With cultural nods and heartfelt tributes to lost loved ones, today’s wedding at the Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South is about to tug on allllll your heartstrings. Josie and Al had two goals with their nuptials – to celebrate Al’s Syrian heritage and to honor Josie’s mom who had passed away a few years prior to their wedding. The result was a meaningful soiree that seamlessly blended meaningful traditions with memorable touches. To start, Josie kept her mom close by wearing her emerald ring and fur coat. House of Couture Designs was able to redesign her mom’s wedding dress into a top that Josie wore to her rehearsal dinner the night before. The bride even found a way to weave her mom’s memory into the reception details by choosing her favorite color scheme. While there was plenty of dancing that evening, the party really got started after the ceremony when the newlyweds were greeted with dancing, singing, and drum-playing in the street – a Syrian tradition that the bride claims as one of her favorite moments of the day. Overall, this feature is energetic and expressive and these photos from Mariah Treiber Photography are here to prove it.
About the Couple
We have known each other since high school and were always acquaintances…until we went to a Drake concert a few years ago! I had a little too much to drink and Al texted me the next morning to check in, then asked me to go out with him. The rest is history!
When we bought a house a few years ago, Al built the dream kitchen I always wanted. I had ordered two cakes for my mother-in-law’s birthday and Al came home with three. He knew I would look to see what else he brought home. I opened the box and it was a cake saying “Will you marry me?” As I turned around, he was down on one knee in the middle of the kitchen, bringing my second dream to life!
About the Wedding
Al is second generation Syrian. Both of his parents are immigrants and we wanted to honor his culture. One Syrian tradition is to gift the bride with gold. Al bought me a beautiful gold bracelet with five gold coins symbolizing marital wishes: happiness, health, wealth, fertility, and long life. The bride is also escorted from the home to the church and dancing in the street follows the ceremony. There was also dancing and drum-playing as we were introduced as husband and wife into the reception.
My mom passed away six years ago and we planned a lot of my wedding in her last days. My goal was to also honor her in non-traditional ways. My mom was an event/wedding planner and always loved a black and white wedding, saying it was “classy and timeless.” That is exactly what we went for! My mom’s birthstone was emerald and I wore her ring that she wore every day. I also incorporated greenery throughout the florals to honor her. This color complemented the black and white theme so beautifully. I also wore her fur coat, which was embroidered with her initials, and her wedding garter, which was my “something blue”. Additionally, Skye of House of Couture was able to create a top from my mom’s wedding dress, which I wore to our rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
Our dog, Lincoln, is our favorite guy! I HAD to include him in the wedding somehow, so I made stickers for our cookie boxes that said “doggie bags” and included a picture of him!
One of my favorite moments was dancing in the street following the ceremony! Honoring Al’s Syrian culture was such an amazing feeling, along with feeling such energy and love as husband and wife.
My other favorite moment was seeing the venue prior to everyone coming in and taking their seats. Finally seeing all of my visions come to life was breathtaking. And seeing Al’s reaction – realizing that all the hard work, arguments, sweat, and tears were actually worth it – was priceless!