It helps to have friends in high places. James's sister is the event manager at the Mansions on Fifth. Lucky for Marlee and James, she was able to give them full access to the historical property for their engagement shoot with Matt Gaydos Photography. Inspired by a simple black tulle skirt and the beautiful architecture of the venue, this session is charming, flirty, and oozing in romance. From the gorgeous stained glass windows to the colorful tiled fireplace to various intimate nooks and crannies, the Mansions provided so many deliciously beautiful backdrops. And it's a perfect segue to Marlee and James's November wedding, which will be at another one of Pittsburgh's historical gems – the Priory! Until then, enjoy this!
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
We met in college at Slippery Rock University in 2008. I was a member of the women's rugby team, and James was a member of the men's rugby team. After months of flirtatious conversation at rugby events, we finally started dating in April of 2009! Our first date was on James's birthday. (He paid.. oops!) We've had typical college breakups over the years, but finally got together for good in July of 2013 when I moved out to New Jersey, where James had gotten a job after college. We're still living in Montclair, NJ, but can't wait for our Pittsburgh wedding on 11/11/17!
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
We enjoy outdoor activities like day tripping to the beach, running together, and going for hikes all over New York and New Jersey. James proposed while on a hike along the Hudson River in the Palisades State Park in NJ. He popped the question with no one else around, while standing on a big rock on the river bank. It was simply romantic, intimate, and completely reflective of our personalities. This happened on May 14, 2016.
Describe the engagement session.
The session took place at the main mansion and the sister mansion at the Mansions on Fifth. We love the unique architecture and details in every room. It was fun to do a primarily indoor engagement shoot.
The black tulle skirt initially inspired the look when I laid eyes on it in Anthropologie. As we began to decide on a photo shoot location, we decided to inquire at the Mansions on Fifth. They are now owned by our wedding venue (The Priory Grand Hall), and James's sister is the event manager at the Mansions. She was able to grant us access to all the locations on the Mansions grounds.