A double wedding celebration is twice as nice! That’s one of the reasons we fell in love with Rachel and Mike’s winter wedding at Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel. Well, that and the fact it’s perfectly Pittsburgh! Whitling Photography was there to document both occasions, starting with the day the couple officially tied the knot during an intimate ceremony. Rachel and Mike shared the most adorable first look on the steps of St. Philip Catholic Church before exchanging vows and sealing their love with a kiss. Afterwards, the newlyweds snapped festive shots around the city and even made a pit stop at Primanti Brothers with their wedding party. AGL Media was there to video the ceremonial moments, which were curated into a beautiful highlight video that guests enjoyed a year later at their celebratory reception. While the vibe was fun, the decor was timeless. It included sparkling gold linens, escort cards with the city skyline, rich burgundy accents, and a head table with a backdrop that ILLUME Lighting & Event Design perfectly layered and draped with fabric for a statement-making look. Rachel and Mike surely know how to make lemonade from the lemons the COVID pandemic gave them and we are so excited to give you a sweet taste of their two-part celebration!
About the Couple
Mike and I matched on Tinder in the summer of 2016 right before I left for vacation. After talking for about a week, we realized we were both going to be at the same Pirates game. My sister knew I was leaving to meet up with this guy I had been talking to during an inning…and that quickly turned into a few innings! Both of our phones were blowing up from his friend and my sister asking where we were. But little did any of us know that we were meeting the person we would marry.
In the end of summer of 2019, my sister, Ruby, Mike, and I were taking a trip to Denver to visit my cousin and her fiance. While there, we had plans to brewery hop, hike, attend a Pirates vs. Rockies game, and spend time with my cousin. Little did I know that Ruby and Mike were working with my cousin and they had an elaborate plan for Mike to pop the question while we were hiking the Rocky Mountains! On our hike, they were scoping out the scenic spots and they had me set up for a picture with Ruby. Her and Mike slyly switched places and before I knew it, he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him! It was absolutely perfect and I couldn’t imagine sharing the moment with anyone else.
About the Wedding
We knew even before we were engaged that we wanted a winter wedding. We wanted a simple, elegant, and timeless look. I love dark colors paired with gold accents in the winter. But, overall, the most important part to us was that it was a fun atmosphere and had a casual/ laid-back vibe! I love the little details and wanted to make them stand out. It was important to maintain a classic, elegant look but also stay true to ourselves by making the details fun and representative of us. We found amazing vendors that helped us express ourselves but gave us timeless, elegant moments as well.
We did our best to make do with the COVID situation and we celebrated our reception a year after our intimate ceremony. Without a ceremony right before our reception, we wanted to do something to make it still feel like a wedding. Our videographer, AGL Media, made a beautiful highlight video of our 2020 ceremony and with the help of our DJ, Houserockers, the highlight video played after cocktail hour and right before the wedding party introductions. It was the absolute BEST! Everyone enjoyed it and it completely served its purpose! Our guests were far more emotionally invested with the video than if we had another ceremony. After dinner, we did not waste any time getting to the dance floor. Once it opened up, it was NEVER empty and that is exactly what we wanted. Jamie killed it with the music and perfectly executed the vibe we were envisioning! Our friends and family are still telling us how great the night was and how much fun they had at our reception!
To pick one moment is so difficult! Everything was truly amazing. However, music is incredibly important to me, so I would say our first dance at the reception was one of my favorite moments. We danced to “No Place” by the Backstreet Boys. It was the first and most intimate moment we had together but, at the same time, the first moment we were finally able to share with all of our friends and family. It was a moment that, at times, we never thought we would be able to have and we are both incredibly grateful for it. Now, when I hear that song, it is difficult not to become overwhelmed with emotions because I have so many beautiful memories to it.