In between a romantic dinner and a night-long celebration, Joe asked Laura to spend the rest of her life with him!  The actual proposal was just the two of them – where they are most comfortable – and was celebrated by all immediately following.  To add to the surprise, Laura's brother proposed to his girlfriend of 10 years that same night, and the two couples celebrated together into the early morning hours.

Describe the engagement session.
Joe and Laura choose to have their engagement shoot in Pittsburgh because it is the city where they met, fell in love, and began to build a life together.  Laura had always dreamed of getting married near her childhood summer cottage at Chautauqua Lake in New York, so they knew the wedding would be out of town.  The city of Pittsburgh was the perfect place to capture the spirit of their relationship.  Shooting on Mount Washington, on the incline, and along the overlook was the obvious choice, not only for its stunning views, but it is also the neighborhood where they couple purchased their first home together.  Including Penny, their adorable Great Dane puppy, was probably the best decision of them all; she absolutely stole the show!  Since the couple is drawn to the water, the riverfront and the underside of the bridges of the Steel City made the perfect background to showcase their happiness.  And don't forget their mutual love of sports, although not the same teams!  A friendly rivalry between the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers divides the house each Sunday…can you guess who Penny roots for!?

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Intimate Romantic Wedding at the LeMont: Christine & Ryan

Affiliate-LinkSurrounded by just 46 of their closest family and friends, Christine and Ryan exchanged vows at Pittsburgh's iconic LeMont restaurant.  Intimate but oozing with romance, this small affair was the perfect combo of city chic and DIY.  Being that the couple was on a strict budget, most of the decor, including the wine bottle centerpieces, the Mr. and Mrs. marquee letters, and even the invitations, was handmade with love by Christine herself.  This only added to the sweet, personalized essence that the bride and groom brought to their big day.  Christine and Ryan stuck to their guns and made sure their wedding reflected who THEY are!  Every decision the couple made was a thoughtful one that made their personalities come to life.  Take Christine's dress shopping experience for example…the girl found her wedding dress by herself because she didn't want a bunch of other opinions swaying her.  Miss Independent!  The teeny tiny guest list was another way Christine and Ryan infused their style into the event.  They just couldn't imagine a wedding with 150+ people…so they didn't have one!  They stayed true to their hearts and planned a day that was simply perfect in their eyes.  Keep yours peeled for some of my favorites…

  • Christine's dress.  The flowy chiffon BHDLN number went great with the carefree vibe of the day, but the gemstone encrusted sash added a hint of glamour.  The bride topped her look off with the daintiest floral hair piece (one of the hottest trends right now!).  All around simple and chic!
  • Her bouquet.  CHRISTINE MADE THIS!  The blush paper flowers were another DIY project that turned out beautifully!  Plus, Christine now has a forever keepsake!
  • Ryan's navy suit.  Let's not forget about the groom.  He looked dapper in a slim cut Tommy Hilfiger suit and the navy color was a great mix of casual sophistication.  The pink paisley tie was a nice pop of color too!
  • THAT CEREMONY LOCATION!  I mentioned that Christine and Ryan said “I do” right at the LeMont.  What I didn't mention is that the ceremony took place in front of the giant windows…at sunset…with an ah-maz-ing view of the city and the skyline that makes us famous.  Church weddings will always be beautiful but man, oh, man does this give them a run for their money!
  • Downtown portraits.  While the main event was small, Christine and Ryan still wanted their day to have a little touch of the Burgh.  So they traipsed all over downtown with Jeannine Bonadio Photography, snapping pics in the Cultural District, on the Clemente Bridge, and even in a few secret alleyways.  You'd be amazed at all of the pretty photo ops you can find hidden downtown.

Simple but unique, Christine and Ryan's wedding day was the perfect mix of DIY, urban backdrops, and romance.  And it's the perfect example of why you should follow your own heart when planning your special day. 🙂

Intimate Romantic Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Intimate Romantic Pittsburgh Wedding at the LeMont from Jeannine Bonadio Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
We met at the gym about eight years ago, and I had no interest in him at all!  Needless to say, he grew on me a little!  When he first asked me out, I said yes, secretly hoping that I'd get a free meal and a few drinks.  We laughed the entire night!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
I was out of town for work the week before Thanksgiving in 2014.  He jokingly told me that he was going to have strippers over, and in typical “us” fashion, I told him to go on ahead (it was MY house, btw!).  I came home and did find specs of glitter on the counter/floor, but didn't think anything of it.  He insisted on inviting my family over for pizza on Black Friday so that they could help me decorate the Christmas tree.  I didn't want to honestly, but I obliged.  I spent extra time at the gym that night, got ridiculously sweaty, and when I got home everyone was already there so I couldn't even shower.  After my nephew broke a few glass bulbs and things were a little “too much” for me, I started getting annoyed and started hoping everyone would be leaving soon.  I turned towards Ryan and saw he was hooking an ornament on the tree and I (with great attitude) asked “Which one is that now?” because I didn't recognize it.  He then got down on one knee and proposed.  Til this day, we aren't sure that I even said yes, but instead stuck my hand out and laughed hysterically!  He had made an ornament with “Marry Me?” written in glitter!  We now have that as a forever keepsake!

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
We wanted to have a small, intimate affair.  Ryan was very open to anything I wanted, so I gladly took the lead!  I opted for blush, gold, and cream as the colors because it made for such a romantic mood, which I thought was perfect for the small wedding.  Our pictures were then a perfect combo of downtown city mixed with romance and love.  Totally 100% us and it was perfectly captured by Jeannine!

What inspired your vision?
Obviously, Pinterest was a huge inspiration for a lot of the DIY projects.  I made the gold bottles for centerpieces, the Mr. & Mrs. letters, my bouquet, the thank yous, and the invitations!  I wanted to keep to a strict budget and it felt like it was really MY wedding because I did so much myself!  I absolutely LOVED the way my DIY bouquet turned out!  I am still so proud of it and it was worth every second that it took me to make.  Plus, I will also have it forever!

