When you get married at the Carnegie Museum, you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Kara and Brad kept it classic and chic when they said “I do” there. With a color palette of navy blue and gold, the couple let the venue’s beauty speak for itself, accenting it with simple white flowers, cute signs, and a few sequin linens. But this wedding was anything but boring! Quite the contrary, it’s one of the prettiest, most sophisticated I’ve seen! What did I love the most?
- Get a load of Kara’s dress! The all-over lace, the dainty cap sleeves, the satin buttons, and the intricate detailing on the back will stop you dead in your tracks. Girl looks fierce!
- When it comes to ceremony spots, it doesn’t get any better than the Hall of Sculpture. Ornate and beautifully lit, it’s a unique and stunning place to exchange vows.
- Despite the wintery mix we all know and love, Kara and Brad were able to get some beautiful post-ceremony portraits. With an umbrella in hand, high tops on Kara’s feet, and a smile on both of their faces, these two didn’t let the February weather get them down.
- An unforgettable first dance. With their guests overlooking from the balcony, the couple shared their first dance as husband and wife in the Carnegie Music Hall Foyer. Talk about a view!
- A “Generations of Love” table at the reception allowed Kara and Brad to display wedding photos of their closest family members and to pay tribute to the many examples of love in their lives.
- Due to my intense love affair with stripes and polka dots, I can’t get over how cute their cake was! The laser cut, wooden topper was the perfect finishing touch.
Get ready for approximately 872,357 photos. Leeann Marie, Photographers did such an incredible job capturing Kara and Brad’s big day that it was nearly impossible to narrow it down to just a few dozen. Once you see how pretty they are, you won’t blame me for including as many as I did.
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
Jam on Walnut in Shadyside! We both went to the Jam with our friends and happened to be standing in the beer line at the same time. I didn’t have any cash on me, but I didn’t want to leave the line since we had already hit it off. Brad ended up buying my Blue Moon and we talked the rest of the night. He was leaving for the beach the next day, so we planned a date for Avenue B the Saturday that he got back. The rest is history.
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
It had been a crazy few weeks for me. I went on a girls’ trip and came home to a call from her mom, saying that my best friend had passed away. We were supposed to celebrate my 30th birthday that weekend (which Brad and my best friend had been planning). Without hesitation, we cancelled the party and drove to Buffalo for the weekend to be with my family. Little did I know, a few months before, Brad had emailed my dad to get his phone number so he could ask for my hand in marriage. My dad never emailed him back; he claims he never got the email (he’s not so tech-savvy). So while we were packing up to leave on Sunday, Brad asked my dad for his permission.
The next Saturday, the two of us were going to celebrate my birthday at Avenue B, where we had our first date. On Friday, we decided to just cook steaks on the grill and relax on the deck. Brad came over after work with an orchid and a duffel bag, which I thought were clothes for the night or that he was going to the gym in the morning. While testing out my new potato slicer/recipes (Brad is the best guinea pig for all of my trials) and cooking potatoes in the oven, the kitchen got really hot. We decided to go sit in the living room for a second. I have no idea what we were talking about because it was such a blur of emotion. All of a sudden, Brad got up and reached into his bag. His voice got shaky and his hands were behind his back. He started telling me how much he loved me and then he asked me to marry him! I’m not sure if I even let him finish asking before I jumped up and hugged him. It was a feeling I’ll never forget – pure joy. We called our parents, ate our dinner, and went out for frozen custard. It was low-key, laid back, and absolutely perfect. By the next day, my face was hurting from smiling so much!
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
Our colors were gold and navy blue.
What inspired your vision?
We thought really seriously about eloping – a destination wedding, something easy and intimate and “us”. As days went on, we talked and talked and realized “us” was having all of our family and friends there. We both have amazing (big) families and the sweetest friends, who have been our biggest supporters, cheerleaders, and partners in crime. We couldn’t imagine the day without them. The thinking evolved – neither Brad nor I are from Pittsburgh, but since we both went to Pitt and have been living in Pittsburgh for years since graduation, we wanted to show all of our family members and friends why we call it our home.
We picked the venue because it was in the city, and when our guests weren’t at the wedding, they could easily explore Pittsburgh. The museum was perfect for us. It is in Oakland where we went to school, near Shadyside where we met, and a perfect representation of the city we love. Once we had the museum narrowed down, we really just wanted to keep it simple and classy so we didn’t overshadow the beauty of the venue and our love for each other (and our guests too!).
What made your wedding unique?
To us, our wedding was unique because we put so much heart into it. We kept it classy, fun, sprinkled with blue and gold, and always with our guests in mind.
We picked up our guests in big yellow school buses, and let them stay inside the museum for the whole night. We didn’t want people to worry about driving all around town. We wanted them to enjoy themselves – to explore the museum early on, laugh and cry during the ceremony (our officiant was amazing like that), eat and drink, and then dance the night away before hopping back on that big ol’ bus.
We did everything ourselves, from painting the welcome signs, making our own table signs, designing and printing our own programs and place cards, etc. Brad’s dad made our card box, one of the bridesmaids made all of the table numbers, and friends and family members made such a delicious variety of cookies for the cookie table!
Then there was the first dance while the guests were enjoying cocktails on the balcony! It surprised our guests and really let us show off the beauty of the room.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
So hard to narrow it down! From getting ready with all my best girls with kids giggling in the background, to the first look and the ceremony, right down to the dance party!
Seeing Brad in the museum during our first look was simply amazing. The moment was way more special than I ever could have imagined, and even today, I can hardly describe it in words. After all of our planning and preparation and welcoming our friends and family into the city for the weekend, having those few moments of alone time just to see each other before the wedding began was so special.
Of course, there was also the most epic chicken dance ever! It’s a long-standing joke that I love the chicken dance and Brad thinks it’s ridiculous. Every wedding, event, or bar I go to, I test the DJ to see if they’ll play it and rarely – almost never – do they actually play it. Brad talked with our DJ, who was also reluctant to play it. But for me, he did (which earned him major bonus points). I’ve never had so much fun dancing to such a ridiculous song with the closest people in our lives!
Bride to Bride
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everyone always says it to engaged couples, but it’s the best advice out there. We tried really hard to make a decision and move on. We found the more we thought about different options/vendors/etc., that it didn’t really matter because it always came down to what our gut was telling us, which was the initial decision we had made anyway.
Any must have, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
Absolutely nothing. We still can’t stop talking about how smoothly everything went on our wedding day!
Bride’s Dress: Eddy K | Bride’s Jewelry: Her mom’s pearl bracelet; Cuff: Eden Luxe Bridal; Earrings: Givenchy | Bride’s Shoes: Cole Haan pumps & Nike high tops | Caterer, Linens, & Cake: Parkhurst Dining | Ceremony Location: Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculpture | DJ: Jeremy Ganss Productions | Flowers: Gidas Flowers | Hair: Sarah McCarrison | Makeup: Audra Deluca | Menswear: Jos. A. Banks | Photographer: Leeann Marie, Photographers | Reception Venue: Carnegie Museum Music Hall Foyer | Stationery: Minted | Transportation: Molly’s Trolleys & First Student, Inc. | Videography: Go Pros worn by guests