One look at Angela and Alan’s timeless Edgewood Country Club wedding and your breath is sure to be taken away. The reaction we had when we saw this elegant celebration is similar to Alan’s when he met Angela – love at first sight! On the manicured grounds of the venue, Angela walked down the aisle to a rendition of Beyonce’s song “Halo” in a sleek, fitted gown complete with a sweetheart neckline. She met her beau at the altar where they united in front of a ceremony arch that Holly Hanna Floral adorned with flowers that peeked through an abundance of greenery. Not only did they honor their African American and Latin roots throughout the day, but they also made sure to incorporate their children too! Their oldest son was the ring bearer, while Alan’s daughters designed the broom that he and Angela jumped over. Once the ceremony was complete, a second line parade led guests to cocktail hour. The newlyweds took portraits with talented Pittsburgh wedding photographer Taila Nelson Photography, before joining guests to celebrate. Upon their grand entrance, they cut into their beautifully designed wedding cake from Tasty Bakery and shared a first dance to Sade’s “By Your Side”. From beginning to end, this day is as beautiful as you can imagine. Get ready to be inspired!
About the Couple
We initially met in 2012 when we both worked for Propel Schools. Alan accepted a teaching job at the school where I was the principal. I didn’t actually interview him or even hire him; he was placed at the school by the superintendent, so we didn’t meet until his very first day of work. When I walked over to greet him, suddenly Alan forgot his name. He froze and then fumbled his words because he was not expecting to be so attracted to his boss. I didn’t notice his blunder; I noticed he was handsome. Nevertheless, we developed a strictly professional relationship, but Alan maintained that I was the woman of his dreams, only telling his close friends. My administrative assistant, Ms. Betty, kept insisting we’d make the cutest couple. Ever the matchmaker, Ms. Betty often nudged me to “pay attention to the way he looks at you.” In typical Angela fashion, I shrugged it off. Even though I found Alan attractive, I was not interested in dating him.
It wasn’t until 2014 when Alan invited me to watch The World Cup at Mario’s Southside Saloon that we spent one-on-one time together. Was it a date? It depends who you ask! Alan gifted me with a USA Soccer shirt (which I misread as a customary, non-romantic gesture for soccer fans like Alan), and when he offered to pay the bill, I refused. I prematurely called the game with a USA win against Portugal, not knowing anything about soccer. USA didn’t win, and Alan forever recalls that game as the one I jinxed. A former player and lifelong soccer fan, Alan was devastated. Unbothered, I finished my drink and excused myself to meet friends. If it was a date, it was a disaster.
An awkward start seemed to ensure we’d stay in the friend zone. We had so many differences. Besides, I was at peace being a single woman. So how did Alan win me over? Slowly, patiently, and with food! He literally prepared dishes and dropped them off for me almost daily. As time went on, we became food companions, visiting multiple new restaurants to try out exotic food. Were these dates? It depends who you ask!
Eventually, I noticed I was spending an unusual amount of time with Alan, and I liked it. I had a decision to make: lean into romance or remain friends. I took a leap of faith and the whirlwind began.
After spending time with each other’s families in Jersey and Pittsburgh, traveling to D.C., New York, Vegas, Houston, Tampa, Miami, Puerto Vallarta, and Aruba, and spending countless nights talking on the porch over Leinenkugel Summer Shandy while listening to my neo-soul playlist, Alan decided he wasn’t interested in living without me. He proposed to me on December 23, 2017 at Phipps Conservatory. While we were touring the Christmas display, Alan somehow managed to convince me to circle the grand Christmas tree four times without me suspecting he was waiting for the room to completely clear. As soon as we were alone, he asked for my hand on bended knee.
About the Wedding
An outdoor wedding helped to capture the romantic and classic experience we were looking for. The natural setting of sunlight, blue skies, and endless stretches of green hills accentuated by moody florals brought a dreamy atmosphere perfect for love. Eclectic music provided the soundtrack for each moment of the day – a cello ND violin rendition of Beyonce’s “Halo” for the me walking down the aisle, a second-line brass band to lead a New Orleans style parade from the recessional to the cocktail hour, and a DJ who kept us dancing to hip-hop, R&B/soul, salsa, bachata, and Reggaeton all night during the reception. It was important to represent the my African American heritage and Alan’s Latin American roots through music. It was also important to incorporate the children. We followed the African American custom of jumping the broom, which was designed by Alan’s daughters, the flower girls. Our toddler son was the ring bearer, and all four children, including the 10-month old, joined us at the altar for the salt pouring ceremony to symbolize the unification of family.
I had so many special moments! But my favorite was stepping into the reception as a newly married couple and having our first dance to Sade’s “By Your Side.” It was the most private, fully present moment we had together. We finally paused, breathed, embraced one another and let the love that surrounded us fill us up with joy. Even while feeling the love from our closest family and friends as they looked upon us, Alan and I felt like the only people in the room. We looked at each other and everything else disappeared.