What made your wedding unique?
I think a lot of my DIY projects really made the wedding look unique.  Also, the size of the event is pretty rare for this area.  When I talk to others, they call their wedding small if it's under 150 people.  I couldn't imagine that size!  Our wedding was PERFECT for us for so many reasons.  We were the only ones involved with the invite list, so it was exactly who WE wanted there.  We knew everyone there so we avoided that awkward “Thanks so much for coming…who are you, again?” moment.  Also, we were able to socialize and truly enjoy every moment of the evening.  Weddings are A LOT of stress (even at 46 guests) but was 120% worth it in the end.  I wouldn't have changed anything about our evening!

What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day was the first look!  We slept at our house the night before and enjoyed our typical morning together the day of.  It really wasn't until I was getting my hair and makeup done that it dawned on me that IT WAS MY WEDDING DAY!!  Once I started getting dressed at the hotel and Jeannine was snapping pics left and right, I was getting SO excited!  I couldn't wait for him to see me, and for me to see him!  Once we saw each other, we just couldn't stop smiling at each other!

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Don't try to get everyone's opinions.  It'll stress you out and confuse you!  I kept it simple and asked for minimal help from everyone.  I even found my dress on my own (while on a business trip, actually!) because I knew what I wanted and I didn't want to be disappointed or annoyed with someone else who thought they knew better.  EVERYTHING will come together, too!  Just take one thing at a time and breath!  If you're on a budget, figure out things you can handle yourself and what things definitely require a professional.  Also, be honest with everyone.  If you can't afford it, say so.  If you don't like it, kindly express it.  Finally, it's YOUR day.  Be sure to enjoy it.  It's only a few hours!!!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
There's literally nothing at all that I'd do differently!  Must haves would just be anything unique that sets your wedding apart from all the others.

Vendors
Bride's Dress & Accessories: BHLDN | Bride's Shoes: Nina | Cake: Prantl's | Caterer and Ceremony & Reception Location: LeMont | DJ: DJ Tooth | Flowers: Carrie Anne Powell Floral Designs and a DIY bouquet | Hair & Makeup: The Villager II | Menswear: Tommy Hilfiger from Macy's | Officiant: Cynthia Bloise | Photographer: Jeannine Bonadio Photography | Preparations: The Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel | Stationery: DIY! | Transportation: A Silver Fox Limo

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Rich Marsala & Blush Wedding at the History Center: Jennine & Troy

Affiliate-LinkTake oodles of glamorous decor and two of the hottest wedding colors in recent history and you get this rich marsala & blush wedding.  Last October, Jennine and Troy exchanged vows at Pittsburgh's infamous Heinz Chapel before celebrating with their nearest and dearest at the Heinz History Center.  Throughout the planning process, the bride and groom approached everything with the same goal in mind: to create a wedding day that reflected their love of family and friends, that was joyful and fun, and that included lots of DIY elements.  Oh and one other thing…it had to have lots of COLOR!  When Jennine found her beaded, blush pink, sweetheart neck gown from Essense of Australia at The Exquisite Bride, she fell in love and knew the rest of her wedding day had to accented with lots and lots of color.  Here are just a few ways she did that, plus a few of my other favorite details:

  • From the gents' navy three piece suits to the ladies' gorgeous marsala bridesmaids dresses, jewel tones were center stage at this wedding.  The color palette was rich, dramatic, and oh-so-stunning, especially for a fall wedding!
  • Speaking of stunning, what until you get a load of these florals.  Mocha Rose took the color palette and ran away with it, combining dark burgundy with white and light pink blooms for a romantic contrast.  Throw in lots of texture and you've got yourself a winning combination when it comes to wedding flowers.
  • Lots of metallic details gave this wedding a little bit of pizzazz.  Mercury glass votives, tons of candlelight, glitter escort cards, and sequin linens and table runners added the healthy dose of sparkle that I just love.
  • With eight bridesmaids, one bridesman, and seven groomsmen, Jennine and Troy had one massive bridal party!  But it worked beautifully for them!  And I love how this bride involved her really good guy friend into the wedding day…who ever said that your “bridesmaids” have to be ladies?!  No one!  Your bridal party should consist of your BFFs…male, female, feline, canine, it doesn't matter who/what they are!
  • And with a bridal party that large, where do you seat all of them at the reception?  A king's table of course!  Don't know what that is?  Revisit this post from earlier this year!  This is one of my FAVORITE ideas and I'm so glad Jennine and Troy included this at their reception!

Who better to capture this pretty day than Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers?  The portraits are totally unreal.  Oh and P.S…you might recognize Jennine from Dance Moms!  Yes, THAT Dance Moms!  Get it girl!

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Troy and I met through mutual friends, but it was a long-anticipated meeting.  I lived across the street from his best friends for over a year, but somehow, we always seemed to miss each other until one night.  Two of our best friends were pulling out some pretty awesome dance moves, and Troy and I were playfully teasing them together.  We bonded over a good laugh, and it was history from there.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Time was not on our side, so to say that Troy surprised me, is an understatement.  Being a dance instructor, I was in Australia for a month, teaching and traveling.  A few days before my return to the states, we had planned a nice dinner and night out to celebrate my return home.  However, my flight got cancelled and I was stuck in Australia for another 36 hours!  A downward spiral from there, the connection flights were delayed and all of my luggage was lost.  When I finally arrived in Pittsburgh, Troy picked me up at baggage claim, and later said “I decided I was going to wing it based on how tired and stressed out you were”.  Despite all of the craziness, I was so relieved to be home with him, and couldn't have been happier.  He was convinced it was the right time.  As we got into the car, he got down on one knee, and I of course said “YES”!

What inspired your vision for the wedding?
Color, color, and more color!  I started by picking my dress, which was a blush pink – I will forever be in love with it.  I then knew I wanted to accent it with more color!  The fall has always been my favorite season and I was really inspired by the trend of rich, jewel tones – marsala and navy were everything for me.  I decided to accent these tones and my dress with metallics to create a very whimsical setting.  The venue we chose was in the middle of the city and had an industrial feel.  It was gorgeous, but at the same time, a canvas where we could create everything we ever dreamed of.

