A backyard Zelienope wedding wasn’t Torie and Alex’s first plan. It wasn’t even their second plan. But it turned out to be the best plan. This couple went through the wringer while planning their nuptials. First, their original venue closed its doors, forcing them to scramble to find a new space less than six months before the big day. Then, the COVID pandemic hit and Torie and Alex had to pull the plug on their 210-person wedding and opt for a much more intimate affair in the backyard of a family friend. But no one could have imagined how beautiful this plan C would turn out to be. Under a pergola adorned with floating moss balls and surrounded by a flourishing garden, Torie and Alex said “I do” in front of their nearest and dearest. The teeny guest list didn’t mean this celebration was short on details – like blankets to keep the September night chill at bay that doubled as favors, a Bethel Bakery cake atop of custom stand bearing the couple’s name, and a huge floral chandelier over the dance floor, courtesy of Blossoms by Jillian. The heartfelt moments were plentiful too – starting with a father/daughter first look session and ending with a fireworks send off. Small but mighty, this wedding – captured by Oakwood Photo + Video – is proof that you can sacrifice size without sacrificing style.
About the Couple
Over a decade ago, Torie and Alex met for the very first time in 11th grade Physics class. Torie was intrigued by the “new kid” and Alex was taken aback by Torie’s contagious smile. Alex and Torie’s relationship started off as a friendship and then grew into much more. They started to date their senior year and went to senior prom together – the true start to “high school sweethearts.” Torie attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), while Alex attended Penn State University (PSU). They battled long-distance with frequent phone calls, trips home, and visits to IUP. Following graduation, Alex began to work in Pittsburgh, while Torie pursued her Master’s degree at IUP. Torie completed her internships in Pittsburgh her final year of school and was able to spend more time with Alex. After dating for seven years, Torie and Alex were both finally employed in Pittsburgh and moved into their first apartment together!
In October of 2018, Torie and Alex made plans to go to Soergel Orchards – a fall festival they go to every year. Torie woke up that morning and told Alex that they’d go another weekend because it was “too cold for pumpkin picking” (30 degrees to be exact). Alex insisted that they “had to go today” and Torie obliged. Cold hands, warm hearts, and 100+ pumpkins later, Alex was down on one knee asking Torie to be his best friend for life. She, of course, agreed whole-heartedly!
About the Wedding
Torie and Alex’s wedding vibe actually changed a lot over the course of their engagement. Their wedding was originally booked at a since-closed venue. Torie felt modern chic was the best vibe for this space. Fast forward to 2020 – Torie and Alex’s wedding year, the year where their plans, styles, and themes changed by the month. In February, their original venue closed, and Torie and Alex were scrambling to find another venue that was open on their September 12, 2020 date. Another venue had an opening on their day, so they snatched it up! The vibe then changed to more of a rustic chic wedding – which is totally beautiful! Torie and Alex started to plan a new wedding with all new decor, and then COVID came barreling in with a million “unknowns.” Fast forward to July – Torie and Alex pulled the plug on their 210 guest count AND venue, and decided to have a micro-wedding. Their family friends graciously offered to host the wedding on their property in Zelienople. Torie and Alex wanted wedding colors that truly accented their family friend’s property, which was already beautiful in itself. They decided on olive greens, dusty blues, and golds. Their florist did an amazing job creating a large floral chandelier over the dance floor and a floral runner for the gate leading to the ceremony space. Torie and Alex added personal touches throughout the reception area, such as a picture collage, a chalkboard timeline, and (of course) the Pittsburgh cookie table.
We loved celebrating our marriage with our loved ones – both friends and family. It was a day that radiated so much love and happiness – a day we will remember forever. 2020 was a year of reflecting on what matters, and we felt our wedding truly showcased that.