When a couple can describe their Pittsburgh Opera wedding as “so, so perfectly us,” you know they’ve done something right. More than just throwing a swanky party, Mel and Tyler wanted their wedding day to be about them – their story, the roads that led them there, and those who were along for the journey. With careful thought and a little help from Pittsburgh wedding planner Wanderlust Weddings and Events, the couple designed a celebration that was heartfelt and personalized. The reception was full of their favorite things – from girly pink details to whimsical bistro lights from EF Lighting to the La La Land soundtrack. They seamlessly mixed Tyler’s Wisconsin roots with Mel’s Brazilian heritage, incorporating family members wherever possible. It’s a sentimental soiree that is sure to tug at your heart strings while simultaneously giving you some serious style envy. See what we mean with these pics from Danny Gorman Photography.
About the Couple
We were both graduate students at WVU, and one day we attended a trip out to a park/waterfall with a big group of mutual friends. After meeting that morning at the waterfall, our whole group ended up spending the day together, getting dinner in the evening, and going to the bar afterward. I knew after just spending one full day with him that he was something special. One week later, we went on our first official date.
Fast forward three years, and one special night, Tyler proposed to me in NYC at the Top of the Rock, while facing the beautiful city lights. It was such a wonderful surprise, after having spent a wonderfully romantic day together! (I couldn’t believe that he had an engagement ring in his pocket all day in NYC!)
About the Wedding
We basically just wanted to put together an enchanted evening wedding that was classic, but totally us. Our colors were navy, blush, and gold/champagne, and everything in our wedding was so, so perfectly “us.” From the bistro lights, to the lanterns, candles and flowers everywhere, to the choreographed waltz that we did to the song “Planetarium” from La La Land, everything about that day was filled with all of our favorite things!
So much of what we did that was considered unique was just meant to complement us as a couple: we served Wisconsin Kringle instead of cake; we mixed in Brazilian Brigadeiros on our Pittsburgh Cookie Table; we got all our photos done before the wedding (we wanted to be at cocktail hour for those Brazilian and Wisconsin-style specialty cocktails!); we had our wedding party’s dates sit up at the head table with us (we love them all, too!); we had our bridesmaids carry floral lanterns instead of bouquets; I had three bridesmaids and three bridesmen on my side, since I always grew up with a mix of guy/girl best friends; and we had a big Brazilian dance party at the reception after filling our tummies with delicious traditional Brazilian food for dinner (including pao de queijo, which translates to cheese bread!).
While some couples who opt for a nontraditional ceremony choose to do a quicker one, we knew that the ceremony was the reason that we were there. Our wonderful friend Kevin, a musician in West Virginia, officiated our wedding and said some truly beautiful words that were handpicked from his favorite books, which was so meaningful to us. Our ceremony also included a speech from Tyler’s aunt and uncle, a speech from my aunt and uncle who traveled from Brazil (and delivered half the speech in Portuguese for my grandma who does not speak English), and ended with Tyler and I signing our self-uniting marriage license. It was truly a special ceremony, that ended with Tyler and I walking out to the song “Married Life” from the movie Up.
Going into our day, I believed that our first look would be the best part of the day. Of course, the first look was absolutely amazing; however, both of us will tell you that the best part of the day was when I walked down the Pittsburgh Opera steps to meet Tyler at the top of the aisle to walk into the ceremony together. It was never really a conversation of, “Should we do this?” We decided from day one that we would meet halfway and walk in together, and in that moment, time froze and we felt like nobody else was in the room. An acoustic version of “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles was playing, and I will just never forget that moment in our lives. So special!