Today’s tale begins with a PointBreezeway wedding that is sure to make you believe in happily ever afters. Being that Mora is a writer, and both she and Ian are avid readers, a subtle literary theme made perfect sense and luckily worked magically with their new venue after the pandemic forced them to downsize. Their once-downtown-fete turned into a 30-person intimate celebration that still oozed giddy romance and pure bliss. A bright color palette of orange, yellow, peach, and blue set a funky tone for the laid-back affair that featured tons of made-with-love elements and familial touches. Each table included a vintage tablecloth from Mora’s mom’s and aunt’s collections while DIY’d paper roses made from book pages by the bride herself adorned each place setting and peeked out of the centerpieces. Antique books were used as accents just about everywhere and each guest received a small, personalized notebook complete with a hand-written message from the newlyweds. Hand-made signs, a wine box guest book built by a friend, a Four Oaks Bakery cake that matched the groom’s tie and pocket square, cookies shaped like Mora and Ian’s dog and cat, AND a piano and vocal performance by the couple themselves…whew, we couldn’t even list all of the adorable, thoughtful details if we tried. You’re just going to have to trust us that this feature from Day Of Pittsburgh and Kaitlin Powell Photography is totally worth the scroll!
About the Couple
We met on an app, but our first date was at Kelly’s in East Liberty in December 2015. It was my first and only online dating experience and Ian’s thousandth. We texted back and forth over the holidays, but we really got close after I found two stray puppies just before the day we were supposed to get together again and our date turned into a trip to the vet to see if they had microchips!
We got engaged on the beach in Hilton Head, SC. Ian’s parents live there and we’ve visited there together at least once a year since we’ve known each other, so it’s a special place. Ian had a beautiful speech prepared and a custom ring from Skelton Jewelry, where we had gone together a few months earlier. Ian thought he was surprising me, but when he panicked about being asked to check his bag on the flight over, I knew there was a ring in that bag! It didn’t need to be a surprise to be beautiful and special though!
About the Wedding
We had originally planned a much larger wedding but due to COVID-19, we ended up having to make the tough decision to postpone, change venues, and downsize. We found ourselves hosting 30 guests in the outdoor space at PointBreezeway in late September 2020. PointBreezeway is a totally different type of space, but we were able to carry over many design elements from our original plan. We wore our same outfits, and did our best to keep our same vendors. Because I’m a writer and we both love reading, we had settled on a subtle library theme originally, which we kept alive by incorporating the book page roses I had made into the table arrangements. Our color scheme was also inspired by our original venue, but the oranges, peaches, blues, and yellows ended up working perfectly in the vintage-y, romantic space at PointBreezeway.
Downsizing allowed us to incorporate more personal elements into our day than we originally planned. Each table had a different vintage tablecloth from my mom’s and aunt’s collections. Honey Bunch Bouquets used books from our own collection to add some height to her whimsical floral designs. My mother-in-law made our Mr. and Mrs. chair decorations and card box, and my sister made our “Love Is All Around” sign. The bud vases were all found or purchased by my mother and I during our many months of waiting for the wedding to actually happen. I really liked that this ended up making our day much more sustainable as well as personal, since most of these items ended up being reused or taken home by guests. We also made a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in honor of our guests and the guests we’d originally invited that could not attend. Each guest also received a small notebook stamped with their name that served as their place card and had personal messages from us written inside. And as a final upside of reimagining our wedding, we were able to take photos with our dog Nellie, who we hadn’t adopted yet back when we originally planned to get married.
Some other personal touches I really loved from the day included our take-home cookies shaped like our beloved pets, and our cookie boxes with treats baked by my family. A former student of mine drew an adorable picture of us that we used as a sticker on our cookie boxes and hand sanitizer bottles. A woodworker friend of ours built our wine box and we had guests write messages for us to read on our anniversary. My mom and I love Rifle Paper Co., so we chose a print from there for Ian’s tie and pocket square and had Four Oaks Bakery duplicate that design on our cake.
Our first dance was choreographed last minute from watching YouTube videos and it was a delightful mess. We also like to play the piano and sing together, so we performed a song for our guests as a thank you before the toasts.
Our whole ceremony was really special because it was all done by family members. Our sisters co-officiated, and we each had a cousin perform a reading. But my favorite part had to be the moment when we exchanged our vows. We both wrote our own and we kept them secret until the ceremony. I loved hearing them in the moment, and reading them over again after. After all the stress that went into planning a wedding during a pandemic, the vows served as a really nice encapsulation of what the day was really all about. We both cried a lot and so did our guests!