If Prince William and Kate Middleton had a Pittsburgh wedding, we think it might look a little something like this! Mary Grace and Matt’s English garden celebration was inspired by not only the Royal Wedding itself, but Kate Middleton’s timeless style too. With dreams of having her own princess moment, Mary Grace walked down the aisle of St. Paul Cathedral accompanied by the same music as the duchess did back in 2011. She wore a gorgeous Antonio Gual ball gown that was complete with a tiara and extra long custom veil by Clarissa Boutique. With its iconic architecture, Mellon Park proved to be a picture perfect spot for Birch Tree Photography to capture the sweetest shots of the newlyweds before they headed to their reception at the Cathedral Room at St. Nicholas. It was there that their English garden wedding came to life with help from Community Flower Shop and Vintage Alley Rentals. Colors of navy, rose, orange, and sage filled the space with thrifted candles and plated trays adding to the moody royal aesthetic. The couple also opted for a sweetheart table that held pieces of crystal from the bride’s parents’ collection. Nearby, an antique bird figurine was propped atop their wedding cake, of which guests enjoyed before joining Mary Grace and Matt on the dance floor with Loyalty Weddings & Events playing the best beats. If you ask us, this day truly is a real life, modern-day, romantic fairytale!
About the Couple
We met on Bumble in October 2020. It was both our first time on Bumble and Matt was my first date through a dating app. Luckily, my first dating app date was my last. Our first date was at Southern Tier and although he suggested dinner, I countered with drinks since this was my first date with a person I met online and we’ve all heard bad stories. Matt graciously agreed and I quickly found out I had nothing to be worried about when we talked for a couple of hours and he walked me to my car at the end of the date.
Things got more serious within three months when Matt’s company gave him the opportunity to move to Chicago. We decided that even though we had only been dating a short time, that we would give the long distance relationship a honest try. We had conquered being a couple from the North Hills and the South Side, so it seemed we could probably handle the distance between Pittsburgh and Chicago. He moved to Chicago in March 2020, right before the world went into COVID lockdown. Because of the lockdowns, we initially didn’t see each other for about a month. But there were some silver linings to being long distance during COVID – the flights were insanely cheap and working remotely gave us the flexibility to stay with each other longer when we did see each other.
The proposal came on February 13, 2021. I had known it was coming since I was very involved in designing and choosing my ring, but Matt used every ounce of connivance in him to throw me off the scent. He said the ring wasn’t done yet and the jeweler still had it. I may have threatened to call the jeweler at one point, but he was able to talk me down. I was also already planning the wedding at this point, because I realized if we wanted to get married in 2021, I had to start now with all the COVID craziness. So I really wanted a ring on my finger, and Valentine’s Day was fast approaching! Matt set up the proposal by telling me he the only reservation he could get for Valentine’s Day was at 4:30 p.m. due to COVID. He wouldn’t tell me the restaurant, just saying it was in the city. As we were on our way, I questioned where he was going until I realized he was heading to Washington’s Landing and the only restaurant there is Redfin Blues, which we had always wanted to go to. But I questioned him – wasn’t it closed during the winter? He kept saying he was able to get reservations. Unsurprisingly, it was closed – Matt says that the genius of his plan hinged on that fact I would believe he fumbled this. And while I teased him, he suggested we take a walk up the trail that runs along the edge of the island. It only hit me about 100 feet later that it was no mistake the restaurant was closed and we were at one of my favorite Pittsburgh spots, heading towards a view of the city. I may have panicked a bit as I caught a glimpse of the ring in Matt’s coat pocket, but Matt lovingly led me to the top of the island where I saw two bundled up figures loitering about, one taking pictures of the snowy, cold, gray, Pittsburgh February scenery. Matt got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and I said yes! After, the two mystery people approached us and I only realized they were my sisters in disguise when they were within 10 feet and the one took off the sunglasses she was wearing! Matt knew it was important to get some pictures of the proposal and got my sisters involved in the intrigue. We then went back to my parent’s house and the last surprise was that his mom and sister had driven out from eastern PA to be there too. It was a lovely night, and I told Matt I’d never forget just how much planning he was actually capable of!
About the Wedding
I am one of those girls who has been planning their wedding for a long time – always pinning, saving inspiration and dreaming of the big day. I was in high school when Kate Middleton got married and that wedding shaped my wedding dreams! While our wedding ceremony was royal wedding-inspired, I wanted to have a romantic, English garden themed reception that had an easy elegance and grace to the decor. My first decision was my dress.
My family have been parishioners at St. Paul Cathedral for years, and while it was not easy to secure a date there, I realized that I had dreamt of walking down that aisle with the Cathedral’s magnificent organ playing and that was that. Having a beautiful, reverent mass was the center of all my ceremony decisions. Luckily, I had musical friends who made it sound like I had hired a professional classical group. My royal wedding moment was walking down the aisle to the same music as Kate Middleton (albeit an abbreviated version!) of “I Was Glad” by C.H. Parry. To accompany the grandeur of the ceremony, I wore a tiara with an extra long, custom veil, from Clarissa Boutique. Earldine at Clarissa helped create a look that was elegant and timeless.
Our reception was more intimate, but I kept with my cathedral theme by having the reception in the Crystal Room at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, just around the block from St. Paul’s. Pitt’s Homecoming festivities helped our guests pass the time between the ceremony and the reception. While I started out planning to use dusty blue as my main color, I ended up changing to a dark navy blue with accents of rose, soft oranges, and greens. The bridesmaids were in navy, the groom’s tux was navy, and there were navy blue table cloths on the reception tables. I did put our best woman in dusty blue! I thrifted brass candlesticks and silver plated trays to decorate the tables. Miranda at Community Flower Shop made my romantic, English garden Pinterest board come to life with her elegant bouquets and arrangements. There was a small stage at the front of the room, and I brought the outside inside by arranging a mixture of candles with faux topiaries. Thanks to Miranda and Vintage Alley Rentals, I was able to create a romantic sweetheart table complete with pieces of my parent’s crystal collection. Another family piece I used were antique bird figurines from my grandparents atop the cake.
Entering the reception with my beautiful bride and seeing all our friends and family cheering.
Mary Grace’s favorite…
The first dance, although walking down the aisle is a close second! We danced to Ed Sheern’s “Tenerife Sea” and I sang the chorus to Matt as we danced. Matt isn’t a big dancer, so dancing and twirling around the room with him was a perfect moment.