Even if you’re one of those people who hates surprises, there’s no way you aren’t going to love this surprise wedding at the Warhol Museum! This non-traditional couple continued their outside-the-box thinking when it came to their big day. Amanda and GJ’s friends and family thought the couple had eloped in NYC and that they were in Pittsburgh for a tour of the city and just a wedding reception. Little did they know, the first stop on the tour was a church where the couple would actually exchange vows FOR REAL! After Exhale Events helped to pull off the big reveal, everyone celebrated pop art style at Pittsburgh’s funkiest wedding venue. Amber wine bottles lined tables dressed with deep teal velvet linens, while bursts of bright color came from blooms done by Pittsburgh wedding florist Community Flower Shop. Dessert included a semi naked wedding cake made by Amanda’s grandmother, and a caricature artist and screen printing station entertained guests well into the night. Get ready to fall in love with this wedding from Caitlin’s Living Photography!
About the Couple
We started dating the summer before our senior year of high school. GJ asked me out officially in Paris, while on a school trip to Europe. Sadly, not on top of the Eiffel Tower.
We dated for 10 years and 10.5 months (but who’s counting?). We got engaged over Labor Day weekend 2017. I waited long enough; I couldn’t wait for another year to get married.
Fast forward to the end of summer 2017. GJ had tried for a couple of days to cook dinner with me as a couple. I continuously had excuses of just making dinner plans or wanting to try a new place for drinks. It was finally Friday night. The next day, we were leaving for a friend’s wedding. Before meeting some friends for a drink downtown, GJ wanted to dance in the living room to our song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis. After three attempts to get me to stop getting ready and join him, I gave in and he is down on one knee in our living room. “Stop fighting me already, Will you marry me!?” I hugged him and said yes!
About the Wedding
We wanted it to reflect us. Our family always comments on how we can’t do anything “normally.” After seeing a couple of wedding blogs about surprise weddings, I knew I wanted to have that happen for us.
For years, I said that I would want to elope IF we ever got married. In March, our friends and family received a group chat text followed by an announcement on Facebook/Instagram that we eloped in NYC. The photos depicted us along the East River with the Manhattan skyline in the background, followed by us getting ring finger tattoos of our last initial.
Invitations went out for a reception to celebrate our recent “marriage.” The timeline on our guest website was for a bus tour of Pittsburgh for the cocktail hour and then a wedding reception at the Warhol. Once on the bus, guests were to be informed that the tour had just one stop: the church where we were to really get married!
Once off of the bus, our family and friends entered the church. Our son was the ring bearer using a Lego box I created. My mother placed my veil that GJ and I made on me before I asked her to walk me down the aisle.
Family and tradition is very important to me. I wanted a cookie table with homemade cookies and a traditional bridal dance – that’s what happens in SWPA! Growing up, my maternal grandmother made wedding cakes for all of our family and I always told her she would make mine one day. So she did. To cut the cake, we used my maternal great grandparent’s cake knife from their 50th wedding anniversary.
The couple: Doing the pictures before the ceremony!
Amanda: Standing at the front of the church with GJ and looking back at all of our friends and family.
GJ: When it was the two of us for the first look.