What made your wedding unique?
From the very beginning, Troy and I approached the wedding from a very unique perspective.  Although tradition is great, we wanted it to completely reflect our personalities and values: our love for our families and friends, our desire for a joyful, fun life, and my personal obsession with DIY.  We had mixed bridal parties, we skipped a few wedding traditions so we could focus on the fun, and we added our personal touch to as much as we possibly could.

We spent hours choosing our best friends to stand by our sides: I had eight bridesmaids and one bridesman, and Troy had seven groomsmen.  We then tackled how we could make the experience as best as possible for them.  So we chose a HUGE kings table – with 32 seats – where we could sit all of them plus their dates!  We also focused on our families and wanted them to be treated like the special people they are.  From the preparations to the ceremony, the reception to the dances, we tried to make sure they had every ounce of fun possible by including them in every moment we could.

For DIY, we did what we could!  Our families contributed to the delicious homemade desserts and famous Pittsburgh cookie table.  We created all of our welcome and thank you signs, I made all of our programs, escort and place cards, and we added a special note to our edible favors.  We had so much fun crafting in the weeks leading up to the wedding, and we were so happy with all of the details that added our own personal touch.

What was your favorite moment of the day?
My two favorite memories of the day were getting ready with my bridesmaids and mother and then also dancing all night – literally all night!  The preparations were so much fun and all of the girls were so relaxed and truly enjoyed every moment.  We had such a great morning just spending time with each other, pampering ourselves, and hanging out.  It was completely stress free and the time and love I shared with my girls and guy is something I will remember forever.

We were so fortunate to have amazing vendors who kept us on track with time and knew how much dancing meant to us.  We were able to have three full hours of fun on the dance floor and it was packed the entire night.  We had so much fun with our families and friends literally dancing the night away. There was so much joy and laughter that filled the room!

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Everyone says it, but it's the most important advice you will get – don't let the things that go wrong ruin your day!  It's inevitable – not everything will be perfect, and that's ok!  And most likely, no one will notice these things except for you.  For example, it rained on our wedding day and at our last picture location, I got mud all over my dress.  We were so caught up in the moment that we didn't even notice until we were finished!  But you know what, it made for funny pictures and memories!  All of my bridesmaids and I whipped out my emergency kit, mixed some Tide with water, and started scrubbing away.  I couldn't help but laugh and I definitely wasn't going to let it ruin my day.  There was so much love and joy around me, I was too happy to let anything bring me down.  Don't let the little things stress you out!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
Other than wishing it could have lasted forever…no.  Every minute of the day was perfect for us.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Essense of Australia from The Exquisite Bride | Bride's Accessories: Kate Spade | Bride's Shoes: Chinese Laundry | Cake: Bekah Yerecic | Caterer: Common Plea Catering | Ceremony Location: Heinz Chapel | DJ & Lighting: Anthony Griffith | Flowers: Mocha Rose | Hair: EnV Hair Salon | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Valarie Panei | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photographer: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers | Reception Location: Heinz History Center | Stationery: DIY | Transportation: TDF LimousineVendor-Credit-Shout-OutPhotographer: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

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Urban Fall Engagement Session: Shelley & Sam

This urban fall engagement session from Steven Dray Images combines the best season in Pittsburgh with all of the gritty nooks and crannies that make our city so special.  From an insanely gorgeous ivy covered wall in the Mexican War Streets to an abandoned-looking bus stop to an overlook that offers an incredible view of the city to one of the many great parks, these photos show off just a few reasons why Pittsburgh is so beautiful.  Beyond being colorful and industrial, this session has one other major feature: Shelley and Sam.  Their love is evident and their ability to make each other laugh is captured beautifully.  Good luck choosing a favorite image…there was absolutely way no I could.

Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides Urban Fall Engagement Session from Steven Dray Images featured on Burgh Brides

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Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session: Kelly & Evan

Hold on to your hats kids; this incredibly beautiful scenic engagement session is about to knock your socks off.  Kelly and Evan are two adorable high school sweethearts whose playful love is totally evident.   Along with  Victoria Irene Photography, they traipsed about Twin Lakes Park, taking in alllll of the natural wonder this Earth has to offer.  The colors of fall play a starring role but other not-to-be-missed favorites include a reflective river, a tiny mushroom, and a glowing sunset.  Mother Nature is just gorgeous, isn't she?  This session is proof why southwestern Pennsylvania is one of the best places to experience fall in all her glory.  Prepare to be amazed.

Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides Gorgeous Scenic Engagement Session from Victoria Irene Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
Evan and I “met” on March 27, 2009 when I was given his number by a mutual friend at a 16th birthday party.  I initiated the texting.  We met face-to-face shortly after when I joined the Blairsville-Saltsburg track team basically just to run past his house.  We immediately started “dating” (if that's what you call being a boyfriend and girlfriend that text endlessly but don't really ever go on dates).  I was 15 almost 16 and he was already 16.  We parted ways for a few months, but found each other again shortly after.

Our first date was in May 2009.  Several of my friends from high school had purchased a group package for a Pirates game.  Three moms drove us all down to the city since we all either had permits or weren't allowed to drive to the “big city” on our own yet.  We sat and watched the Pirates lose to Boston like the true Pittsburgh fans we are.  Evan and I hardly got any alone time but it felt like we were in our own world.  We finished the night watching Zac Brown Band perform and the fireworks.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Our engagement was every girl's dream.  We were visiting Evan's cousin and his wife in Hawaii in June 2016.  On our second day in Hawaii, we planned to visit Turtle Beach and then go to the North Shore.  While at Turtle Beach, Evan suggested we get a photo on a natural rocky pier.  He NEVER wants to take pictures so I was quite surprised.  He kept insisting we go further and further out.  I was beginning to get irritated with him because we were running out of safe rocks to walk on.  There, we took what would be our last photo as boyfriend and girlfriend.  On our way walking back, Evan hugged me and then dropped to his knee.  Don't ask me what he said to me that day; I was in complete shock and frozen.  All I knew was he had a ring and was down on his knee.

