Pure romance and natural vibes exude from today’s wedding at the Event Center at Waterworks. With a neutral color palette of taupe, navy, and sage green at play, Alyssa and Roberto wanted a woodsy wedding with an upscale casual ambiance. The result was one-part earthy simplicity and one-part swoon-worthy gorgeousness. Pittsburgh wedding planner (and sister of the bride!) Exhale Events helped to bring the vision to life by hanging a canopy of faux florals over the dance floor and marrying vintage and modern details throughout. Blossoms by Jillian used tons of fresh greenery and paid tribute to Roberto’s home country with lots of king protea, the official flower of South Africa. Wooden table names were reminders of the couple’s shared love of traveling and added a homespun touch. The stylish yet casual celebration was dreamy and relaxing – like a breath of fresh air. Enjoy these serene images from Abbie Tyler Photography.
About the Couple
Roberto and I met during freshman year orientation at Robert Morris University, through a mutual friend who kept telling me and my roommate that we needed to meet this kid from South Africa. We would constantly hang out with our close group of friends and we became best friends with one another. As time went on, we realized how much we enjoyed being around each other, which led our friendship to grow into something more.
On January 2017, we hopped on a 17-hour flight to South Africa, where Roberto showed me where he grew up. We spent lots of time with family and friends, but also took our own mini trip to a safari.
After going on a safari ride that evening, we came back to our cute lodge. Just when I thought getting super close to a bunch of lions was going to be the highlight of the day, the staff escorted us back to our room for a private dinner. Before sitting down to eat, Roberto kept saying all these cute things and concluded with, “South Africa has been such a huge part of my life and I want it to be a big part of yours.” Right after, he got down on one knee, completely surprising me. From the location and atmosphere, the ring and the love – it was a moment I’ll cherish forever.
About the Wedding
We decided on a “woodsy” theme. Not really rustic, but woodsy. I basically wanted it to feel like a romantic forest. There were earth tones, taupe dresses for the ladies, lots of greenery, wood accents, and candles for a soft touch. I also wanted a simplistic, clean, traditional vibe. We are very simple, laid-back people people, so we wanted our wedding to represent us and who we are with a less-is-more approach.
Pinterest, Burgh Brides, and Exhale Events gave me lots of inspiration! There were also times where I had a random idea and Exhale was able to execute it without having to think too much about it.
One unique thing was our flowers! A year ago, I did hair and makeup for a styled shoot. At this shoot, there was a unique flower in the bouquet called a King Protea. I was so drawn to this flower for some reason. So much so that when I went home I told Roberto I wanted to have this flower for our wedding. He asked what it was and little did I know his response would be that the King Protea is South Africa’s national flower!
Other things we did that made our day special were getting married in the same church my parents did by the same priest, we had a map as our guest book (since we love traveling), and our table names were all destinations that we’ve traveled to since we’ve been together.
I think we would both say the best moment of the day was when we were sitting at our sweetheart table right before dinner and we just looked around the room, seeing all of our friends and family in the same place together for the first time. We turned to each other and said, “This is so awesome!” Of course, our immediate families had met before, but nobody else had. Having family from South Africa, Portugal, and the US in one place all for us was super special and a moment we’ll cherish forever! Our hearts were so full!