One of the things that I love best about writing this blog is the variety of weddings I get to feature. Rustic and woodsy in a barn, industrial and modern in a loft, classic and romantic in a museum, and this one – vintage inspired, intimate, and budget friendly. Christen and Jamie tied the knot last September in front of a small group of their closest family and friends at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel. Christen is the voice behind The Thrifty Yinzer blog, so it wasn’t in her nature to spend a ton of money on an extravagant wedding. On the contrary, the couple kept the guest list to about 40 people, opted for a Friday night affair, skipped having a bridal party and a DJ, and DIYed most aspects. But that doesn’t mean that their wedding wasn’t anything short of amazing! My most favorite details include:
- Paying homage to her love of anything throw back, Jamie gave Christen a STUNNING vintage-inspired yellow sapphire ring when he proposed. Yes, diamonds are a girl’s best friends. But yellow sapphires are even better!
- In typical Christen fashion, the bride wore a vintage dress that she found at a thrift store. Short, simple, but oh-so-chic!
- The bride and groom exchanged vows in what I think is the most beautiful venue in all of Pittsburgh – the lobby of the Renaissance. The grand staircase, the marble, the beautiful ceiling, the lighting…I die.
- These bridal portraits scream Pittsburgh and you know my Burgh-loving heart is all aflutter! PNC Park, the Highmark building, and, of course, multiple bridges make an appearance and the city is almost as pretty as this couple.
- Determined to have the focus be on food, friends, and family, Christen and Jamie prove that you do not have to drop a million dollars to have a beautiful wedding. At a wedding, the spotlight should be on the love you share with your other half. All of the decor and details and flowers and favors are great, but at the end of the day, only love remains. Let that be the focus. Christen and Jamie’s big day is the perfect example of doing just that.
Ashleigh Saylor Photography was on hand to document all of the vintage-y details. Simple yet stylish, this wedding day is certainly one for the history books! Congrats you two!
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
We met through mutual friends on a Saturday night at a costume party. We ended up tailgating the next day for the Steelers game. He sneaked off and found us two tickets to the game! We had the best day together! He was so laid back and I don’t think I stopped laughing once. Our second and third dates were also Steelers games.
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
He proposed to me in Las Vegas over the 4th of July weekend on the High Roller ferris wheel when it reached the highest point. Since we were on the ride with others, everyone screamed when he got down on his knee. When I said yes, everyone clapped and hugged us!
We had started planning our engagement months before. I had known about the stone (a yellow sapphire that took three months to located because of its rarity) and it was important to us to pay off the ring together. But I didn’t know he had it with him on this trip! He really pulled off the perfect surprise!
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
The most special part of our engagement was that my ring isn’t a diamond; it’s a yellow sapphire. Since Pittsburgh is so special to us, and yellow is THE color of the city, I knew I had to have something unique and special. Our wedding was small and perfect, yet a little lavish. No wedding party or DJ. I had everything at the Renaissance and they piped some Sinatra into the ballroom. I wanted the event to be focused on food, friends, and family!
What inspired your vision?
I love vintage and simple chic. My dress was vintage, and I actually had it months before we got engaged! I knew that’s what I would want. I’ve always loved simple and classic but, because I’ve always been budget conscious, I never had these extravagant dreams of a huge wedding. When we started thinking about getting engaged, I knew that I’d want as many vintage pieces that I could find. I found my dress for basically pennies, and my shoes were on clearance. All of my jewelry was my “something borrowed”. I also didn’t want the hassle of bringing together a wedding party. I knew I’d want to do as much of the DIY stuff as possible!
What made your wedding unique?
Simplicity, yet style. I had a true Thrifty Wedding. My entire invite list was 40 people, I had no bridal party, and I did lots of DIYing, from invites and place cards to my own hair and makeup. We were engaged for only two months before our big day! We chose a Friday night wedding, which is why we were able to secure a venue and a justice of the peace on such short notice.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
We had our ceremony on the staircase in the lobby of the Renaissance. I think that was the most “extravagant” part about our wedding. We did not do first look pictures, so the first time Jamie saw me was when I came around the corner with my dad. Seeing Jamie’s face and all of the eyes on me (including hotel guests trying to catch a glimpse, which I secretly loved) was my favorite thing about that day and a moment I’ll never forget. My husband also had NO IDEA what my dress looked like. I think I caught him off guard (in a good way) with a short dress. I think he knew I wouldn’t be traditional in any way, but I loved seeing his expression.
Bride to Bride
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
It doesn’t take money to make it nice! Save your money for the important stuff (house, savings, etc.!). There are plenty of ways to make your day special without splurging. And don’t fret about the guest list. It’s a day between you, your significant other, and God!
Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
I would have practiced posing a little more and maybe left a little more time for photos.
Bride’s Dress & Accessories: Vintage | Bride’s Shoes: BCBG | Cake: Abby Cakes | Ceremony & Reception Location, Catering, Linens, & Lighting: Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel | Engagement Ring: Kenyon Jewelers | Flowers: Blumengarten | Hair & Makeup: The bride | Menswear: Express | Photographer: Ashleigh Saylor Photography | Stationery: DIYed | Veil & Custom Sash: Carlisle’s of Pittsburgh