Describe the engagement session.
The session was incredible!  We can sometimes be awkward and aren't super touchy-feely in front of other people.  The environment was stunning and Tori and her assistant were top notch and had us laughing the entire time!  Tori had exceptional ideas and always made sure we were in our comfort zone.  Our session was stress-free, which is hard to say coming from a perfectionist.

We decided on Twin Lakes Park and I'm so glad that we did.  We were able to incorporate a variety of scenery: wooded areas, the lakes, fall foliage, bridges, and even a mushroom!

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Artsy Family Inspired Wedding at the Mattress Factory: Jamie & Jason

Affiliate-LinkIn an effort to show their guests the world through their eyes, Jamie and Jason made sure every single detail of their wedding day reflected them as a couple.  That's why only two simple things were the inspiration for their eclectic July affair – their family and their Brooklyn apartment.  The couple wanted their day to be about them and those they hold near and dear.

They did their best to include each immediate family member in a special way…the bride's uncle officiated the ceremony, the wedding party was made up of only relatives, the bride's 8 year old nephew played the piano as guests found their seats, and her other nephew played the sax during the cocktail hour.

For decor, pieces of Jamie's father's unique antique collection were incorporated.  His vintage mattress spring became a mini art installation with the help of Mocha Rose, who turned it into a floral escort card display.  Custom table runners were handmade by Jamie's mom, using the same fabric as that in their sofa.  The tented reception and nearby patio areas were full of hanging plants in macrame holders, just like those in the Brooklyn space Jamie and Jason call home.

Besides all of the ways this duo paid homage to their loved ones, here are a few other details about their wedding day that I absolutely loved:

  • Jamie and her crew prepped for the wedding day at the home of her dad's cousin.  As a surprise to the bride, they hired a masseuse!  Chair massages for everyone!  What an amazing way to ensure a calm, stress-free start to festivities!  Best.  Idea.  Ever.
  • Sampsonia Way, an otherwise quiet street near The Mattress Factory (the reception venue), just might go down as the coolest ceremony site in history, thanks to this pair.  With the help of a city permit, the bride and groom exchanged vows in this alleyway that is lined with brightly painted homes, birch trees, and other gritty elements.  To the couple, the seemingly ordinary spot was the perfect place to say “I do!”
  • In between partying the night away and partaking in the Polaroid camera-style guest book, friends and family enjoyed yummy late night snacks courtesy of Pittsburgh Taco Truck!
  • In lieu of traditional favors, Jamie and Jason treated their guest to a Pirates game the day after the wedding!  Since most of the group was from NYC, the Buccos-Mets mash up was the perfect way top off the weekend.

Family-focused, artistic, ethereal, and a bit modern, this wedding is a magical, outside-of-the-box dream come true.  See what I mean with all of the loveliness captured by Anthony Wincko Photography.

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

Artsy Family Inspired Pittsburgh Wedding at the Mattress Factory by Anthony Wincko Photography Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
When I first moved to NYC in 2005, I worked at an animation studio and had a co-worker named James.  James lived in Queens with a friend named Jay.  He often talked about his roommate, but we never met.  I left the job only after a few months to start a career in beauty PR.  Three years later, I bumped into James having lunch with Jay.  James and I reconnected and he started to invite me places when Jay was around, including a Jets game.  I was cold and Jay offered his sweatshirt – he purposely didn't ask for it back.  A few days later, I bumped into Jay again on my lunch break and we started to Facebook chat…then G-chat…then drunk text…and then eventually go on real dates!  We got engaged in 2012 and I've yet to give him the sweatshirt back!  To honor James for being the connection, we asked everyone at the wedding to treat him to a shot of Jameson and thank him for introducing us.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
It was a Friday and my assistant Annie predicted that I would get engaged that night.  I said she was crazy and we made a bet.  If I got engaged, I had to buy her Starbucks and if I didn't get engaged, Jay had to buy her Starbucks.

When I got home from work, Jay asked if I wanted to grab dinner.  We went to a restaurant in the neighborhood and during dinner, I told him all about Annie's bet.  After our meal, Jay suggested a walk in the park.  A lot was on my mind, so I was talking his ear off.  He eventually interrupted me and said, “You own Annie Starbucks.”  Before I knew it, he was down on one knee!

What inspired the vision of your wedding day?
Our Brooklyn apartment – the first place we called home together – inspired our vision.  You can read more on my blog.

What made your wedding unique?
What made our wedding unique was the ceremony venue choice.  We fell in love with the neighborhood surrounding The Mattress Factory and specifically Sampsonia Way.  We secured a city permit and got married in the middle of the alley under a canopy of overgrown vines.  We also wanted to make the day about our family: my uncle married us, the wedding party was made up of only relatives, my 8 year old nephew played the piano as guests found their seats, and my 27 year old nephew played the sax during cocktail hour.

Another unique element is that we treated our guests to a Pirates/Mets game the next day.  We thought it only fitting since half of the guests were from NYC/Long Island.  We had an entire section to ourselves and our friends and family got to take in the city of Pittsburgh with us and enjoy a beautiful day in PNC Park.

Oh, and the PGH Taco Truck!  We were his first wedding!

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Hire a day-of wedding coordinator!  It was my biggest mistake not to do this.  I'm a very hands-on person, so I managed all vendors.  On the day of the wedding, it was very tough to give direction when I also wanted to just relax!

