There isn't anything quite like a fall wedding, amiright? The season is such a gorgeous one, especially in southwestern PA. In not too many other places can you experience the colors, sights, smells, and feelings of autumn quite like we get to here. It's my favorite time of the year. So when it's the theme of my other favorite thing – weddings – I'm all over it. Caris and Sean embraced their October wedding date and made the season come to life. Dramatic jewel tones combined with authentically autumn colors made the palette rich and warm. A old, abandoned church provided a quaint backdrop for the ceremony, which was decorated with over 200 pumpkins grown on the bride's uncle's farm just for this special occasion. At the reception at Greystone Fields, guests enjoyed tastes of the season thanks to a cider bar and caramel apples. Here's what's really going to knock your socks off though…
- The bridesmaids dresses. Caris gave her girls a fall shade and let them go to town. Emerald lace, burnt orange with a deep v, and a floral print that needs to be in my closet STAT…the result was mismatched perfection!
- Those florals. Julie James Designs (who is also Caris's sister in law!) worked her magic and came up with a ceremony backdrop that will leave you speechless. If that isn't enough flower flawless-ness for you, wait until you see those bouquets. Oak leaves, craspedia, hydrangeas, garden roses, and amaranthus…the color and texture are out of this world!
- A family affair. In addition to Caris's aunt and sister in law contributing to the big day, other family members played a big role too. The bride's aunt made the wedding cake, family friends baked the cookies, cousins made up the bridal party, and her uncle was the videographer. Sticking to family was important to this couple and I loved seeing everyone come together to make sure their wedding was magical.
Caryn Azure Photography captured every gorgeous detail of this picture perfect affair. It's no wonder the fall is now the most popular time of the year to get married! You're going to love this one!
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
Sean and I met for the first time at a local coffee shop in my hometown after connecting online. He made me laugh and I knew he was special.
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Sean and I were exploring at McConnell's Mill. Sean etched our initials into a large boulder and we sat reminiscing and laughing in the middle of the woods. He pulled a ring box out of his bag and asked me to marry him.
Describe the look, theme, style, and colors of the wedding.
I wanted to embrace the fact that it was late October. I included a cider bar, caramel apples for favors, tons of pumpkins, and a fall color palette for my bridesmaids dresses. I assigned each girl a fall color and let them pick whichever fit and flare dress they wanted. I knew that the look would be pulled together with my incredible florist's scheme. She incorporated all the colors of the dresses in addition to oak leaves, pepper berries, and antique hydrangeas, which were more indicative of the season.
The ceremony took place at a small abandoned church in Renfrew, PA, where I grew up. My uncle, who runs McElhinny Farm in Evans City, agreed to grow 200 pumpkins in his field to add to the decor. Julie used them in the arch scene at the church and all around Greystone Fields for the reception.
What inspired your vision?
The time of the year. Western PA is gorgeous in the fall and I wanted to embrace the colors of the season.
What made your wedding unique?
Family. My aunt made my cake, my uncle grew my pumpkins, my sister-in-law (my maid of honor) was my florist, my mom's best friend made the cookies for the cookie table, my bridesmaids were my closest cousins, and my uncle was my videographer. Western PA is well known for sticking to family values and keeping close to your roots. I share that sentiment, which made the day all the more special.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
Celebrating! Seeing so many people who are close to me come together to celebrate such a special time in my life meant the world to me. Friends came from across the country to join us in celebration, dance with us, and wish us well.
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Trust your vendors! Let them take the reigns and keep in mind that they have your best interest at heart. They want to perfect your look. They have done this more times than you and can give you great advice. They know what it takes to make it the best day it can be.
Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
You must have an extra pair of shoes to dance in. It doesn't matter how comfortable your shoes are, you will be happy to have a different pair of shoes.
Have ample time to get ready. You will be so much more relaxed if you don't have to rush to get ready. I cherish the memories I have of us girls taking our time to get ready.
You also need breathable shape wear. I bought a Squeem from Koda Bridal and it gave me great shape, but I was comfortable in it all day.
Band: In the Mood | Bride's Dress: Moonlight Bridal from Koda Bridal | Bride's Shoes: Vince Camuto | Bridesmaids Dresses: Nordstrom and Rent the Runway | Cake: The bride's aunt, Kelly Hixon | Caterer: Stephen's Kitchen and Catering | Ceremony Location: North Union Church | Favors: Soergel Orchards | Flowers: Julie James Design | Hair: Mindy Willliams | Photographer: Caryn Azure Photography | Reception Venue: Greystone Fields | Stationery: Nota Bene | Videography: James Gang Productions