Surrounded by just 46 of their closest family and friends, Christine and Ryan exchanged vows at Pittsburgh’s iconic LeMont restaurant. Intimate but oozing with romance, this small affair was the perfect combo of city chic and DIY. Being that the couple was on a strict budget, most of the decor, including the wine bottle centerpieces, the Mr. and Mrs. marquee letters, and even the invitations, was handmade with love by Christine herself. This only added to the sweet, personalized essence that the bride and groom brought to their big day. Christine and Ryan stuck to their guns and made sure their wedding reflected who THEY are! Every decision the couple made was a thoughtful one that made their personalities come to life. Take Christine’s dress shopping experience for example…the girl found her wedding dress by herself because she didn’t want a bunch of other opinions swaying her. Miss Independent! The teeny tiny guest list was another way Christine and Ryan infused their style into the event. They just couldn’t imagine a wedding with 150+ people…so they didn’t have one! They stayed true to their hearts and planned a day that was simply perfect in their eyes. Keep yours peeled for some of my favorites…
- Christine’s dress. The flowy chiffon BHDLN number went great with the carefree vibe of the day, but the gemstone encrusted sash added a hint of glamour. The bride topped her look off with the daintiest floral hair piece (one of the hottest trends right now!). All around simple and chic!
- Her bouquet. CHRISTINE MADE THIS! The blush paper flowers were another DIY project that turned out beautifully! Plus, Christine now has a forever keepsake!
- Ryan’s navy suit. Let’s not forget about the groom. He looked dapper in a slim cut Tommy Hilfiger suit and the navy color was a great mix of casual sophistication. The pink paisley tie was a nice pop of color too!
- THAT CEREMONY LOCATION! I mentioned that Christine and Ryan said “I do” right at the LeMont. What I didn’t mention is that the ceremony took place in front of the giant windows…at sunset…with an ah-maz-ing view of the city and the skyline that makes us famous. Church weddings will always be beautiful but man, oh, man does this give them a run for their money!
- Downtown portraits. While the main event was small, Christine and Ryan still wanted their day to have a little touch of the Burgh. So they traipsed all over downtown with Jeannine Bonadio Photography, snapping pics in the Cultural District, on the Clemente Bridge, and even in a few secret alleyways. You’d be amazed at all of the pretty photo ops you can find hidden downtown.
Simple but unique, Christine and Ryan’s wedding day was the perfect mix of DIY, urban backdrops, and romance. And it’s the perfect example of why you should follow your own heart when planning your special day. 🙂
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
We met at the gym about eight years ago, and I had no interest in him at all! Needless to say, he grew on me a little! When he first asked me out, I said yes, secretly hoping that I’d get a free meal and a few drinks. We laughed the entire night!
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
I was out of town for work the week before Thanksgiving in 2014. He jokingly told me that he was going to have strippers over, and in typical “us” fashion, I told him to go on ahead (it was MY house, btw!). I came home and did find specs of glitter on the counter/floor, but didn’t think anything of it. He insisted on inviting my family over for pizza on Black Friday so that they could help me decorate the Christmas tree. I didn’t want to honestly, but I obliged. I spent extra time at the gym that night, got ridiculously sweaty, and when I got home everyone was already there so I couldn’t even shower. After my nephew broke a few glass bulbs and things were a little “too much” for me, I started getting annoyed and started hoping everyone would be leaving soon. I turned towards Ryan and saw he was hooking an ornament on the tree and I (with great attitude) asked “Which one is that now?” because I didn’t recognize it. He then got down on one knee and proposed. Til this day, we aren’t sure that I even said yes, but instead stuck my hand out and laughed hysterically! He had made an ornament with “Marry Me?” written in glitter! We now have that as a forever keepsake!
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
We wanted to have a small, intimate affair. Ryan was very open to anything I wanted, so I gladly took the lead! I opted for blush, gold, and cream as the colors because it made for such a romantic mood, which I thought was perfect for the small wedding. Our pictures were then a perfect combo of downtown city mixed with romance and love. Totally 100% us and it was perfectly captured by Jeannine!
What inspired your vision?
Obviously, Pinterest was a huge inspiration for a lot of the DIY projects. I made the gold bottles for centerpieces, the Mr. & Mrs. letters, my bouquet, the thank yous, and the invitations! I wanted to keep to a strict budget and it felt like it was really MY wedding because I did so much myself! I absolutely LOVED the way my DIY bouquet turned out! I am still so proud of it and it was worth every second that it took me to make. Plus, I will also have it forever!
What made your wedding unique?
I think a lot of my DIY projects really made the wedding look unique. Also, the size of the event is pretty rare for this area. When I talk to others, they call their wedding small if it’s under 150 people. I couldn’t imagine that size! Our wedding was PERFECT for us for so many reasons. We were the only ones involved with the invite list, so it was exactly who WE wanted there. We knew everyone there so we avoided that awkward “Thanks so much for coming…who are you, again?” moment. Also, we were able to socialize and truly enjoy every moment of the evening. Weddings are A LOT of stress (even at 46 guests) but was 120% worth it in the end. I wouldn’t have changed anything about our evening!
What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day was the first look! We slept at our house the night before and enjoyed our typical morning together the day of. It really wasn’t until I was getting my hair and makeup done that it dawned on me that IT WAS MY WEDDING DAY!! Once I started getting dressed at the hotel and Jeannine was snapping pics left and right, I was getting SO excited! I couldn’t wait for him to see me, and for me to see him! Once we saw each other, we just couldn’t stop smiling at each other!
Bride to Bride
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Don’t try to get everyone’s opinions. It’ll stress you out and confuse you! I kept it simple and asked for minimal help from everyone. I even found my dress on my own (while on a business trip, actually!) because I knew what I wanted and I didn’t want to be disappointed or annoyed with someone else who thought they knew better. EVERYTHING will come together, too! Just take one thing at a time and breath! If you’re on a budget, figure out things you can handle yourself and what things definitely require a professional. Also, be honest with everyone. If you can’t afford it, say so. If you don’t like it, kindly express it. Finally, it’s YOUR day. Be sure to enjoy it. It’s only a few hours!!!
Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
There’s literally nothing at all that I’d do differently! Must haves would just be anything unique that sets your wedding apart from all the others.
Bride’s Dress & Accessories: BHLDN | Bride’s Shoes: Nina | Cake: Prantl’s | Caterer and Ceremony & Reception Location: LeMont | DJ: DJ Tooth | Flowers: Carrie Anne Powell Floral Designs and a DIY bouquet | Hair & Makeup: The Villager II | Menswear: Tommy Hilfiger from Macy’s | Officiant: Cynthia Bloise | Photographer: Jeannine Bonadio Photography | Preparations: The Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel | Stationery: DIY! | Transportation: A Silver Fox Limo