Nothing tugs at the heart strings more than the simple but sweet wedding of high school sweethearts. After years of dating (and a pretty romantic proposal), Whitney and Brandon finally tied the knot last March. A spring time wedding was important to Whitney. So to reflect the colors of the season, the bride chose a yellow and gray color palette. As she put it, “Yellow always means spring time, and gray sometimes means spring time in Pittsburgh!” In terms of the details, things were left to be rather simple. But that doesn't mean this wedding wasn't anything but exceptional. In fact, there were so many things about it I loved, including:
- Bridesmaids' dresses from everyone's favorite store…Target! I've mentioned Target's chic but affordable line of wedding wear before. The short, yellow chiffon number worn by Whitney's ladies is just one example. Cute and it doesn't break the bank? I'm totally sold.
- A ceremony location that would make any Steelers fan proud. In the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center, Whitney and Brandon exchanged vows with a sea of black and gold fans behind them. The pair claims they are a “non-traditional couple”. I can't think of a more unique/perfect spot to say “I do!”
- Bridal portraits that took advantage of all of the eclectic and modern nooks and crannies of the Heinz History Center. A first look in the library, candids that highlighted the unique architecture, and even a few snaps on a yellow staircase (to match the color scheme, of course)…Breanne of BNK Photography really outdid herself this time.
- A cocktail style reception at Olive or Twist. Rather than a stuffy reception, Whitney and Brandon opted for something a little more laid back. With a yummy dinner and music provided by Eventures Weddings, guests still very much enjoyed this spin on the traditional party.
- Even more of Whitney and Brandon's personality infused into typical wedding traditions. Since they don't consider themselves a conventional couple, the pair wanted to make sure everything reflected them. That meant a unique ceremony site, but being married by a minister; father/daughter and mother/son dances but shorter ones; no round tables but a buffet style meal; a bride wearing her mother's veil but bright yellow Steve Madden flats; and an A-line lace dress made modern by a trendy peplum skirt.
Simple and sweet, but still thoughtful and personal, Whitney and Brandon's wedding day is well worth a look. So go ahead and take a gander. Trust me, you'll be so glad you did.
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
We met in high school. I was actually interested in one of Brandon’s friends at the time, so we became friends by default. We hung out in groups and one random February evening I called him and we talked for 4 or 5 hours. After that, it was every night for hours until my mom would yell at me to go to bed. We became official somewhere between March and April of 2006, so we picked an anniversary date of March 20th.
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Brandon and I both took a class in high school called “Consumer Economics”. It was basically a class that helped high school students learn “adult” tasks – balancing a checkbook, mortgage information, buying a car, etc. Although we didn’t take the class together, the final project each semester was to plan our dream wedding. I compiled a binder full of elegant wedding details including dresses, cashmere sweaters I would buy for my bridesmaids, and a Tiffany’s wedding band. Brandon was at my parents' over the course of a week in August 2013, helping them finish their deck in the backyard. He asked my mom if he could have the wedding binder. He had already asked my parents if he could ask me to marry him. I was out at a work function that evening. Knowing that I would open it when I got home and think my mom had just given it to him to make me laugh, Brandon set the binder on the desk near our kitchen. Of course, I started flipping through it, and I got to the last page and my engagement ring was tucked into the last sleeve pocket. I turned to him and he was down on one knee. I don’t even remember what he said but of course I said yes!
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
The best way to describe our wedding was simple, personal, and detailed. Since it was “our” day I wanted it to feel like “us”. We are a nontraditional couple, having been together for so long. So I wanted to modify typical wedding traditions to be more “us”. We got married in a non-traditional venue, but with a minister. We did the father/daughter and mother/son dances, but we cut them shorter. We didn’t have round tables at our reception, but we did do a buffet style dinner. I wore my mother’s veil, but bright yellow flats under my dress. My dress was a traditional A-line with lace, but it had a trendy peplum skirt.
What inspired your vision?
We, as a couple, inspired my vision. We’re not overly fancy or stuffy people. There were details that I cared about, and ones that didn’t matter. I picked and chose what meant the most to us. Spring time was also an important factor to me. I wanted our colors, yellow and gray, to reflect the time of year. Yellow always means spring time, and gray sometimes means spring time in Pittsburgh!
What made your wedding unique?
I think our wedding venues made it unique. We had a family-only ceremony in a very non-traditional space. Our reception was at a bar/restaurant and included the rest of our close friends. We had a buffet style dinner with small plates, so you could keep going back up and trying other foods.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day is a tie between our first look and a moment right after family photos when Bre, our photographer, found a yellow spiral staircase and we took photos there just the two of us. It was probably only a 10 minute time period, but it was just the two of us and no one could even hear what we were talking about. It was our first chance to be alone after getting married. Brandon said his favorite moment was definitely our first look.
Bride to Bride
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
I think my biggest piece of advice is get things done early. The earlier you can check things off your list, the less stressed you will be at the end. Also, a piece of advice that I found on “A Practical Wedding”, a blog I read often before and even after our wedding – “If you’re working on something DIY and it just isn’t working no matter what you do, let it go and move on.” I originally had plans to crochet a capelet to wear with my dress when we went outside. I am a decent crocheter but I had to modify the pattern. I probably started over 10 times before I found that advice. I immediately quit, let it go, and moved on to another project.
Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
My only must have and can’t live without is the first look. I always knew it was something I wanted to do; I never cared if I had that traditional first look when I came down the aisle. It was so wonderful to be able to talk and be with each other before the wedding. I was nervous and anxious all day but as soon as I saw Brandon, I was immediately calm and excited. I wouldn’t change anything about our day – it was perfection!
Bride's Dress: Essense of Australia from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Accessories: Jewelry from Nordstrom & her mother's veil | Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Target | Cake: Giant Eagle | Caterer & Reception Location: Olive or Twist | Ceremony Location: Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center | DJ: Eventures Weddings | Flowers: Budget Blossoms by Jillian | Hair: S Spot Salon | Makeup: Emily Buhman | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photographer: BNK Photography | Stationery: Whitney Livesy | Transportation: TDF Limousine | Videographer: Parker Productions