Don't sweat the small stuff and cherish every moment.  It's so rare to have everyone you love from all over the world in one place, so make the most of your time with them.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
The day-of coordinator is a must and my biggest regret.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Watters | Bride's Hair Accessories: Lovely | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bride's Wedding Band: Cartier | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Cake: Oakmont Bakery | Cake Topper: Etsy | Ceremony Location: Sampsonia Way (street near The Mattress Factory) | Ceremony Refreshments: Turner's Iced Tea | DJ: DJ Zimmie | Musicians: The Giambelli String Quartet, CAPA jazz trio, & piano recital from the bride's 8 year old nephew | Favors: Tickets to a Pirates game! | Flowers: Mocha Rose | Hair: Swank Hair Studios | Late Night Snacks: Pittsburgh Taco Truck | Linens: Handmade by the bride's mother | Menswear: Suit Supply | Photography: Anthony Wincko Photography | Reception Venue: The Mattress Factory | Stationery: The groom! | Videography: Produced by a friend | Wedding Planner: The bride

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Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session: Lauren & Alan

When this fall sunset engagement session came across my desk, I almost died.  But not in a bad way…a good way…the kind of way that is because something is stinking good that you really don't know what to do with yourself.  It's the same feeling I get when I see baby elephants or kittens in teacups or babies yawning.  Lauren and Alan are so freaking adorable that it's really, truly unfair.  I mean just look at these two.  Match made in freaking heaven.  They are both elementary school teachers (just when you thought it couldn't get any cuter…), and they both have fun-loving, laid-back personalities.  So they wanted their engagement session with Rachel Rowland Photography to capture just that.  They settled for a casual autumn day in a field, climbing on trees, laying in the grass, and straight up flirting with each other.  The thing that makes these photos extra special (besides Lauren and Alan's good looks and flawlessly styled outfits, of course) is the glowing sunset.  The muted colors of the season, crisp leaves, and clear sky were punctuated by brilliant, blinding light.  Lauren and Alan…these images…I just can't.  See if you can.

Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides Glowing Fall Sunset Engagement Session from Rachel Rowland Photography featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
The story begins back in 2009 where a guy named Alan went to Robert Morris and a girl named Lauren went to Penn State.  Alan played volleyball and met Ross, a curly haired freshmen who didn't know at the time that he would be the best man in Alan's future wedding to the girl of his dreams.  Months, semesters, and years went by and the boys eventually became college roommates.  Meanwhile, Lauren spent her time in Happy Valley making new friends, attending football games, and majoring in Psychology and Elementary Education.  Years later, Alan and Lauren graduated college.  Alan began teaching at East Allegheny and Lauren enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh for her Master's.  One casual meeting in September 2010 at the Rib Fest in Pittsburgh, and life changed for these two kids.  Ross introduced Alan to one of his former high school classmates; her name was Lauren.

After that brief meeting in September 2010, we struck up a friendship.  We would communicate via texting and Facebook messaging, exchanging thoughts about music, TV shows, teaching, and life.  Our friendship was solid.  One day out of the blue, Alan sent me a random text expressing interest in becoming more than just the friends that we were.  Little did he know, that text would forever change his life.  I responded, saying I thought of Alan often, and obviously the feelings were mutual.  Shortly after the intriguing , butterflies-in-the-stomach-inducing texts, we finally met for a drink at Rock Bottom in the Waterfront.  We talked and laughed all night and eventually had to be kicked out by the staff who wanted to go home.  I even sent a selfie to my mom of the two us together; she had always been a big supporter of us becoming a couple.  I mean, WHAT is cuter than two elementary school teachers falling in love?  The timing was finally right!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
December 13th, 2014.  We signed up for a bus trip to New York City through our employer (since then, we had moved to Virginia together, to teach first and second grade in the same school district).  We woke up early in the morning, bundled up in our warm winter coats, and boarded the crowded bus.  Little did we know, I would not do well with the long trip on a motion filled bus.  I puked in the bathroom.  I puked at the Delaware rest stop.  I puked in the bathroom of a Starbucks upon arrival in NYC.  The trip was clearly off to a great start.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch, and then decided to go ice skating at Bryant Park.  After a few laps around the rink, Alan felt the time was right.  He asked a random stranger to take a photo of us.  At that moment, he got down on one knee to “fix his skate”.  I, yelling at him to get up because I worried the stranger might run away with his phone, was shocked by the question he asked and the ring he pulled out of his coat pocket.  “Lauren, will you marry me?”, he asked from the ice.  I said yes, and the crowd cheered!

Describe the engagement session.
We are both elementary school teachers.  We are very laid back, go with the flow type of people, so we wanted our engagement session to reflect our fun loving personalities.  Dancing on tree stumps, running through the open fields, and exchanging kisses against a tree were just some of the moments experienced that autumn day.  Alan constantly makes me laugh and smile, which is evident in each intimate picture.  I love the fall season – the crisp, cool air, and gorgeous colors all around.  We chose to coordinate our outfits with the season.  We could not have asked for a better day – blue skies, colorful trees, and a sunset full of oranges and reds that took our breath away.

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Crisp, Cozy Engagement Session: Casey & Joe

Get ready to snuggle up to today's cozy engagement session from Steven Dray Images.  Casey and Joe took to a woodsy area and an open field for these crisp, turn-of-the-season photos.  Leaves on the ground, bare trees, scarves, a plaid blanket…does it get more fall than that?  I'm not mad about it.  However, what I think really makes this session pop is the absolute KILLER sunset Steve was able to capture beautifully.  It's as if a beautiful, glowing aura is surrounding these two.  #thatlighttho.  The love between these two is 100% evident – just look at the way Joe looks at Casey!  Also – cute pup alert!  These e-photos are definitely some of my favorites, and I bet they'll be some of yours too.

Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven Crisp & Cozy Engagement Session from Steven

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Ivory & Gold Serbian Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn: Ashley & Jake

 

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When Ashley found her wedding dress, it changed the look of her entire Serbian wedding day.  Once she found the lace sweetheart number with rhinestone waist at Sorelle Bridal Salon, she quickly changed her color scheme from eggplant to ivory, champagne, and gold.  From there, everything else came to life for Ashley and Jake's 400+ person affair.  Ashley wanted everything to be “dripping in gold”.  And that's exactly what it looked like.  Tulle swag and paper lanterns hung from the ceiling.  Gold branches, mercury glass, and pillar candles added pops of metallic to each table.  Signs, pictures frames, and other decorative pieces accented the room.  Even the bar featured gold straws and cocktail napkins.  All of the thoughtful details came together for a look that was elegant and classic.  Despite being beautiful, none of these contributed to why I loved this weeding so much.  What did?

