You’ve heard me talk about a pop up wedding before. But just in case you missed it, check out last week’s post all about the Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding Co. In case you’re still a little confused, today’s feature is all about Shannon and Russ, the first couple to say “I Do” at a Pittsburgh pop up!
After an adorable proposal that involved a caricature drawing (full story below!), Shannon and Russ knew they wanted something small and simple, but unique and a bit quirky that reflected their personalities. Along came the Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding Co. A quick meeting with Trish where she explained her vision for the day and this bride and groom were sold. Just six short weeks later, the duo was exchanging vows at the historic Pump House at the Waterfront in front of their nearest and dearest.
With a nod to Shannon’s profession (hint: librarian!), Trish helped the bride and groom plan a vintage, book-inspired affair. For starters, Shannon’s engagement ring is from the 1920s, while her wedding band just might be one of the first ever displayed at Orr’s Jewelers. Antique furniture and artifacts played the main roles at the pop up itself, but they were accented by literary pieces, such as LOVE letters made from old books, an Scrabble board spelling the pair’s names, and Golden-Books-turned-ceremony-programs (made by Shannon herself!). The bride even carried a Kate Spade book clutch! Rather than a traditional ceremony reading, a friend read an excerpt from a classic children’s book. Jacob, Russ’s son, even played a special role…presenting the rings, which were tied to a book, of course! After the vows and a quick portrait session, Shannon, Russ, and their guests helped themselves to cupcakes, refreshments, a popcorn bar, and even a selfie station before continuing the party at a nearby restaurant.
Sweet and simple but so extraordinary and memorable, Shannon and Russ’s pop up wedding suited them perfectly! As Shannon put it, “It was perfect.” I 1000% agree. And you will too after seeing the beautiful documentation from Nicole Cassano Photography!
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
Russ and I met online through OkCupid! Our first date was in June of 2013 on a Thursday night at Luma in Mt. Lebanon. We had dates 2 and 3 on Friday and Saturday of the same weekend. We really didn’t look back after those first few days together.
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Russ proposed on our second anniversary. We had spent the day at the Arts Festival with our little family that includes Russ’s son, Jacob. We’ve made it a tradition to always get a caricature at the Arts Festival so that year was no different. Except that we both had to sit separately because the toddler didn’t want to sit still (Who could blame him? There was tons going on.). Russ kept trying to get me to go far away, but Jacob and I were happy just hanging out near him. It was getting late and Jacob really needed to get to bed, so when we left, we just sort of rushed out there and I never really looked at the drawing. Flash forward to later in the evening when Jacob was in bed and we were readying the house for family members who were coming over for a going-away party for my brother the following day. Russ kept asking me where the caricature was, and I kept telling him. But he insisted I go and get it and look at it. I did, finally. And he kept asking me what I thought about it. I kept telling him I thought it was awesome and was totally oblivious. Finally, I noticed that “Will you marry me in 2015?” was written at the top, just as I noticed Russ was down on one knee. I couldn’t stop laughing, but finally caught my breath and shouted “Yes!”
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
The beauty of the Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding Co. is that it is truly a surprise for the bride and groom. We had met with Trish of Vintage Alley Rentals and loved her decor and ideas, so we knew we were going to love it. We also got to pick our cupcake and cake flavors, and we designed what the ceremony would look like. But other than that, it was a total surprise! Everything was totally vintage and, since I’m a librarian, we wanted some book-inspired pieces as well. I had a Kate Spade book clutch, we had my friend read a children’s book in lieu of a traditional reading, and I made our programs out of vintage Golden Books. But Trish and the Pop Up Wedding crew also surprised with us so many little touches….books that spelled out love, a Scrabble board with our names spelled out, bird cages, a popcorn bar, a photo booth, and more! Someone could have planned for over a year and not had as many gorgeous touches as our wedding had. We just absolutely loved it.
What inspired your vision?
Well, the Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding Co. really has their own vision and it was wonderful. But we decided to be the first couple in Pittsburgh to have a pop up wedding because we wanted something simple, quirky, memorable, and different. Both of us knew we didn’t want to have a long engagement, a big wedding, or something cookie-cutter. But we did want to celebrate and we did want some family and friends there (that ruled out eloping to Vegas). When we saw the Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding Co. advertised on Burgh Brides, we knew we had to meet with them! After one meeting with Trish and seeing her vision for the day, we knew it was meant to be. We kept it a surprise from everyone but the 20 people invited because we really wanted to have fun with it and make it a little more special…especially since we went from engaged to married in just under six weeks.
What made your wedding unique?
Everything! We were the first couple in Pittsburgh to take the Pop Up Wedding plunge. It was held in a gorgeous historic building and was intimate and totally tailored to us. Plus, keeping it a secret meant it made for a big splash when we finally let the beans spill on Monday. It was so special just having our immediate friends and closest family in on the secret.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
I think my favorite moment of the day was walking down the aisle with my parents and seeing Russ and Jacob waiting for me at the altar. Our family is totally modern and filled with love. And seeing my two boys just beaming with excitement and love warmed my heart so much. I never thought I would cry at my own wedding, but I couldn’t stop! Now, when you ask Jacob if Nan and Dad got married, he screams “Yes! And I helped!” I’ll never forget him handing over the rings that were secured to a book too! Plus, the fact that our family and friends dropped everything to witness our marriage on such short notice is a true testament of their love for us. We had people travel all the way from New York City, Baltimore, and North Carolina just to be with us. And we only gave them about a month’s notice. That’s love!
Bride to Bride
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
I would tell a bride to march to the tune of her own drum. You don’t have to get caught up in Pinterest or spend a lot of money to have the wedding of your dreams. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try something different and unique! It’s not about out-doing all of the weddings you’ve ever been to. It’s about creating a day that celebrates the love you have towards one another. A wedding is just one day in a marriage, so don’t lose sight of the long journey. The stress isn’t worth it and everyone should just enjoy their wedding day!
Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
To me, a wedding must-have is anything that shows off your personality. For us, it was books and personal touches, pops of color, and fun. Just trust your gut.
And no, there isn’t anything that I would have done differently. The Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding Co. was just a delight to work with and we couldn’t have asked for a more dreamy and perfect wedding!
Bride’s Dress: Love You Ivory Day Dress from ModCloth | Bride’s Necklace & Clutch: Kate Spade | Bride’s Shoes: Marvelous Maven Hell from ModCloth | Cake & Cupcakes: Mixed with Love Cake & Cookie Co. | Ceremony Location: Historic Pump House, Waterfront | Flowers: The Blue Daisy Floral Designs | Menswear: Tommy Hilfiger | Officiant: Pittsburgh Wedding Chapel | On-Site Coordination: Your Big Day | Photographer: Nicole Cassano Photography | Rentals & Decor: Vintage Alley Rentals | Stationery: Lucy Loves Paper via Etsy | Wedding Planner: The Pop Up Pittsburgh Wedding Company