Heather and Dante’s September nuptials prove that you don’t have to spend $30k to have an unforgettable wedding. In fact, the couple spent a third of that AND got to spend four days at their venue celebrating!!! Heather contributed to a recent article about how to save money on your Pittsburgh wedding. Her money-saving secret? In order to stay within their budget, she and Dante looked for venues outside the city. Still having trouble finding a place that suited them perfectly, Heather did an impromptu search on a vacation rental website and found Fishers Farm – a bona fide working farm and private residence. The rustic surroundings, ponds, red barn, and farmhouse suited the couple perfectly.
Heather was the quintessential DIY bride who wasn’t afraid to recruit her family and friends for help with crafting and other details – her sister made the invitations, her cousin made the signs, her bridesmaids and friends helped hang paper lanterns and put together floral arrangements, and her brother even helped hang the lights in the tent. She commented, “If you see it, we made it.” The end result was a beautiful day chock full of charming, homespun elements. My favorites?
- An amazing, sparkly array of bridesmaids dresses. The girls got to choose their own and they ended up with a beautiful mix of sequins, tulle, rosettes, and chiffon, all from Adrianna Papell.
- THAT HEADPIECE! Heather looks like a bohemian fairy princess in the Twigs & Honey pearl and rhinestone number she wore across her forehead.
- A casual ceremony set up. Dante’s dad officiated the exchanging of vows and the guests crowded around the happy couple – some sitting on chairs, some standing, and some leaning against the nearby tree.
- The couple wrote their own vows. But Dante kicked his up a notch by writing them on the back of a Terrible Towel! He busted it out mid-ceremony and read from it! If this isn’t a Pittsburgh wedding, I don’t know what is.
- A special serenade to Heather from all of the men in the groom’s family. It’s tradition for the guys to sing the Italian favorite “Oh Marie” to every bride marrying into the Condeluci family. What a special moment for both these gentlemen, who take such pride in carrying on the legacy, and the bride, who was welcomed into the family in such a special way.
You can just feel all of the TLC that went into this wedding simply by looking at these photos taken by Willa J Photography. Heather and Dante’s big day is proof that a wedding really is all about two people falling in love.
Grab your tissues because their video from Catedralography is just darling.
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
We met in a synagogue! The oddest of places since Dante is a Catholic and I am a hippie Presbyterian. We were both working there temporarily and there was a two week window for us to meet. The receptionist INSISTED that we were both “young and good looking” and encouraged us to get lunch. Needless to say, we haven’t left each other’s side since.
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
We are SUCH a laid back couple…we don’t go out much and when we do, it’s nothing too fancy. We LOVE having our friends and family over to our house, cooking for them, and watching whatever Pittsburgh sports team is on TV or playing cards. The night Dante proposed was exactly that. My best friends and brother were over and I was sitting on Dante’s lap in the living room. Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” (the song that I would later walk down the aisle to) came on and Dante got a look in his eye I had never seen before. He asked me to follow him upstairs and he went into our closet. I followed him (thinking he had gone crazy) and just as I was about to turn and walk away, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. When I asked him why that night, he said he knew it was time. I jumped and shouted so loudly our guests actually stood outside of the door, wondering if they should come in. I opened the door, ran downstairs, and we continued the celebration well into the night!
Describe the wedding. The look, theme, style, colors, etc.
I call our wedding “rustic, boho, hippie, chic”. Dante and I are super laid back and a little non-traditional. I wanted a day that reflected both of our personalities. Every detail of our day was “us”….from the band to the food and the drinks we served. If we didn’t like it, it wasn’t part of our day, but we also kept our guests in mind throughout the entire planning process. Our guests felt instantly welcomed and relaxed, just as they do in our home.
Our friends and family informally gathered around us during our ceremony and Dante’s father acted as our officiant. Neither Dante nor I knew what he was going to say so it was a really special moment. We also wrote our own wedding vows. Dante, in typical Dante fashion, wrote his vows on the back of a Terrible Towel, which I now lovingly refer to as my Terrible Vowels.
We had a live band at our reception (we are HUGE live music fans) and our caterer served smoked BBQ ribs, chicken, and a whole pig – all family style! Our guests are STILL talking about that food!
What inspired your vision?
My headpiece and my maid of honor’s dress. I’m still COMPLETELY obsessed with both. I kept a neutral palette and my bridesmaids all chose their own dresses. Everyone looked STUNNING! The guys wore white shirts and either khaki or gray pants. Once I nailed down those two pieces (and with a little help from Pinterest) everything fell into place and came together better than I could have ever imagined!
What made your wedding unique?
I am a budget bride who wanted a non-traditional wedding. We were on a $10k budget, which nowadays is almost unheard of. We stayed within our budget AND got to spend FOUR days at the venue with our friends and family…how awesome is that?!? Dante and I are so laid back and we wanted a day that reflected exactly that. We LOVE spending time outdoors, around a campfire, and we take weekend trips ALL the time. Right away, I knew that we should look for something outside the city so we could have a weekend getaway for us AND our guests! I looked at traditional venues and nothing really felt like “the place”. So on a total whim, I went to a vacation rental website and began emailing homeowners, asking if I could host a wedding on their property. I got some “colorful” responses, to say the least. But I didn’t give up and finally I found Fishers Farm – a stunning 5-bedroom farmhouse about two hours north of the city that sits on 126 acres with a pond, streams, and even a bridge leading to an arbor! What could be more perfect? We knew we had found the perfect place to begin our forever!
What was your favorite moment of the day?
Crossing the bridge and meeting Dante – seeing everyone there supporting and loving us was a truly special moment. Also, the ENTIRE reception! No one left the dance floor and taking in all our closest family and friends celebrating together is something I will cherish forever.
Bride to Bride
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Planning a wedding is like planning your own Christmas but better! Don’t worry about what you think other people expect from or want for you! The day is about you, your husband, and the beginning of your forever. Trust me, once everything comes together, NO ONE will leave saying “I wish she would have….” There is no other time in your life when you can have a day ALL ABOUT YOU! Embrace every second of it!
Any must haves, must dos, or can’t live withouts? Anything you would do differently?
Nothing…I truly loved every second of our day, and I know my husband did too!
Band: Terrance Vaughn Trio | Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero at The Exquisite Bride | Bride’s Headpiece: Twigs & Honey | Bride’s Shoes: White House Black Market | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Desserts: Made by the bride & groom! | Caterer: Fort Worth Restaurant | Ceremony & Reception Location: Fishers Farm (private residence) | Flowers: Community Flower Shop | Hair: Jessi Rawlings & Kathleen Quigley | Decor: Handmade by the bride and family | Makeup: Kiss N’ Make-Up | Menswear: J. Crew | Photographer: Willa J Photography | Rentals: Classic Tent Rentals | Stationery: Gianna Rotunno (sister of the bride) | Videography: Catedralography