  • The infusion of the bride and groom's Serbian Orthodox heritage into all aspects of this big day.  Prior to the wedding, there was a Skup, where the groom barters for the bride's hand in marriage.  The Tambura band played when Ashley entered the church, and again for the Kolo when she and Jake made their grand exit.  The traditional dollar dance was done with polka music and slijvo, a Serbian plum brandy.  Guests feasted on a customary late night snack of scallions, bread, and lamb, which had been freshly prepared at the bride's house.  The mix of Old World wedding traditions and modern trends made these nuptials extraordinarily memorable!
  • Ashley's look…I'm absolutely in love with it!  Yes, her dress was gorgeous.  But I also adored her statement jewelry, the dramatic, smoky eyes, and the big, loose curls that made up her side low pony.  Brides who aren't afraid to be bold win my heart every.single.time.
  • The transformation of this hotel ballroom.  I've attended/coordinated many weddings at the Hilton Garden Inn and I've never seen it look quite this good.  With a little help from Arvay Event Design, this ballroom makeover was complete with tulle swags, paper lanterns, specialty linens, and a beautiful head table backdrop.
  • A real par-tay!  Man, oh man, Ashley and Jake's reception looks like it was a total blast!  The Tambura band played polka music in addition to 2 II None Productions providing entertainment.  Judging from the photos, the bride and groom and their guests had the time of their lives!
  • Bridal portraits that were out-of-this-world stunning!  Leeann Marie really outdid herself this time.  The fact that Ashley looks like she stepped off the cover of a magazine was a big help.  I'm not sure what was more gorgeous…the glowing sunshine during the afternoon or the deep blue dusk sky.  I loved every single frame!

So many wonderful moments and pretty details of this timeless yet cultural wedding were captured.  And I'm thrilled to share every single one of them with you.  Ashley and Jake, your big day sure was a beautiful one!

Ivory & Gold Serbian Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Serbian Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

Ivory & Gold Pittsburgh Wedding at the Hilton Garden Inn by Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers Featured on Burgh Brides

From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
We met in August 2013 at my office party at Off The Wall Theater.  My boss owns a local theater in Carnegie, PA and we were hosting a meet and greet for all of our clients there.  It just so happens that Jake works for one of my clients, so he came to the event with one of his colleagues.  When I met him, I thought he was very cute (and I LOVED that he was so tall!!) but he was a client, so I had to keep it professional.  One of my colleagues noticed Jake couldn't keep his eyes off of me all night (although Jake insists that's not true!  Haha!).  I noticed myself checking on him more than I would a normal client so I could just talk to him or be near him.  There was definitely an attraction and chemistry we both felt that night!  Several weeks later, his colleague, Shawn, ‘tricked' (as Jake would say) me to meet them out at a bar for happy hour on a Friday in October.  I was late because my car broke down and I didn't have either of their cell phone numbers at the time to let them know what happened.  Secretly, I was nervous/upset that they would be gone by time I got there and I wanted to see Jake again.  I was so relieved to catch them right before they were walking out!  Jake and I ended up closing the bar down that night and had the best time together!  The week after that, we went on our first official date and now here we are!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
We planned a weekend trip to NYC to see Jake's friends.  They were kind enough to let us stay with them and I used miles to get us flights, so it was turning into an awesome little mini vacation.  This was Jake's first time to NYC and my first time meeting his friends, so we both were excited to go!  Since we had a relatively cheap trip to NYC, we decided to go all out on Saturday (our last night there) and eat at one of the most popular restaurants, Nobu, and then go to 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar.

I knew we had to dress up and I planned accordingly, bringing two outfits to choose from!  That Friday, I found a dress at H&M that I liked and bought it.  Well, that evening, Jake decides he wants me to wear that on Saturday instead of one of the outfits I packed.  I was annoyed, because I didn't have accessories to go with that dress; I just bought it!  WHAT the heck?!?!?  So, I said no.  Then, his friend Dan starts saying I should wear it, which I thought that was super bizarre.  Kim was agreeing with me that it didn't matter…this argument went on for awhile.  Then Saturday during the day, Kim said she needed a new purse and I had to find shoes and a clutch to go with my dress that everyone insisted I wear on Saturday.  Jake gave me his credit card and said have fun.  Obviously, I was in shock and questioned it a little bit, but he covered it by saying my 30th birthday was coming up and those could be part of my presents.  Who would say no to that!?

Fast forward to that evening when we're getting ready…I was grumpy because I was feeling fat and didn't feel good in the dress.  I was becoming increasingly annoyed that I had to wear this dress and I wanted to just take it off.  They quickly scooted me out of the door so we could get to our reservations, but we had to make a pit stop at the pier to get pictures because it's a gorgeous view of NYC.  I was all for it and I love pictures, so I didn't think twice.  I offered to take Kim and Dan's pictures first.  As I was snapping away, I heard Jake shuffling behind me, trying to get something out of Kim's purse.  I still didn't think anything of it.  Then, Kim took pictures of Jake and me and asked me to check to make sure they were ok.  Jake announced to us that his shoe had come untied and he had to tie it.  I was just like uhh…ok, thanks for sharing?  I told Kim that I wanted a couple more pictures and I turned around to see Jake down on one knee.  He asked me to help him up, so I grabbed his hand but he didn't move and pulled out the ring.  Then I started freaking out!  I just kept saying over and over, “Is this for real?  Are you serious?  Is this really happening?”  I started crying and then he finally got out “Will you marry me?”  Instead of answering, I just grabbed him and started kissing him.  When I finally released him, he was like, “So that's a yes?”  I screamed “YES!”  There were people in the background of the pier, clapping and congratulating us!  It was the BEST night of my life.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
My dress changed everything we wanted to do with the wedding.  Once I found it, my colors changed from eggplant to champagne, gold, and ivory.  We decided to keep the wedding decor, theme, and colors elegant and classy.  We wanted to let our personalities and relationship shine through in the traditions, intro songs, first dance, etc.  I loved the idea of having everything dripping in gold and it was!  The ceiling has a lit tulle swag and 40 gold and ivory lanterns hung from it. Gold branch centerpieces were mixed with gold pillar candles and glass vases.  Chairs were covered in white linens and decorated with gold sashes.   The head table was extra special with an ivory lit swag and backdrop.  Gold mercury vases were used along with the bridal party bouquets on the head table.  Gold frames with pictures, signs, etc. were featured on different tables.  We painted and did most of the signage ourselves.  The bars had a sign saying “Eat, Drink, and Be Married” with gold chevron and striped straws and personalized cocktail napkins.  We have huge families, so our final count was 425, including about 40 kids.  We loved having the kids there, enjoying the wedding and creating memories like we did when we were little.  That's the kind of wedding we wanted…where the kids are on the dance floor tearing it up alongside all of us!  It was so fun seeing that come to life!

What inspired your vision?
My dress!

What made your wedding unique?
The blend of cultures coming together and incorporating both sides equally to make it “ours”.

What was your favorite moment of the day?
The moment after my dad kissed me, hugged Jake, shook his hand to give me away, and then Jake and I met eyes for the first time that day.  He looked at me and said “WOW!”  So it was such a build up to see his face and look in his eyes as we were about to get married.  I have tears in my eyes typing this because it was such a perfect moment.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Try not to get stressed out over the small things leading up to the wedding.  I was a mess with stress, trying to cram just one more thing into the details or changing something last minute or wondering if I should re-do the arrangements already done.  Relax, feel confident in the choices you made, remember that no one will even notice most of the details you're stressing about, and let everything else roll off your back.  I'm very detail oriented and obsessive when it comes to certain things, so this was very hard for me to let go.  I wish I had though because my stress level would have been drastically reduced!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
A good photographer and DJ are two of the best things to splurge on!  A DJ can make or break your reception and the photographer gives you the memories you'll have for the rest of your life.  We're so happy we made those some of our top priorities.  We definitely don't regret any of the money spent on them!  Now that it's over, I wish we would have hired a videographer.  We convinced ourselves that it wasn't necessary.  Well, it went by so fast and we missed certain things or forgot them, so it would be nice to have it all on video to watch.  That's my only regret!

Vendors
Bride's Dress & Accessories: Sorelle Bridal Salon | Bride's Shoes: Jeannie from Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Christina Wu Occasions from Sorelle Bridal Salon | Cake & Cupcakes: Mary's Corner Cafe | Caterer & Reception Location: Hilton Garden Inn Southpointe | Ceremony Location: Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral | DJ & Lighting: 2nd II None Productions | Flowers: DLF Designs | Hair: Jessie Shriver at Gorgeous by Sorelle | Decor: Arvay Event Design & DIY | Makeup: Ashle-a Powell | Menswear: Calvin Klein, Rondinelli, and Sorelle Bridal Salon | Photographer: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers | Stationery: Rational Designs by Amy Dzura | Transportation: White Knight Limo

Vendor-Credit-Shout-Out

Photographer: Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

 

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Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding: Annie & Clark

Affiliate-LinkAnnie and Clark's love story is one that will give you all the feels.  As kids, their paths crossed multiple times on the pumpkin farm that Clark's family owns and where Annie and her family would spend lots of time.  But in an ironic twist of fate, these two didn't officially meet until their college days.  A few years and a Disney engagement later, Annie and Clark began planning their wedding day!  Pulling inspiration from the very place they first “met”, the bride and groom chose Armstrong Farms for their ceremony and reception and they wove a subtle pumpkin theme into the entire affair.  A fall color palette of blush, plum, merlot, and champagne looked romantic yet dramatic against wooden decor, loads of fresh greenery, and fresh pumpkins that were grown especially for the occasion and picked by Annie and Clark together a week before the wedding.  My very favorite details included:

  • Stationery designed by bride.  Annie is a graphic designer and created everything from the invitations that featured their beloved pets to the ceremony programs that showcased fun facts about their bridal party.  DIYing doesn't get much better than this!
  • Speaking of Annie…wait until you see her dress!  The blush pink Sottero and Midgley number from Bridal Beginning features a sweetheart neck, rouched bodice, and ruffled skirt.  Annie accessorized with a beaded belt and simple floral crown for a look that was both feminine and modern.
  • Nods to their proposal night.  In honor of the night Clark popped the question (full story below), piano versions of popular Disney songs were played during the cocktail hour and guests feasted on BBQ and drank from mason jars, just like Annie and Clark did that very night.
  • One heck of an after party!  Post reception, the newlyweds and their crew enjoyed a bon fire, s'mores roast, and a good ol' fashioned camp out, complete with tents and all.  SO FUN!

Annie and Clark wanted their wedding to be simple, laid back, and they wanted it to tell their story.  I'd say mission totally accomplished.  Enjoy all of the beautifully captured memories from Dawn Derbyshire Photography!  THIS is how you do a fall wedding!

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Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides Pumpkin Inspired Fall Farm Wedding by Dawn Derbyshire Photography featured on Burgh Brides

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?
This is my favorite story ever.  Sometime in the 1960's, my grandfather built a summer cottage in a small town called Ligonier.  Over the years, generations of our big Italian family would visit the cottage together in the summer and fall months.  After I was born, my parents continued the tradition of traveling to Ligonier to spend time at the cottage.  For years, I bugged my dad, asking if there were any other kids to play with in Ligonier, but he kept telling us only farmers lived out there.  (Disclaimer: Later, it was discovered he claimed there were no kids because he didn't want me talking to boys.)  So, we grew up thinking there were no kids around.  On the way home from the cottage every year, our family would stop at a farm to pick pumpkins.  I loved this farm.  It was always one of my favorite things about visiting Ligonier.

Fast forward: The time had come for me to go to college.  I spent three years studying at Penn State and found out going into my senior year there was an error in my course scheduling that would set my graduation back about three more years (seriously!).  So I decided to transfer to Robert Morris to graduate on time.  As fate would have it, on my very first day this kid rolls into class and sits down directly across from me wearing a “Ligonier Basketball” shirt.  I was intrigued by this.  I, of course, knew of Ligonier, but I was convinced there was no high school there.  How could there possibly be a basketball team?  After class, I approached this kid wearing a shirt (from an obviously fake school) and questioned where he got it.  It was then I learned his name was Clark, and after a lot of convincing, he proved that he did in fact go to Ligonier High School.  Little did I know that while I was pondering in class about this kid's shirt, he was busy trying to learn my name so that he could ask me out.  He made up an excuse to borrow the book from class so he could talk to me.  When we met up outside the gym so I could give him the book, we ended up sitting on the steps and talking for hours.  During this conversation, we both learned that Clark not only lived in Ligonier, but lived on the pumpkin farm that I picked pumpkins at every year since I was a little girl.

For an added bonus, I was recently digging through old pictures of me on the farm and found Clark's family in the background!  So despite probably being within 10 feet of Clark since we were in kindergarten, we eventually (finally) found each other.  Some things are just meant to be.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?
Last spring, we vacationed at Disney World and stayed at the Fort Wilderness Campground.  The resorts are awesome but this one in particular we love because we get to camp in our tent, rent a golf cart to drive around, and just act like kids all week.  So needless to say, it's pretty awesome.  One night we went to a musical dinner show on the resort called the Hoop-Dee-Doo-Revue, which has all you can eat BBQ, all you can drink mason jars full of wine (yes, please), and a hilarious musical theater show.  After the show, I asked Clark if we could go sit on the beach to watch the sunset.  He seemed a little too excited, which at the time should have raised a flag but I didn't think anything of it.  I blame the wine.  Anyways, he brought a blanket, some music, and apparently a little something extra in his pocket 🙂  We found a spot under this Pocahontas-style weeping willow tree that had a perfect view of the sunset with Cinderella's castle in the background.  Before I had the chance to sit down, he gave me a hug, then pulled this little box out of his pocket and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.  I almost died.  We had been together for about six years at that point so after a while you have no idea when it's ACTUALLY going to happen, so it was 100% the best surprise ever.  The first “people” we saw after it happened were Chip and Dale, so I just remember hugging the crap out of them because I was so happy.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
When Clark and I first talked about what kind of wedding we wanted, we both agreed that something simple, laid back, and not over-the-top was the way to go.  So when the idea of a farm wedding where everyone could eat BBQ, hang out with the resident burrow, and roast s'mores over a bon fire presented itself, we were sold.  The wedding itself was beautiful.  Between the flowers, the pumpkin-filled barn, and being surrounded by our closest family and friends, it was the most AMAZING day.

What inspired your vision?
Everything about our wedding was inspired by the story of how we met and what brought us together, which was Clark's family's pumpkin farm.  The fall is a special time for Clark and me since we go and help out on the farm to sell pumpkins every year, and we've created so many memories there. So, it was a no brainer to have the wedding themed around pumpkins and held at a farm.

As far as the other details go, the color palette reflected my blush dress.  I wanted to make sure that even though my dress was blush, I was able to tie in the fall atmosphere with white pumpkins, gold accents, and blush, champagne, and merlot/plum bridesmaids dresses.  Clark's family farm provided the pumpkins, so our centerpieces included white pumpkins, lanterns wrapped in greenery, and gold scripted table numbers.  To stick with the theme, we served apple cider sangria and a variety of fall pumpkin beers.  In lieu of serving a cake, we provided fall inspired cupcakes: s'mores, pumpkin, and salted caramel bourbon.  And they were delish.

What made your wedding unique?
We wanted the wedding to be all about our story.  We took advantage of the fact that I'm a graphic designer, so I was able to customize all of our print pieces – from our wedding invitations that featured our fur-animals (because why not feature your cat and bunny on your wedding invitations?) to our ceremony programs that told our story of how we met along with fun facts about our wedding party.  We also wanted to add subtle hints of Disney (from our engagement) without it overtaking the overall pumpkin/fall theme.  So I ended up finding classy piano music of Disney songs that played for the guests during cocktail hour.  As a small gift for Clark the morning of the wedding, I gave him a “Grape Soda” pin from the Disney movie UP so he could wear it on his boutonniere.  Our dinner was inspired by the night we got engaged in Disney, when we had BBQ and enjoyed wine from mason jars.  So we opted to serve BBQ at the wedding and give everyone mason jar glasses for favors.  For an added bonus, Armstrong Farms allowed us to camp out in the lawn in tents if we wanted to. (The groomsmen took full advantage of that, which was awesome!)  The night ended with a bon fire and an after party on the farm, with A LOT of dancing and air guitar in the farmhouse until about 3 a.m.  We didn't care about any of the traditional wedding things, and our guests LOVED that.  They could not stop telling us how unique everything was – from our dinosaur cake topper, to a non-white wedding dress, and me having two of my best guy friends as bridesmaids.  Not to mention we also had two resident geese join us during the ceremony; they literally stood beside us through the whole thing, just hanging out.  It was hilarious.

Bride to Bride

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Don't worry about breaking tradition!  We were so happy we weren't caught up in all of the traditional wedding “must dos” and instead we did what reflected us as a couple.  Our guests loved all of the unique details we had on the wedding day because it told our story.

Also, soak in the day.  Find some time to privately have a conversation with your new husband.  They aren't kidding when they say the day is over in a blink of an eye.

Know what you can DIY and know when to hire a professional.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?
A big must have for me was a good photographer.

We wrote our own vows and it was awesome.  Looking back, I could not have imagined not doing that because it was super meaningful.

One thing I would have done differently was given myself more of a time buffer between when I got ready and when the ceremony started.  I felt rushed towards the end of getting ready and getting into my dress. I  would have liked to just have had a few more minutes to soak everything in.

Vendors
Bride's Dress: Sottero and Midgley from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Accessories: Versona | Bride's Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August from Bella Bridesmaids | Cake & Desserts: Mainstreet Bake Shop | Caterer: Pittsburgh Barbeque Company | Ceremony Location: Armstrong Farms | DJ: XELAsound | Flowers: The Farmer's Daughter | Hair: Brooke Nelson | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photographer: Dawn Derbyshire Photography | Reception Venue: Armstrong Farms | Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals | Stationery: Designed by the bride!Vendor-Credit-Shout-OutBridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals

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